The Stationers Guild

Archive for the ‘Business Stationery’ Category

Crane: Two Steps Backward and One Step Forward

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

To use a Superbowl metaphor,  Crane & Co. fumbled the ball in their own backfield earlier this year with a drastically downsized line of products that simply did not sit well with their distributors.  Since selling stationery is not a game of football, it is difficult to know the extent of damage that has been caused to the Crane brand.

Fortunately, I am delighted to report that Crane announced yesterday that they will be “enhancing our business stationery offerings . . .  and reintroducing the 32# size 8 Executive and size 7 Monarch sheets and matching envelopes in Ecruwhite and Pearl White.”     Even Manti Te’o was mystified as to why they dropped these popular business lines in the first place.

Hopefully, Crane’s new management team will be able to pick up the pieces of a seriously flawed strategy that could only have been concocted in the lab of a consulting firm by MBAs with little real-world experience in the  industry.

The clock is ticking, so we do hope that Crane will act decisively and scrap the “back to basics” tagline:  It’s just plain silly!

Richard W. May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

P.S.:  Just a simple suggestion to help “right the ship”:  Increase the price of most of your boxed products by 10% to 20%.  Crane products are seriously under-priced.   Your brand deserves premium pricing.  But please, get back to focusing on quality.

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Features of a Captivating Wedding Invitation

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Making your individual one of a kind wedding invitation suite demands a bit of time and organizational skills but is a lot simplier and easier compared to what most bridal pairs expect. While it’s best to work with a knowledgeable stationery store owner to complete your wedding invitation, many of the essential design elements can be determined just before selecting a competent specialist
Wedding Invitations from William Arthur

There are actually five key components worthwhile considering: the general wedding idea, colors, the papers, the printing process and the organizational goals. Let’s analyze each important aspect individually:

The Wedding Template

While the season of the year is often used to pick an overall wedding concept, bridal couples will often choose a wedding concept which has little to do with the time of year. The classic wedding invitations mirror the importance of the special occasion far more than the time of the season, although other bridal couples might like to highlight their own design. Clearly, deciding on an organizational design aids you to organize additional factors of the wedding ceremony.

The Wedding Color Styles

Deciding on the appropriate wedding colors may help tie with each other other components of the wedding, such as, floral arrangements, bridesmaid dresses and table settings. Using vibrant ink color styles and envelope designs for your wedding invitation is really a handy solution to tie in the colors of one’s wedding theme.

The Wedding Papers

Looking for the “right” paper stock for your personal wedding invitation is rather subjective. There are hundreds – if not thousands and thousands – of stunning papers to choose from. Weight is commonly an important thing to consider, but other couples discover very soft textured hand-made papers to their liking. Choosing wedding papers that is white or ecru offers you more leeway in deciding upon motifs and color styles to enhance your wedding theme.

The Printing Method

Engraving is one of the most traditional form of printing wedding invitations, but letterpress is experiencing a resurgence. Despite the fact that both engraving and letterpress printing are more expensive than lithography and themography, the attractiveness of traditional printing is unshakable.

Taking advantage of your wedding papers as organizing resources

Besides the wedding invitation, reply cards, table cards, wedding direction cards, menu cards and wedding programs are excellent organizational tools. Do not lose the opportunity for using a save the date announcement to help provide your family and friends with critical flight and accommodation information.
Wedding Reception Invitation from William Arthur

A carefully thought out wedding invitation is a good opening to stamp your personality on the wedding event. Conscientious execution and planning will allow you to work with your wedding invitation to ceremonialize the event and generate passion for your special day.

Sheila P.May is one the owners of Therese Saint Clair and writes often about wedding invitations and stationery movements.

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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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D’Arconte Holiday Greeting Card Collection for 2011

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Readers of the Stationers Guild news are mindful that I have great admiration for D’Arconte’s beautiful engraved holiday cards. Bob D’Arconte is, perhaps, the only artisan in the United States that designs and engraves his own Christmas cards, invitations and stationery. Plainly an expert of his craft, his cutting-edge designs on beautiful papers are plainly little works of art.

D'Arconte Engraved Sled Greeting Card

Over the past several years, I have been overwhelmed by requests from followers trying to obtain D’Arconte’s holiday cards at stores in their community. Sadly, his line of stationery and holiday greeting cards are not well represented outside of New York City. Other than our own store in Greenwich, CT, I know that D’Arconte’s holiday cards may be purchased at Gumps in San Francisco, Francis Orr in Corona del Mar (California) and Tabala Rasa in Salt Lake City.

D’Arconte stationery products are not sold online. Mr. D’Arconte has been unwilling to promote his holiday cards on the internet because internet image resolutions are very poor and it is not possible to capture the subtleties of engraving, especially on the vibrant white papers he uses. This year, I secured his agreement to offer you 18 D’Arconte Christmas cards which may be viewed and bought online. Picture resolutions do not do justice to the intrinsic charm of these cards; however, those familiar with D’Arconte’s designs will now have an opportunity to indulge their desire for these lovely works of art.

D'Arconte Gold Tree on Red

A word about D’Arconte’s card designs. To begin with, the internet images don’t do his holiday cards justice. Engraved paper prints are three-dimensional and both the bold and subtle contours of his engraved motifs and embossed frames are often lost in most Internet browsers. Secondly, the lack of color or shade or distinct “white space” only increases the charm and proportion of his designs. Viewed on a “white” Internet background, the visual effect and sophistication is unfortunately lost. Thirdly, D’Arconte “bumps” metallic inks (primarily gold and silver) a second time to provide them a luxuriant burnished touch. D’Arconte’s talent and workmanship is – in my opinion – several steps in front of the remainder of the field that seems to have problems finding their brand identity and printing quality which simply lacks inspiration.

Take a look at and purchase D’Arconte holiday cards online or find a qualified D’Arconte dealer in your neighborhood.

Sheila P. May
Founding Member Holiday Greeting Cards

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2011 Christmas Cards by D’Arconte

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Readership of the Stationers Guild news are mindful that I have high admiration for D’Arconte’s beautiful engraved Christmas greeting cards. Bob D’Arconte is, perhaps, the only artisan in the United States that designs and engraves his own holiday cards, custom invitations and stationery. Clearly an expert of his profession, his cutting-edge designs on exquisite papers are plainly little works of art.

D'Arconte Red Ball Holiday Card

For the past several years, I have been inundated by requests from customers trying to find D’Arconte’s holiday greeting cards at shops in their community. Sadly, his brand of stationery and holiday cards are not well represented outside of New York City. Other than our own store in Greenwich, CT, I know that D’Arconte’s holiday cards may be found at Gumps in San Francisco, Francis Orr in Corona del Mar (California) and Tabala Rasa in Salt Lake City.

D’Arconte stationery products are not sold on the web. Mr. D’Arconte has been hesitant to promote his holiday cards on the internet because internet image resolutions are very poor and it is impossible to record the subtleties of engraving, in particular on the bright white papers he uses. This year, I acquired his agreement to offer you 18 D’Arconte holiday greeting cards which may be seen and purchased online. Image resolutions do not do justice to the inherent elegance of these cards; however, those acquainted with D’Arconte’s designs will now have a chance to indulge their desire for these lovely works of art.

D'Arconte Gold Tree on Red

A thing about D’Arconte’s designs. First, the online images don’t do his holiday cards justice. Engraved printing are three-dimensional and both the bold and delicate shapes of his engraved artwork and stamped frames are often lost in most Online browsers. Secondly, the lack of coloring or distinct “white space” only elevates the charm and proportion of his artistic designs. Looked at on a “white” Internet background, the visual impression and intricacy is sadly lost. Thirdly, D’Arconte “bumps” metallic inks (primarily gold and silver) two times to provide them a rich burnished touch. D’Arconte’s talent and workmanship is – in my estimation – several steps ahead of the remainder of the field that has problems finding their brand identity and print quality that simply lacks energy.

Take a look at and order D’Arconte Christmas cards online or find an experienced D’Arconte dealer in your town.

Richard W. May
Founding Member Holiday Greeting Cards

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D’Arconte Holiday Card 2011 Collection

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Followers of the Stationers Guild Blog are aware that I have great respect for D’Arconte’s breathtaking engraved Christmas greeting cards. Bob D’Arconte is, perhaps, the only artisan in the United States that designs and engraves his own holiday cards, custom invitations and fine stationery. Clearly an expert of his profession, his cutting-edge designs on exquisite papers are simply little works of art.

D'Arconte Topiary Holiday Greeting Card

For the past several years, I have been inundated by demands from customers trying to locate D’Arconte’s holiday cards at stores in their town. Unfortunately, his line of stationery and holiday greeting cards are not generally available outside of New York City. Other than our own shop in Greenwich, CT, I know that D’Arconte’s holiday cards may be purchased at Gumps in San Francisco, Francis Orr in Corona del Mar (California) and Tabala Rasa in Salt Lake City.

D’Arconte stationery products are not sold on the web. Mr. D’Arconte has been reluctant to promote his holiday greeting cards on the web because online image resolutions are very poor and it is unlikely to record the subtleties of engraving, especially on the vibrant white card stock he uses. This year, I got his agreement to provide you with 18 D’Arconte Christmas greeting cards which may be viewed and bought online. Picture resolutions do not do justice to the inherent elegance of these greeting cards; however, those acquainted with D’Arconte’s designs will now have the opportunity to indulge their desire for these stunning works of art.

D'Arconte Copse of Trees Greeting Card

A word about D’Arconte’s holiday card designs. First, the images don’t do his holiday cards justice. Engraved printing are three-dimensional and both the striking and subtle shapes of his engraved motifs and imprinted frames are simply missing in most Online browsers. Secondly, the loss of coloring or pronounced “white space” only elevates the beauty and balance of his artistic designs. Viewed on a “white” Internet background, the artistic effect and intricacy is regretfully lost. Thirdly, D’Arconte “bumps” metallic inks (primarily gold and silver) twice to give them a luxuriant burnished touch. D’Arconte’s pizzazz and craftsmanship is – in my opinion – many steps ahead of the rest of the field that seems to have difficulty finding their identity in designs and print quality that simply lacks energy.

Take a look at and order D’Arconte Christmas cards online or find a knowledgeable D’Arconte dealer in your town.

Richard W. May
Founding Member Holiday Greeting Cards

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D’Arconte Christmas Greeting Cards Collection for 2011

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Readership of the Stationers Guild Blog are aware that I have high admiration for D’Arconte’s striking engraved holiday greeting cards. Bob D’Arconte is, perhaps, the only artist in the United States that designs and engraves his own holiday cards, custom invitations and fine stationery. Plainly an expert of his craft, his cutting-edge designs on stunning papers are plainly little works of art.

D'Arconte Red Tree Holiday Card

Over the past several years, I have been inundated by requests from followers trying to find D’Arconte’s Christmas cards at retailers in their community. Regrettably, his collection of stationery and holiday greeting cards are not generally available outside of New York City. Other than our own retail store in Greenwich, CT, I know that D’Arconte’s holiday cards may be found at Gumps in San Francisco, Francis Orr in Corona del Mar (California) and Tabala Rasa in Salt Lake City.

D’Arconte stationery products are not sold on the web. Mr. D’Arconte has been unwilling to market his holiday greeting cards on the internet because internet image resolutions are inferior and it is difficult to record the subtleties of engraving, particularly on the brilliant white papers he uses. This year, I secured his agreement to offer 18 D’Arconte Christmas greeting cards which may be viewed and purchased online. Image resolutions do not do justice to the intrinsic beauty of these cards; however, those familiar with D’Arconte’s card designs will now have the option to indulge their craving for these stunning works of art.

D'Arconte Gold Tree on Red

A thing about D’Arconte’s designs. To start with, the online images don’t do his holiday cards justice. Engraved paper prints are three-dimensional and both the striking and subdued contours of his engraved designs and stamped frames are quite frankly missing in most Internet browsers. Secondly, the loss of color or distinct “white space” only elevates the elegance and balance of his designs. Experienced on a “white” Internet background, the artistic effect and elegance is regrettably lost. Thirdly, D’Arconte “bumps” metallic inks (primarily gold and silver) twice to give them a luxuriant burnished touch. D’Arconte’s flair and artistry is – in my estimation – several steps ahead of the remainder of the field that has difficulty finding their identity in designs and printing quality that simply lacks inspiration.

View and buy D’Arconte Christmas cards online or find an experienced D’Arconte dealer in your town.

Sheila P. May
Founding Member Holiday Greeting Cards

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D’Arconte Holiday Cards Collection for 2011

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Followers of the Stationers Guild news are mindful that I have high respect for D’Arconte’s beautiful engraved holiday greeting cards. Bob D’Arconte is, perhaps, the only artisan in the United States that designs and engraves his own Christmas cards, custom invitations and stationery. Plainly an expert of his profession, his cutting-edge designs on exquisite papers are plainly little works of art.

D'Arconte Topiary Holiday Greeting Card

For the past several years, I have been besieged by demands from customers trying to locate D’Arconte’s Christmas cards at retailers in their neighborhood. Regrettably, his brand of stationery and holiday greeting cards are not generally available outside of New York City. Other than our own retail store in Greenwich, CT, I know that D’Arconte’s holiday cards may be purchased at Gumps in San Francisco, Francis Orr in Corona del Mar (California) and Tabala Rasa in Salt Lake City.

D’Arconte stationery products are not sold online. Mr. D’Arconte has been reluctant to publicize his holiday greeting cards on the web because internet image resolutions are inferior and it is not possible to record the subtleties of engraving, in particular on the bright white card stock he uses. This year, I got his agreement to offer you 18 D’Arconte Christmas greeting cards which may be viewed and acquired online. Picture resolutions do not do justice to the inherent beauty of these greeting cards; however, those acquainted with D’Arconte’s designs will now have an opportunity to indulge their desire for these stunning works of art.

D'Arconte Gold Tree on Red

A thing about D’Arconte’s card designs. First, the images don’t do his Christmas cards justice. Engraved printing are three-dimensional and both the striking and subdued shapes of his engraved artwork and embossed frames are simply lost in most Internet browsers. Secondly, the lack of color or shade or pronounced “white space” only increases the beauty and symmetry of his artistic designs. Viewed on a “white” Internet background, the visual impact and intricacy is unfortunately lost. Thirdly, D’Arconte “bumps” metallic inks (primarily gold and silver) a second time to provide them a rich burnished look and feel. D’Arconte’s exuberance and workmanship is – in my estimation – several steps ahead of the remainder of the field that has problems finding their identity in designs and printing quality which simply lacks energy.

See and purchase D’Arconte Christmas cards online or find an experienced D’Arconte dealer in your town.

Sheila P. May
Therese Saint Clair Holiday Card

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Wedding Invitations Online: Does it make sense?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

As stationers who have helped hundreds of bridal couples over the past 35 years, we are frequently asked whether it is best to select wedding invitations on-line or from your stationery store. This is a tricky question to reply to as the answer generally is dependent on the objectives and demands of the customer. Bridal couples often have completely different desires and, as such, it is extremely difficult to render an option.

Selecting wedding invitations over the internet may seem like an easy undertaking since there are quite a few internet sites that claim to offer one of a kind, or “green”, or affordable wedding invitations. Typically, these assertions are inaccurate and frequently not true. More importantly, internet image resolution is unsatisfactory and it is most difficult to identify ink color styles and paper texture and consistency.

A proven stationery shop in your neighborhood commonly represents more than 20 wedding invitation vendors. At these retail stores you are able to sample many a variety of paper varieties, see hundreds of variations and receive experienced advice on crafting a wedding invitation that satisfies your particular needs. A professional stationer has often helped numerous bridal couples create a personalized wedding invitation.

As a guideline, we can’t help but recommend which you consider a knowledgeable stationery retail store based in your community if significant customization is required. Just about all web-based personalization alternatives are limited in features and it can be often complicated to make certain that the end product fulfills your objectives. All the same, for those of you that prefer the ease of internet shopping we encourage readers to look at Crane & Co. and William Arthur. Both these printing companies have very strong customer service, superb layouts, attractive papers and card stock and a range of printing alternatives that are just simply unavailable from most other web based retailers.

For those in search of skilled personalized advice, please visit Therese Saint Clair in downtown Greenwich, CT.    Need more information?  Simply  download your FREE Wedding Invitation Guide with many practical tips to help you plan your wedding.

Sheila P. May
Therese Saint Clair

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No matter how far you push the envelope, it is still stationery

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

One of my favorite puns and one which could well serve as tag line for the Stationers’ Guild is: “No matter how far you push the envelope, it is still stationery.”   While this is always good for a laugh – at least for those that know how to spell “stationery” – I suspect that the relevance of stationery is fast becoming lost to a growing number of people who live online.   This was brought home to me today when I received an email from Envelopes.com.

The subject line of the email was “Push the Design Envelope” followed by “Your Designs + Our Envelope = Perfect.”   Now, I have never heard of Envelope.com but I discovered near the bottom of their website that  Envelopes.com claims to be  “the leading supplier of plain and printed envelopes in all sizes, styles and colors, to businesses, organizations, and individuals. © 2010. All rights reserved.”

The fact that I have “never heard” of Envelope.com is not disturbing.  In fact, with a little research the company was formerly known as Action Envelope and is headquartered in Long Island.  I find it surprising that the “leading supplier” of envelopes would change their name if they were that well known, but very little surprises me anymore in the stationery industry.

Which brings to a serious question:  What is the difference – if any – between stationery and paper?  To many, I suspect there is not a lot.  Nevertheless, I hate it when people refer to Saint Clair as a “paper shop.”  Perhaps, I am getting a little sensitive as I grow older, but I am confident that I know the difference between “paper” and fine stationery.   It may simply be a question of style and elegance, but to me stationery is reflected in a quality paper that begs to be touched.   Monograms or names that are embossed or engraved on fine stationery simply add another layer of elegance to an already rich stationery experience.

The stationery industry is overrun with flat and insipid designs printed on “paper” – not paper that raises to the level of  “stationery.”   While we can lament the decline in the informed consumer, let us spend our time rejoicing in the many who still treasure the craftsmanship that goes into making fine stationery.

And for those designers and printing companies who are inspired to create beautiful stationery rather than become leaders of mass-marketed papers, we salute you and wish you well.

Richard W. May
Thérèse Saint Clair

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