I was recently asked by The Calligraphy Blog whether it is easier to address envelopes in handwritten calligraphy before or after the (invitation) package is assembled and stamped, ready to go. My answer was that I always prefer to receive the envelopes plain and unassembled, and here’s why…

Occasionally I will have to “eyeball” the envelopes to get the address lines straight, such as when writing on dark envelopes, for example. However, I don’t advocate this in general. I normally shine fake lines through the envelope with natural or lamp light, so that each line of address comes out straight without my having to draw pencil lines on the stationery and erase them afterwards (a no-no) or use a ruler, which leaves tell-tale signs in the writing as well.

If the invitation envelopes come to me with the package already assembled, there are 2 downsides to this: 1) the fake lines will not shine through the envelope, thereby forcing me to eyeball, and 2) if a mistake is made through human error, the already-stamped envelope must be discarded.

Please remember to leave envelopes plain when delivering them to me for hand calligraphy, and keep all invitations and inserts separate for assembling later. Hope this makes sense. Good question! 😉