Crane & Co. has been advising enthusiasts of classic correspondence for more than a century. In our archives is proof of this: petite, elegantly covered books boasting topics such as “Visiting Cards for Men” and “Country House Stationery.”
We’ve continued such advice in the form of the Blue Book of Stationery and the Wedding Blue Book, revising as decades have come and gone to reflect the ever-changing times.
Some advice — the importance of thank you notes, the use of “honour of your presence” for a church wedding to name a couple — has proved timeless. Other advice, however — addressing wives who are also medical doctors, a brides’s monogram using a hyphenated last name — has been added, updated and, sometimes, scrapped altogether.
While we value tradition, we also embrace the kind of change that still feels correct and special. And so when online invitation purveyor Paperless Post approached us to partner on a collection of wedding stationery suites, we made sure that every design was a perfect blend of the online invitation company’s fresh, modern aesthetic and our timeless, classic elegance.
Lauren Kay will write you a letter: All you have to do is ask. The New York resident has penned requested missives to her childhood sitter’s daughter and a high school boyfriend’s little sister, just to name a couple, as well as unrequested — yet very much appreciated, we’re sure — ones to her own friends and family. One can read about her correspondence escapades — and request one of his or her own — on her few-years-old site, Letters From Lauren. Here, Nora Ephron’s biggest fan talks big zip codes, love letters and her favorite scene from When Harry Met Sally (hint: it doesn’t take place in a diner).
When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
It all started with box of Crane & Co. engraved ecru stationery, a gift from my grandmother. I was nine. It came with a fancy pink pen, which I was only allowed to use for proper correspondence. In hindsight, it was all a ploy to get me writing thank-you notes (I grew up down south where manners were practiced with emphasis). But it worked! And I’ve been writing letters ever since.
Our Crane Concierge receives quite a number of queries from correspondents about what type style they should use for their personalized stationery, wedding invitations, etc. And while there are certainly guidelines for pairing the proper type style to the occasion, one’s personality should also help dictate how text will appear on paper.
Below is a sampling of type styles and the type (no pun intended) of person who may fancy such a style. For those of you who would like to use a similar style on our paper, we have also provided the codes for the lettering that best matches each one.
Didot: LET511; Sheila: LET718; Futura: LET608; Edwardian: LET708; Charter Roman: LET511; Trade Gothic: LET618; Chevalier: LET507; Bickham: LET704; Baskerville: LET516
Have a question about stationery etiquette or style? Email our Crane Concierge at email@example.com.
When Wedding Guide magazine contacted us to ask us a few questions about RSVP etiquette, we of course happily obliged. After all, receiving — or, rather, not receiving — responses from invitees is an issue most couples find themselves dealing with, and considering we wrote the book on wedding etiquette, it was only appropriate that we weigh in…
Our Crane Concierge spends her days offering etiquette advice of the epistolary variety to brides, businesses and everyday correspondents alike. We thought we’d share a handful of recent queries. If you have a question for our Concierge, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I include a nickname with my name on stationery? I am known by the nickname in my community, i.e. Susan Hindle (Su) George. Would this be acceptable? Or is there a better way?
If your correspondence will be mostly personal and not professional, I would suggest using your nickname (Su George), as this is the name your friends and family know you by. If, however, you will be using it for professional stationery as well, I would suggest using your given name and — for your personal notes — signing with your nickname.
In a previous life, Dan Morgan worked in a photo lab. Now, the Donaldson, PA, native is the one taking the pictures — his website shows off his stellar work — and uses his keen eye for detail during his day job as a typesetter in our stationery factory.
How did you end up at Crane?
I was working at a photo lab at the time and actually saw the job in a Valpack ad for a typesetter position.
What exactly does a typesetter do?
A typesetter’s job is to make a customer’s stationery design work for what they want — even when they may not know it’s what they want. For example, we have requests sometimes to “please use your discretion and make it look good.” I love those types of jobs, because I can use my creativity and tweak the layout or sizes to make it look great. I write those job numbers down and check after a few weeks to see if they’ve returned the proof and what comments they had about the design I came up with.
Do you have a favorite or memorable design?
Well, every job is special for somebody — we all want to make our mark — but I did enjoy working on an order that featured an engraved Redskins helmet logo, because I’m a football fan.
Since you’re looking at type styles all day, do you find yourself critiquing them when you’re not working?
[Laughs.] I do. When I’m driving, I’ll notice the fonts on highway signs.
Have a question for Dan? Email our Crane Concierge at email@example.com.
This past week we had the delight of viewing all of the entries for our “Love Is…” Valentine’s Day Pinterest contest. The task was to create a board inspired by our gold engraved Je T’aime note card, and in response we received a most creative assortment.
Amour. Amor. Love. XOXO. No matter how you express it, there’s only one feeling that gets its own holiday.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought we would celebrate the holiday with the most heart by showing some love to our enthusiasts (that would be you!). Inspired by all things red and amorous, we created a Pinterest board just in time for Valentine’s Day.
We’d like you to do the same, and one lucky Pinner will receive a box of their favorite stationery from our Catalog collection. Here’s how to enter:
Leah Dieterich is gracious every day. It isn’t that she is regularly showered with gifts or good deeds, but rather the thxthxthx.com founder is just thankful for the little things: Tote Bags (“for being gender-neutral purses”) and a New Longboard (“for allowing my afterwork exercise to be considered play”), to name just a couple.
Her notes of gratitude can be followed on Twitter and read in her new book. Here, Dieterich talks with us about long distance letters, being a lefty and why a signature is her favorite part of the writing process.