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Double Capital Letters on Envelopes?

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So I'm mainly going at this from the point of view of someone living in the US, where all our state names are abbreviated into double capital letters for our addresses, but I've run into this sometimes in other country addresses too, like the UK.

I've found I have a hard time writing the two capital letters in close enough proximity without them overlapping in ways that look weird or unsightly except for the few exceptions where the letters mesh well. And because I don't want to decrease my writing size, nor use a bigger envelope, with US addresses I very often would rather use the double capital abbreviation over the longer name.

How do the rest of you manage to get the abbreviations to look nice? (Or is the trick really to just write out the name, ha.)

I tried going back through my flourish forum exchange letters but that only gives me Virginia and pretty much all of them were written out, probably because when I enter my address into the exchanges I type Virginia out.

If you don't want to write out the entire state name, why not use the old abbreviations that people used prior to the two letter abbreviations?  California = Calif., Massachusetts = Mass.; Washington = Wash; etc.  This wikipedia article has them under the column GPO.  If you look at that list, you'll see that some of the old state abbreviations were two letters, but the second letter is lower case.  That might be another option:  to use the new two-letter abbreviations, but not capitalize the second letter.

In general you should try to avoid putting capitals together in Copperplate - it becomes very quickly completely illegible. I have a similar problem in Australia; all our state abbreviations are three capital letters. I generally just write out the state. It takes a little longer but it looks much more professional.

I sometimes make an exception for "Australian Capital Territory" because that is a big name and  can really weigh an envelope down. In that case I'll either do block script capitals, if I can make them harmonise with the overall layout (try to match them to the numbers, which I always make a little smaller than capital height anyway, and keep the slant consistent and the weights consistent) - or I'll do script capitals but as starkly simplified as I possibly can. Any extra flourish is an extra risk of your envelope going to the wrong place - and besides, they just look bad all together.

Same with UK postal codes actually - I almost always use block capitals but at a 55 degree slant. I'm particularly paranoid with postal codes - if those are wrong (or wrongly read by a computer) your letter has a much higher chance of going astray.

My policy is very much like Moya's.  In the case of American states I'll almost invariably write them out in full, and will pick a long thin envelope if somebody is inconsiderate enough to live in Massachusetts rather than abbreviate it.  "United States of America" too, rather than USA - I usually write that a bit smaller but with wider spacing, the thinking being that if it's going to be long and strung out anyway, might as well exaggerate it.

UK postcodes were devised by Sir Giles Audley*, a man with a very organised mind ("Audley by name, and orderly by nature" was the joke) and an irrational hatred of copperplate and writers thereof.  He was a lifelong friend of Alfred Fairbank, which may explain a lot.  Whilst his invention certainly revolutionised Post Office sorting, it is thought by some that his main motivation was to throw a spanner in the works for people with curly, slanted handwriting.  The only policy which works for me is to admit defeat and use plain capitals with a rakish slope.

* I made him up, obviously.  Any resemblance to persons living or otherwise is entirely coincidental.

Erica McPhee:
I feel your pain. I loathe doing the states' abbreviations. But worse than that is Canada's zipcodes which combine capitals and numbers.  :o

I always try to write out the state. Sometimes when putting the exchange lists together, I will write out the abbreviations on the lists if I have time and not too many.

I've tried to embrace it and look at it as a way to practice the caps. But yeah... it can get ugly.  ;D


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