About craneandco

More than 200 years ago, Stephen Crane decided to make a statement. And it wasn’t with his fashion forward breeches or well-groomed mutton chops. It was with his Liberty Paper Mill, named so just two years after the British occupied Boston – and just five miles away. A tres bold move, if we do say so ourselves. Today, Crane & Co. still calls Dalton home, our 100 percent cotton paper still incites swoons, and we’re still making bold statements. Still not with breeches.

Real Weddings: An Invitation Inspired by Something Borrowed

Sometimes, one doesn’t have to scroll through endless Pinterest boards and magazines to find inspiration for the perfect wedding invitation (though it sure is fun). Sometimes, the inspiration conveniently arrives in your postbox. Such was the scenario for new bride Amanda. She loved the design of a family friend’s invitation so much, she made it her own—and we couldn’t blame her. Classic with just the right amount of modern, our ecru paper was paired with an elegant gold script that perfectly set the tone for the romantic Black Tie spring wedding.

* All photos are courtesy of Bonnie Sen Photography.

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How did you and your fiance meet, and how did he propose?
Mike and I met junior year of college at an event my sorority was throwing. After college, we dated long distance for five years until I decided to move to Washington, DC. Finally (phew!), after seven years of dating, Mike popped the question at my parents’ house on the 4th of July. It was a private, sweet and simple proposal, which was perfect. We spent the rest of the day and night celebrating with lots of family, friends and fireworks in the sky.

Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind going into your first appointment? Did that change?
Going into the process, I knew I wanted an invite exactly like what I ended up with. I actually have a close family friend who used the same invitation suite, and I loved it so much. I tried really hard to find something different, that had the same look, but I could not find another invite I loved as much as this Crane & Co. invitation.

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Continue reading

Must-Have Day-Of Wedding Accessories

Your wedding stationery doesn’t stop when you order your invitations (though, we do admit, that is the most fun part). Day of accessories help tie the event you have been planning for a long time together. They carry the theme of the invitation through to the actual event. Below we’ve included a handful of the most popular items brides order for their wedding ceremony and reception.

Within the Ribbon Card
Cards reading “Within the ribbon” inform ushers that guests should be seated in special sections identified by a ribbon or cord.

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Wedding Program
The design of your wedding program should complement your invitation but not necessarily match it. The program should inform your guests of the order of events for the ceremony, who the participants are and any other special notes regarding the reception or other wedding-related information. They may also include expressions of gratitude to parents and guests as well as acknowledgement of a deceased loved one. Continue reading

Real Weddings: On-Trend and Original, So Happy Together

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Couple Jessica and David’s wedding invitation is proof that it is possible to be both on-trend and completely original. For their charcoal-atop-pearl white invitation, they incorporated not one but two of the most popular trends we’re seeing these days—monograms/duograms and calligraphic typestyles. However, instead of choosing a duogram design from our album, they chose to have one custom drawn. Below, Taylor of The Lettered Lily in Salisbury, North Carolina shares the details and Jessica shares the importance of sticking to your vision—and always agreeing to go see a turtle.

The Bride:
Jessica 

Tell me how you and your fiance met, and how did he propose? 

David and I met when we were six years old. We had the same group of friends. Although we spoke to everyone in the group, we never spoke to each other. It wasn’t until we were 21 that we said our first words. His older brother was in a horrible car accident three months prior. My father was his neurologist. He and his family were spending some time at their river house near Camden, South Carolina and invited my family to visit. When I arrived, David was playing horseshoes with his father and mine. I walked down the stairs and gave my dad a hug, said “hi” to David’s dad, and then turned to David. I said, “Hello!” He simply looked down at his shoes and replied, “Hey.” We spent the rest of the day talking and the rest is history.

For the next four years, David and I were inseparable. We saw each other as often as we could, mostly on weekends since we were finishing college. We spent many hours on the golf course near his house. One night, before David was set to move up to Washington, DC and start his new job, he and I started watching a movie at his house. His mom went out and his sister, Leigh, went out for a run. About 10 minutes after Leigh left, she called David. She had found a huge snapping turtle on the golf course. We rushed over to see it. (Their grandfather had put one there when they were young. Could this be the same one?)

By the time we got to the spot, the turtle had swum away. David called my name. I turned around. We were eye-level, which was weird since he is about 15 inches taller than me. He told me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He loved how we had intelligent conversations and still found time to be silly and ridiculous. He loved me! He wanted to spend the rest of eternity with me! I was stunned. The evening sun was just beginning to set as I said “yes,” not even noticing that we were in our spot at the golf course. We hugged and kissed, completely forgetting Leigh was standing right there. We turned and thanked her. She had been taking pictures. No, there was no turtle and we were eye-level for a wonderful reason!

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Tell me about the process of choosing your wedding invitations and did you have something in mind going into your first appointment? Did that change?
My mom and I had been referred to The Lettered Lily for our save the dates and invitations. We both wanted something simple and elegant and went to our first appointment with open minds. Continue reading

A Crane Connection 55 Years in the Making

virginia-wedding-picWe’ve always been proud of the fact that Crane & Co. has been in business since 1801, operating as the Liberty Paper Mill and run by Zenas Crane. Since then, we’ve remained in Massachusetts and our factory now calls North Adams, a quaint, quiet town the The Berkshires, home.

As with any small town, there are always one or two companies that employee a lot of the community. Crane is one of those companies. Not only is it common to meet an employee who was worked there for 30-plus years, but it is also common that he/she is a second or third generation Crane employee. And those in the community who don’t work for Crane inevitably have at least one relative who does. Simply put, there is always a Crane Connection here in North Adams.

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But even though connections are common, we are still elated when we hear stories like Virginia’s.

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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.

zebra-monogram

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