• Emily Powell

Signed, sealed, delivered

Why the good old greetings card will always make us smile.

There is no doubt that the digital age has made it easier for us all to connect and be a part of each other’s lives, even when we live thousands of miles apart. Families and friends in different time zones, different continents, separated by land and sea, can appear by our side at the touch of a button.

Text messages. DM’s. Instant messenger. Social media comments. Face time. Even the good old fashioned telephone call. We are more connected and in touch than we have ever been.

And yet … our high streets are still full of shops dedicated to greetings cards for every occasion. Our supermarkets still have aisles of row upon row of them. Digital sites have been created with the sole purpose of sending physical cards via snail mail. Despite this digital, touch of a button age, we still love to send and receive cards to pass on our best wishes, thoughts and love to the people we care about.

Why is the greeting card still thriving?

Studies, have shown how the handwritten word can hold much greater emotional significance than a text message or email. Even during lockdown, when we were separated from those who live right on our doorstep and the world discovered ‘zoom parties’, the snail mail kept coming. In fact, 1 in 5 adults sent more handwritten mail than before.

Royal Mail research during lockdown found that 75% of Britons felt that there were positive mental health benefits to writing letters and cards. Certainly they are more private, and perhaps offer an opportunity to say more than we have the courage to face to face, or more than seems appropriate over social media.

Receiving a handwritten envelope through the post always makes me smile. That little jolt of excitement and anticipation. Maybe for those of us of a certain age, it’s nostalgia. Remembering the childhood excitement of envelopes with our very own name on it, landing on the doormat in the days leading up to our birthday.

Maybe as an adult, it’s the relief that a handwritten envelope is so unlikely to be an unwelcome bill. Or yet another marketing attempt to persuade you to apply for a credit card or switch broadband provider.

Or maybe, it’s the very simple fact that somebody, somewhere, thought about you. Yes, the same can be said for a text message, or a ‘happy birthday’ or ‘congratulations’ on Facebook. But the effort, we all know, is reduced. It was instantaneous, and whilst still lovely, not quite the same.

Firstly, is the planning. Either in advance of a known event, say a birthday or wedding; or in response to some news, maybe an engagement, a birth, or a loss. Someone planned their day to include searching for a card just for you, whether in a shop or online.

Then there are the words, whether those already printed, or those handwritten. Even the handwritten names of the recipient and the sender required physical effort and time. And the stress-inducing search for a pen. Followed by the search for another pen that actually works.

But my favourite part is the physical choosing of a card that seemed fitting for me. Of all the cards in front of them, something about this one made them pick it.

Even as the sender, choosing a card that feels right for my person is a special moment. You find a card and you just know it’s the right one.

The meaning behind the picture

Greetings cards are art. And like all works of art, they say different things, and evoke different feelings, for each of us.

When I first thought about this blog post, I intended to share my inspiration behind the drawings on my greetings cards in my online shop. But then, a customer told me why she had chosen my card with a pair of old boots. It was such a moving story and it reminded me that that is the beauty of greetings cards. Not my story behind the original drawing, but the meaning between the sender and recipient. That acknowledgement between two people of something special or significant to them. A memory; an inside joke; a connection that keeps them close to one another.

I have a story for every one of the cards that I offer. I love the thought that you might find something of your own stories in them too, and that in choosing them, you’re able to share something special with the people you love.

Click the link below to browse all 3 of my greetings card ranges.

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