With the holiday season upon us, we welcome an annual occasion that brings us closer to those we love. But how do we express our feelings? Communication has never been more immediate, more varied. We can contact loved ones, friends and colleagues through an ever-increasing number of options. Our world has been transformed by e-mails and texting, Blackberries and iPhones and netbooks, YouTube, Twitter, FaceBook, Skype: all are handy, instant and convenient, but somehow lacking the personal touch … the physical touch.

 

No combination of key-pad strokes, electronic impulses, and pixels can express a heart-felt thank you, the warm welcome of an invitation, sincere condolences or the announcement of a birth like a hand-written letter, card or note, especially on personalized paper, written in a uniquely colored ink. Electronic communications have not replaced Christmas cards, or birthday cards or any other seasonal greetings that matter among friends and family.

 

Electronic devices have certainly transformed the way we correspond, but a fondness remains for more traditional methods when an occasion so demands. The writer of the missive – light-hearted or serious, affectionate or formal – can savour the time it takes for the ink to dry from a fountain pen’s nib. He or she will delight in the tactile experience imparted by the texture of hand-cut notepapers, the surface of a desk blotter, the sealing of an envelope. Yet a third sense can be addressed with scented stationery or perfumed inks … or one’s own personal cologne. Writers can revel in the expressiveness of their own handwriting, knowing that their recipients will be viewing words put to paper by the hand of the sender.

 

There is but one form of communication that allows the sharing all of these sensations: the act of letter-writing. No electronic means can provide an authentic physical link between sender and recipient. Writing has served for millennia as a means of communication that defines with, poignant accuracy, the act of “keeping in touch”. That three-word phrase does not mean tapping an iPad screen. It refers to opening an envelope, extracting and unfolding a piece of paper, one that was written and sent with care.

 

In ensuring that the creation and reception of hand-written communication remain unchallenged by the keyboard, Montegrappa has served the art of letter-writing for nearly a century. It is Italy’s premier manufacturer of fine writing implements, producing since 1912 a comprehensive selection of pens, holders, carry-cases and accessories, with a choice of inks to render the message even more personal.

 

If pixels merely communicate, then the written word truly speaks… With your voice.