The Art of the Handwritten Letter

Studio 5 discovered there are lots of reasons to put pen to paper, and recover the lost art of the handwritten letter.

In this age of technology, when was the last time you received a handwritten letter, or sent one? There are still plenty of reasons to put pen to paper and recover the lost art of the handwritten letter.

It’s a classic moment: the excitement of reading handwritten letter. Letters are warm, reflective, personal; a bit of history really.

But is the handwritten letter lost among smart phones, e-mailed half-sentences and the short cut communication of texting?

“Different modes of writing also have an effect on the reader,” says Maureen Mathison, director of the writing program at the University of Utah.

Mathison says think of handwritten letters as one genre of personal communication. E-mail is fast, but letters have a charm and a purpose all their own.

“It was about that human connection,” Mathison says. “I don’t think we’re getting that as much with the technologies that we have today, and I think that’s sad.”

“The letters I think we are writing fewer of are thank you notes, just personal letters,” she continues. “What we’re really losing is that human connection and that sense of people matter more than getting things done.”

So go ahead, step inside the stationery store.

“There’s something elegant about the whole process of writing a letter, receiving a letter. The romance of it is so crucial,” says Sean Bradley, with Tabula Rasa Social Stationers.

“Letter writing is one of the things, and using stationary in general is one of those things that will endure because it’s still of value. It still does what it’s supposed to do,” Bradley adds.

The handwritten letter is just one of the “lost arts” Studio 5 is exploring this week as part of the series “Find What’s Lost.”

Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the disappearing drive-in and tell you where you can still find the classic charm of a drive-in movie and how to create your own at home.

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