Deliver the Letter, the Sooner the Better…?

On: September 11, 2014
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Janina Sommerlad
Janina (Nina) did her Bachelor degree in Politics and English Studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Afterwards she attended the further education program, called Book and Media Practice at the same university. She enjoyed the course Online Publishing a lot and quickly decided to do her Master based on the subject of New Media Studies. The UvA offered a pretty suitable program and also appealing out-of-school activities (CREA / USC) and that is why she applied… and now enjoys life in beautiful Amsterdam!


Having a letter in the post box? Always a surprise … and a daily process to manage. Step into slippers, take the key, get out of house, open the box, grab the insides, get back into house, ideally use a paperknife to unwrap the letter from the envelope – be happy, it’s a birthday invitation!


Sending and receiving letters via post is a phenomenon that is slowly decreasing due to the fact that there are new and modern ways to communicate. An innovative model that doesn’t waste paper is called Paperless Post and was launched by the siblings James and Alexa Hirschfeld in 2009. It is designed for people who appreciate the web as an efficient and fast medium to correspond with the rest of the world. (The video interview on Youtube gives more information about the idea of the founders and an impression of how the digital post looks like).

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-02 um 13.23.39Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-04 um 14.50.56

Paperless Post (PP) offers a wide range of different card designs that makes it possible for everyone to find a suitable style on any occasion. People can also choose styles from leading designers such as Oscar de la Renta, kate spade new york or Jonathan Adler who are cooperating with PP. The customer-friendly online tools make it easy to create and distribute the electronic products.


I was wondering if the model really works that simple and thus I gave it a try. First, I needed to set up my personal account. Registered, I was browsing through the dimensions of designs and themes until I decided for a Burger-Birthday-Invitation.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-02 um 13.18.19Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-02 um 13.18.04

I clicked on the card and immediately got into the edit tool. I chose a font (plenty of different fonts available) and began to write the text on the front page. After finishing the card I clicked on NEXT and had the possibility to edit almost everything concerning the envelope: color, font, inner surface and even the design of the stamp. I decided to leave it predefined and clicked on NEXT. The details page appeared where I had the option to add more info for the “soon to be” guests or set up a photo gallery for the event. NEXT – and I could request a free test sent to my email address. After a few seconds I got my preview and… I liked it. So I easily put in my recipients email addresses and the date when the invitations should be spread out. To order the products I had to buy coins that were added to my account. The cards that I created, cost 4 coins per person, so I uploaded 20 coins for 6 $ (40 coins: 12 $, 100 coins: 18 $ etc.). My guests will receive the invitation via email and can accept or declare on the last page of the card. I can track the process via tablet or phone!

The Sooner the Better?

Creating the cards kind of delighted me as it was easy to understand and didn’t take much time than actually expected. Sending post via web is unpreventable and has a lot of advantages. It offers a fast way to communicate or to respond and it can be much cheaper than print services that are offered in copy shops for instance. The example of Paperless Post shows that even electronic post can look aesthetic and unique. Moreover post can be saved on the computer easily and therefore memories keep existing and are available at anytime. The most important benefit of electronic post is the preservation of paper resources and as a matter of fact the protection of the environment.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-04 um 14.49.52Companies such as PP try to dock onto the traditional and classical way of dispatching post, but can it be the same like holding a real letter in hands? The daily process mentioned in the opening lines simply gets abandoned through the modern revolution and the classical post box is loosing its necessity. People who hold onto old conventions and don’t own a computer or phone merely get excluded from society. And even if there are many options to make web post personalized, it will never contain the sense of paper, the handwriting of the sender, maybe the scent that was added and… never the tradition!


Paperless Post. 2009. 4. September 2014. <>

Paperless Post Review. 2010. Youtube. 4. September 2014.<>

Paperless Post and Its Vision for Artful Invites. 2010. Youtube. 4. September 2014.<>

Obsession of the Week. 2011. Blogspot. 4. September 2014. <>


Comments are closed.