Antony and Cleopatra. Romeo and Juliet. Scarlett and Rhett.
We love a good love story.
But our favorite is that of Pen and Paper.
Thus, we were delighted to pick the brain of Rick Propas — a specialist for Swann Auction Galleries, where he directs the newly created Department of Fine and Vintage Writing Instruments — whose first pen was given to him more than 50 years ago.
Rick Propas, lefty.
“In the Jewish tradition, it’s customary to give a boy a fountain pen at his bar mitzvah,” Propas explained. “I didn’t get one, and when I complained to my dad, he pulled out his own pen and gave it to me.”
Propas has been collecting vintage pens ever since.
In this edition of The Making Of, we take a look at yet another one of our new collections (my, our design team has been busy).
Patriot meets pen in a premier collection celebrating all things red, white and blue. We’re calling it — drum roll, please — Americana. And what better time to launch it than while we’re all dreaming of fireworks and BBQs?
First, there was Inspiration.
“This collection came together as I was going over the archives,” recalls VP of Creative & Product Development Rachel V. Ivey. “I noticed that Crane was present for every Presidency. With an election approaching, developing a collection that celebrates our country was a pleasure.”
Next, the team thought about Americana’s target customer, and came up with three types:
The Classic American, who loves rich history.
The Proud American, who isn’t afraid to wear her U.S.A. love on her sleeve.
The Young American, who is learning how to become more involved in his country.
For a while, we’ve offered collections that cater to the enthusiast who is big on style and small on time. The idea being: a few choices — ink color, motif, font — instead of something completely customizable, which, while stunning and very personal, can be a daunting process.
While we wanted to keep the process simple, we also wanted a collection that spoke to today’s trends. And so, our VP of Creative & Product Development, Rachel V. Ivey, and her team began with step #1: The Inspiration Board. Continue reading →
Like the pocket square or the cherry on top, an envelope liner is the exquisite detail that ties one’s stationery set together. It is the first hint of the specialness that is to come. We thought it was about time, though, that the envelope liner was the chocolate ice cream.
But enough metaphors. Introducing a carefully curated collection of some of our favorite envelope liners in all of their full-sheet glory. Inspired by the idea that they would be used for everything from scrapbooking to gift wrapping to interior decorating, we selected five liners from the Crane & Co. archives that we thought offered something for every taste and style:
Fiorenza in the Spring Time Liner
How does your Italian garden grow? With elegant blooms of blue and blush flecked with gold. Our vintage Rossi envelope liner paper may be made in Italy, but we’re sure you’ll find beautiful ways to make it all your own.
How can you pick out the guy who loves what he does? He’s the one who smiles when you ask him about it. And then keeps smiling throughout the entire interview.
That’s Bob Gregory, a native of North Adams, Massachusetts (where our paper magic happens) who works an engraving press like no one’s business. He’s also a Red Sox fan and could never work at a job in which he was “just sitting there.”
That’s good news for us, and whoever has the pleasure of receiving a box of stationery created by Gregory’s skilled hands.
Here, he chats with us about being a “wedding man,” naming his engraving press and his one degree of separation from a certain blue-eyed crooner.
Personalizing correspondence can be a daunting experience, even for the most stationery savvy. When our new Creative Director, Rachel Ivey, decided to design suites for her entire family — husband, daughter, herself — she realized just how intimidating the process can be.
After all, personalized stationery is so, well, personal. Like the décor of your house or the clothes in your closet, your correspondence gives others a sense of your personal style. Throw in printing processes (Engraving or thermograph? Letterpress or debossing?), monogram style (Three initials? Entire name? One initial?) and ink/paper color (traditional black on ecru? Playful hibiscus on pearl white?), and suddenly you’re not just ordering some paper to scribble notes on anymore.
When it comes to designing stationery for your entire family, there are several factors to take into consideration: