History of Type and Design Through Engraving Dies

Over the past several days, the folks at Crane’s Personal Design Services (where they do the engraving and thermography) have been sorting through old engraving dies to make some room. Gayle Driggers, product manager for personalized stationery, and I had a blast first going through two 50-gallon drums filled with handcut steel engraving dies. We didn’t count, but there were thousands.

Some we’re going to save for their historic significance. I’ll find a place for them in the Crane Museum of Papermaking. Others will be used for design inspiration or to create “retro” engraving motifs. And then there are the monograms. In those two drums, in hundreds of large flat drawers. Thousands and thousands of monograms dating from the beginning of the 20th century.

There is a complete century of type, monogram and stationery design just begging for attention.


So we’ll be thinking about what to do with these beautiful little pieces of art and history. Maybe you’ll even see them as paperweights on crane.com. Who knows?
Have a look at some of the fun things we found. Pardon the dirty fingers. More to follow.

My favorite, so far……

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