The Making Of: Our 2012 Personalized Holiday Card Collection

It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. So when our design team finally unveils the new collection of personalized holiday cards, it feels like, well, Christmas.

We must say they’ve quite outdone themselves this year, keeping with a classic, traditional look and color palette that showcases our elegant design and craftsmanship so well.

“This year we dipped into our archives to celebrate our heritage,” said VP of Creative and Product Development Rachel V. Ivey. “It has been great to look back at traditional American Christmas of the past.”

Here’s how our 2012 Personalized Holiday Collection came to be…

  • Colors

personalized holiday card colors

Our design team achieved the classic, traditional look of our distinguished holiday cards by using a core palette of Hunter green, medium gold and red. A hint of shimmering platinum adds an additional metallic to the mix.

  • Inspiration

personalized holiday card inspiration

Home decor and botanicals have provided inspiration for many of our cards throughout the years. It reminds us of our own homes during the holidays. For example, the Holiday Door design — new for this year — was inspired by the home of an employee.

engraved holiday door card

The wreath below is an example of taking vintage art and altering it for a whole new look. For 2012, we enlarged the design and printed in three-color letterpress with foil accents on our Lettra® paper.

engraved wreath holiday card

Many of the designs this year were enhanced by using multi-level model dies. The use of these dies in the engraving process gives added dimension to the card. The Classic Wreath is an excellent example of how a model die can make a beautiful design look even more dramatic.

“Christmas is a great season for Crane to showcase all of our incredible processes,” said Ivey. “We love our classic designs for which consumers come back year after year.”

Life’s richer with friends, so let’s stay in touch! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Christmas in July: Gift Ideas for (Almost) Everyone on Your List

Dear Christmas,

Though we are thoroughly enjoying the beach and afternoon treats of the frozen variety, we simply can’t wait for snowmen and partridges in pear trees. In the meantime, we’ll start preparing for your arrival.

Love & Letters,

Crane & Co.

It goes without saying, but the holidays and gifts are two of our favorite things here at Crane & Co. Luckily, the time to enjoy both will be here before we know it. In celebration of Christmas in July, and because getting an early start on one’s holiday shopping is always a good thing, here are our picks for everyone on your list.

Stocking Stuffers for the Staff
It is said that the best gift is an item one would never buy for his/herself. Personalized stationery is (all too) often one of those items. For the boss, a set of personalized note cards for her dedicated employees is certainly the perfect way to express genuine gratitude.

personalized correspondence cards

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Mother’s Day Missives: Advice from Our Own Moms

Without the help of many outstanding women, Crane & Co. wouldn’t be the esteemed company it is today. She hand-borders personalized notes and cards with meticulous care. She speaks with customers to make sure each and every order is exactly what they’d hoped for and more. They letterpress. They design. They crunch numbers.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked our female staffers to recall their favorite quotes from their own mothers, grandmothers & even great-grandmothers. What transpired were missives on everything from fellows and fashion to dreams and decorum.

Enjoy, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Peggy Driggers, Merle Bottoms & Willie Chalker
mother, grandmother & great-grandmother of Gayle Driggers, Product Development
crane & co. mother's day

 

  •  “When you educate a mother, you educate a family.”
  • “Attitudes are more important than facts.”
  • “On a galloping horse, who’s going to notice?”
  • “If two people agree on everything, then one of them’s not necessary.”

From Gayle: “In all my years, I never got a card or letter from my grandmother (Merle Bottoms) on behalf of herself and daddy Jim (my grandfather) that didn’t end with the phrase ‘We love you and are so proud of you.’

This has sustained me and many members of my family during times good and bad. A few years ago, after she died at the age of 97, I scanned an old letter and printed the phrase (on Crane paper, of course) and framed it for my siblings and cousins so we can be reminded of their love for us.”

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Smooth Sale-ing: Our 5 Favorite Clearance Items

Every year, after the gifts have been wrapped and the mulled wine poured, we’re tasked with making way for delightfully new items in our digital showroom. Which means taking a look into Crane & Co. past to curate a selection of stationery, cards and other notions for our Clearance Sale. To whet your shopping appetite, here are our favorite five items on sale at the moment. But you should certainly peruse the entire collection, as we’re sure you’ll find something you just can’t live without.

Kate Spade Lincoln Road Peacock Wallet

We love this crinkled patent leather wallet ($50) by kate spade nyc because it's inspired by on of our favorite thoroughfares: South Beach's Lincoln Road. The only thing missing is Don Johnson & a speedboat.

Letterpress Cheers and Clink Coasters

It's never too early to start planning your spring & summer soirees (we can feel the sunshine just thinking about it). We think your mojitos will look lovely on these orange, pink, aqua & green letterpress coasters ($4.75) from our Studio collection.

Foil Stamp Spectacles Note Cards

Jackie O. Buddy Holly. I.M. Pei. They say the spectacles make the man (or woman), and we couldn't agree more. Which is why we love this collection of notecards featuring fanciful specs.

Gold Bordered Place Cards

Table that seats 20? Check. Signature cocktail? Check. Vintage Halston dress? Check. Like Jay Gatsby, you adore a fanciful dinner party. The perfect touch for which is a gold-bordered place card ($12 per package) at each seat.

Letterpress 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Cards

Understated elegance never goes out of style. Trust these letterpress '12 Days of Christmas' Holiday Cards will be every bit as charming come December 2012.

Thank You Note Etiquette: How to be Wonderfully Gracious on Paper

Thank You NoteMy, what lovely loot. You must have been very good this year. Now that the wrapping paper has been cleared away and the stockings stored ‘til next year, it’s time to thank everyone who wrote your name on a gift tag.

Here are our etiquette tips on how to craft the perfect Thank You Note.

Say it with style. Your Thank You Notes should reflect your aesthetic, whether it’s classic, romantic, minimalist or modern. The recipient of said note should know who it’s from even before he/she reads a word.

Be gracious in a timely manner. Thank You Notes should be sent out as soon as possible after you receive the gift. One to two weeks is the sweet spot, as your note should be a thoughtful gesture, not a reminder for what was given.

Give credit where credit is due. Make sure to address your Thank You Note to the person or persons who gave you the gift. If the gift was signed from your friend and her husband, your note should address both individuals (even if you know she “did all the work”). Everyone likes to feel appreciated, after all.

Name drop. Mention the gift you received by name. It may seem like a small detail, but in an era of generic, automated emails, it’s nice to receive something that is personalized just for you.

Go the extra descriptive mile. Everyone hopes that the gift they give isn’t going to collect dust, destined for the Goodwill bag when Spring Cleaning comes around. Prevent such worry with a sentence or two about how/when/where you might use the gift and how excited you are to do so.

Let’s practice, shall we?

Dear Lindsay, Jeff and Gabriel,

Thank you so much for the gorgeous silk Hermes scarf. You know my taste so well! I can’t wait to wear it out to dinner with Barrett, it really is the perfect accessory for a lovely night out in the city. I hope all is well, much love to you all.

Truly,
Olivia

Our Staff’s Favorite Things: Holiday Gifts, Part Two

In Part Two of our “Staff’s Favorite Things” roundup, thick, rich stock and simple luxury are the names of the gift giving game.

letterpress calling cardPeter, Crane & Co. Guru: “A social card letter pressed on extra heavyweight Crane’s Lettra. It starts a conversation every time, and they’ll never lose your number.”
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Our Staff’s Favorite Things: Holiday Gifts, Part One

Here at Crane & Co., it isn’t unusual to find a staff member taking great pleasure — the kind usually reserved for dark chocolate and Swedish massages — in running their fingers over a newly printed piece of stationery. The thick, 100% cotton stock. The rich ink. The intricately engraved and letter pressed designs. It never gets old.

That said, what one of our Customer Service representatives adores and what a member of our Product Development team loves are as different as ecruwhite and hibiscus. Just in time for the holidays, here are our staff picks:

Pearl White Multi-Lingual Globe Thank You NotesLinda, Life Organizer Extraordinaire: “I love sending and receiving Thank You cards. Even though this card communicates the message in many diverse languages,  the meaning is universally the same.”
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How To Take the Perfect Holiday Photo Card Picture

By Amie Otto, Photographer Extraordinaire

As the temperature drops, our thoughts inevitably turn to the holidays. The decorations, the family dinners and then the stress creeps in… it’s time for another holiday photo for your card! Relax, it’s not as hard as it may seem. Gather the family, find a photographer and remember these elements that make a great family photo.

Togetherness
Family photos should have a sense of connection. Typically, this is through touching: holding hands, hugging, leaning on one another. But sometimes it can be as simple as a look between the parents.

ami otto family portrait

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The Picture Perfect Holiday Photo Card Contest: Meet the Judges

We searched high and low for experts to judge our Picture Perfect Holiday Photo Card Contest. Experts who would know a great holiday photo when they saw one and critique with a discerning eye by asking the hard questions. Does everyone actually look happy? Is anyone wearing a South Park t-shirt? Does it look like there’s a tree growing out of dad’s head? Our esteemed panel includes an etiquette guru, a kid-savvy editor, a photographer extraordinaire and a paper connoisseur. Let’s meet them, shall we? Continue reading