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!

Our Shiny New Personalized Stationery Promotion

Neapolitan ice cream. Larry, Moe and Curly. Good things come in threes. It’s a sentiment we here at Crane & Co. certainly believe, which is why we’re very excited to announce our latest personalized stationery promotion.

We’re calling it – drum roll, please – Three Steps to Style, and it’s all about offering our customers the bespoke luxury they expect from Crane & Co. while making the ordering process wonderfully easy and cost-savvy. How great is that?

Crane Enthusiasts have two options, both starting with three simple steps and ending in 50 notes or correspondence cards for $99. That’s about a 40 percent savings, which means you’ll have money left over for those charming thank-you notes you’ve been eyeing.

But back to the promotion.

Step one:Choose from either 12 template design styles or create your own using a design from the Crane & Co. albums. Step two: Choose from seven ink colors. Step three: Choose from seven envelope liner colors.

“Our customers love our personalized product, but they also entertain full social calendars, so we wanted to offer a promotion that was both customizable and simple,” said Crane & Co. Business Manager Extraordinaire Antoinette Hajdas. “We’re excited about our Three Steps to Style promotion because it truly is the perfect way to get the best of both worlds.”

How do we love thee, Three Steps to Style? Let us count the ways: You are the perfect gift for, oh, everyone on our list this holiday season. You are so in my budget I can add an order all for myself to my shopping cart. You are so simple I can spend less time online and more time writing letters.

With those wonderful reasons in mind, we’d say it’s time to shop.

Oh, one more thing: Three Steps to Style continues until December 24.

The Picture Perfect Holiday Photo Contest

Everyone’s eyes were open, no one thought bunny ears would be funny and the sun hung at the perfect height in the sky. All the (metaphorical) stars aligned for the perfect family photo, and you’ve been anxious to send it to all of your friends and family ever since – in the form of a holiday photo card, of course.

Crane & Co. knows that feeling – when everything, you know, clicks. Which is why we launched a new collection of digital holiday photo cards that inspires the same bespoke luxury Crane & Co. is known for. The designs will make you feel warmer than a slice of just-out-of-the-oven pecan pie, and, they’re all on a thick, matte-finish private label paper that’s simply stunning.

It’s all very exciting. So exciting that we’re hosting the Picture Perfect Holiday Photo Contest. Entering is oh-so easy: Just email your perfect photo – the one you would love to see on your holiday photo cards this year – to and our panel of esteemed judges will choose their favorite.

One lucky winner will receive 100 complimentary digital holiday photo cards (your design choice, of course). No need to say cheese, we think you’re smiling already.

What’s the criteria, you ask?

Your photo has to be appropriate for a holiday photo card. We thought it was a beautiful sunset, too, but we think grandma would rather see her granddaughter.

Your photo should be 1275 X 1785 pixels and in .jpg form.

You must be 18 years of age to enter.

One photo per person, please.

Please include a short (2-4 sentences) background story about your photo. Yes, your family is beautiful, but we want to know why you’re all wearing wet suits.

There’s more, which is all below in our Terms & Conditions. Pour a cup of tea and dive in.

Terms & Conditions

By submitting a photo, the contestant grants Crane & Co. permission to publish the submitted photo, as well as names, city and captions submitted to Crane & Co., for marketing purposes. Slight photo alterations may be made by staff in order to fit size restrictions on our digital marketing platforms. If children under the age of 18 are in the contestant’s photo, a parent or legal guardian must approve submission of said photo.

The contest ends at 11:59 p.m., New York time on November 7, 2011. Entries must be received before the end of the contest to be eligible. Any received after November 7, 2011, will be disqualified.

Only one photo per contestant is permitted, and it must be submitted via email and in .jpg form.

All submitted photos have an equal opportunity of being scored by our industry judges. Photos are judged on quality, composition and ability to capture the spirit of the holidays. Photos will be judged with no discrimination toward sex, race or age. All decisions are final. Crane & Co. reserves the right to refuse any photograph they deem unacceptable for any reason.

To encourage the joy that is a spontaneous photo, professional photos are not encouraged. If a professional photo is submitted to our contest, however, Crane & Co. will not be held responsible. Contestants will be responsible for obtaining any and all consents, approvals and licenses required in connection with their participation in the contest.

Crane & Co. expects to select a winner on or around November 14, 2011. The winner will be announced 10-14 days after the winning photo has been selected. The Winner will be informed via email and the prize will be release within two weeks of the announcement. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

By entering the contest, contestants are automatically signed up for the weekly Crane & Co. e-newsletter.

The winner will receive a promotional code via email that he/she will be able to apply to the selection of 100 cards of his/her choice from our digital holiday photo card collection. The estimated value of this prize is $200.00. The 100 cards must be of the same design and must use the same photo as submitted for the contest. Crane & Co. reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. The winner may not exchange the prize for cash or any other merchandize or service. The winner will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize.

Contestants are granting Crane & Co. an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to use your entry in connection with the contest and feature your entry and all its content in connection with the contest in all media (now known or hereafter developed). Contestants agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights contestants grant above. Contestants will not receive any compensation or credit for use of their entry, other than as described in these terms and conditions.

The potential winner will be required sign an affidavit of eligibility, a liability/publicity release and other documentation. If the potential winner does not and return these required forms within the time period stated on the winner notification message, Crane & Co. may disqualify that person and select an alternate winner.

Crane & Co. is not responsible for any unauthorized use of contestants.

By entry this contest, each contestant is, to the extent allowed by law, releasing and holding harmless Crane & Co., Inc and its subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability arising from or in connection with the contest or any prize won.

You are not eligible to participate in the contest if you are an employee or an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of Crane & Co. or any of its subsidiaries, or a person involved in any part of the administration or execution of the contest.

Crane & Co.ters related to this Contest. The contest is void in Puerto Rico and wherever else prohibited by law.

Crane & Co. + Mother Nature = BFFs


paper cottonAs a famous frog once said, “It isn’t easy being green.”

But we like to think Kermit has since changed his mind. After all, one doesn’t have to stray far from his lily pad to find 7th generation cleansers, recycled paper towels and organic produce.

But enough about what’s under your sink and in your fridge, what about the little luxuries in life you look forward to so much? Being eco-friendly is something Crane & Co. has always prided itself on, and – not to toot our own environmental horn, but, okay, sure — we kind of did it without even knowing it.

Back when breeches and mutton chops were a la mode – 1801 to be exact — Zenus Crane began making paper using recovered cotton and linen fibers.

Allow us to provide you with a brief explanation of the two ways we make 100 percent cotton paper. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz at the end, though you might want to tuck this away for future cocktail party fodder:

During the cotton ginning process, the highest quality fibers are chosen to make textiles, but a lot of fiber doesn’t ‘make the cut,’ and that’s where Crane & Co. comes in. We take those leftover fibers, called linters – a name given to the tiny fibers that stick to the cottonseed – and turn them into some mighty fine paper.

The other way we make our paper is by collecting the excess trimmings from cotton broadcloth used for textiles.

During the actual paper-making process, a few details that should inspire sweet dreams in which you’re writing beautiful thank-you notes by the boxful:

* Our wastewater treatment plant makes sure the only thing going in the Housatonic River is the occasional canoe.
* We purchase more than 70 percent of our energy needs from a facility – which we helped create — that burns our papermaking residuals.
* We mix some of our residuals with municipal leaf and lawn waste to make topsoil.
* We’re in the process of developing alternative energy resources, such as a biodiesel facility, biomass energy facility and hydroelectric power plant.

As far as trees, well, they do have their purpose: hanging hammocks, providing picnic shade and accommodating squirrels.

Crane & Co.’s New Personalized Stationery Collection: Sneak a Peek

  Christmas in July, at least for paper-philes (and you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog if you weren’t), has arrived. Well, almost. Think of it as New Stationery Eve, as the paper elves have been very busy at Crane & Co. recently, and tomorrow we’ll unveil our new personalized stationery collection.  Yes, like proud expecting parents, we’re a little biased, but we must say, we’re smitten. Ah, there is so much we want to share with you about our new collection, but you’ll just have to block out some quality time to browse it in its entirety yourself. In the meantime, we got a sneak peek (it’s amazing what a box of chocolates and notes gushing with praise can do) of some of our delicious new offerings, and, well, we’re terrible at keeping secrets.

What we can tell you without getting our paper privileges revoked, is that this collection has taken Crane & Co.’s classic hand craftsmanship – which is what we like to think our admirers adore about us the most – and given it a fresh new twist. Not like a laser beams and holograms kind of twist, but rather design offerings that get more personal than ever before – without making you blush, of course.

But enough of being abstract, a few new features you can look forward to in the new stationery collection are:

  • New monograms (hand drawn, of course) that even the most fashion-forward scribe will fall for.
  • Bright, bold new hues for not only the paper itself but the edges as well. Dandelion, Persian blue, hibiscus – we suggest playing ‘She’s a Rainbow’ by the Rolling Stones at full blast when crafting such colorful correspondence.
  • Personal cards (i.e. calling cards) for new moms, singles, artists and anyone else whose networking style is more whimsical than Windsor Knot.

It’s all very exciting, in fact, we’re pretty sure visions of lettering styles and envelope linings will be dancing in our heads tonight. If we can even fall asleep, that is.