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
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The Making Of: Our 2012 Holiday Photo Cards

When we decided to design our first digital holiday photo card collection last season, the idea was to offer options that kept to our high craftsmanship standards. Even though digitally printed, we wanted our Enthusiasts to feel confident that they were still sending Crane & Co. A pleasing-to-the-touch card stock and classic design accomplished that task quite nicely, we thought.

plaid red and green photo card inspiration

This year, we’re holding true to those standards while upping our design game, offering five new collections, each inspired by our classic aesthetic yet possessing its own distinct palette.

“As we sat down to design the 2013 Digital Holiday Collection,” recalls VP of Creative and Product Development Rachel V. Ivey, “we wanted to capture the many ways to express your personality, knowing that the photograph should really steal the show.”

silver holiday photo cards

With that said, our hope is that we’ve created designs that delight as well as compliment every picture worth gracing a photo card.

  • Tartan Tidings

red plaid holiday photo card

Red, green, gold and cranberry, along with a touch of the deep blues and greens of a Black Watch pattern, make this collection a classic holiday.

  • Vintage Cheer

Classic holiday imagery is combined with pinks and bright greens inspired by old time confectionary icons to give an added pop of color to traditional reds and greens.

  • Silver Linings

The primary color is silver with accents of red and green throughout. The silver is reminiscent of the glistening snow and makes a great accent for that great winter photograph.

  • Yule Jewel

Inspired by rich jewel tones, Yule Jewel pulls together a collection of these vibrant gems — emeralds, rubies, sapphires and garnets — to create dazzling holiday designs.

  • New Year’s

new year's eve holiday photo cardWe intended to capture the design elements in silver and gold to mimic the sparkle of a New Year’s Eve celebration. The designs in this grouping echo this glimmering color palette.

But wait, there’s more! Our entire digital photo card collection is available online and through your local retailer.

Need more holiday photo card suggestions or etiquette tips? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

The Making Of: Our Holiday Coastal Collection

engraved coastal adirondack chairs holiday greeting cardA White Christmas is a magical thing. Sleds, snowmen, bunny slopes. However, our friends who enjoy ocean breezes and tennis in December have a quite a magical thing going, too.

To celebrate twinkling lights strung around palm trees and Christmas dinner on the dock, we offer our Coastal holiday card series. This year, four new hand-engraved designs were added to create a more well-rounded collection.

New hues, new imagery, new inspiration: Here’s a peek inside The Making Of our new Coastal designs.

  • Colors

coastal holiday card color inspiration“The colors chosen reflect our traditional red and gold, which you will see throughout the designs,” said VP of Creative & Product Development Rachel V. Ivey, “but we’ve added brighter greens as well as a pop color, pink and a metallic blue to add visual interest to the designs.”

We punched up the green on our Adirondack Chairs to liven up the greenery…

engraved adirondack chairs holiday greeting card

On the Coastal Doorway, we pulled in a bluish green hue that is more representative of coastal greenery…

engraved coastal doorway holiday greeting card

The Flamingos are a pop of pink that is very close to our Hibiscus stock

engraved coastal flamingos holiday greeting card

For the Glass Buoy, we used an amazing metallic blue that is a custom mix that gives this design some extra glitz…

engraved coastal buoy holiday greeting card

  • Imagery & Inspiration

engraved coastal holiday cards imagery inspirationShells, greenery and, of course, the beach were all images used to inspire the artist, who ultimately created a collection of designs that will appeal to our customers in the coastal regions of the country — as well as anyone who simply years for a season with sand in her toes.

Need help selecting your holiday cards? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Post Script: The Gracious Girl

Mindy Lockard, aka The Gracious Girl, can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in etiquette. The former finishing school graduate began spreading the gracious gospel professionally nine years ago, pontificating on everything from dinner party manners to interview poise. Here, she speaks to us about her college pen pal, e-mail formality and why she’s always touchy-feely with her paper.

mindy lockard the gracious girl
How did you end up teaching etiquette?
It was just after I had my first daughter, Elle. A friend — who knew I had gone to finishing school as a child — asked if I would teach her daughter. At first I declined, but then after I thought about the life lessons I wanted to give my own child — confidence and kindness — I knew that spreading the word about manners was exactly where I wanted to focus my attention.
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Less Work, More Play: Labor Day Stationery Favorites

As a 211-year-old American company, one of our favorite holidays of the year is certainly Labor Day. Created to celebrate all of the hard work our labor force has done for this country, Labor Day is rightfully a time to kick back, relax and, well, not labor at all.

So in honor of backyard barbeques, the coldest of beverages and a game of horseshoes or two, here are our favorite stationery picks that remind us of less work and more play.

Get in a morning match or two with friends before temperatures begin to soar. Winner gets the first mimosa…

gold engraved tennis racquet notesOr perhaps a sunrise ride, when all is still quiet and the air is crisp and dewy, is the perfect start to a day off…

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Golden Years: Grandparents Day Gift Ideas

Grandparents Day is just around the corner (September 9th, to be exact), so in honor of Grammy, Pop-pop, Nana, Grampy and Mee-maw, here are our favorite gifts for the people who always seem to have an abundance of affection and baked goods ready when you arrive.

  • For the Senior Socialite

Bridge night. Cocktails at the Elk’s Lodge. Your birthday. For the grandparents with the oh so active social calendar, a personalized 2013 agenda is a perfect gift. Pencil in dinner reservations at their favorite restaurant — which you made ahead of time, of course — for an extra hug.

personalized calling card

The grandchildren are always welcome — when Grammy and Pop-pop aren’t attending a social at the club or squeezing in 18 before Sunday brunch. They’re always in the market for a few good friends, and so calling cards would be a wonderfully welcome gift.
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Post Script: Donovan Beeson

Donovan Beeson loves a good ka-thunk: that sound one hears as the mail drops into the postbox. As the co-founder of the Letter Writers Alliance — an organization dedicated to, among other things, providing letter writing tools as well as pen pals — she hears that sound quite often. Here, Beeson talks to us about “goodie boxes,” her motley crew of pen pals and her position on supermarket stamps.

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
I’ve always loved sending and receiving mail. I can remember my maternal grandmother sending what she called “goodie boxes” to our house at every holiday. They were simple collections of candy and small toys, but everything was magical because it was wrapped up special and came in a box. Now, I’m the one who sends the boxes of goodies and I like it just as much being the sender as being the receiver.

How did the LWA come to be?
My business partner Kathy started her stationery business 16 Sparrows in 2003. I came on to help with production when she started graduate school, and together we evolved the business into something less like a business and more like a lifestyle. In 2007, we started the Letter Writers Alliance because the most common statement we would receive was that people loved our stationery but “no one writes letters anymore.” We decided to create a network so that all of those letter lovers would be able to write to each other and no mailbox would ever go hungry again.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people — I have met so many different, interesting and thoroughly engaging human beings through letters. In my return pile right now is an active duty soldier, a 12-year-old equestrian, a retired engineer, a teacher returning to work soon and so many more. I get to see slices of life that I would know nothing about, direct from their sources. I love it.
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In Celebration Of: The At-home Card

at home card personalized wedding stationeryThere was a time when the honeymoon was a grand adventure that often involved steamer trunks, dressing for the dining car and plenty of newly acquired couples’ stationery to keep in touch with friends and family from afar.

We like to think the latter accouterment is still in favor, even though the honeymoon has become a less extravagant post-wedding affair for most newlyweds. Whether a couple indulges in a two-week African safari or a weekend getaway to the Vineyard, there is one piece of wedding stationery we still find quite charming: the at-home card.

Traditionally, a couple would send at-home cards before leaving on a honeymoon that would keep them away oftentimes for a month, sometimes longer. Even though honeymoons are shorter today, an at-home card is still a lovely way to make family and friends aware of your new address.

Included with the wedding invitation or marriage announcements, at-home cards are small enclosure cards that match the card stock, lettering style and ink color of your invitations. They alert people of the address at which you will be residing and the date after which you will be there (most couples use the date on which they return from their honeymoon). Many couples now include their phone numbers and email addresses on their at-home cards.

The wording for at-home cards sent with announcements is different from the wording for at-home cards sent with the invitations. At-home cards sent with announcements show your names together as “Mr. and Mrs.” Since you are already married when they are sent. When sent with invitations, your names are not used since you are not yet married and cannot use “Mr. and Mrs.”

While the principal purpose of at-home cards is to let people know your new address, when sent with announcements they can also let people know that you have chosen to continue to use your maiden name. Your name appears on the first line, followed your husband’s name on line two. The remainder of the card reads as it normally would. Since you could have presented yourself as “Mrs.” bud did not, it will be assumed that you are still using your maiden name.

At-home cards are not gift-request cards and should never be interpreted as such.

Instead, think of at-home cards like the change-of-address cards you might send when you move. They simply announce your new address and are a great convenience for anyone who wants to keep in touch with you — which will certainly give you a chance to use that new personalized stationery.

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

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.

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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!