In 1975, Gail and I operated our business from Hugo, OK. We were going to a major international trade show in Chicago in January, 1976, and only a few companies that would be there knew of our work. With no advertising or promotion budget, we turned to Wyndol Fry, the woodworking shop teacher, at Hugo High School. He drew an outline of my hand for the master pattern. From that he cut 44 pieces out of high-quality, 3/4″ birch plywood.
Each was sanded and sealed so my india ink would adhere and not bleed into the wood. The name of a craft company dealer or wholesaler, and the mailing address, were hand-lettered on each. On the reverse side was the brief message telling how our prints with Gail’s art and my Calligraphy would be great additions to their product lines.
After the lettering, the hands were then sealed with a clear acrylic spray. When dry, we added the appropriate First Class postage on a Pitney Bowes postage strip and stuck it down above the recipient’s address. Seems each was $1.37 to mail, unwrapped, just as shown here.
They were all mailed about a month before the Chicago show. Over 30 of the individuals came to our small booth to see our new print additions. We met lots of new prospects. We sold mountains of prints to those who got the mailing and wanted to see why on earth anyone would mail a wooden hand….unwrapped!
There was no email, texts, internet, Google (those guys weren’t even born!), or smartphones. Still, for us all those years ago, it was a very digital experience,
Watch for some Calligraphy tips and short videos here to show you how simple the old-fashioned digital way of writing is still alive and well.
-Ken • 214.250.6958