Love and Design

Since Valentine’s Day was yesterday, I decided to write about the history of the Valentines Card and show what the design of the first Valentines Card looked like.

The first known Valentines Card was written by a French Duke to his wife. He had been captured by the British as a prisoner-of-war and he dearly missed his wife, Bonne of Armagnac, so he wrote her a little love poem:

French version:
Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée

English translation::
I am already sick of love
My very gentle Valentine

Tragically, the Duke’s wife died before she received the poem, but on the bright side, millions of other people since then have read and appreciated the Duke’s profession of love.

The first printed valentines card was created in London in 1797 (pictured below). Its design includes floral and lace patterns, doves, and, of course, cupids. Pre-made cards weren’t available yet back then, so cards like these were handmade.

The first printed Valentines Card

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