There is something to the touch of the hand. And what can be made from it, in the note from the one to another.
The idea of the hand — the writing — there are psychic links that reach to the soul, the electrical bolting that drives the inspiration of mind, to gesture, to interpretation.
I’ve noted that in the past, the concept of the signature — the signing of the person. To my read, the graphological cartography is a mapping of character. I can see the person in the writing — the geometry, the curves, arcs and jittered scribble. When I see a person’s writing, I can see them, sense them. Neat, organized, forward, backwards, tall, squat, looped, scribbled, cautious, wild, skilled or loosely casual — along with the detailing of the characters, it’s all there. Of course, that’s graphology.
I was contemplating a beautiful note, sent to me by the most unsuspected writer — thoughtful, careful, minimal — and I was struck by the gesture. That idea of something made by hand for another is an exquisite proposition — the proposing of ideals, warmth, love, thanks, reconnection. And it is that, the nature of a reconnection — with the mind, the hand, the fingertips in thought, gesturing to another.
The hand scribes in the journal, and these scratchings become a measure in time. Looking back, the writer can see the increments of change. It’s quite a revelation — like the archaeology of the soulful journey.
There is one tradition that I adhere to, perhaps given the legacy of my experience as a designer. Handwritten notes. To any connection, a quick meeting, an opportunity, a gesture to relationship, I will send along a handwritten gesture, something to speak to the hello. Once met, a followup.
While that might seem old fashioned, there’s something to it — that is, indeed, older, legacy, heritage-based.
Speaking to a friend, the idea of handwritten response becomes of an amalgam of the luxurious. Handwritten, the inked fountain pen, the carefully collected — even hand made, folded cards, hand crafted paper, specially imprinted forms of personal recognition; these stride beyond the note of care, speaking to, perhaps, luxury. Luxury strategist Pam Danziger notes,
“Marketers are taking notice: fine stationery enhances the luxury experience of letter writing”
I’m not surprised to see a resurgence in interest in letter-writing — a counter-trend back from electronic messaging toward paper greetings. There is a small, but growing segment of consumers who recognize the unique value and power of a hand-written letter or personalized note.” In her consulting practice, she’s focusing on the luxury space, what leveraging could be offered, in play to retail and experience design.
This is an opportunity for marketers. There are tremendous opportunities here to offer products to a wide range of income levels in a variety of styles. The secret is to make both the letter writer and recipient feel the luxury of a unique, personal communication.”
It is that luxury experience that will keep the current generation of letter-writers from treating stationery as just another commodity to pick up on the cheap. The key is offering this generation superb high-quality stationery and embellishments that expresses their individual styles and makes them feel special. And when that card or letter appears in the mailbox among stacks of bills and anonymous direct mailers, it may well inspire the recipient to write a letter of his or her own, surely the ultimate communications luxury.”
That idea — reaching to someone, a handwritten gesture — will be about the expression of something that is entirely personal, it is the persona of who you are. The reach, regardless of your digital connectedness, will likely be far more memorable.
Someone just referenced a note that they’d received from me — from 20 years ago. And they still had it. Surely that is selfsame to my own perspectives — these can be savored far longer than digital smoke.
Tim | Salisbury, North Carolina
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