Thursday Salute to Originals: Pen Pals

Is most of your daily communication transmitted via keystrokes? Whether punched out from your laptop or cell phone keyboard in the form of an email, text, or Tweet, typewritten words are created and consumed at lightning speeds. Designer Cristina Yanko boldly broke from this trend by forgoing traditional text messaging and email altogether.

For seven days, Cristina didn’t type a single word. She instead used her father’s antique calligraphy pen to write out all communication, snapping photos of her handwritten notes to transmit via text message.

Handwritten Calligraphy Text Message

Cristina Vanko Text Messaging Calligraphy Notes

The shift to pen and paper was initially inspired by her fascination with the pen itself, but it soon took on a whole new meaning. As Cristina relays, this is what she learned over the seven day period:

1) A phone isn’t only a texting device.

2) People like to plan phone calls these days, rather than receive them randomly.

3) My personality shined through so well that one friend texted back “it’s like you’re here with us!”…but then she followed up a few messages later that “it’s almost like you’re deaf and passing notes around in the room.”

4) Having a pen and paper is handy at all times.

5) My lack of a timely response really just meant that I didn’t have a pen and paper around.

6) My messages sent were more thoughtful in the “I used complete thoughts” type of way.

7) You look super silly if you completely ignore all that you learned in English classes. Impeccable grammar and flawless spelling is necessary for a handwritten note.

8) I wonder if a lack of response all together meant people didn’t remember their loops and swoops aka cursive…

9) Writing a message and driving is more dangerous than texting and driving.*This is an educated guess.

10) We are a culture that heavily relies on emojis.

11) It was indicated multiple times that people feel more “special” when they received handwritten messages.

12) For those who didn’t comment the handwritten responses and continued messaging normally just affirmed that my friends think this is something that I’d do on a day-to-day basis…which is definitely true.

Cursive Calligraphy Pen and Paper Handwriting

There is something powerful about the act of writing that brings more purpose to the writer and a more intimate sense to the receiver. We wonder how communication in the design and construction industries might be more thoughtful if everyone was forced to hand write! For her one week journey into returning the personal charm to communication styles, today we salute Cristina Yanko.