A Ritual of Numerical Exchanges

It’s rare to come across an offer for something free that turns out to be a pretty awesome ‘deal’. I almost feel guilty for totally taking up this advertisement for a free receipt template – a small thing of little consequence but still fun to design all the same. Maybe my clients will appreciate my attempt at introducing humor and color through something so mundane as a receipt. I doubt most of them will actually look at it in their e-mail and will simply pay the bill. In these days where all transactions are digitally recorded and stored, does the receipt still hold a place in the purchasing experience?

I remember my parents keeping a shoe box full of nothing but old receipts they saved through the year for their taxes. At the end of March, most of those receipts were useless but it became something of a habit for them to save them regardless. I can imagine they hoped for a year where a certain receipt might net them a fat return. Now, though, the concept of a digital receipt is almost trope in how it clings to some ritual which serves little to no purpose when any necessary financial documentation can be printed out from the bank on a whim. i

Even the IRS now accepts such documentation. I’d say it goes a step further by coming from a more legitimate source rather than some flimsy scrap of paper with fading ink. So do we continue to use a receipt out of a cultural habit? Is the exchange between consumer and merchant only completed once paper money is handed in exchange for recorded values? It seems like such a silly thing but I imagine that it has its roots somewhere in far history when trades concluded by pressing spit lathered palms together.

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