I recently posted a video on Instagram and got some great feedback on it. Thought I'd expand on it with a blog post! Addressing guides... I feel like I have DOZENS of these and have been making them since as far back as perhaps 2008?
Normally, when writing on envelopes, I use a lightbox. You can slip in a sheet of paper or light card stock with horizontal lines that you've either drawn with a straight edge or created in an art program like Adobe Illustrator.
There are also some guides I've seen (and ordered), from Paper Ink and Arts. They are nice. They are printed on a soft, clear/transparency like stock. Kind of flimsy (I like my guides to be thicker than this), but definitely still serviceable.
This brings us to envelopes and surfaces that are OPAQUE. If they are heavily lined or are colored, you will NOT be able to use a traditional addressing guide. The lightbox will be rendered useless with these kinds of papers due to the lack of transparency.
There are static addressing guides you can buy for these (I didn't discover that companies actually sold these until a couple of years ago). Paper Source sells one called the "Lettermate".
I prefer to actually make my own guides so that I can actually have room to LETTER inside each space. It basically starts out as a regular address guide, I just use an exact blade to physically CUT the lines where the address is eventually lettered.
The purpose of the guide is twofold:
- It obviously keeps the lines straight
- It keeps me from having to pencil in and (later erase) guidelines. The last thing I want to do after writing on (and proofreading) 100 or so envelopes is erasing guidelines, ugh!
The only wrinkle is you have to remove the guides in order to add in both your ascenders and descenders. A bit more of a "confined" feeling for sure, but again, it negates the need for guidelines and I think erasing guidelines for me personally, is distasteful.
In lieu of guidelines, I see many calligraphers using laser pointers to keep lines straight.
I keep saying I want to try, but I literally have dozens and dozens of these addressing guides and i've grown accustomed to using them. I still want to keep growing as an artist though so utilizing the laser will be a future blog for sure!
Take care til' next time!