Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Kari Carvey writes at home in Calgary on April 6, 2021.

Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

As people search for meaningful ways to connect during the pandemic, visual artist Kari Carvey has noticed a resurgence of interest in the lost art of putting pen to paper.

Unable to communicate face to face, people are taking the time to put something in the mail, she said, scripting personal notes, letters and cards that tell loved ones “that you are thinking of them.”

Ms. Carvey's own love of writing began with stationery and pens.

Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

Ms. Carvey has also seen an uptick in discussions about fountain pens and inks as people find more opportunity to write and take care of journals.

Story continues below advertisement

“There’s lots of organization that comes with handwriting, writing things down and using different colours and fonts.”

Ms. Carvey, who has been fascinated by stationery and pens since she was a girl, estimates that she has amassed a collection of a few hundred pens as well as pencils and journals.

Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

Her own love of writing began with stationery and pens. “I became obsessed with fonts. I remember having Letraset and Geotype and looking at all the different fonts and learning the different names.” When she watched TV or movies she started to identify fonts on signage.

She began practising fonts, taking each letter of the alphabet and drawing them over and over again. Eventually, she had the thought that she could create her own – and so she did.

Ms. Carvey holds a journal displaying one of her handmade font styles. She has spent hours creating and perfecting her font styles.

Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

The older generations may be more familiar with letter writing, but Ms. Carvey is seeing more and more young people taking it up as a hobby.

“There are a lot of people that didn’t know they had a passion with pens and then when they find out that, ‘Hey that pen is really old-fashioned,’ or ‘When I was a kid, I was fascinated with what my grandpa used,’ it kind of clicks.”

For her, part of the appeal rests in the permanence of the act. While we can completely forget what someone says or what we hear, she says, the written word is indelible.

Ms. Carvey enjoys creating new and unique fonts.

Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies