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‘Print is alive, and so is love:’ How the old art of typography led to happily ever after

John Adriance proposes to his girlfriend, Daniela German-George, a lover of typography, at The Museum of Printing in Haverhill.
John Adriance proposes to his girlfriend, Daniela German-George, a lover of typography, at The Museum of Printing in Haverhill.FRANK ROMANO, PRESIDENT, THE MUSEUM OF PRINTING

John Adriance proposed to his typography-loving girlfriend, Daniela German-George, after concocting the perfect plan to surprise her with help from the Museum of Printing in Haverhill.

German-George, a senior Lesley University graphic design student from Lowell, shared her love for the museum with Adriance after she visited with her class in 2016. By combining her passion for typography, their special language of sharing love letters, and one special night, he asked the museum to help him plan the moment they would never forget.

Understanding that his fiancée-to-be would prefer a more intimate experience, Adriance, who lives in East Hampstead, N.H., scheduled a private showing, reserving the museum for two hours on the evening of Aug. 13. Museum President Frank Romano was happy to oblige.

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”I knew there was a line of vintage typewriters lined up and I had done craft projects when I was younger making messages and letters look vintage or giving it a weathered look by soaking it in tea and slightly crumpling it,” said Adriance. “I wrote a couple sentences about our relationship and about what I cherish about it and what I look forward to, and I divvied it up among several pages and placed each of them in a typewriter.

John Adriance wrote elaborate declarations of love on antique paper and placing the sheets in the Museum's historic typewriters.
John Adriance wrote elaborate declarations of love on antique paper and placing the sheets in the Museum's historic typewriters. Frank Romano, President, The Museum of Printing


”I wanted to give her the chance to read the messages as if they were actually in the museum. I wanted to make it sort of nonchalant, blending in with the displays.”

As German-George began to notice the letters delicately placed in five of the antique typewriters addressed to her, Adriance gave the cue — a thumbs up — to Romano, who filled the historic room with the couples’ special song, “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz.

”During the course of our relationship we would send each other letters … so when I saw [the letters] it really brought back a lot of those memories and it made me really emotional,” said German-George. “I’ve never felt anything like that. It was quite a shock when it happened, but it gave a good shock. Once I noticed what was going on, I started to cry reading all of the letters.”

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After a selfie to commemorate the moment, the couple FaceTimed their families to share the good news.

”The Museum was happy to assist John in orchestrating this memory as they start down the road sharing their lives together,” said the museum in a statement. “This was the first time that the Museum of Printing … had been used for such a romantic purpose.”

Although they haven’t set a date yet, the couple is planning their wedding for next August with hopes that the pandemic will have eased by then.

”Print is alive, and so is love,” said the museum in a statement.