Thursday, August 5, 2010


I have always loved envelopes (or as my dad pronounced it, ON-velopes). For Christmas of 1972, when I was four and my sister Jen was three my parents got off cheap that year - an Easy-Bake Oven and a box of #10 business-sized envelopes.

Why on earth did we want a plain box of envelopes? Well, Jen really liked the "senders" that came in magazines and the Sunday newspaper - "senders" are the tiny record label stamps that you used to order your "8 Records for $1!". I loved them also but I'm giving credit to Jen, since she coined the word. :D

I remember one trek to various rummage sales to find us both purses that would double as mail bags - once again, I believe it was Jen that played "postman" and the rest of us received the mail (with the "senders" as postage, of course!). She had a much more fertile imagination that I; I was content to just collect the stuff.

So my love for any kind of envelope has been with me since I can remember, but my fondness for logo envelopes probably came about around 1986, when I finally found a book that I could call my bible: "Symbols of America", by Hal Morgan. I was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and I was killing time before my mom, who was a senior that year majoring in Social Work, was done with class. I found the 4th Floor of the library (reference books, natch) and once I discovered that book I would grab it off the shelf every chance I got. I think I memorized it (and yes, I got it for my birthday that year and I still own it!)! If you're not familiar with it but love famous logos and their histories, it truly is a must-read.

It's amazing how many vintage envelopes still exist - but I suppose there's always that last box that no one uses sitting in stockrooms all over our country (and - *SWOON* - other countries as well!).  I received a huge lot of 60s envelopes from all over South America in a swap (a trader's husband used to work for Master Lock), and the Italian envelope (above) with no postmark belonged to my Grammie - she also collected every little scrap she could from her travels and this was probably from her European/Israel trip in 1979.  The rest are just envelopes that I've bought at various antique stores or online shops.  I love that some of them are nearly 80 years old!

By now you've probably noticed that I'm really not concerned with the appearance or condition of these envelopes - I just love the fact that they exist.  My apathy for their worth also helps immensely when I cut them up to use in my artwork!  Here are a couple samples:


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