Our methods of communication say a lot about us, and how we feel about the audience we’re communicating with. Email is mundane, perfunctory. Receiving hand delivered correspondence can be a delight, yet writing letters has become something of the past.
Culturally, we’ve moved onto digital forms of communication. Mail is seen as “junk.” Expensive. Sluggish. Business moves fast. Speed is essential.
Slow down. Taking the time to put your thoughts on paper can enhance the impact, and results, of your communications. The fact that you could dash off an email, yet choose to write then post (as in mail, not upload) a note may end up saying much more than the message itself.
Technology is wonderful; I’m speaking to you through a blog after all. But, have you ever received an e-card – no matter how beautifully designed – and not thought to yourself, “They couldn’t send a ‘real’ card?” Technology doesn’t do your brand any favors when it diminishes the human connection.
Emails, tweets and texts are temporary, and disposable; easy to overlook, to flatly ignore. Paper has weight, and heft. Paper has a voice. The printed page touches, and can be touched in ways bits and bytes on a screen cannot.
Apple takes great care in crafting what they call the “unboxing” experience of their products. Every detail of the packaging, and process meticulously designed to resonate with the consumer; reminding you that you are in receipt of something truly special – that you are truly special. Such brand rituals create important signals, and connections.
Receiving a beautifully designed envelope made from quality paper; opening it, removing, and unfolding the contents to reveal the message can be a powerful brand ritual of its own – full of sights, scents, sounds, and tactile sensations that become indelible brand signals forming personal connections.
Make personal connections whenever you can. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that have the greatest impact. Whether handwritten or printed, crafting your correspondence with care on stationery or corporate letterhead lends your words weight – literally.
Sending your message in an easily disposable digital format marks that message as disposable. In business, if you’re message is seen as disposable your brand is going to be seen as disposable.
Communications from your brand should be coveted. An email from Steve Jobs would have been exciting to receive. Perhaps even printed out and placed in a file for safekeeping. A letter from Steve Jobs, on Apple stationery, would have been archival framed and hung on the wall.
Compendiums of contemporary letterhead design are widely available. We thought it would be fun to take a look at some examples of personal stationery and letterhead that are perhaps a bit more historic. What’s striking is how powerful these pages are, even without any content. Not because of their design, but because of the tangible, personal connection they each offer to their respective namesakes.
Here are a few great resources for getting in touch with paper: