American Designs features customized historical American documents like the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights—all framed. It also features a customized three-page document containing all 17 constitutional amendments that followed the Bill of Rights including the abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, presidential term limits, the reduction of the voting age to 18, and so on.
So in what sense are these documents customized? The answer is they contain the exact same words, punctuation, etc., as the original documents, but instead of 18th-century calligraphy, they feature, for the most part, a modern font. So they're designed to hang on the wall and look nice just like traditional replicas, but these are much easier to read.
Over the past few years there has been a lot of discussion and debate about the Constitution, constitutionality, our civil rights, our Founding Fathers, etc. Our children begin learning about these things in grade school. But what do these documents actually say? And what do they really mean, and what were they originally intended to mean? Those questions—very simple ones really—were the genesis for the design of these products.
A number of people have a replica of the Declaration of Independence, or Constitution, or Bill of Rights, or some combination, hanging on their wall at home or at work. And it truly is a beautiful piece of art. But the real substance of it, the reason we hang it up to begin with, are the words and what they stand for. And we really can't read them very well, so we generally don't. And consequently something important is lost there.
Therefore, the focus of these products are the words, and they have been designed and priced accordingly. We think they're worth reviewing, pondering, studying—by both adults and the "rising generation." And if we're going to hang valuable words on the wall, let's be able to read them. Our country, after all, was founded on the very words and principles in these documents. There is an undeniable spirit to them. Indeed, the Declaration of Independence has been referred to as the "soul of our country." Abraham Lincoln, for that matter, suggested the Constitution should be interpreted through the guiding lens or moral compass of the Declaration of Independence. So the value of these documents is really in... the words.
With that in mind, we carefully set out to develop a set of products that we felt were not only attractive and mirrored the look of the originals, but could also bring these words to life, make them more visible, more readily accessible, more legible. We hope we succeeded.
To be sure, our country has its flaws and imperfections. So too did its Founding Fathers, and so too do we its current citizens. But like many who have gone before, we still feel it is the greatest nation on earth and still worth standing up and fighting for—perhaps now more than ever. To that end, we hope you will enjoy and be inspired by this customized set of historical American documents.