• Social Mail Pitch

    “Nine out of 10 people say they love receiving handwritten letters in the post.”

    The idea of putting pen to paper to write a letter has come to be seen as an antiquated concept, ridiculously slow and old fashioned. Writing anything more than a birthday message in a card can be difficult enough.
    Communication of social networking through phones and social networking apps means communicating has never been easier.  Statistics show that it is mainly adults aged 18 – 29 that use social networking sites. With digital communication being so prevalent in our daily lives, the art of handwritten letters and sending pieces of mail seems to have been forgotten about. There is something more personal about receiving a handwritten letter, something an electronic message cannot compete with. Sending a letter used to be seen as nothing else than uncommon, now its seen as sending a signal to someone that you want to go that extra mile for.
    The simple thing is… nobody gets mail anymore, because nobody sends mail anymore.

    Positive and negative reactions to handwritten letters:

    ·         Do not need a computer or access to the Internet (which costs)
    ·         It is different, special and more personal.
    ·         Retain Royal Mail Jobs
    ·         Valuable
    ·         Something to have and keep forever
    ·         Much more emotion can be seen through the handwriting

    ·         Slower and less convenient  (2-5 days) it is not as instant
    ·         Might not receive the mail – (Trustworthy of Royal Mails service)
    ·         Costs of postage stamps
    ·         Inconvenient
    ·         Junk mail is too prominent. It goes against the point of receiving a letter now
    ·         Using paper, not environmentally friendly
    ·         Costs to send

    I sent out a number of letters to people I knew, asking them their thoughts on handwritten letters, and here are a few people’s responses:
     “A handwritten letter is something you can keep, and has sentimental value.” Female Age 20
    “It is more special, they have taken the time to sit down and write it.” Male Age 18
    “There is so much more effort put into a handwritten letter.”
    “When I received this letter, I was intrigued to open it.”

    It seems people know receiving a letter has sentimental value and putting pen to paper makes something that extra bit special, yet this is something that is almost forgotten about because of the barrier between this and the convenience of sending an email, social networking sites, and other ways of easily communicating with one another nowadays.
    People need a specific reason to write to someone, whether this is what to write, or why to write. The piece of mail has to be well thought, personal and unique to their chosen receiver.  
    My aim is to remind others about the power of the written word, remind those how great it is to receive a letter again…, make this more convenient and easier, and give people many reasons to write. To do this I have come up with three design solutions.

    Concept 1 - Mail Recipes

    Mail recipes’ is full of a range of different ways to write to people, and how to personalise your own cards in any unique style using mixed media’s, from old magazine cuttings, materials to printing blocks. The book is full of design tips on how to make their mail more personal and that extra bit special. My target audience for this is females aged 12 – 65.

    Concept Two – Catharsis

    Catharsis Mail is an emotional release through the power of the written word. The writer is in control with what they write, and who they write to that they feel is responsible for their inner negative feelings. The writer can choose to deliver this, or keep, tear or burn. They are in complete control of their mail.  My target audience will be anyone who wants to emotionally release their thoughts onto paper, has opposed to using expensive therapy. 

    During the reconditioning process, I found healing of the inner child by writing a letter to my parents about all my childhood disappointments and feelings.  It was a writing exercise given me by my then psychiatrist - "write a letter to your parents" he said.  It did not matter if I sent it or not.  So, I wrote the letter to air my pent up feelings of long ago - growing up in a dysfunctional home. Writing the letter was very cathartic and did clean out some of the emotional cobwebs that held me captive.

    I never did mail the letter, but that did not matter!  It worked to free the anger, hate, disappointment and the child who once had no voice.”

    Concept 3- Yours & Mine Cards
    Yours and Mine cards are a set of cards that come together as a pair, so that the cards the cards can be shared between two people. The cards will be bought by one, and given to their chosen recipient to use and keep.
    Research has shown that often people do not reply to letters because they do not have nice enough stationery, this eliminates this problem and makes sending letters easier and convenient. My target audience for this will be young couples, close friends, or other family members between the ages of 14-25. These ideally can be used for communicating with distant friends, family or lovers, and a great way to stay in touch whilst apart during term times at separate universities, colleges or schools.
    I have decided to go forward with my final concept, and develop this further with a few new ideas I mind. I will keep you posted.