The Power of a Thank You Note
An interaction last week at TypeCon 2016 reminded me of the power of showing gratitude.
TypeCon, TypeCrit, Typography, John Downer, Carolyn Porter, Marcel's Letters, Marcel Heuzé
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The Power of a Thank You Note

Four years ago, at TypeCon 2012, I had the privilege of receiving a short critique from a trio of type design luminaries. At the time, I was still refining the font ‘Marcel’ and I appreciated the opportunity to hear feedback that could help me make the font as good as it could be. It was a nerve-wracking experience to be sure. After the critique, I mailed each man a handwritten note thanking him for his time and for sharing his insight.

I’m not mentioning the thank you note because I want praise. It seemed like the right—the professional—thing to do. Fast forward to an interaction last week at TypeCon 2016: I went up to one of the three luminaries to reintroduce myself and to tell him about the book “Marcel’s Letters.” He can be an intimidating figure, so it was the kind of moment that required a big, deep breath and a surge of courage. He had no reason to remember me; we haven’t seen each other since the critique. But, as we shook hands, he said, “yes, I remember you, you sent me a thank you note.”

For him to remember one four-year-old thank you note was astonishing. I’m pretty sure my jaw fell open. It was a good reminder of the power of showing gratitude—and of a handwritten note.