The idea for creating the Telegram Office emerged when I happened to read an article about a telegram that was sent from Manchester City Football Club to the company who supplied their kits. The telegram was sent to Umbro after Manchester’s triumphant F.A. Cup Final in 1934. The telegram was recently discovered filed away in an archive and actually became the inspiration for the design of the kit used for Manchester’s 2011 F.A. Cup Final against Stoke. An Umbro designer updated the 1934 telegram’s font and this was used on the team jerseys for the player’s names and numbers.
On the original 1934 telegram, the sender’s address was “Football Manchester” and it was sent to “Umbro in Wilmslow.” The telegram read, “Dear Sirs, As you are aware, we used Umbro Sportswear, (Jerseys, Knickers, Hose, Slips and Anklets) exclusively in the F.A. Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday last, 28th April 1934. The fit, quality, and smartness of the entire outfit was undoubtedly perfection, and the Team to a man were impressed and delighted with it. Yours faithfully, W. Wild Secretary-Manager.”
Upon reading this telegram I thought it would be great if I were to revive a largely obsolete form of communication by creating a website where visitors could write personal telegrams online just like our parents and grandparents did decades ago at the post office.
After doing some research on the history of telegrams and looking for any existing services, I discovered that no one else was offering authentic looking telegrams that could be personalised online.
I decided I would provide this service and set about designing a number of telegrams starting with a British design based on the post office and royal crown. Most original telegrams had a naturally aged appearance with faded ink and signs of fraying, which I tried to replicate in my designs.
Originally, typeset printing showed less than perfect results, as the technology was in its infancy. These slight imperfections are what I think makes these old telegrams so charming and unique, a quality lost in modern-day printing and communication. My intention was to create a range of original telegram designs that would have the appearance of authentic telegrams, within a format that could be personalised on a website.
Back in the day telegrams came in many different formats, all with different instructions depending on the country of origin. Most would have little boxes that would be filled in by the customer stating the time and place the telegram order was lodged, and the operator would fill in the time sent. The operator would also include their initials, actual words used and the charges that applied. There may also have been little boxes to indicate where and when the telegram was received and whether the service was national or international. Some messages could be resent for an additional charge. Most telegrams would be accompanied by a legal statement of terms, which explained the restrictions and the company’s conditions of service.
Our gallery of designs has been created to offer you a unique and original way to convey your special message or greeting. We have recently received orders for telegrams that express greetings for new babies and telegrams to kids from Father Christmas. We will be compiling some special examples of greetings that can be amended and personalised for your own specific greetings and messages.
The Telegram Clerk