How Letterboards Took Over America

A letterboard with an important question

Excerpt from this article:

Wynn Galbraith is only 3, but she already holds an important distinction: At 6 months old, she was, as far as anyone can tell, the first baby ever to be Instagrammed in a now-familiar style, a “flat lay” from above, with a then-novel prop: a felt letterboard that announced her age.

This photo setup is a common one on the app these days. You’ve no doubt seen and maybe even double-tapped at least a few of these shots, which are posted by the dozens each week. The typical sign is black with a wooden frame, and comes with a collection of white plastic letters to be endlessly rearranged into the pithy message of your choosing. The reason we can isolate Wynn as the probable pioneer of the pose is that her mother and father, Johnny and Joanna Galbraith, say they invented it. Inventing a certified Instagram pose is a rare feat, but rarer still is what the Utah-based Galbraiths did with the company they started in 2015, Letterfolk. They didn’t invent the felt letterboard, but by most accounts they are the people responsible for transforming the signs from a forgotten industrial relic to something like a nostalgic décor essential.