Post Script: Bob Gregory, Crane & Co. Engraving Press Operator

Bob Gregory EngraverHow 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.

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The Art of Photographing a Monogram

Instagram. Hipstamatic. Twitpic. Sharing. Posting. Tagging. We’ve become (for better or worse) a society of sharers. Instant sharers at that. And thanks to smartphones touting cameras as good as most point-and-shoots, pictures of our meals, cats with books and celebrities on the subway actually look pretty darn good.

That said, shooting close-up details still requires the hand — and eye — of a professional. So we asked photographer David Nicholas, who recently shot some of our new wedding stationery collection, what exactly goes into capturing the incredible detail of an engraved monogram.

This is what David had to say about shooting the monogram seen below:

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Crane & Co. Heritage: Our Little Story

Presidential stationeryWe’re quite proud of our heritage here at Crane & Co. A family-owned company that started as a little paper mill in Massachusetts during the American Revolution. Paul Revere used our paper, Presidents galore have used it and the U.S. Government still uses it. Celebrities past and present (a proper paper company never tells), society’s creme de la creme, Fortune 500 companies — our paper makes a statement, which is why it’s so revered.

But one doesn’t have to possess a famous last name to appreciate the finest paper. On the contrary, one simply needs to recognize and appreciate the beauty of classic correspondence. Which is probably the case if you’re reading this.

And which is probably why you just might enjoy watching a little story about our heritage. Enjoy!

The Creation of a Letterpress Wedding Invitation: Photo Essay

We wish we could invite every future bride and groom to watch their wedding invitations be made at our factory in Dalton, Massachusetts. But that would be a lot of brides and grooms. On top of that, we’re guessing they’re pretty busy.

So, we thought we’d snap a few photos of the process. In this particular photo essay, we showcase how a letterpress wedding invitation is made. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Crane & Co. In Action: Best Of 2011

We love the fact that our invitations, stationery and business cards are completely customizable. From the monogram to the typeset to the ink color to the printing method, chances are, if you have a vision, we can put it on 100% cotton paper.

That said, we equally love when we see others use our paper in stunningly creative ways. So, without further ado, here are five of our favorite designs from 2011.

Happy Envelope Birthday Invitation

Best Birthday Party Invitation: Featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper, these invitations by The Happy Envelope were for a 4-year-old’s coun­try carnival-inspired birth­day party — mailed with a lollipop to sweeten the deal

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2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Stationery for Every Personality

You’ve made your list. You’ve checked it twice. Assuming everyone on it has been nice, here are a handful of gifts that fit each personality to perfection. Heavyweight Monogram Lion Notes The Distinguished Aspirer: The New Yorker with breakfast, Japanese lessons at night. Heavyweight Pearl White Monogram Lion Notes for the lover of all things fine and fantastic. Engraved Butterfly Notes The Gracious Romantic: Vintage hairpins, Paris in the spring. Hand Engraved Ecruwhite Butterfly notes for the lover of everything storybook and sentimental. simple monogram note cardThe Discriminating Minimalist: Mondrian in the great room, martini without fail. Hand Engraved Monogram Correspondence Cards for the lover of all things simple and stately.
Business monogram note cardThe Veracious Workaholic: Business Class, French cuffs. Engraved Ecruwhite Monogram Sheets for the lover of all things tenacious and tailored. Engraved Calling Card The Enterprising Socialite: Dinner parties, polo matches. Engraved calling cards for the lover of all things festive and fortuitous. Foil Stamp Spectacles Note CardsThe Free Spirit: Yellow convertibles, cowboy hats. Foil Stamp Spectacle Note Cards for the lover of all things footloose and fancy free. Kate Spade Typewriter Note CardsThe Budding Intellectual: Devourer of Salinger, future novelist. Kate Spade All Typed Up oversized notes for the lover of all things learned and literary. Equestrian Note CardThe Jovial Aristocrat: Weekdays in London, weekends in the countryside. Hand-bordered Equestrian Hat & Crop Notes for the lover of all things royal and refined.

American Craftsmanship: A Q&A With A Modern Day Patriot

crane & co. engraving machine

One of Crane & Co.’s engraving machines, where workers personalize each piece of stationery. Some of the machines are more than 100 years old.

As a 200-year-old paper company that still calls the same New England town home after all these years, there are two things we here at Crane & Co. put at the top of our ‘important’ list: Writing (without it, we wouldn’t exist) and Americana (since 1801, remember?).

So we were quite excited to hear that a Seattle lawyer with a penchant for all things American was writing a book on businesses born and raised right here in the U.S.A., including little old us. It’s called Simply American: Putting Our Extended American Family Back to Work, and while a date hasn’t been set yet for publication, we decided to chat with the author, John Briggs, about everything from brooms and sneakers to the American Dream.

What inspired you to write this book?
Chronic unemployment in this country. We’ve had this alleged recovery, but we’re not getting people back to work. I started thinking about unemployment, and what struck me is we could create a lot of jobs in manufacturing. A simple errand started my thinking in this direction.
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The Hands of Crane & Co.: A Photo Essay

Thermograph operator
We are constantly in awe here of the intricate, beautifully hand-crafted work the employees in our printing and stationery factories do day after day. Many of them have been here for decades painting borders by hand, engraving names and images with enviable patience and making sure each and every detail is absolutely perfect before our customers open that Dalton Blue box.

With that in mind, here is a collection of images – taken by our wonderful resident photographer, Trisha — of some of the hands that make such fine craftsmanship possible every day.

Pink ribbon baby announcementAdding the finishing touch — a pink ribbon — to our Ecru White Baby Notes.

 

Envelope LinersGetting die-cut envelope liners ready to be placed inside our 100% cotton envelopes.

Measuring Duplex Cards

Precision is just one of the details we pride ourselves on, which means each duplexed invitation is hand-measured for a perfect border.

 

Hand Bordering StationeryThat colorful border you see on each Crane & Co. invitation or note card you receive is lovingly hand-painted by one of our oh-so patient and skilled borderers.

Checking Stationery Alignment

A Crane & Co. employee checks the alignment to make sure all the type on this personalized stationery is equidistant from the edge.

 

Navy Swiss Dot Belly BandA belly band is carefully placed around a custom-made invitation.

* The first image is of our thermography machine and its operator.

Crane In Action: Day of the Dead and Adorable Bunnies

Day of the Dead Party Invitation Closeup

Here at the Crane & Co. factory (think Santa’s Workshop meets the Newspaper Printing Room), the letterpress machines whir and hum, our oh-so skilled engravers work meticulously on intricate designs and our borderers artfully paint the edges of stationery in brilliant hues all by hand.

Which is all just a fancy way of saying we are hard at work crafting our customers’ orders all day. So it isn’t surprising that we often come across some truly innovative designs, which we’d love to share with you here…

A Bunny Thing Happened…

Thalia Et Bubu

We love this design because it could be a baby shower invitation, a children’s book cover or even a save-the-date. It is, however, a design for an adorable children’s boutique in Switzerland, Thalia Et Bubu.

The design was sent to us by Marianne Domec, owner of Un Petit Mot in Switzerland. Printed digitally on custom cut fluorescent white 100lb cover stock for 500 pieces, the customer-furnished artwork was designed by Haydé, author of the “Milton” books edited by Joie de Lire and illustrator of the posters of Petit Théâtre in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Tres bon, don’t you think?

The Grateful Dead…

Day of the Dead Party Invitation

We can just picture the vibrant music, colorful decorations and mouth-watering food at this soiree celebrating one of Mexico’s most treasured holidays, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Printed digitally in raspberry ink, pewter grey ink and black ink from supplied art, this invitation came to us from Camilla Brink Stationer in San Antonio, Texas.

Que brillante!

 

Think Pink For the Holidays

Breast Cancer Awareness Holiday Card
It’s October, which means we’ve been thinking pink. The NFL does it. Avon does it. And yes, we do it, too. Crane & Co. is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating a portion of the proceeds from our Peace, Hope, Joy Holiday Card to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

It’s a lovely card, if we do say so ourselves. The color is Hibiscus — quite festive, don’t you think? The printing process is engraving, which is oh-so very elegant. And the card itself is 100 percent cotton paper, which means it’s super sturdy and rich in texture. Not to mention environmentally friendly. Oh, and it’s completely customizable.

The number of cards we sell will determine the portion of proceeds we can donate, so get a leg up on your holiday to-dos and get shopping!