It is inspiring in these uncertain and hugely challenging times to see so many people stepping up to the plate, the kindness of so many towards others, and so much resourcefulness.
The importance of stationery and greeting cards and the continuing use of pens and pencils, and paper products, is very much to the fore at the moment with their restorative, as well as relaxing powers being highlighted by many in the press and on social media. Just this week I saw that Quill London had launched online calligraphy classes because ‘…calligraphy gives us a little respite during these anxiety inducing times from all the stressful news in the media’.
I often comment about the resurgence of personal stationery and its role as an antidote to all things digital, but who would ever have thought there would come a time when it would go further and play its part in combating the stresses of a pandemic?
Its impact can be seen and felt on a number of levels.
Receiving a handwritten greeting card or letter creates a powerful connection between people and never more so than now when many are ill, self-isolating or at home alone, and anxious. It’s something that Radio 2 broadcaster Sara Cox drew attention to last month.
Adults and children are being encouraged to connect with family, friends and neighbours in this way as well as by phone and email, to show that they care and are being thought of. It’s important, lifts spirits and generates a massive feel good effect.
It can be hard keeping children occupied and entertained at the best of times, so my heart goes out at the moment to those with young families, especially those with not much space or no garden and parents trying to work from home.
Children’s stationery and drawing books are a blessing at a time like this as I know from my own family, and there is lots of help at hand.
Greeting card publisher Laura Sherratt Designs is one of these. They recently joined forces with one of their retailer customers to launch a greeting card design competition, to bring out the creative talents of both adults and children, and others are doing something similar.
Another company looking to help put the FUN back into functional is the Love Writing Company who are on a mission to help children enjoy writing – they have a range of specially designed age appropriate pencils, engaging handwriting practice books and fun greeting cards to make their own.
This is a great time for analogue – keep writing!
Chris Leonard-Morgan is the founder of the London Stationery Show and National Stationery Week, and a Liveryman of the 600 years old Stationers’ Company in the City of London.