Everything Old is New Again
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Handwritten Letters, World War II, P22 Marcel, Typography, Love Story, Reunion, Daimler, Berlin, Marienfelde, STO, Forced Labor, Service du Travail Obligatoire, WWII
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Everything Old is New Again

Have you seen the ten-year photo challenge that’s making the rounds on social media? It’s where you place a photo of yourself from a decade ago next to a recent photo of yourself to see how much—or little—you’ve changed. The side-by-side photos that have filled my social media feed combined with the oh-so-many articles encouraging people to reflect on the last decade got me thinking.

January 2010 was 13 months after I took the introductory FontLab class in New York; at that point I was still muddling through the first phase of digitizing the typeface. If you had told me a year and a half later I would have the first of Marcel’s letters translated, and that would morph into an obsessive quest for answers, followed by a trip to Paris, then a book, I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. I would have never believed the project could consume the rest of the decade.

During the two and a half years the book has been out, I’ve met amazing people, talked with 47 book clubs, and given 50 presentations, culminating in a TEDx talk this fall (check out my behind-the-scenes blog). It’s been an honor and privilege to share this story. It’s been exhilarating. And, at times, exhausting.

If you measure this project from January 2002—which is when I found Marcel’s letters at the antique shop in Stillwater—this project hasn’t consumed just a decade of my life; it’s consumed 18 years. The legacy of Marcel’s precious love letters will always be a part of my life; I’m profoundly grateful for that. But for the last few months I’ve also felt an itch to move on to what’s next.

So, what’s that?
I don’t know.

People have asked if I’m writing anything new. I’m not. Not right now. Others have inquired if I’m designing another typeface. The question is usually accompanied with a snicker, so I believe they expect me to say no. But I am!

So, here I am at the beginning of a new decade, with a font in progress and no clue what else might be in store. In that regard, January 2020 is eerily similar to January 2010: full of potential, open to possibility, and oblivious to the ways the Universe might meddle.

Thank you for being part of this journey. I hope you’ll stay with me for what’s next—whatever that turns out to be.

I send you my best wishes for an amazing decade. I hope it is filled with peace, delight, and wonders beyond your imagination.

With gratitude,





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