A Message of Thanks

By Cory Ohlendorf
Thursday, November 22, 2007

A day of thanks. A season of giving. Why not show your gratitude for what you've received with a proper thank-you note? But we're not talking proper in the stuffy stiff-lipped sense.

The revival of letterpress printing by hip graphic designers has resulted in cool cards that are anything but. These new notes make it easier to send a thank-you that's much more stylish, much more you.

"It's not that sending an e-mail or text message is wrong, exactly, but when you send a card, it shows you took some time," says Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute. Translation: An e-mail is lazy and cheap, while a card is "a real, tangible expression of your appreciation."

The author and great-great-granddaughter of the late etiquette expert, Post often swaps her personalized stationery for quirky cards like those by Little Tree Press, Paper + Cup and Egg Press.

Stumped about what to write? Post says you should simply offer thanks and mention something specific about the gift.

"It doesn't need to be profound -- it's not going on your permanent record," she says with a laugh. "But it will likely end up on someone's desk or dresser and remind them of you."

That won't happen with an e-mail. It'll likely get buried in an inbox or, worse, lost in a spam filter. Sending a card ensures your gratitude (and your manners) will be recognized.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company