As happened with its older sibling, calligraphy, hand-writing is bound to become more of an art than the initial way we learn how to communicate our ideas to the people around. And it's not its attractiveness - or, better said, lack thereof - that makes it rather a remote effort than a mass activity, but because the dawn of electronic messaging has seen the rise of the number of written pieces of communication which may be sent during a time-unit, and since time is what everybody is vividly looking for, one might become subject of others' mockery if stating that he needs to put something "on paper" to make it more clear (at What's With, one member even has a hand-made ink pen, would you believe it?!)
However, there are some instances when handwriting may makes you stand out when trying to reach out to someone to show appreciation or make that person spend a little bit more time on the contents of your message. Be it a pitch to a potential angel investor or a happy holidays greeting card, the fact that handwriting actually involves the time to put pen to paper and write something meaningful could prove impacting enough to be memorable. This is where Handwrytten steps in.
For 5$ a piece (or 3.5$ in the Android app, according to other sources), you can choose what type of card you want to send, and then also add the text you want inserted via their Android or iOS app, while Handwrytten takes care of transforming the wording into hand-written style, stamping (yes, actual stamps!) and then posting it to the person you indicated. The cards are created by stationery designers, so you are guaranteed that you will not end up with your regular local shop greeting card.
The best part is seeing the little "handwryting" machine getting on and about while writing the text on card; the team behind the app also guarantees that the robot's movements include various iterations of letters, so as to mimic as accurate as possible any deviations a human hand would encounter while actually hand-writing some text. You can choose from three fonts aka writing styles: messy, casual or fancy.
Notice the two f's on the second line - you can obviously tell the difference
Another neat aspect is that there is no sign of a Handwrytten brand anywhere on the final product, so it really should look like you've put a lot of effort and time into making a personalized card. Oh, and the more you use, the more you get: the team promises that you can receive free cards to be delivered if you become a constant customer.
The app and service are currently available only in the US, and since we're based in Romania, we weren't actually able to test either of those - but looking over the website, it felt like this is a really soulful product, made with a lot of love for handwriting and trying to pass this on down the line to the younger, mobile-addicted generations.
For idea novelty, I give them 5/5.
For design, I give them 4.5/5.
For user experience, 4/5 (based on our intuition rather than actually using the service, since it's not available outside of the US).
For potential to scale, I give them 3.5/5
OVERALL GRADE: 4.25 out of 5. One of the most promising startups we've covered so far. It remains to be seen if the price isn't a little prohibitive for everyday consumers and occasions, but could prove to be a cream of the crop for companies wanting to thank their business partners or employees along with a beautiful gift.