Personalized Profile: Head of the Class Craftsmanship

Alexa_PulitzerwebWe adore it when personalized stationery comes with a story. So, when we learned that this Flame Red correspondence card featuring a gold engraved elephant—illustrated by Alexa Pulitzer—was for a soon-to-be college student heading to the University of Alabama, well, we never knew a university’s signature color and its mascot could come together to create such lovely stationery.

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“I must say, it’s truly incredible to be moved by the beauty of engraving and fine papers,” long-time client Elizabeth told Alexa of her daughter’s new stationery. “I was speechless by the elegance and finery of Allison’s Royal Elephant. Your design represents her first impression as she embarks her next stage in life as a student at the University of Alabama. I am genuinely and sincerely in awe. A million thanks!”

We’ve always said personalized stationery makes the perfect graduation gift, and this custom design certainly takes the cake. Or, in this case, the crimson.

If you would like to learn more about custom stationery, please email the Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Personalized Profile: Stationery for the Very Very Fine House

To suggest to us that personalized stationery makes a lovely gift would be preaching to the choir. Be it for a hostess, a new baby or a new graduate, we have never met a recipient who did not express genuine glee upon opening our signature blue box (baby excluded, of course). However, when we heard that personalized stationery was the gift of choice for one New York City real estate broker to his clients, even the choir’s ears perked up.

Of course, such a gift makes perfect sense. What better way to celebrate the purchase of a new home than with its address printed on an envelope flap? Below, Kyle Haas shares some advice on how to pinpoint someone else’s personal style and the importance of leaving a lasting impression—one handwritten note at a time.

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What do you love most about giving personalized stationery as a gift to your clients?
When a client purchases a new home, there is no more perfect gift than personalized stationery with their new return address on the envelope. The clients are always appreciative and I, from a business standpoint, know that they’ll think of me each time they use it. That’s so much better than sending a generic postcard or email to keep in touch.

How do you go about choosing a design that best fits your clients’ style?
One of the other great things about giving personalized stationery is that it’s, well, personalized. I can take cues from my clients’ décor or personalities to help me decide which fonts, colors and styles to choose. If I’m not sure of design choices, the Crane Concierge has been very helpful.

What is normally the reaction from clients to this gift?
My clients are always very appreciative. They all remark about how perfect the gift is and seem taken by the thoughtfulness. I really can think of no better way to leave a lasting impression after my clients close on their new home.

Should you care for more advice on how to give personalized stationery as a gift, please don’t hesitate to contact our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Summer Gift Idea: House Stationery

Now that summer is officially here, invitations from friends to various cozy retreats are beginning to arrive and thus we are reminded of the loveliness of house stationery as a host/hostess gift.

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Commonly placed in a country or beach home, house stationery may be used by any resident of the house or by any guest during their stay. It typically features the name of the house or the address but can also be designed to fit the mood of the location. A graphic of a lake, a palm tree or mountains are all nice ways to convey the feeling and spirit of the place.

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House stationery, of course, is different from family stationery. The latter features the family surname and/or the given names of all the family members, and thus is not appropriate for guests.

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Should you like more suggestions or advice on house stationery, please contact our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Personalized Profile: A Mother of the Groom Takes Note

fresh-ink-personalized-stationeryThese exquisite gold engraved cards and notes were created for a recent client by Fresh Ink, located in Jackson, Mississippi. The client, a “mother of the groom,” wanted distinguished stationery for correspondence regarding parties, notes of appreciation and general letter writing during such a special family time.

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After admiring the sea glass note for many months, she settled on gold engraving and a fleur de lis motif.

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An elegant ivory correspondence card with a unique monogram, engraved in gold also, gave her a different option in her wardrobe.

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Personalized Profile: A Savvy Scribe Shows Her Stripes

Personalized stationery should always reflect the personality of the sender—or, in the case of one savvy scribe, her stripes. For etiquette expert Lisa Grotts’ personalized stationery, her monogram was nestled into a vibrantly red zebra on a crisp, white correspondence card and paired with a matching red envelope lining. Linda Burns of Burns and Associates Fine Printing in San Francisco helped turn her vision into a reality. Below, they talk about why stationery is like shoes and why people seem to be returning to paper and pen.

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The Customer: Lisa

Tell me about your design and how did you reach your decision to go with it?
My company logo used to have an icon of the Golden Gate Bridge, as in “bridging” the gap of communities etc. The zebra icon has the same effect for me: It shows the many lines of communication and cleverly done. I used to have it in navy blue but switched over to lucky red in 2015. I also have them as calling cards.

Did you know what you wanted going into your first appointment and did that change at all?
Decisive is my middle name. I told Linda Burns ahead of time to pull out the stops on the zebra cards as well as the color, but I’m a softie when it comes to stationery (I have more styles than jeans), so I generally end up buying double or sometimes triple the amount as I like choice. Some people require formal thank you notes, others do not—that’s when the zebra comes in handy.

For you, what is the value of personalized stationery?
As a certified etiquette expert, I teach the value of why one needs to have the perfect stationery wardrobe. I have written a piece on my Huffington Post blog on this subject, and business and social stationery components are part of most of my etiquette seminars. More is more when it comes to stationery, just like shoes and handbags—paper is the “It” accessory. Thank you for asking.

The Stationer: Linda

Tell me about working with Lisa and how you helped guide her through the design process.
I work often with Lisa and she loves stationery as I do. She is very clear and decisive and she’s wonderful to work with. I take what she likes and then mock it up into various uses—business cards, note cards, fold-overs, stationery, etc.

What are the questions you usually ask every customer who comes in wanting to order personalized stationery?
I always spend the time to make sure I know what a customer likes and how they intend to use their stationery before I offer suggestions. I show them examples and give them alternatives and options. Stationery decisions are visual ones, and it’s helpful to have a customer see the choices.


In today’s digital age, what is the importance of personalized stationery? 
Invitations set the tone for an event and personal notes, thank yous, remembrances—handwritten and personal—are important enough to be done on paper rather than digitally sent. I find that more and more people are returning to printed forms rather than digital when they want to distinguish it from the e-formats. I hear often, “I enjoy receiving something in the mail rather than on the screen—I like to hold it in my hand and have it around when I’m not online to refer to. I also like to write a personal note so it doesn’t look like a group message.”

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Real Weddings: Andriana and Alexander

We always say that a couple’s wedding invitation should set the tone for the big day. Which is why for Andriana and Alexander’s wedding in Santorini, a city that exudes classic, traditional elegance, only a stunning script engraved atop our ecru paper will do. With the help of Bruce Ebling at Siegrist Engraving in Kansas City, the couple chose just that. Here, the seasoned stationer shares his opinion on invitation style and the bride talks about falling in love and finding “the one” (perfect invitation, that is).

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The Bride: Andriana

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding stationery—did you have something in mind and did that change?
Siegrist Engraving in Kansas City, Missouri was absolutely wonderful! Bruce Ebling was so accommodating and we had a fabulous time pouring over all possibilities before finding “the one.”

Describe the stationery you ended up with and why you fell in love with that design.
The invitations we selected were very classic and stunning. I immediately fell in love with these invitations! Our invitation created an atmosphere and inspired our selections for every last detail of the wedding. When I was first able to see my invitations and touch them, it almost brought me to tears because they were so gorgeous.

Was there anything about the process of choosing your stationery that you weren’t expecting?
I was not expecting to receive so many phone calls and compliments regarding the invitations. I thought they were amazing, but I did not expect that the invitations would make such an impression. Continue reading

Real Weddings: Avo and William

Every couple’s invitation ordering process is a unique experience. While some may prefer to order them online from the comfort of their couch, others would rather spend time browsing invitation albums in a store, where they can touch the paper, see the details of each design up close and have the professional guidance of a retailer. Most, however, choose a combination of the two. They’ll peruse various wedding invitation sites online, discover what they like (and don’t like) and then head to a local stationer to see samples and place their order.

QuYinfeiNewlyweds Avo and William first visited our website, found a design they liked and then worked with the team at Paper Source in Austin to make it their own. Here, the couple talks about the importance of quality paper, while Laurie, the stationer who helped them, shares why Avo and William’s design choice was right on-trend.

The Couple: Avo and William

Tell me how you and your fiance met, and how did he propose?
My fiance and I have been very close friends since we first met at his mother’s birthday party in 2009. After this long-term friendship, we started our relationship with our friends’ and families’ blessing. In February 2014, we went on a trip to Alaska, and my fiance proposed to me in the snow under the magical northern light. I still feel the excitement every time I recall that scene!

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An Artist Uses Our Lettra as Her Canvas

It’s no secret that our 100% cotton Lettra paper is coveted by letterpress printers. In fact, we like to say it goes together with the printing process like Fred and Ginger. But, we never thought of our Lettra as the perfect canvas, but luckily, artist and Vermont College of Fine Arts student Wendy Briggs Powell did.

“Six months ago, I had been dying strips of various papers on a smaller scale and knew I wanted to work larger,” she recalled. “Another student has been using Lettra for her letterpress work and I went crazy over the feel and heft of her take-away cards at residency! So I thought Lettra was just the right paper to create larger pieces that would withstand soaking for many hours, days even, in containers of dye. I was right! And I do love the pairing of old and new as well.”

Below is a video as well as images of Powell’s work along with a little about her process.

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Post Script: Writer and Letter Writer David Infante

When we stumbled upon writer David Infante’s lovely online piece praising the practice of writing letters, we of course wanted to know more about the 26-year-old New Yorker’s fancy for classic correspondence. Here, the former conscious thank you note objector shares why railroad spikes may make for good pen pal letters and writing while curious always has the potential for a most memorable response.

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When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
In college. When I was a kid, my parents made me write “thank you” notes to anyone who gave me a gift—Christmas, birthday, etc.—and I hated it. Sometimes, if the gift wasn’t even that good, I would be angry that it had been given to me. Now I have to write another note, and for what?! I would fight back, too, if I had already verbally thanked the giftee face-to-face. As a Cool Teen™ trying to spend as much time as possible playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater on N64, I didn’t see the point of sending a note after the fact—it seemed redundant.

When I got to college, I was sort of lost. I had a really rough freshman year at a small liberal arts school, and I hated it. I was depressed and alone. I don’t want to make it sound like writing notes “saved” me—I was living a perfectly acceptable life for a college freshman, I was just a bit down on myself. So to cheer myself up, I started collecting my friends’ home addresses and sending them Christmas cards. Just for the hell of it. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it, so then I did it again at Easter, then again the following Christmas and so on. Obviously I still wrote “thank you” notes—it was an ingrained habit at that point. It kinda went from there, but it started because I had a lot of downtime and wasn’t enjoying myself in a new environment.

What is your favorite step in the process of written correspondence?
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Video: Hand Bordering

Video

It’s all in the details.