The first letter was reportedly sent from Queen Atossa around 500 BC, thereby establishing the genre.
In the millennia following that infamous mail send, letters were viewed as the most effective form of long-distance communication. Whole industries of makers of writing materials sprung up as a result, providing kit and tools for writers to scribe love letters and memos, notes to self and acceptances alike.
In a renewed love of analogue, we’ve experienced first-hand the unique joy writing or receiving a handwritten letter sparks. For the receiver, the thoughtful gesture feels warm and authentic. For the writer, the experience can be just as pleasurable; whether your preferred method is on a modern notecard or heavy stock paper embossed with your initials.
As we become reacquainted with our own penmanship, we’re relishing in committing pen to paper. These days, we’re finding ourselves writing “sheets and sheets” (we’ve also become accustomed to using Austenian phrases to describe our writing habits of late) we want to encourage you to do the same.
Embrace your own literary leanings with our useful guide to the art of letter writing.
In Partnership With Smythson
The CF Guide to Letter Writing
Your choice of paper is important. Begin writing with Smythson’s signature handcrafted writing paper, available in a host of shades including Nile Blue and Park Avenue pink, and fanciful borders. Let your scribing style and personality dictate your selections.
For birthdays, weddings and all the special days that count, choose a card or notelet that befits the occasion. Elegant design details really add to the ceremony of things – be it a gold framed card of congratulations or a birthday wish embossed with the sender's initials.
To ensure your writing flows, the appropriate utensil is key. From fountain and rollerball pens to Smythson’s signature gold gilded pencils, take note of how your writing alters dependant on nib type – we recommend an in-store visit (when/if possible) to make initial decisions and road test a few models.
Whether perfecting your signature or adopting a witty parting line, the closer of your letter can really resonate. Think bold; take a leaf out of artist Frida Kahlo’s 1953 letter to her love Diego Rivera: “Goodbye from somebody who is crazy and vehemently in love with you, Your Frida.” In all eventualities, end strong.
Ensure your choice of envelope aligns with your correspondence style – after all, it is the first indicator of you as a sender and the delights that await insight. In our opinion, no note is complete without a Smythson’s tissue-lined envelope – adding a touch of gentility on opening.