Addressing an envelope is a design problem that was once confronted daily. It could not have been a more mundane task. Sometimes it was approached with care. More often it was simply done and forgotten. Today, one hardly ever has to consider an envelope except to pitch it in the recycling bin. However, for many years envelopes were an important part of communication and business.

How did (and do) type designers and graphic designers—­people who dedicate(d) their lives to letterforms and communication—tackle addressing an envelope? Sometimes beautifully. Sometimes tragically. In this exhibition you’ll find envelopes (and postcards) addressed and mailed between 1931 and 2024 by thirty-six masters of modern type- and graphic design to show how the greats approached this most ephemeral problem.

Featuring mail from:

Although the bulk of the pieces on display come from our own collection, some pieces have been loaned by the following incredibly patient friends: Hosea Baskin, Matthew Carter, Claudia Cohen, Jean Evans, Lance Hidy, Darrell Hyder, Preston McClanahan, and JP Williams.

*As of this writing, pieces from these designers have been lost in the mail. (Seriously.) We are working on getting replacements.