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.


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

Business Essentials: A Primary on Invitations and Announcements

We receive many queries from businesses concerning wording, be it for a gala or a move to a new office. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on invitations and announcements.

business essentials-invitations-and-announcements

Click the image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Correspondence, Monarch and Jotter Cards

Whatever your job title may be, you will almost certainly find yourself at some point needing to pen a handwritten note. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on the differences between correspondence cards, monarch cards and jotter cards—and when to use which.

business essentials-correspondence-cards

Click the image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Letterhead

While the executive sheet is the basic stationery used by most businesses, the monarch sheet is slightly smaller and therefore more personal. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on letterhead.

business essentials-letterhead

Click the image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Business and Calling Cards

If you are incorporating a social media handle into the information on your business card, ensure that it is appropriate for your line of work. For example, a fashion designer may wan to include his/her Instagram handle, while an accountant would not. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on business and calling cards.

business essentials-business-and-calling-cardsClick the image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Business Essentials: A Primary on Printing Processes and Paper

One should consider his or her paper as he or she would consider any wardrobe piece: with thoughtful attention to detail, quality and style. From our Business Essentials guide, a primary on printing processes and our 100% cotton stock.


Click image to enlarge.

For more guidance on your business stationery wardrobe, please read our Business Essentials guide.

Personalized Profile: A New York Lettra Love Story

We love receiving pictures of our customers’ personalized stationery—it’s the reason we created the Personalized Profile feature—and so it was a visual delight to open Steve Ono’s email recently. Steve works for family-owned print shop Japan Printing and Graphics in New York City, and, like many print shops, they love our Lettra paper.

If you’re not familiar with Lettra, it’s our signature letterpress stock. We like to say Lettra and letterpress printing go together like Fred and Ginger. It’s 100% cotton, and the soft-yet-sturdy, textured composition is positively divine to the touch. When the letterpress machine makes its impression, we’re pretty sure fireworks explode.

Below are a few of the lovely business card designs Steve shared with us as well as his thoughts on Lettra and the importance of one’s business card choice.

olivia-business-cardsPearl White Lettra letterpress printed in black ink.

“The delicate texture and feel of the Lettra stock is incredibly unique and unmistakable. People absolutely love the paper because it feels so soft and textured, almost as if it were textile. Secondly, the Lettra stock allows for deep indentations when the using letterpress printing. The softness of the paper allows the indentations from the letterpress to be considerably deeper than any other paper that we use. This amplifies the effect of letterpress printing and also adds a more visible dimension to the business cards. This paper is indispensable for the type of work that we do.”
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The Three Most Essential Stationery Wardrobe Pieces

Some say the clothes make the man. We like to say stationery makes the man. And woman, of course. There are many types of stationery you can include in your stationery wardrobe, but below are the three pieces we consider the essentials.

Correspondence Card
The correspondence card is a flat card that can be used for everything from notes of thanks to follow-ups after networking. We recommend an ecru or white paper color with one’s full name or monogram printed at the top. Contact information such as email address and/or phone number can also be included.

IMG_7924Your font and ink color should reflect your personal style, however keep in mind that these design elements should be versatile enough for personal and professional correspondence alike.
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Post Script: Needle in a Haystack’s Yash Parmar


Everything is bigger in Texas. And that includes the stationery business. Catering to Dallas’s finest, Needle in a Haystack has been a purveyor of exquisitely printed paper for more than two decades. Here, co-owner Yash Parmar — who runs the boutique with his wife, Bhavna and daughter, Krishna (pictured above right and left, respectively) — talks to us about the power of pen pals, to whom he writes most and how he may not have been where he is today without sewing.

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
Writing handwritten letters to my pen pals in various countries.

What’s the story behind your store’s name?
Needle in a Haystack started off as a needlepoint store in 1971 – hence the name.  In the 70’s and 80’s there was strong interest in needlepoint. The previous owners of Needle in a Haystack were avid needlepointers.  They gradually introduced gifts and stationery in the 80’s. We bought the store in 1989, when it was about 80% needlepoint and 20% “other.”  

What inspired you to open a stationery boutique?
Emphasis on stationery was dictated by the market and our interest in paper. Our customers demanded greater variety of stationery. This matched our interest.

Why do you enjoy sending letters and/or correspondence?
It is great to put your thoughts on paper. I had pen pals as a teenager and loved writing and receiving letters.

If you could be pen pals with anyone in history, to whom would you write and what would you say?
Mahatma Gandhi. I have so many questions that I could ask. There is so much that one can learn from his life and experience.


To whom do you most often write?

Describe the most memorable letter or postcard you have ever received.
As a student in England, my grandfather wrote to me regularly from India. I loved receiving his letters with all his grandfatherly advice.

What makes a particular letter stand out from a stack of cards?
Handwritten letter on personal stationery.

Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp series?
Scenic American Landscapes series of stamps.  Some of these, such as Yosemite National Park, Glacier National Park are just beautiful!


What is your favorite product created by Crane & Co.?
The Black Label album (that has long been retired) had some fabulous engraved stationery with wonderful motifs and liners.

palmetto engraved black label red cards

What do you think classic correspondence will look like in a decade or two?
I think the classic correspondence in a decade or two will remain classic: handwritten note on engraved stationery.

Have a question for Yash? Email our Crane Concierge at

From the Archives: Vintage Crane & Co. Advertisements

Being around for more than 200 years will build quite an archive. It’s an absolute delight to sift through old engraving dies, ledgers and, our favorite, advertisements. We had advertisements geared toward the “Business Man,” the “Presidents of Savings Banks” and, of course, brides. Ones highlighting the fact that our paper is made from cotton rags. Ones highlighting how great it is to use with a typewriter. And ones about what using Crane says about you (hint: really good things).

Below are some of our favorites…

1. For your paper trousseau: This ad from the 50’s spoke to the classic bride, suggesting the kinds of papers she should use for her wedding and beyond. “Assures correctness… confers distinction” is the tagline, assuring her that choosing Crane is both proper and special.

vintage wedding stationery advertisement
2. Wedding gifts by telephone: This print ad from 1924 plays to the aspirational woman and her desire to make the most proper impression. No well-bred girl would do such a thing, the ad suggests of acknowledging wedding gifts by telephone. She also wouldn’t type her wedding invitations, send a “dowdy letter of acceptance” for a party or write a letter on “the only paper you could find,” and instead lives by this ad’s tagline: “Style is a greater social asset than beauty.”

3. What does the letter say, Jean? The dialog in this ad — printed in The Ladies’ Home Journal in 1921 — is between two girlfriends or sisters, discussing a letter the one has just received. When asked what the letter said, the recipient’s response is that the letter says the writer has “good taste” and “a fine appreciation of what is correct.” Of course, the punchline is that the recipient is referring to what the paper (Crane, of course) says about the sender, ending with this mantra: “Writing paper tells much more than many people think.”

4. Stationery should reflect station: We love the angle this 1926 ad takes when appealing to the “Business Man.” The copy sets the scene, a meeting between the Business Man and his lithographer. The latter suggests Crane, suggesting that one’s stationery should reflect one’s station in life. The former balks at paying more for his letterhead. The lithographer’s pitch: A company should take its paper “out of the classification of office expense and put it in the advertising and selling budget.”

business stationery letterhead advertisement
5. To the Presidents of Savings Banks: This ad from 1936 is one of our favorites because of how well it represents a time very much in the past — a time when relationship between banker and bank account customer was more than just the Customer Service contact on a website. The ad suggests using Crane to send letters of welcome to “new depositors” as well as to keep in touch with old customers, as “no other paper lends so much dignity and distinction to correspondence.”

banking stationery advertisementCare to see more of our vintage advertisements? They’re all available to peruse on our Pinterest board!