Of Fonts and Letters

2010/10/27 § 5 Comments

Because of our brilliant logo designer, my eyes have been opened to the wonderful world of graphic art and design.  I am amazed at how artists and designers come up with such creative interpretations of a name, or visual rendering of an idea, or the consolidation of a phrase into a picture.

And since I’ve been scouring logos and fonts and designs for inspiration…I revisited my love for letters and papers and books and handwriting and printed work.  These always make me think of celebrations, intimate gatherings, grand events…

…or words of love , scribbled hastily or written painstakingly and sent by slow mail or through the kindness of an emissary.

Or many, many days exploring cities and lives and consciousness with the magic conjured by brilliant authors…while lying under a tree, or sitting by the shore, or wrapped under blankets on a rainy day.

Much as I am grateful for the convenience and speed that computers and technology bestow us, I am also saddened by the gradual demise of the handwritten note and materials in print.  We so seldom write nowadays nor send real invitations nor thank you notes (as it is all done by email) that my passable handwriting has gone back to looking like chicken scratch.  (And to think that I toiled for several hours a day in school just to perfect my loops and curves.)  Even books are now being replaced by electronic gadgets.

Several years ago, while walking the streets of Rome,  I wandered into this wonderful stationery shop.  The whole place was filled with all kinds of papers and notebooks and cards and journals, wall to wall, from floor to ceiling.  It was such a delight to be surrounded by so much beautiful paper!  I spent hours in the store, looking,  touching and reveling in the feel of the paper.  I coveted them all.   And since it was close to Christmas, I had the bright idea of buying these lovely notepads as gifts.  I had them wrapped in the store’s specially-made envelope with red ribbon and handsomely printed sticker.  I was so excited to give them away.  I was fairly bursting when I gave it and whenever it would be opened  in front of me.  And did you know that every single one of the recipients ….had a blank look when they saw the blank pad.  They all had that look of receiving something ~ useless.  And maybe in this day and age, it was.  No one writes anymore.  They didn’t know what to do with the pad of paper.  And they were probably wondering what got into me that I gave them a pad of paper.   And what use was it for me to say that I lugged them all the way from Rome?  That the company has been making paper since 1264?  Yes, 1264.   That they could be used for correspondences?  Or for writing love letters?   And that it’s beautiful, beautiful paper?  No use….

I should  have bought some confection or chocolate instead.  And if they had these exquisite inscription in the wrapper  ~

then I would have given something I found beautiful and my friends would have received something they could at least eat.  Sigh…

{Images courtesy of Bespoke Press and Once Wed}

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§ 5 Responses to Of Fonts and Letters

  • Vina says:

    LEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love, love, love this post! If you had given me that gift, first, I would give you a smooch. Then I would stare and touch at the wrapper. Then I would take a photo and give you another smooch. Then I would open it ever so gently because I want to keep the wrapper. AND then I would be smiling from ear to ear, drooling and feeling the pads. Then I’d take another photo! When I take it home, I will be doing it all over again. Did you join my snail mail project?? I have been reviving it and I have been receiving lovely notes and packages. My love for paper is one key reason why I am planning on going to Italy on my own, to visit these types of stores, the binderies & paper mills 🙂

    • Haha! Vina, because I was so disappointed in other people’s reactions, I just kept the rest for myself. I still have one to give away. But the wrapping envelope is already dirty. Will give when I see you 😀

  • Vina says:

    Never mind dirty, it’s part of the gift’s history :). Yeepee!

  • Marose says:

    Leah, I would not have given you a blank look if you gave me a pad of beautiful paper. I love paper, cards, journals, notebooks. I wrote every single thank-you note to the giver of each wedding present and baptismal gift (for my sons) we received. I still send old-fashioned Christmas cards to my relatives in the US.

  • Beautiful choices Leah! So inspiring! The printing techniques are amazing. Thanks for letting me know about this entry. I love it! Keep on bloggin!

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