Put Pen to Paper

It’s easy to idealise the halcyon days of letter writing.

Parted lovers hunched over a desk, quill clutched in inked and gnarly hands, eyes weeping in the gloom of a solitary lamp. Back then, the words on the page were the only way to convey those sweet nothings, heartfelt yearnings and romantic discourses.

Pentagram's letter
Pentagram’s letter

Ramblings aside, it is, in our opinion, rather sad that much of our communication is now reduced to under 141 characters, frantically typed out via email, or hurriedly auto-corrected on phones.

Thankfully, the Hand Written Letter Project has stepped in to reinstate art of handwriting.The project is the brainchild of Craig Oldham, and has now been documented in a gorgeous book, with all proceeds of its sales going to the National Literary Trust.

NB Studio's letter
NB Studio’s letter

Over the course of its scrawling odyssey, the Hand Written Letter Project invited the world’s leading designers, design studios and creative thinkers to share their thoughts in handwritten form on their own letterhead.

Oldham says, ‘The Hand Written Letter Project was after a conversation about how personal a letter can be: a fact that is currently drowning in a tide of depersonalisation, with junk mail and automated correspondence.’

Kesselskramer's letter
Kesselskramer’s letter

Since its inauguration in 2007, the project has collected over 100 pieces, which are now available in a book, which – true to its analogue principles, incorporates the actual letterheads from many of the contributors alongside printed reproductions on a variety of, finishes in a case-bound, hard-back book available here as well as in an exhibition in east London.

Johnson Banks' pig
Johnson Banks’ pig

The collection offers a fascinating insight into the minds of some every well known creative types, including, among many others, Wim Crouwel, Wally Olins, Daniel Eatock, Mike Dempsey, Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks and Erik Kessels of KesselsKramer.

the hand written letter project

If you want to contribute, Oldham is still very keen to hear from you – and you can write to him here at 22 Kings Road, Old Trafford Manchester M16 7SD

The exhibition  runs from 5 – 27 August at the KK Outlet 42 Hoxton Square, London,N1

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