To the USPS: Document printing reminder

I found this put in my mailbox along with the actual mail, and it makes me want to tell the Postal Service a few things.

First, here’s the paper. Click to inlarge:


First off: When you xerox something, please make sure that it’s lined up correctly with the guides on the platen edges! The top and right side of this is cut off.

Secondly: Make sure the paper is correctly oriented. This is skewed at about 5 to 9 degrees.

These two are the most important, since they affect the readability of the message. If the right was cut off an inch more it would be almost illegible.

Third: Even if this was oriented correctly and not cut off, it’s obviously been through at least two, maybe three or more fidelity-degrading steps. I’m going to guess it went like this:

  1. Originally printed in the 1980s
  2. Included in a book or something
  3. Scanned in the mid 1990s
  4. Printed and then xeroxed as many times as the local post office needs

This makes it look less like a publication of a national postal administration and more like a supermarket windshield ad for some homeless psychic or religious cult. See for example here.

I advise getting a good intern at the USPS who has graphic design skills to redo the body of it and maybe get a good illustrator to do the drawings. Then, distribute it as a PDF with two copies per 8½ by 11 that can be cut easily down the middle with a paper cutter. Much easier than xeroxing and much more professional looking.

To be clear, I know the USPS is universally spit on by people for mostly illegitimate reasons. I’m a-posting this to help them give people one less reason to make uncharitable reflexions about them.


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