Ralph Irwin / January 12th, 2021
The new year brings with it a chance to start again. It’s a time to let go of the previous year and look forward to a fresh start.
For me, cleaning and organizing are an annual goal of mine at the beginning of each year. Sometimes the goal is obvious to others (and they can tell the OCD fairy has arrived); other times, not so much.
This year in my organizing, I uncovered something that my dad had produced for a customer roughly 35 or 40 years ago. My dad had liked the end product so much he produced a bunch more to use himself.
What was it? A simple, classic thank you note.
Produced on an 80# Classic Laid Baronial Ivory Cover, this type of printing project was a staple in most shops in the ’80s, especially for raised letter business cards. To produce this modest note, we used a Heidelberg Windmill press, and a blind embossing technique using a brass die with a counter die. Back then, we didn’t have the luxury of a heated platen, so we used dry gum built up in layers to make the counter die. It was softer and wouldn’t break the paper as much when embossed. The copy was a simple “Thank You” splayed out in a beautiful script and featured an embossed border. The notes were scored for folding in half and they snuggly fit within their matching envelopes.
It was elegance at its finest. Perfectly simple for communicating two words that I have found to pay tremendous dividends.
My dad used these simple tokens of gratefulness frequently, and when I have the foresight to remember them, I’ll pull one out and put it to good use as well.
You can give raises, buy donuts, send flowers, or any other host of ways of showing appreciation, but when it comes to a return on investment, you just can’t beat a simple handwritten Thank You card.
Your handwriting is a part of your DNA. I can instantly recognize my dad’s handwriting when I run across a letter or note. His scrawl will always have a place in my heart, so much so that I sometimes pull those treasured pieces of history out and just look at the curves, dots, and crossed t’s and remember.
And I am thankful. What are you thankful for?
While the world may look bleak at times, remember the joy that comes with each new morning.
Today, make a list of the things you’re thankful for and review it regularly. Say thank you often and sincerely. Look people in the eye and let them know that they are valued.
These simple words can make another person’s day, and even if it doesn’t, you will be a better person for it.