There are many ways to categorize mailbox designs. And of course one mailbox design can belong in several categories. In general, I list a mailbox under just one design category, so it’s a matter of finding the best fit for its design. These are the categories I’ve identified and the characteristics I’ve assigned to each category.
Be sure to check several of the categories if you’re looking for inspiration. I may have categorized something differently to how you would!
These are my categories and categorization attributes...
Architecture is the art and science of designing and supervising the erection of buildings and so on; a style of building or structure; the structure or design of anything.
I tend to think of this category as mailboxes that have been built of stone or brick or steel and have a design element about them.
Creative is characterised by originality of thought; having or showing imagination; characterised by sophisticated bending of the rules or conventions.
In this category I’m including mailboxes that, in my eyes, have some artistic merit. Those that stray into the artistic, but strange, will appear under the unusual or unique categories.
Decorative means painted or covered; ornamented, or adorned.
I'm including standard mailboxes that are covered or painted in this category. Non-standard painted mailboxes are also included. However, this category excludes models of things such as animals, since I include these in the novelty category.
Novelty means new and interesting; a small, usually cheap, new ornament or trinket. Novel means of a kind not seen before, original.I include mailboxes that are models of things such as birds, animals, fish, buildings and so on in this category.
Unique means the only one of a particular type; very remarkable; without equal or like.
A one-off typically means a custom built mailbox. This might have been created by a custom mailbox designer, or, more likely by the house owner themselves. Of course a once unique design may prove to be so popular that it becomes copied by one or more people. In which case it may still be creative or unusual, but should no longer be unique!
Unusual means uncommon or extraordinary. Extraordinary means very unusual or surprising; beyond what is usual.
In this category I include custom built mailboxes that would be unique, except that I know they have been copied at least a couple of times, so they are no longer one-offs, but there still aren't many of them, which makes them unusual.
As well as basically any letterbox that doesn’t fit into any of the above categories ;D Hmmm...ok, perhaps I need 1 more category...
Mailboxes that may fit into one of the above categories, but (well in my eyes anyway) are blatantly ugly! This category also includes sad mail boxes: those mailboxes that are broken down, uncared for, and past repair !