The Stationers Guild

Archive for 2011

Online Personalized Wedding Invitations

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Internet research is usually a easy and fast approach to finding advice. Yet, the amount of available information and facts are so extensive it is not easy to evaluate what information and facts are important. For example you can find more than 20 million search results of the keyword phrase “wedding invitations” on the web. Exactly how many of these search results are useful? Can you truly determine if the content you’re getting is informative or simply a sales pitch?

Crane Wedding Invitation Detail

Found below are a few very simple tactics that you may possibly wish to consider before purchasing your wedding invitations online.

Online Wedding Invitations Primer to help save You Money and use Your Time Wisely

  1. Reduce Your Online Search with Qualifiers: Instead of using a vast key word phrase like “wedding invitations” attempt something that lowers the breadth of your search. As an example, “engraved wedding invitations,” or “custom invitations” will substantially limit the number of Google search results and possibly lead you toward better options for finding the wedding invitation of your dreams.
  2. Use your local Search Qualifier: There really is a widespread perception that searching online will give you more desirable tips to assist you craft your wedding invitation. This just isn’t the way it is: search outcomes for something as custom made as wedding invitations are often skewed in the direction of those internet promotion companies that have done a far better job optimizing their internet site for search. The past CEO of Google refers to the internet to be the “cesspool of information.” One technique for countering this deceptive information is to introduce a zip code qualifier. For example, if you are living in the New York City area, enter the search keyword phrase “New York wedding invitations” in the Google search bar and you should find nearby stationery dealers in your area that specialize in letterpress stationery and customized invitations.
  3. Check for save the date invitations which are also made available through independently owned retailers: One method of soon establishing whether you are dealing with a dependable firm online is if they also sell through recognized local store merchants. Printing firms that distribute their products through independent dealers tend to have an established reputation in the industry and provide their customers the opportunity to shop in your neighborhood or online. This is a clear sign that you’re not working with a johnny-come-lately printer.

Whether or not you want to shop locally or order online, make sure that you think about your choices carefully. If you want a totally special wedding invitation, it’s best to buy with an experienced stationer where you live.

Sheila May is a founding member of the Stationer Guild and writes often about save the date card trends and online wedding invitations.

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Should gift registry information be shown on your wedding invitation?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Wedding etiquette specialists of late have experienced renewed controversy on whether or not the gift registry information may be printed on a wedding invitation. The easy and proper response is: “Of course not!” One seasoned stationer who alleges to have worked with countless young couples to make custom wedding invitations asserts that “not one has chosen to add a bridal gift registry or website on their wedding invitation. It’s tacky, offensive and simply poor etiquette.”

Julie Holcomb Letterpress Directions Card

Proposing a gift item or financial contribution in your wedding invitation diminishes the importance of the celebration. Although many believe that it is “convenient” to provide bridal registry information on the wedding invitation, convenience is no substitute for proper etiquette and good taste. Why don’t you just pick-up the telephone, call the parents of the bride or the bridal pair and extend your best wishes then simply ask where they’re registered. It is simple, quite personal and it has worked effectively for many years.

In a great many instances, bridal couples will send a save the date announcement which might include things like travel and lodging suggestions. If you plan to create a wedding website, it is now thought to be suitable to add the website address within the save the date card or within the supportive wedding papers.

Many will argue that this protocol or etiquette is old-fashioned. Quite the opposite, good manners is never out of place. When we continue to stress “convenience” and “efficiency” in orchestrating our interpersonal relationships, we strip the enjoyment and majesty from these milestone occasions within our lives.

To put it briefly, including gift registry details in your wedding invitation isn’t recommended and, indeed, numerous guests are likely to consider doing it vulgar and inappropriate. There are plenty of ways to bypass that problem with good planning.

Sheila May is the owner of Therese Saint Clair and writes frequently about wedding invitations in the New York Metro area and Save the Date Cards.

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Shopping wisely for wedding invitations

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Engaged couples browsing for wedding invitations often tend to assume that paper quality is probably the most substantial price consideration when searching for an online wedding invitation. While the fine quality of the paper is very important, other things to consider like the printing method, amount of ink colors and additional touches frequently play a much more significant role in determining the end pricing of your personalized wedding invitations.

William Arthur Wedding Invitations

Many quality printers utilize cotton fibers, high-grade wood fiber that’s been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council or a combination of both cotton and wood-based fibers. Even though these papers tend to be of a superior quality than re-cycled papers that a great many promote as “tree-free, these high-quality papers frequently cost a tad bit more but are certainly worth the nominal premium. In addition, these papers are typically far more “environmentally-friendly” and substantial than most papers sold online that claim to be “green” or “tree-free.”

Vera Wang Wedding Invitation

Factors that tend to increase the price tag of printed wedding invitations are paper weight, colored papers and the number of ink colors used in printing the invitations.

Paper weight: Lots of wedding papers offered on the net are printed by commercial printers. Generally speaking, paper with a weight beyond 120 pounds can’t be sent by way of a commercial printer or ink-jet printer. Consequently, a weighty wedding invitation can only be printed using engraving, letterpress or, in some circumstances, with thermographic inks. This old fashioned printing method is likely to increase overall costs, but will generate a substantially more beautiful invitation.

Paper Color: Nearly all wedding invitations are printed on white or ecru colored papers making sure that ink colors resonate. Having said that, there is a movement in the direction of bold-colored papers. In these cases, only using a higher priced printing procedure like engraving seems to work to acquire the proper resolution between ink colors and darkly-colored papers.

Ink Colors: Whilst flat-printing, lithography and digital printing is effective with papers less than 120 pounds in weight, more old-fashioned printing procedures are necessary for more substantial papers. In such cases, each color needs to be applied in a separate press run, thus escalating prices.

When browsing locally for wedding invitations, it really is best to confer with an experienced stationer who will help you select the finest wedding invitation styles and papers for your expense plan.

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Crane Save the Date Cards

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The holidays are a most popular time for couples to get engaged. If you have decided to say “I do!” then it might be a wise idea to settle down early in the new year and plan your wedding. Found below is a short video highlighting some of the latest save the date cards and wedding invitations from Crane & Co.

For more information, visit a qualified stationer in your neighborhood of visit Crane online for additional information.

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Last days for Christmas Photo Cards

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

As a stationer, I am repeatedly questioned if digitally-reproduced Christmas photo greeting cards are “far better” over 4″x 6″ pictures attached to a personalized holiday photo card. There actually is no easy response to this question, however I will contribute a few observations that you will find helpful to take into account when reaching final decision.

While the printing quality of digital prints has improved appreciably, prints produced at photo shops still have a decided edge. This shouldn’t be unexpected given that commercially produced photographs are produced under optimum print conditions using paper stock created specifically to produce uniform high-quality prints. Though I have come across outstanding digital photos using high quality ink jet printers on specially formulated photo papers, this printing technique should be left to experts.with proper printing and developing equipment.

Digitally-reproduced Christmas personalized photo cards are often less expensive than photographs placed on Christmas greeting cards. The cost of digitally printed photo cards is usually a result of the paper weight and originality of the design and style the photo card templates. While many photo greeting cards seem like commercially made junk mail, a few leading design companies have stunning window frames to showcase your photograph.

There’s a widespread false impression that “it is more convenient” to pick a digital photo card over a traditional photomount holiday greeting card. This is certainly not the case. When you print digitally you possess an unlimited selection of color alternatives. We’ve all too often observed the annoyance than sets-in when a client is faced with countless design and color options to print their digital photographs. Engraved frames from reputable printing companies and designers are typically of much higher quality than the limited template selections offered by most online printers.

Crane & Co., two of the leading holiday photo card designers and printers, give the buyer a choice of using adhesive strips to mount your photographs or having the picture printed digitally on the very same top quality paper stock. The cost of both Crane’s and William Arthur’s holiday photo card is identical regardless of printing process is selected. While the standard of photo prints is superior to digitally reproduced pictures, printing your photo card digitally can save you time and $0.19 per photograph print.

To view the many printing options offered, we recommend that you contact a Guild member store in your area to determine which printing process works best for your family photograph this Christmas season.

Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair

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Last days for Holiday Photo Cards

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Being a stationer, I am repeatedly questioned if digital Christmas holiday photo greeting cards are “a lot better” compared to 4″x 6″ pictures mounted on a customized holiday photo card. There really isn’t any easy reply to this question, however I will share a couple of observations that could be useful take into consideration when making your choice.

While the print quality of digital prints has improved significantly, photos produced commercially continue to have an advantage. This is really not unexpected since commercially produced photographs are developed under the finest possible print conditions working with paper stock produced to make uniform quality photographs. Though I have come across outstanding digitally reproduced photos utilizing high definition printers on archival papers, producing quality prints should be left to experts.with the appropriate printing and developing equipment.

Digitally-printed Christmas holiday photo cards are generally less costly than photos placed on Seasonal greeting cards. The cost of digitally printed photo cards is generally a function of the paper quality and originality of the design and style the card templates. Although some photo cards seem like commercially manufactured junk mail, several quality printers and designers have exquisite window frames to showcase your photograph.

There exists a wide-spread misconception that “it’s easier” to decide on a digital Christmas card rather than a classic photomount holiday greeting card. This is certainly not the truth. When you make digital prints you possess an almost limitless array of coloring alternatives. We have frequently seen the stress than develops when a buyer is faced with a great number of design options to print their digital photographs. Engraved and printed frames from prominent printing companies and designers are usually of superior reproduction quality than the constrained web template alternatives provided by most online print companies.

William Arthur, two of the leading Christmas photo card designers and printers, give the consumer the option for using photo-mounts or having the picture imprinted digitally on the same high quality cardstock. The price of both Crane’s and William Arthur’s Christmas photo card is the same regardless of printing process is elected. While the quality of photo prints is preferable to digitally reproduced images, printing your photo card digitally can save you time and $0.19 per photo print.

To see the many printing options available, we suggest that you contact a Guild member store in your area to see which printing process works the best for your family photograph this holiday season.

Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair

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The Sophistication of Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The emergence of letterpress wedding stationery, letterpress save-the-date cards, birth announcements and letterpress stationery over the last ten years is not surprising. Affordable second-hand letterpress printers have helped a lot of gifted artisans and designers to apply their creativeness to produce beautiful wedding invitations and stationery using this very old printing process.

Oblation Letterpress Wedding Invitation

Similar to the printing process used for engraving, letterpress makes use of polymer or metal dies to “press” ink into soft papers, principally cotton. Each and every ink color is applied with a individual press run, which calls for persistence and much skill to have the close registration needed to accurately align colors and design images.

Oblation Letterpress Save the Date

Each May for the National Stationery Show in New York City, new letterpress vendors take center stage to market their latest styles. While letterpress was considered to be somewhat of a novelty some a few years back, the vast majority of recent letterpress printers and designers simply do not have the good taste, uniqueness and, in many cases, the talent and expertise to create pleasing letterpress invitations. The truth is, most of the “new” designs offer little that’s completely new. To be honest, the stationery marketplace is over loaded with letterpress.

Letterpress printers with deep traditions in the profession, including Julie Holcomb, Elum, Oblation, Press New York, Page and Real Card Studio are able to innovate and their firm hand and passion for the craft continues to raise the bar for letterpress printing.

While a few letterpress printers have migrated online, the majority of letterpress artisans market their product through knowledgeable retailers across the United States. Quoting pioneer Julie Holcomb, “If you are like most people, you have never ordered any kind of custom printing prior to ordering your wedding invitations. You can benefit a great deal from the experience of your local stationer, who orders all kinds of custom printing, from many vendors, all the time. They’ll help you make sure you’re covering all the bases and making decisions you’ll be happy with for a long time.”

Julie’s advice is truly worth following. If you’ve got your heart set on letterpress for your wedding invitations, it is wise to consult a highly skilled stationer in your area.

Sheila P. May is the owner of Therese Saint Clair, a stationery store located in Greenwich, CT. A native of Texas, she writes frequently Philadelphia Wedding Invitations>.

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New Styles for 2012 Wedding Stationery and Invitations

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Early indications suggest that the 2012 wedding season appears to be one of the strongest in history. Although the economy continues to be weak, bridal couples who have postponed their wedding seem to be saying that 2012 is when they finally decide to get wed.

William Arthur Wedding Invitations

With this in mind, wedding companies are beginning to introduce new designs and styles in anticipation of the wave of new weddings which will begin in early January. Top printing company and designer William Arthur is kicking off 2012 with a bang with two renewed wedding albums and also the upcoming release of Vera Wang’s new wedding invitation designs. Color, striking new styles and designs and shower invitations that incorporate both classic and modern designs are conspicuously featured in William Arthur’s wedding invitation line.

William Arthur Save the Date

Most importantly, William Arthur features many invitations that may be printed in letterpress, engraving or thermography. These options provide the customer the choice of deciding on a printing style that reflects their needs and price range.

William Arthur offers many unique designs at good prices and definitely ought to be on every bridal couple’s short list of “must see” wedding invitations. Also, they have a wonderful collection of save the date invitations and personal stationery.

See a William Arthur dealer in your town to view their line in person or visit them online.

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Digital Holiday Photo Cards Ideas

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Being a stationer, I am often questioned whether online digital Christmas holiday photo cards are “nicer” than 4″x 6″ photos attached to a customized holiday photo card. There actually is no straightforward answer to this question, but I will share several insights that might be useful to think about when making your decision.

Even though the reproduction quality of digital photos has improved substantially, pictures developed commercially still have an advantage. This is really not a revelation considering the fact that commercially reproduced pictures are produced under ideal developing circumstances utilizing papers specifically designed to make uniform high quality photographs. Even though I have seen exceptional digital photographs using hi-res photo printers on specially formulated photo papers, this printing technique is ideally left to specialists.with proper printing equipment.

Digitally-printed Christmas holiday photo cards are often less costly than photos placed on Holiday photo cards. The cost of digital photo cards is generally a function of the paper weight and uniqueness of the design and style the card templates. Although some Christmas photo cards are like commercial junk mail, some leading design companies have exquisite frames to showcase your photograph.

There is a wide-spread misconception that “it’s easier” to select a digitally-reproduced photo card than a traditional photo-mount holiday greeting card. This is certainly not the truth. Any time you print digitally you have an infinite choice of color possibilities. I’ve all too often seen the annoyance than occurs when a client is confronted with a lot of color choices to print their photographs.Engraved photo frames from reputable paper companies are often of far better quality when compared with the limited design template selections supplied by most online print companies.

William Arthur, two of the leading holiday photo card designers and printers, provide the client the option of using photo-mounts or getting the photo imprinted digitally on the same premium quality paper stock. The price of both Crane’s and William Arthur’s Christmas photo card is the same irrespective of printing process is chosen. While the caliber of photo prints is better than digitally reproduced images, printing your photo card digitally could help you save some time and $0.19 per photo print.

To see the many printing alternatives offered, we suggest that you contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood to see which printing process works best for your family picture this Christmas season.

Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair

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Barnes & Noble as Showroom for Amazon

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

As most people are aware, I do try to remain upbeat for the stationery industry and local business in general, but the drumbeat of Armageddon beats louder than ever.  Yesterday,  CNBC’s “Mad Money” Jim Cramer stated that Barnes and Noble was simply a showroom for Amazon; and that food stalwarts like McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks and Domino pizza were core assets in one’s stock portfolio.  Personally, I think listening to Cramer would drive me crazy in a couple of hours, but he is smart and, if you buy into the theory that the stock market is a leading indicator of the future, then it just might be a wise idea to follow his advice.   But, then again, if you follow his advice to its logical conclusion then both you and I will either be eating at McDonald’s, working there or, quite possibly both.

If Jim Cramer is right, then mom and pop retailing is dead.  The small businesses that were so integral to our communities across the United States will simply fade into oblivion since there is no economic incentive to become a “showroom” for Amazon or the growing number of vendors who find it easier to connect with the consumer directly through their online store.  There are many who do not think this will occur, but  sadly, I am not among them.   Americans tend to be oblivious to the impact of their purchasing decisions and, quite frankly, it is probably far too late to reverse course once our small towns and communities are decimated by the “convenience” of shopping online.

Just yesterday, a woman walked into our store and said “I’m so happy you are still around with the number of stores closing in Greenwich.  You know, I occasionally shop locally to make sure that a few stores are still around so I can actually see what I am buying online.”    Mind you, she is not the only one who is oblivious to the impact of these seemingly insignificant one-off purchasing decisions that are radically changing our communities and way of life.  For instance, a well-known economist friend of ours who loves books was touting his new Kindle until I pointed out to him that Kindles would be the death of Borders, Barnes and Noble and hundreds of book shops that he frequented over the weekend.  He argued that they would co-exist “in some form or other.”   How wrong can you be.  I’d keep a eye on the libraries and the local Post Office to see what happens over the next several years.

Let it be said, that when  ETs picks over the remnants of our civilization I would hate for them to conclude that we simply ate ourselves to death in fast-food  restaurants and simply washed down our civilization with a Venti Latte.  I would prefer to think that the Pietà,  the Gutenberg Bible and Shakespeare’s plays still have relevance in today’s society, but I am not sure.

Now some will argue that I am a Luddite and don’t embrace change.  Quite the contrary, I grimly tolerate change – both good and bad – but I don’t think our Towns and the guy in the street fully comprehend what is going on in our rewired society.  In fact, I would argue that this “change” in the way we interact with each other is what these worldwide protests are all about:  a sense of powerlessness to affect the changes that are radically transforming our communities and way of life.

Our towns and communities are at the core of these changes and, if you would like to learn more, I suggest that you visit Strong Towns.org and take action in your community before it is too late.  Watch the informative 15-minute video and, if you would like to see what you can do to play a more active role in your community, download the free Fireside Chat.

Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair

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