This week we launched the newest addition to our personalized stationery family, Crane Collection II. It’s an album we’re especially proud of, as it features the exquisite details and impeccable craftsmanship for which Crane has always been known. New motifs and monograms, new patterned envelope liners, a new men’s stationery collection and an expanded selection of business papers are just some of the highlights.
The creative genius behind Crane Collection II is in-house designer Gabby Doane, who pored over our archives for inspiration, perfectly blending classic and new. Below, she explains her design process, her high fashion inspiration and the one piece everyone should have in their stationery wardrobe.
Describe the customer for this album.
Someone who truly appreciates the art of classic correspondence and values the fine beauty of hand-crafted stationery and the exquisite details that are inherent in Crane products.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this album?
Our objective with this album was to re-instate the true essence and feel of Crane Stationery with fine details and exquisite hand-crafted features that its products are known for.
New monograms in this collection are inspired by Crane’s exclusive collection of hand-drawn monograms and from monogram samples found in the Crane archives dating back to the early to mid 1800s. During my research in the archives I found some beautiful vintage paper samples and original drawings of paper patterns that I used as inspiration for some of the new linings in this collection.
For the new Men’s Stationery collection, inspiration was drawn from menswear clothing, textiles, accessories and packaging. Specifically I found a lot of inspiration from Drakes of London, Barbour, Best Made and Union Made.
A lot of color and pattern inspiration came from high fashion, drawing on the bold blues and reds from Givenchy Paris, green tones of Ferragamo, and the explosion of florals seen in new Prada lines and all over fashion shows in US and Europe. Color inspiration was also pulled from new trends seen in furniture—pairing of matte tones with gold and copper, pairing yellows and grays, etc.
Tell me about your design process for this album.
My processes for this album definitely began with some exhaustive research as I entrenched myself in Crane’s history and the world of fine social stationery. Crane’s extensive archives, coupled with trend research provided a wealth of inspiration as I delved into the design of the new album.
I drew on the information gathering in my research as I defined the paper selection, designed linings and created the new monograms and motifs found within this album.
Another huge part of the design process for me is collaborating with other designers and industry-savvy professionals. Specifically, I worked closely with one of the designers in our Manhattan office, Sita Silva, who provided some incredible concepts that helped bring the album to life.
What was your favorite part about designing this album?
Having the chance to explore the Crane archives and all of the amazing artifacts and products that have been produced over the years was an amazing experience. I sifted through mountains of monogram dies, books filled with paper and engraved designs, and luxuriously hand-painted and gilded envelopes and papers. The amount of history stored in the archives is breathtaking.
What stationery wardrobe piece should everyone have?
One stationery item that everyone should have, especially if it is his or her only piece, is a correspondence card (preferably engraved with your name or monogram). The correspondence card is an extremely versatile item that can be used for a variety of different occasions.
I know they’re all your children, but do you secretly have a favorite?
One of my favorite sets is the business and correspondence card duo shown on page 17 with the engraved 2-color medallion monogram. This mono is an adaptation of an old hand-drawn monogram, framed by a finely detailed 2-color medallion and printed on premium weight Kid Finish stock, which is finished off with a luxurious gold bevel. So beautiful!