Latest trends in fine stationery, custom invitations and announcements from the Stationers Guild

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

In anticipation of a strong wedding season, William Arthur announced a new wedding stationery promotion.  Order 75 or more personalized pieces of wedding stationery and receive an additional 25 free.  This exceptional offer is a boon to budget-conscious bridal couples.  William Arthur is well known for its exceptional range of wedding papers and fine stationery.  If you are planning a wedding, we would heartily recommend taking a look at William Arthur’s Wedding Volumes I and II, Vera Wang Weddings and the attractively-priced Rita Renning.  I think we are all going to be in for a real treat, since Volume II has the latest William Arthur designs and will be shipped out to qualified dealers only on January 5th.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

William Arthur is once again offering a great promotional offer on their beautiful line of personalized stationery.  Between January 5th and February 28th, order 100 or more notes, correspondence cards or letter sheets and your return address will be printed free of charge on the envelope.  William Arthur has one of the most extensive lines of personalized correspendence in the United States.  Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood for more details.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Known for its distinctive style and playful designs, Lallie is one of the most sought after holiday card lines.  In fact, Lallie generally turns away all new orders well before the end of November.  This year, you can get a leg up on holiday stress for next year and save 20% by ordering now from their stunning 2008 Holiday Card Album.  This special promotion qualifies for all orders submitted by February 1st, 2009.  In addition, Lallie is also providing a free return address on all stationery orders in January.  Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood who carries the Lallie line for more details.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

One of the most eagerly awaited events of the year is Crane & Co.’s signature die sale for personalized stationery.  Receive free custom engraving dies (a $96 value) or free thermography (a $58 value) on your envelopes when you purchase one hundred of Crane’s 100% cotton notes, cards or sheets plus envelopes.  This sale runs from January 3rd through February 17th.  Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood to learn more about this exceptional sale.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

This has been one of those “short” holiday seasons with only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  With the downward spiral in the economy and the usual holiday stress, many of us have been hard-pressed to get our Christmas cards and holiday photo cards out on time.  As stationers, we are frequently asked ”when is the appropriate time to send out Christmas cards?”

I am not sure that there is a hard rule-of-thumb, but we generally recommend that you purchase your Christmas cards or holiday cards before the end of November.  Ideally, you should buy your personalized holiday cards in August and September when most Guild member stores offer promotional discounts.   While many believe that your card should arrive before Christmas, we have found that cards arriving after Christmas and well into the New Year have just as much significance.  In fact, the three Kings arrived 12 days after the birth of Jesus.

Three Kings from William Arthur

While this might strike some as over-rationalization, I maintain that it makes perfect sense.  Epiphany is celebrated as the “gifting holiday” in many parts of the world.  Furthermore, who has time to read the cards until after Christmas?  Why create additional stress for yourself on this most holy of holidays?   Sending Christmas cards and photo cards of your family should be a joyful occasion.  Give yourself an extra week or so to get your cards out and use the extra time to spend some meaningful time with your family.

Richard May
Founding Member

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

On behalf of the members of the Stationers Guild, we would like to send our heartiest best wishes for a most happy holiday and prosperous New Year.  Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or simply the joys of season, we are hopeful that you are sharing these special days with family and friends.

Late this Christmas Eve day, I will hang the hand-painted Greenwich ornament and my husband Rick will hide two German pickles in the Christmas tree for our grown daughters to find on Christmas morning.  The rituals and family traditions of Christmas and, indeed, all religious holidays, continue to enrich our lives and those of others.

Hand-painted Greenwich Ornament

From snowy Greenwich, Connecticut we wish you peace, good health and most importantly:  Joy!

Sheila P. May
Founding Member

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

As a stationer, I am frequently asked whether engraved stationery is worth the extra money.  Certainly, there are less expensive alternatives and Guild stationers are sensitive to the budget constraints of their clients.   The politically correct answer is that one should evaluate the cost/benefit relationship to reach the proper decision for each person’s circumstances.  With the elections thankfully over, I think we can dispense with “political correctness” and, perhaps, ruffle a few feathers.

There is no question engraved stationery is significantly more distinguished than comparable stationery printed in thermographic inks or flat-printed (lithography).  One needs only to glance at a color palette at your local stationer to see the significant differences in the end result of using the same color ink on the same paper but employing a different printing process.  Engraved ink colors are opaque and the color  “true” when compared to alternative printing processes.

I realize that you can get 250 or more business cards printed at your local print shop or online for around $25.  While the paper stock may be a bit flimsy, the colors not as sharp, the font styles limited and the alignment questionable, the price seems right to many business people.  Most will argue that the objective is “to get my contact information out there:  It is what I do and who I represent that is important.  If the business card is cheap so much the better.”

While one can hardly argue with the need to keep business costs down, is this a false sense of economy?  I certainly think so.  Business cards, like good manners and proper dress say a lot about people.  If you a 30 second window to make an impression, you would like to so in style.   A well-designed business card on heavy stock paper will certainly give you a leg-up over 90% of your potential competition to make that positive first impression.  I find it surprising that small and medium size businesses spend thousands of dollars on attractive websites, logos and advertising yet skimp on business correspondence.

To stand out in today’s marketplace, we recommend selecting business stationery that is at least one step above that of your peers.  The objective is to call attention to yourself and your business.  For instance, real estate brokers seem to all have highly-colored business cards with a photograph.  If you want to stand out from the pack, I would suggest dropping the photograph and getting a business card with a distinctive motif, perhaps engraved in a metallic ink such as gold or copper. Sure, that engraved business card may set you back a $1.00 a card, but it could your ticket to an important business relationship.  With first class postage at $0.42, it seems like a steal.

Whether you need engraved letterhead is a question that is best analyzed with the help of your neighborhood stationer.  If you use more than one color in your logo or business correspondence, engraved stationery becomes prohibitively expensive.  Before commissioning a logo, meet with your stationer to consider how colors and designs will impact on your stationery costs.  By seeking wise counsel early and taking advantage of promotional offers, engraved stationery need not be a cost barrier to creating distinctive business stationery.

Richard May
Founding Member

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

There is no question that over the past five years there has been a resurgence in letterpress printing.  Within the industry many considered it to be a “West Coast thing,” but it is now widely embraced for its creative designs and beautiful papers.  In fact, the rush to letterpress is so strong that Crane & Co. has recently released a Wedding Album that features only letterpress designs.

While letterpress is often a favored printing option for wedding invitations and social stationery, it is not widely used for business stationery.  Certainly, letterpress business cards are increasingly popular among fashion, designer and artistic circles, but it is unusual to find businesses that use letterpress for letterhead stationery.  Certainly, there is no reason why one shouldn’t build their business stationery ensemble around letterpress printing.  It is beautiful, fashionable and most printers use 100% cotton paper to achieve a deep impression.

Companies that come to mind that regularly provide letterpress stationery for business are Crane & Co., William Arthur and Hitchcock Press.  Many other leading design firms would certainly be willing to work with you to design your letterpress ensemble.  To achieve a deep impression, we strongly recommend using 32# paper.  Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood to learn more about letterpress business stationery.

Sheila May
Found Member

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

I was recently drawn to a news article published December 4, 2008 in the New York Times entitled “How Green Can a Christmas Trees Be?“  The article strongly suggests that buying a Christmas tree free of pesticides and fungicides is like finding a needle in a haystack.  The article infers that the vast majority of the 31 million trees sold in the United States last year contain some form of chemical treatment.

As stationers, we are sensitive to environmental concerns and monitor evolving trends in the industry.  Many of the leading boutique design firms have clear environmental guidelines on the materials used in producing fine stationery and custom invitations.  This is particularly true for many firms that design letterpress wedding invitations.  Many insist on using only papers produced from organically grown cotton and most have shifted from using oil-based inks to vegetable inks.  Smock Paper has gone one step further in producing beautiful letterpress invitations from bamboo.

Letterpress on Bamboo by Smock Paper

Having attended several conferences on the environment, I must sadly conclude this is a complex subject and that there are many shades of “green” when it comes to intelligent debate.   What disturbs me the most is the vast number of unsubstantiated claims made by merchandisers anxious to get on the “green” bandwagon.  Scot Case of TerraChoice Environmental Marketing described Six Sins of Greenwash at a business conference last summer.

As consumers, we want to be seduced by the notion that we are “doing the right thing for the environment” by using recycled paper for wedding invitations.  Don’t you feel cheated when you find out that only 30% comes from recycled paper? Did you stop to consider that paper made from cotton and recycled cotton rag from textiles mills has been a “green” choice for over 200 years?  Granted, the carbon footprint left behind by the production of paper and the use of pesticides and herbicides are serious concerns, but one needs to step back from the green “hype” or “Greenwash” and make decisions on what you see in front of you.  As Scot Case of TerraChoice says, “all decisions you make inevitably leaves a carbon footprint, the real challenge is to make the ones that are less harmful to the environment.”

Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood to learn more about how you can make informed decisions about the environment.  Choosing a green wedding invitation may not be as difficult as you thought.

Friday, December 5th, 2008

With this holiday season shaping up as one of the most frugal on record, most holiday shoppers will intuitively pare back their spending.  In some cases they will search for less expensive substitutes and in others they will simply postpone major expenditures.

Personal stationery is an excellent holiday gift for family members of all ages.  It’s never too early to encourage your children to develop their correspondence skills. Both Christmas and Hanukkah are important holidays to communicate with distant friends and family.  Regardless of your current economic situation, most Guild member stores have a wide selection of boxed cards and notes for every budget.

A printed monogram letter for your first or last name on a fold-over note or correspondence card is often sufficient for the younger members in your family.  Alternatively, ask your stationer to personalize the boxed stationery by adding a name or monogram.  In fact, with a minimum of level of technical skill you can do it yourself with an ink-jet printer.  Just make sure that the card stock is marked “imprintable” and the paper is sufficiently light-weight (no more than 96#) to go through your printer.

If your wife or husband is looking for something more substantial, we recommend personalized stationery.  While this is generally a more expensive proposition, you have an almost infinite variety of personalization and printing options.  With so many possibilities, we often recommend during the holiday season to buy a box of stationery and enclose a gift certificate for your spouse to select their own personalized stationery in the new year.  This has two major advantages.  First, your spouse will custom design the stationery that suits their tastes and personality.  Secondly, most of the major stationery lines have sales promotions in January.  Who knows, you may get a free engraving die ($96 value) from Crane & Co. or a free return address on your envelope from William Arthur.

Richard May
Founding Member

Related Posts