Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Calligraphy vs. Labels

So, calligraphy is "the dream".  It is the "proper" way to address invites.  And yes, I love getting hand addressed invites in the mail.  So much so that I've considered hand-calligraphing or doing "faux-ligraphy" (in which you print the addresses lightly and trace over them with a nice pen).  But I keep coming back to the words of my uncle, who works for the USPS.  "Typed is preferred.  If you must handwrite, all caps is best." 

Having never heard this before, and still foolishly considering handwriting my own envelopes, I sought advice from www.usps.com, the authority on going postal. The advice is to: "Print or type clearly with a pen or permanent marker so the address is legible from an arm’s length away."  

So printed address labels are definitely the way to go.  But boring, plain old labels printed in calligraphic font?  Why make my life so easy?  
 Meet the wraparound label.  I want these awesome labels.  I must have them, even at the expense of my sanity. 
 Because even if they are "blog trendy", they are still going to be new and interesting to members of our family.  Plus, they are a fabulous opportunity for design.  
My only concern is bouncebacks.  The wraparound label will make sure they get to their recipients, but what if we have wrong addresses?  (The Christmas card list my mother uses still has addresses in East Berlin...)  Well, the USPS has something to say about this as well:  "Print the delivery and return addresses on the same side of your envelope or card." 

So now what do I do?  (I would say we, but Mark's solution is to print the addresses on clear labels. Which is nice and all, but boring compared to the wraparound label awesomeness!)


  1. The wraparounds are cute, but I really think putting your return address on the front of the invite is important. It's not that the postal workers are too lazy to turn over your envelope, it's that so much of the mail is processed by computers now and if anything is askew, it kind of throws a wrench into their system and makes your mail more difficult to deliver (ie, slower).

    Maybe instead of your return address on the back, put a cute little message, poem, something for your guests. And then use Mark's solution to print the return addresses on labels.

  2. I love them, I say go for it! The envelope will be so cute.

  3. We got our envelopes made with our address already on it (on the back flap, which didn't seem to deter invitations that were returned to us, and seems to be standard enough that the post office should be able to deal), and then we printed addresses directly on each envelope in a pretty caligraphy-like font. I thought it looked as nice as non-digital caligraphy, personally. For any letter (or, more likely, number) that was hard to read in the context of the address, we used a different font that blended well enough but wasn't as curly. Printing directly on the envelope takes more time than labels, but looks more formal which was the look we were going for.

    I do think those labels are adorable though!

  4. Love the labels, and even if it is the 'IT' think in the blog world these days, just go for it. It's the dressier alternative to traditional addressing!

  5. We used labels and our motif also printed in the corner of the label, and were SO glad we did! Our handwriting is not great, and this looked classy (we thought). We did get positive feedback on our invites, so I guess that included our envelopes? :)

  6. I like wrap around with all of their blog love. I personally am custom stamp hungry because then I will get to use it afterward.

  7. Hee Hee! I do LOVE those labels! AND as far as bounce backs go we only had three out of about 68...we just dropped 'em back in the mail and they made it the second time around! AND if budget is a concern then the cost of the wraparounds really can't be beat at around $11 total! :)
    Good luck, I can't wait to see what you come up with! :)