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A Graceful Flowing Font
Do you think anyone has declared moving type to be the end of civilization in the same way people said typewriters were killing letter writing, telephones were isolating people, and television and the Internet were isolating young folk from other people? Did anyone rouse the mob to drive out that wicked Johannes Gutenberg and his dreadful machine? Certainly the people who said that telephone was killing the art of letter writing have yet to suggest that email is bringing back that same historic art.
Obviously, few emails are works of art, and you can’t write and email in a graceful flowing hand on beautiful soft crème paper with an intense and delightful color of ink. But then, most people can’t write in a graceful flowing handwriting, and never could, even with the right pen, right ink and right paper. On the other hand, what people CAN put in an email is steadily expanding. We already have the option of colored text, delightful fonts, pictures, and even animated pictures in the email. The fanciest handwriting on the most expensive paper never managed moving images. A friend of mine has picked an appealing color and an attractive ‘handwriting’ script and used them for her name in her ‘sig’ file. This is so every message she sends can be ‘signed in a graceful flowing hand.’ When you email people you can send all of your friends an interesting article or photos of your newborn baby without delay and without sending photocopies of the original.
Clearly we have all the tools to revive the art of letter writing. Do we also have the patience and the artistry? Are we willing to expend that artistry and time on emails? Or, are emails doomed by their humble and colorless beginnings to forever being the brief notes of the electronic world, while ‘the artistry’ is poured into blogs and web pages with their larger readership and longer life?
This article was posted on February 06, 2006