Post Script: Avalon Stationery’s Sue Littleton

sue littletonMeet Avalon Stationery and Gifts co-owner Sue Littleton, who opened her Houston shop with her daughter more than 25 years ago. Here, one of our favorite and longtime Crane & Co. retailers talks about owning a small business, her customers and the power of a particular postcard.

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
When my daughter, Charlene, was small, her playtime adventures always centered around selling things. After graduating from Baylor University, a family friend asked Charlene what career path she would like to take. We had been fantasizing about having a store together and even called on several locations. Twenty-six years ago, we could not ever have imagined that we would get to work together and love the small business challenges, but our devotion has rewarded us beyond any goal we could have ever set for ourselves.

Continue reading

Post Script: Letters from Lauren’s Lauren Kay

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).

lauren-kay

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.

Continue reading

Our New Personalized Stationery Album: A Sneak Peek

One can spot a Crane Enthusiast with ease. She delights in the details, be it a wax seal or a yellow string around a white pastry box. He can tell the difference between letterpress

Letterpress-Patisserie-Correspondence-Card and engraving

Engraved-Summer-Home-Salutations-NoteShe throws dinner parties and never arrives empty-handed when the invitation is reciprocated. He holds the elevator door open, and can always be counted on to bring the Champagne.

With our Enthusiasts’ personal style in mind, we wanted to create a new personalized stationery album that offered the perfect mix of traditional…

Engraved-Bordered-Noblesse-Correspondence-Cardand trend-inspired…

Letterpress-Mid-Century-Modern-Letter-SheetAfter all, be it an invitation

All-The-Trimmings-Invitationan announcement

Letterpress LittleLady-Monogram-Baby-Girl-Announcementor simply a note just because

Engraved Mid-Century-Modern-Correspondence-Cardevery occasion becomes cause for celebration when it is presented on our paper.

Introducing Crane Collection, a fresh take on classic Crane that, when sent, is opened carefully, admired and cherished.

We like to think Crane says all the right things with just the right tone. But most of all, we like to think Crane is yours. Truly.

View all our new designs in the Crane Collection lookbook.

Have a question about stationery style or etiquette? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Well Seasoned: Our Favorite Fall Stationery

There’s no doubt we’ve enjoyed our fair share of sunshine and frozen treats this summer. However, we can honestly say that we’re ready to welcome crisp weather and leather boots back into our lives. The first day of fall is tomorrow, and with a new season comes new stationery.

Take a look at what we’ll be writing on when we trade ice cream for apple cider…

personalized halloween invitation“In celebration of my favorite fall holiday with a little show of elegance” — Jeri, Online Product Manager
Continue reading

Post Script: Stationery Trends Founder Sarah Schwartz

Next year, Stationery Trends magazine will celebrate its fifth anniversary, a statement to the perseverance of the people who cherish the art of handwritten correspondence. For the magazine’s founding editor, Sarah Schwartz, stationery and letters were a natural extension of a feisty, book-fueled imagination. Here, the former summer camp letter writer extraordinaire talks about pen pals, lunch box notes and why we should think of Abraham Lincoln the next time we’re angry with someone.

stationery trends founder sarah schwartz

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
To me, writing letters and corresponding is a natural extension to the world of reading. From the time I learned to read at age four, I have loved entering and creating imaginary or past worlds. A great letter is just that, really — a little glimpse into another very personal world.

Continue reading

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!

London Calling: Olympic Gold Medal Gifts

2012 summer olympics gifts

  1. Not only is this engraved note called “Amber Waves” — making it quite appropriate to correspond while celebrating Team U.S.A. — its blue envelope is lined in bronze. Together with a delicately engraved image of grain, we have to say this note is certainly worthy of a medal.
  2. When going for the gold — be it in running shoes or with pen in hand — one should always be inspired. We think this large leather journal in the Olympian’s favorite hue should do the trick.
  3. The name of this personalized note card from our Crane Style Now collection is “Pass the Bubbly”, which is exactly what our Olympians will want to do after earning gold (or just the chance to compete). The rings also remind us of the games’ iconic logo, which represents the world’s five continents. A trip that encompasses all of them would be quite nice — if only for the fabulous letters home.
  4. Ah, what pride and joy our Olympians must feel upon the playing of our National Anthem. The Star Spangled Banner (for which this card from our Americana Collection is named) surely sounds best when heard from atop a podium.
  5. The handsome glint of our Faber Castell pen reminds us of the stately silver medal. Around one’s neck or in one’s hand, one can’t help but feel a bit more accomplished for owning it.
  6. Even after watching our favorites dash across courts at Roland Garros and the All England Club, we still can’t wait to see Venus, Serena and Andy go for Olympic gold. From squash to swimming, best of luck to all of our Team U.S.A. athletes!Life’s richer with friends, so let’s stay in touch! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

How to Leave Your Calling Card

Image

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.

Post Script: Nancy Sharon Collins, Author of “The Complete Engraver”

Next month, graphic designer and engraving expert extraordinaire Nancy Sharon Collins will publish The Complete Engraver, an informative and elegant homage to the classic art. Seeing as how said classic art and our paper go together like Fred and Ginger, we thought Collins a perfect addition to our Post Script Q&A series. Here, the former New Yorker (and current Louisianan) shares stories of her parents’ notes, a New Orleans estate filled with paper and a small stack of treasured love letters.

When did your interest in social stationery engraving begin?
1976 during graduate school at the Hartford Art School. I was introduced to Lehman Brothers in New Haven and I fell in love with commercial engraving: going on press knocks my socks off; I love the smell of ink and paper and the sound of small presses (metal against metal, fly wheels, iron and steel.)

Continue reading