Advice from the Expert: How to Hire a Calligrapher

A Crane wedding invitation and calligraphy go together like Bogart and Bacall. Beautiful. Classic. Timeless. For a newly engaged couple, though, calligraphy is something they haven’t thought much about, let alone know how to make an educated decision about. Luckily, our guest post today comes from Laura Di Piazza, a professional calligrapher who creates beautiful flourishes for everything from weddings to workshops.

laura di piazza

Perhaps one of the first comments many clients have made after contacting me is how difficult it was for them to research for calligraphers. Calligraphy work is low tech, in that we mainly work with paper, inks/paints and pens. So perhaps some of us do not have a strong online presence. However, I believe the main reason that it takes clients a bit of effort to find a calligrapher that suits their aesthetic preferences, timeframe and budget is simply because there are so few professional calligraphers out there.

laura di piazza calligraphyPhoto by Jakob Ott

So, how does one begin their search for a calligrapher?
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How Our Engraved Stationery Comes to Life

We recently took a spin around the factory floor and came across one of our talented press artisans engraving custom cards for Cartier. Thoughtfully, he laid out all of the elements and layers that an engraved card boasting four ink colors goes through to obtain perfection. Which, we must say, this card certainly possesses.

First, the engraving plate is made.
cartier bird engraving platesThe card is then run through the engraving press one time for each ink color.

cartier bird printing stagesEt voila, an exquisitely engraved bird for the most special correspondence.

cartier bird final

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How to Write the Perfect Lunchbox Note

kids stationeryTucked between the turkey sandwich and the apple chips, we like to think that every child finds something sweet. (Besides the mini bag of Peanut M&Ms, of course.)

The lunchbox note has been a staple of cafeteria correspondence since PB met J. It has served as a pick-me-up, a reminder, a pep talk and a hug replacement. It makes a great day even better, and makes a bad day just a little more tolerable. It is, like any note, a small gesture to let someone know you’re thinking about him or her.

But writing a lunchbox note isn’t as easy as scribbling a few x’s and o’s. Like all handwritten sentiments, there is an art to perfectly crafted communication. Here are our tips on how to make sure yours isn’t tossed out with the empty juice box.

  • Keep it short and sweet. Lunchtime is about re-fueling, but it’s also about socializing with friends. Between conversations about homework and weekend adventures, your child has about 30 seconds for reading. Keep it to 1-3 sentences (this isn’t the time to reminisce or tell a story) and keep it light and loving (this also isn’t the time to remind him he needs to clean his room tonight).
  • Don’t use the good stuff. Now isn’t the time to utilize your engraved monogram stationery with lined envelopes. Not that a note to your child isn’t special, but there is a good chance that it will come home decorated in apple juice and peanut butter (if it comes home at all). Instead, invest in a box of notecards reserved only for your note to your child. This way, he’ll know it’s from you to him (and feel special because of it), and you won’t be upset about your monogram getting trampled in the hallway between classes.
  • The delight is in the details. “I love you” and “Have a great day” are certainly lovely sentiments, but chances are you tell them to your child on a daily basis. Every note should touch on specifics. Mention a funny line from a movie you both love, tell her how much you love her new red sneakers or suggest you both get frozen yogurt after school. Whatever it is, make sure it gets a smile.
  • Everything in moderation. Like an extra cookie, a lunchbox note is meant to be a surprise treat. They should be sporadic, inspiring smiles, not groans. Sure, including one on Valentine’s Day or on the day of a big test is lovely. But it’s those not-particularly-interesting-in-any-way-days that make an unexpected note quite a delight.

Need more correspondence advice? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

How To Write the Perfect Summer Camp Letter

Canoe races. Fireside s’mores. And, of course, letters home. No care package was complete without a note from mom and dad (and Gummi Bears), so we thought we’d offer a few tips on how to craft the perfect summer camp letter, as well as stationery sure to make you the talk of the ice cream sundae social. **

  • PROVIDE AN UPDATEpersonalized kids stationery

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How to Write a Letter to Santa

hand engraved presents greeting cardIt’s true that every letter one sends should be written earnestly and with importance. After all, while status updates tend to capture the commonalities of everyday life — a particularly delightful lunch, cheeky cat videos — a letter reports the thoughts, milestones and stories that have accumulated over time.

However, there is one letter every year that is written with especially particular focus and purpose to a very influential older gentleman: Santa Claus.

It is a letter that must recall with influential detail the benevolence, impeccable behavior and overall good nature one has exuded over the past year. At the same time, it requests something (or, in most cases, many things) of the recipient, who is given a very specific deadline to fulfill said requests.

We recognize the gravitas that is the Letter to Santa, and so below are our tips on how to write the perfect letter to everyone’s favorite red-suited shopkeeper.

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How to Leave Your Calling Card

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Calling cards were originally made for the nobility to hand to a footman when paying a call or to leave at the home when the person called upon was absent. When making a social call, you left a calling card for each adult on whom you were calling. Never, however, exceeding three cards.

Though the calling card is now primarily used in lieu of a business card at social occasions or for the social mother to plan play dates, we quite like the idea of adhering to the conventions of calling card etiquette. Below is a collection of actions, taken from The Complete Engraver, one may apply to this classic form of correspondence when making a social call.

Have more questions about etiquette? Email our Crane Concierge at conciege@crane.com.

How to Make the Crane & Co.cktail

Because we like to think the perfect evening letter is always accompanied by the perfect libation — and because everyone should be privy to a signature cocktail — we present to you the Crane & Co.cktail, courtesy of our favorite purveyor of all things fancy, Mrs. Lilien. Enjoy!

mrs. lilien crane & co. cocktail

Recipe:

2 oz Gin

Juice + zest of 1 lime

3 oz fresh grapefruit juice

2tbs agavae nectar

champagne float

In a shaker half filled with ice add the gin, lime zest + juice, grapefruit juice + agavae nectar. SHAKE. Pour into prepared highball and top with a champagne float.

For more delectable recipes, pick up a copy of Mrs. Lilien’s new book, “Mrs. Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook.” Cheers!

 

Etiquette: How to Use QR Codes on Your Stationery

letterpress bar mitzvah invitation with qr codeRecently at the 2012 National Stationery Show, we dedicated one of our storefront windows (prime real estate!) to QR Codes and how to incorporate them into social stationery. Wedding invitations, letterhead, business cards: Why yes, there is a way to include one and still keep that classic aesthetic & craftsmanship Crane & Co. is known for.

In case you’re curious how to do so, we’ve put together this handy QR Code Etiquette Guide. Technology never looked so luxurious.

Have more questions about stationery etiquette & style? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com. 

2012 National Stationery Show: Day 2 Recap

crane & co. social media booth national stationery showNormally, torrential Monday rain would make us yearn for one more day to don pajama pants ’til noon. However, despite the need for an industrial-sized umbrella and clunky rubber boots, we were quite excited to get to our booth and let the National Stationery Show goodness begin.

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