Just imagine how you feel when you pull a stack of bills and advertisement flyers out of your mailbox and your eyes spy a lovely envelope that is hand-addressed to you. You know that it is something special.
A personal note on a nice piece of stationery can be priceless. But, a complete stationery wardrobe is not just reserved for Southern girls: Everyone should have a beautiful set. It is as much a part of expressing your personality and style as the shoes that you select for an outfit. Do not take it too seriously, though, because just like shoes, there are many choices in many price ranges. You must select a style of paper, a color for paper and ink. Then there are the thousands of choices for type style and many options for personalization. Did I mention the weight and quality of paper? It can go on and on, but it is so fun!!
I visited with Jennifer Hodges, owner of Merry Times, a Savannah stationery boutique, to get a few tips on how to assemble the perfect stationery wardrobe. “Your stationery should reflect both your personality and the type of correspondence that you are sending,” advises Hodges. “Wedding thank-you notes are formal, therefore, if you are thanking someone for a gift, you would write on a half-sheet or ‘informals.’”
Let’s quickly review several styles of paper that are available:
Half-sheet: This is a formal and traditional type of paper that has a fold along the left-hand side. It must be folded again to fit into a smaller envelope. It can be engraved with a monogram or name, and it is perfect for replying to invitations and notes of sympathy and gratitude.
Informals: These horizontal folded cards are good for short notes, thank-you notes, expressing sympathy and replying to invitations. They may also be personalized. Although called informals, they are actually used for more formal correspondence.
Correspondence card: This is a flat card that is available in various sizes and styles. A correspondence card is perfect for informal kinds of communication. Hodges says, “It is more proper for a man to use a flat card than a folded note for his stationery needs.”
“Standard” paper: Measuring approximately 7 inches by 10 inches, “standard” paper folds twice to fit into an envelope. Only the first sheet is personalized, with matching blank sheets for additional text. The executive or business size is usually 7 1/4 inches by 10 1/2 inches.
Personalization adds a very nice touch. There are many choices of type styles and monograms, so my best advice is to see a professional that will match your needs and tastes to the styles that are available.
Below are a few options for personalization:
Engraving: Engraving is certainly more formal, but it can be very expensive. It is the finest type of printing and will give your stationery a very elegant feel. The printer creates a copper plate, or a die, that can be used over and over. The die lifts the type up and gives a three-dimensional look. I use the same die on several different styles of paper: my enclosure cards, my informals and my half-sheets.
Thermography: Thermography is a less expensive option for personalization. Hodges says that the quality of thermography has come a long way and it is a very good option. Thermography gives a raised appearance to the monogram but without the “bruising” or “pulling” of the paper that you see with engraving.
Letterpress: Letterpress is an old form that has recently become more popular. The lettering is literally pressed into the paper, but, the paper has to be soft enough to be pressed. Hodges describes letterpress as a “very lovely and formal look.” Letterpress is generally priced between engraving and thermography.
Laser: Laser printing is a good choice for casual stationery. It is the least expensive option. If you are creative and if you use a good paper, you can create a nice look for a reasonable price.
I love the feel of beautiful paper. There are a plethora of types and weights of papers that you can choose. Hodges believes that the finest papers are made of natural fibers. The selection of the perfect paper will depend on its use.
Things to Remember:
As always, thanks for reading.