26 Adorable Stationery Sets You’ll Want To Use Immediately
Time to reconnect with your elementary school pen pal!
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1. A 48-pack of notecards you can grab when you’re feeling ~blue~ and want to put your feelings on paper.Amazon
Promising review: “A very pretty set of notecards that look exactly as pictured and described. The cards fit well into their envelopes, and there is a nice variety of patterns to choose from, all of which work for almost any occasion. I particularly liked that there were a lot of cards in the set, whereas many you buy in stores contain only 10 or so.
Get a set of 48 from Amazon for $12.99.
2. Antique-style paper to make you feel like you’re living in medieval times, but without the whole jousting situation.Amazon
Promising review: “Awesome letter-writing paper! This really gives an ‘old-fashioned, snail mail’ letter a very intriguing look. You’ll knock it out of the park if you add a wax seal and calligraphy to it!!! Great purchase. The paper is excellent quality and a nice thickness.. Not as thick as card stock, but a little bit thicker than your average printer paper.” —Olivia B.
Get it a set of 48 from Amazon for $15.99.
3. Personalized book stationery, so you can get ~lit~ the next time you pen a note to the Watson to your Sherlock.Minted
Get a set of 15 from Minted for $49+ (available in sets of 15–1,000, in five colors, and three types of paper).
4. Harry Potter stationery, perfect for writing all your fellow Potterheads Hogwarts acceptance letters.Walmart
This set comes with a 192-page pocket journal, 20 sheets of letterhead, 20 envelopes, and a quill pen.
Get it from Walmart for $16.89.
5. Simple note paper decorated with pale blue flowers that’ll give your handwritten letters some extra ~flourish~.Amazon
Get a set of 30 from Amazon for $8.36.
6. Or floral stationery with darling scalloped edges to make any recipient pause and say “oooh” before reading what you wrote.Amazon
Promising review: “What a nice stationery set! A whole lot of decorative papers and colorful envelopes. So pretty. It will last me a long time. There’s something nice about writing on pretty stationery, that is fun to do and more fun, I believe, to receive. These are so much better than I expected.” —Suzanne Schumacher
Get a set of 48 from Amazon for $13.99 (available in six styles).
8.Motivational sticky notes, for when your work wife needs a quick pick-me-up after a tough meeting. Amazon
This set comes with eight adhesive notepads with 100 sheets per pad — lil’ messages for DAYS!
Get it from Amazon for $12.
9. Butterfly stationery to set your heart ~a flutter~ each time you break it out to leave your S.O. a quick message.Amazon
Get a set of 30 from Amazon for $10.99.
10. Note cards that fold up into adorable animals, guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone who finds one in their mailbox.
Each package comes with a designs of a bear, panda, rabbit, pig, fox, and leopard. Cue the heart eyes!
Promising review: “Cute and easy to use. They are the envelope and the letter all in one. The pop out paw keeps it closed, but very loosely. I either used double sided tape or a glue stick to keep closed since I was sending cross country. I’d consider buying again. Not a lot of writing space if you want to write a well detailed letter. All in all good buy.” —Ky
Get a set of 12 from Amazon for $10.99.PurpleTrail / Etsy
Get it from PurpleTrail on Etsy for $29.95.
12. Custom stationery featuring a breed of your choice, essential for any dog lover or if you’re planning to write lettersas your pet (you never know, OK). CurioPress / Etsy
Get a set of 10 from CurioPress on Etsy for $16.25+ (available in sets of 10–250, in 30 dog breeds, and in19 envelope colors).
Pastel note cards with delicate gold details, so gorgeous you won’t be able to contain your excite
Promising review: “Lovely note card set! Perfect for a quick note to say hi and let someone know you are thinking of them. The envelopes are cute and a nice touch too with the dots and pink outlines. The quality is good on the cards and envelopes. I will definitely be ordering more of these!” —SS
Get a set of 50 from Amazon $14.97 (available in nine styles).
14. Note cards with a triangle trim, because handwriting letters to your loved ones is NOT for squares.
Promising review: “I first bought these when I needed to write out thank you cards for my customers and now I’m totally hooked! Not only do I think these provide an excellent quantity for the price, but the quality is even better. I love that the envelopes and cards accommodate different types of writing tools. So far, I have successfully used Sharpie markers, pens, crayons and colored pencils with no smearing or excessive bleeding.” —chanellie
Get a set of 50 from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in three styles).
15. Personalized minimal stationery you’ll love so much it might just inspire you to find a pen pal.Minted
Get a set of 15 from Minted for $35+ (available in sets of 15–305, in four colors, and two paper styles).
16. Stationery that is dripping with flowers that’ll definitely put a ~spring~ in your step.Amazon
Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $20.20+ (available in sets of 10–250 and 20 envelope colors).
17. Monogram stationery for anyone who is looking for a chic standard set to keep on hand for special occasions.Amazon
Promising review: “I got a monogrammed set in midnight and am delighted with the results. Note cards are of excellent quality and the printing job was excellent. Wish they did raised print, but would absolutely order from again.” —Sherlock21b
Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $24.95+ (available in sets of 10–150, in 25 font colors, and in 19 envelope colors).
18. A box of Disney postcards featuring illustrations from classic films, because magical mail is the best mail. Don’t forget to add pixie dust!Amazon, amazon.com
I was gifted this set and it has become my go-to anytime I need to send someone a little note. The box comes with 100 postcards that are so beautiful that I’ve also used some as decor in my office. If you’d prefer something different, they also have version featuring the art of Pixar or the Disney Princesses. This set is a real treasure for any Disney fan who appreciates a handwritten note.
Get it from Amazon for $17.96.
19. Simple note paper with your name at the top, so your recipient will know exactly who’s writing to them.Amazon
Get a set of 12 from Amazon for $18.95+ (available in sets of 12–250, in 25 font colors, and in 19 envelope colors).
20. Personalized note paper that’ll make any message you send look ~pretty in pink~.Amazon
Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $21.95+ (available in sets of 10–150, in 25 font colors, and in 19 envelope colors).
21. A delightful stationery set you can use to ask your new neighbors “como se llama?” in style.Amazon
Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $15. 99 (available in two colors).
22. Pineapple-adorned stationery, for anyone who likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.Amazon
Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $21.95+ (available in sets of 10–15-, in 25 font colors, and in 19 envelope colors).
23. Or a friendly stationery set that, quite literally, will speak for itself.Minted
Get a set of 15 from Minted for $35+ (available in sets of 15–305, in four colors, and two paper styles).
You, writing a love letter to everyone in your life on your new, special stationery:NBC
Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.
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8 Best Stationery Notecards and Letter Papers 2020
Photo: Clarence Sinclair Bull/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images
Both Araks Yeramyan, founder of the namesake lingerie line, and Nell Diamond, founder of Hill House Home, told us their favorite stationery comes from luxury British leather- and paper-goods brand Smythson. While the price of $39 for ten cards might seem steep, file this one under “relatively inexpensive goods from otherwise expensive brands”: “Using them makes me feel special,” says Yeramyan. “And when I send a note on their stationery, the note is imbued with that feeling too.” Diamond feels similarly about the stationery: “My dad has been gifting me Smythson correspondence cards and notebooks on my birthday since I could write, so these have a special place in my heart,” she says. “The card stock feels sturdy and soft all at once, and I always feel very proper writing my thank-yous on them.” The cards come in an elegant blue box (“I always save and use to store things,” says Diamond) and feature charming illustrations, like this double-decker bus pack, which Diamond says is her recent favorite.
Leigh Batnick Plessner, co–creative director of Catbird, told us about this light-pink stationery from Choosing Keeping. “Every night (okay, a lot of nights), I’ve been writing love letters to our customers on sheer pale-pink paper inspired by Elizabeth Peyton’s Pierre,” says Plessner. “I love the size, weight, and smoothness of this paper; it’s perfect to scrawl a note on with an inky pen.” For Plessner, the best stationery is “lovely but not fussy and preferably comes in a big stack because it holds the promise of so much correspondence.” This Pink Rivoli Writing Paper Pad satisfies that description exactly, she says.
Architect and designer Adam Charlap Hyman told us that, for personal correspondence, his go-to paper goods are from G. Lalo, which he describes as “inexpensive but nice-feeling” and available in an array of colors. Hyman says that he has been using the stationery in the pistachio color for many years, in part because “it’s not a color that makes a big statement, but it does feel a little more special than white. ” G. Lalo is also a favorite of illustrator Maira Kalman, who included the bordered correspondence set on her list of items she can’t live without. “Mostly I write letters to my granddaughter Olive and her little sister Esme,” Kalman told us. “Olive is 4, and I’ve been writing her an illustrated letter on this stationery every week or every two weeks since she was born. So now she has hundreds of letters and a record of the history of her life and the history of my life over the last four years.”
Photographer Chloé Crane-Leroux told us that her preferred stationery comes from new brand Maurèle, which offers custom note cards, letter papers, and leather goods in designs inspired by the paper goods of artists and writers. “My favorite style is definitely the Catalonia, which features a big statement header apparently inspired by Dalí’s stationery,” says Crane-Leroux. “I’ve designed mine using the font called LOVE; the second I saw the dramatic C from my name, I was sold.” She says she’s been using letter papers from the brand to write notes to her boyfriend, and that the line offers a wide range of font styles and colors so that you can create a stationery set that feels especially personal. “The template designs are all elegant and distinct, they have everything from big and bold to quiet and minimal styles,” says Crane-Leroux. “The customization options let you really make it your own, with options like placement and orientation, text color, etc., and a dozen typefaces that usually only designers have access to.”
Another customized option comes recommended to us by Joanna Payne, founder of Marguerite, a London-based group for women in the arts and design communities. “I absolutely love these note cards by Luke Edward Hall,” says Payne. The maximalist artist and designer’s work can be found on several cards from Papier (including a hot-dog-themed set, which we’re partial to). But for Payne, the appeal of the Mercí cards lies in their less-is-more look. “I’m particularly drawn to the simplicity of the ‘Mercí’ series. They’re just so chic,” she says.
“I’ve been writing letters to friends for the first time since email was invented,” says designer Susan Alexandra. Her go-to stationery is a collection of postcards she’s stockpiled from museum shops (“the best part of any museum”), and she told us that “eBay has a sick selection too.” And though it may be a while before you can browse postcards and note cards in person at your favorite museum, many of their shops are still open online and shipping orders. These note cards from the Phoenix Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., are Alexandra’s recent favorites.
If you like the idea of sending a note on a postcard, Passerbuys founder Clémence Polès suggests looking at the newly open web store of New York City photography-postcard shop Fotofolio. You can order an assortment of ten postcards with images by various photographers (like William Eggleston and Duane Michals). Fotofolio also offers a subscription postcard service that includes ten postcards every month (which might also make a great gift for the photography fan in your life). And if you just want to send one postcard to someone special, Polès says that Fotofolio will “offer to handwrite your note and mail it for you, which is pretty neat.”
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.
14 Luxury Stationery Brands Elevating The Art Of Writing
Who doesn’t get a rush when they find a handwritten card in the mail? Just knowing that someone took the time to put pen to paper feels warm and authentic and sometimes even a little emotional. Whether your preferred method is on a modern notecard or heavy stock paper embossed with your initials, there are stationery companies—some new, some old—that can turn the simple act of writing a note to a friend into a work of art.
New (er) Kids on the Block
You instantly know a Connor card: its bright white stock; impeccable, jewel-like design at the top; and rich, textured feel. Artisans in Paris engrave each design in steel before hand-stamping it on the highest-quality paper. Connor is sold exclusively at Barneys, and just the packaging alone—a light-grey box closed with a ribbon—makes writing a letter more compelling.
The story behind Moglea goes like this: Meg and Chad Gleason graduated from college, got married, moved to a farm in Iowa, and started a stationery business. A lifetime of crafting and love of watercoloring was all the inspiration they needed. The result: exquisite, handmade cards that, despite being made on an antique printing press, feel absolutely contemporary. (The wrapping paper is also wonderful, and it’s all shipped from the Midwest.)
A testament to owners (and real-life couple) Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung’s creativity and taste, this color-happy shop in LA’s Little Tokyo somehow manages to look entirely different from visit to visit. While the core categories—home décor, stationery, accessories, and kids—stay the same, the assortment is constantly updated to keep up with the latest and greatest in design and still meet Poketo’s playful aesthetic. Expect to find Japanese stationery, tabletop pieces from Danish firm HAY, beautiful art books, and so much more. There’s also several sister locations, including one in Culver City and one in the Line Hotel.
Rifle Paper Co.
Every angle of the collection celebrates the art of putting pen to paper, from its vibrant, whimsical designs to its seemingly endless personalization options—and the customer service is stellar. Not bad for a line that’s only ten years old. While its roots are in stationery, the company also extends its aesthetic to the world of online invitations via its collaboration with Paperless Post.
We all love getting a personal note in the mail. But Sarah Silver—the owner of this small British label—actually loves sending them. After working in the world of editorial as well as fine jewelry, Silver founded Studio Sarah five years ago. Her designs are understated, feminine, and delicate, with soft greys, pastel pinks, and unexpected gold touches. The collection includes notebooks, personalized notecards and stationery, paper accessories, and leather goods.
Sugar Paper is known for its modern and considered letterpress stationery. But the company also offers excellent holiday cards, wedding invitations, and monogramming. In 2003, Jamie Grobecker and Chelsea Shukov founded the collection in Los Angeles—and the duo continues to design and manufacture its bespoke goods in their LA studio. The company has since grown, with shops in the Brentwood Country Mart and Lido Marina Village that offer cards and paper goods from Rifle Paper Co., Kate Spade, and more, as well as a space in Harrods in London.
The Chain Press
The best businesses are born out of need. The Chain Press is one such example. Masterminded by Naoise McGee, an Irish émigré who missed handwritten letters, the company celebrates old-fashioned craft and encourages the simple gesture of sending a note or invitation on proper stationery. McGee works with clients to create designs and monograms that reflect their personalities and passions. Aside from bespoke personal stationery, the Chain Press also designs custom wedding invitations, announcement cards, even accent pieces for the home, all handmade by McGee—a one-woman show—on a midcentury Vandercook cylinder press in her new Los Angeles atelier.
Benneton Graveur has been quietly producing the most classic, utterly luxurious stationery since 1880. It’s been run by the same family since its inception, and traditional techniques like brushed stamping and hand-painting are still the norm in the Paris atelier. For those who take their ancestry as seriously as their stationery, Benneton Graveur will paint your family’s coat of arms on a parchment scroll or as your letterhead. Yes, really.
Crane & Co.
In the late 1700s, Stephen Crane supplied Boston newspapers and activists (one being Paul Revere) with his 100 percent cotton paper—an endeavor that blossomed into a full-fledged paper mill business based in Dalton, Massachusetts. The Crane family continued to produce exclusive paper products, which are regarded today as the Cadillac of stationery. The designs are classic, and the quality—thick, sturdy—is excellent. The items range from jotter cards to wedding invitations to kids’ stationery, all of which can be personalized.
Mount Street Printers
The window display makes you look twice. Across the threshold, it’s a hive of activity with salespeople working on orders and advising customers on personalization. But downstairs is where the real action happens. As the basement proves, the property has always operated as a printer—even before the current owners took it over fifty years ago. Antique presses, monogramming machines, and stacks of thick-cut paper fill the space. Every Londoner that loves to put pen to paper has Mount Street on speed dial, and with their digital offering, this service has no borders.
Mrs. John L. Strong
Nothing much has changed at Mrs. John L. Strong since 1929. Founded by Flora (Strong), the artisanal techniques of hand-engraving, hand-bordering, and hand-lining each card and envelope are still the standard operating procedure. You can custom-create your own stationery, but the ready-to-write collections embossed with whimsical motifs of animals, snowflakes, crowns, and occasional ballerinas may encourage a change of heart. The company also has an “entertaining” collection which features the most elegant invitations, place cards, and coasters embossed with gold emblems and turns of phrase to dress up your table.
A small storefront tucked into a corner of Florence’s Piazza della Signoria is where you’ll find some of the most beautiful stationery and writing instruments anywhere. Pineidar is been handmade in Italy since 1774—and the company’s exacting standards are in evidence everywhere. All the colors are naturally made pigments, and the motifs of city scenes, animals, and flowers are unmistakably Italian. For those who really take their desk game seriously, Pineider have crafted a leather-and-wood box, designed purely to hold fountain pens.
Frank Smythson is credited with designing the world’s first practical, portable diary (designed to be compact enough to fit the breast pocket of a gentleman’s suit jacket without stretching the fabric). So it’s no great leap that his company would become an official stationer to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Times have moved on, and Smythson has moved with them, adding journals, pens, leather items, even writing trays to its lineup. For personalized stationery and business cards, this heritage British brand is still the gold standard.
The coolest thing about this well-established brand is that despite its age (it’s been churning out engraved and embossed paper goods for more than a hundred years), it manages to stay relevant with its modern, witty sayings (the “WTF” and “F%*k yeah” notecards are staff favorites). This is thanks to the collective vision of Ted Harrington and his parents, Lloyd and Cathy, who purchased the company from its original owners in 1990 and have since strived to keep the timeless process of hand-engraving alive.
Stationery essentials to up your letter-writing game
Pandemic living has redefined how we communicate. We Zoom for work, HouseParty for fun, and FaceTime to get one-on-one time with our families.
After six months of an overabundance of screen time partnered with relative personal isolation, a more authentic way to connect feels nice.
Bring on the analog: Put your phone down and pick up a pen. For those over a certain age, it may seem odd to say that letter writing is the new texting, but this time-honored tradition has come full circle.
“People really are actually sending letters,” says Rosanna Kvernmo of Shorthand Highland Park, a stationery and luxury office supply store and letterpress company in Los Angeles, California. “In the greeting card industry we all want to believe that cards are still really important. Since the pandemic, we are seeing a definite spike in sales on notecards and letter-writing sets. People really are trying to connect with friends and family in this way.”
Chandra Greer of GREERChicago, a luxury paper goods shop in Chicago, Illinois, agrees. “Letter writing is perhaps the deepest socially-distanced form of connection there is.”
Whatever the reason, there can be a distinct pleasure in finding the perfect paper and pen combo. Small indulgences can make correspondence feel like a self-care ritual. It feels great to tell the people in your life that you’re keeping them in your thoughts.
Here are some of our favorite letter-writing accessories on which we encourage you to splurge.
1. Stationery sets
Credit: Moglea / Papier
Stationery sets—like Moglea’s Rainbow Swirl set and Papier’s Soleia notecard set—can be just as gorgeous and unique as they are useful.
Finding the perfect stationery set is like finding a visual and tactile extension of yourself. Since letter writing sets are having a Renaissance, there are so many from which to choose.
For a fully customizable set that is all your own, check out Minted’s extended selection. From foil-pressed to letter-pressed options—and everything in between—no personality is too big or too restrained to shine through. Designed by independent artists, there are plenty of options for you to find your best match and finish it off with your own personalized touches.
We love the eye-grabbing, bold floral designs of Rifle Paper Company, which have become an iconic darling of the Anthropologie set and spread from stationery to phone cases and wallpaper. Imagine one of Rifle’s bouquet-covered notes bursting out of your pen pal’s mailbox. This is a set that’s going to make a statement. Garden party!
If you’re looking for something that really stands apart, Moglea focuses on the craft of artful stationery and paper goods. The Iowa-based letterpress studio is known for crafting hand-painted sets made for one-of-a-kind correspondence that always make every notecard—and its recipient—feel special.
At Shorthand Highland Park, one of Kvernmo’s longtime favorites, Mr. Boddington’s Studio, is fast becoming one of ours. Designed in New York and made on U.S. soil, the charming, playful stationery layers a dash of humor over excellent design aesthetic and quality printing.
The wild child out there can add a little of the exotic to correspondence with the bold, jaguar print Soleia notecard set, a collaborative effort by British paper company Papier and luxury pajama designers Desmond & Dempsey. The warm, white cards can even be personalized with your monogram and address.
Credit: Lisa Congdon
Lisa Congdon’s progressive Forward Together postcard pack is popular on Etsy.
Sometimes, a quick note says more than a long letter ever could, and other times you just want to let someone know you’re thinking of them. For both these occasions, a postcard offers an easy and fun solution. Not to mention, a picture can be worth a thousand words.
We love the fun and fruity postcards by Los Angeles-based design company Poketo, picturing juicy cantaloupe, curvy pears, and clusters of raspberries. They’re so sunny and vibrant you may even want to hang them on your wall as art rather than stick them in the post.
Speaking of stunning flora, the Archives at the New York Botanical Garden offers a postcard set of 100 rare portraits of exotic flowers, cacti, and succulents from its world-renowned collection. Beautifully printed, this set is gorgeous enough to make a simple “hello” seem special.
And, there’s no time like the present to show your support for the causes of 2020, from the current political climate to social distancing amid COVID-19. Boston-based art director Stephanie Cornell recommends the Forward Together postcard pack by Portland, Oregon-based designer Lisa Congdon.
“All of her designs are terrific, but I’m partial to these right now,” says Cornell.
3. Creative pens
Not quite a pencil and not quite a pen, these Ohto writing instruments ensure your sweet and smooth messages are easily read.
From Chicago, Greer recommends that anyone looking for a well-crafted pen with a timeless appeal should look to Kaweco, a heritage brand that achieves modernity through timeless design and perfected quality.
“Kaweco first produced fountain pens in Heidelberg, Germany in 1889,” she says. “Many of their stylish writing instruments are not far-removed in design from their original versions.”
The classic sport fountain pen follows the original design from 1935, and yet, at under $17, is quite affordable.
More casual, but no less important, the very artistic Cornell swears by colorful Muji pens.
She says, “They are the only pen I use, and I have them in every color. I use them for art-making, letter writing, journaling, and every day.”
If you can’t decide whether you’re partial to pens or pencils, you can have the best of both worlds with Japanese pen-maker Ohto’s clever wooden pencil ballpoint pen. Made of cedar wood, it looks like a pencil but is fitted with a ballpoint refill and brass tip. Like all Ohto pens, this one writes like a dream using oil-based ink to give a smooth script.
4. Fun envelopes
Shorthand’s Monarch envelopes allow you to send a note in style.
It’s true that what’s inside is what really counts—but why not let what’s outside inspire some excitement with a bold envelope choice.
Not even a quick note scribbled on copy paper can look boring when it arrives in one of the floral-inspired envelopes by Monarch.
We are also partial to envelopes that really lean into the nostalgia element of letter-writing. A simple set of air mail envelopes is a throwback to the days of overseas penpals and mailing letters to foreign exchange students.
There’s something about the red and blue stripes that always made it feel like what was inside was going to be extra important—and they still do the same today.
If you’re aiming to elevate your letter-writing game, now is not the time to settle for boring postage stamps.
To bring some high art to your envelopes, check out the USPS’s Ruth Asawa Forever stamps. We may not be able to see the late Japanese-American artist’s intricate abstract wire sculptures in museums these days, but thanks to these stamps we can look deep inside some of her most celebrated pieces.
We also like the recent release of USPS stamps that celebrate the Voices of the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was one of the most important literary and artistic movements in American history; maybe having faces of some of the greats gracing your letters will help inspire your most poetic writing.
6. A personal seal
Baum-kuchen original wax seal stamp allows you to say “always and forever.”
Channel your inner Cyrano and sign off your letters in 17th-century style with a wax seal. We love the functional quality of a wax seal that also leaves an impression of the mailer’s personality in tiny details.
A favorite is the Always + Forever solid brass wax seal by Baum-kuchen, which gives meaning and timeless style to your envelope sealing. But, if you want a more contemporary imprint on your correspondence, the Social Type seals things off with skulls, palm trees, and expressions like “Yay!” on wax seal stickers that easily affix to your envelope, without the use of candles and wax.
If you want to look like you are preparing a secretive correspondence for the French Revolution, try this brass and lacquered wood spoon and furnace set.
You’ll also have to purchase a melting agent, like this wax beads kit that features 24 colors of sealing wax beads. These perfectly portioned wax drops are less messy than classic wax sticks. You can also get creative by easily melting more than one color at a time, making for unique, marbleized effect all your own.
While many people love the control of wax beads like the ones we’ve just talked about, some consider using them blasphemy. If you’re one of those, we suggest you go all in with J.Herbin’s French Cire Souple richly colored sealing wax sticks. These have a superior drip, and they bend instead of cracking when opened.
7. Letter openers
Credit: Izola / High Street Market
No more paper cuts, guaranteed, when you use a sleek letter opener to crack your correspondences.
There’s something satisfying about tearing open an envelope with a letter opener—you can neatly get out your aggression without getting a paper cut.
We love anything that serves a dual purpose. In the case of the Izola brass-plated letter opener it not only opens letters, it doubles as a ruler—both metric and imperial—and somehow looks both modern and classic all at the same time.
If your tastes veer more towards commanding, the solid brass, stallion-topped horse letter opener by High Street Market is detailed, elegant, and worthy of a letter from a VIP.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
personalized stationery sets for letter writing
Letter Writing & Personalized Stationary
We previously began a series of posts on the lost art of letter writing. In hopes of resurrecting this splendid tradition, we will be presenting various posts on all the ins and outs of classic correspondence. Today we cover the foundation of the art of letter writing: stationery.
If you are writing a casual letter to a friend or family member, quality stationery is a nice touch, but definitely not necessary. Your friend is not likely to take note of the excellent texture of your paper and respond with, “Handsome stationery, Dude!”
But for some kinds of correspondence, only real stationery will do. If you are writing a love letter, a sympathy note, a thank you card, or a letter of congratulations, you don’t want to send such meaningful musings on paper you tore out of your spiral notebook. Quality stationery adds a weight of sincerity to your words.
Quality stationary makes writing a true pleasure and creates a distinct impression on those lucky enough to receive your letters. If you have only bought mass-produced stationery, this point may seem dubious. But quality stationery is truly an artistic luxury. Quality stationery is still made in small batches by manly craftsmen toiling in their studios. And surprisingly, there’s a lot to know when picking out a set to purchase. So here is a guide to investing in paper you’ll be proud to put your ink to.
Since quality stationery forms the foundation of a man’s letter writing arsenal, investing in quality, personalized/monogrammed cards, papers, and envelopes is a wise decision. Your recipient will know a letter from you has arrived the moment they open the mailbox. Choose stationery with simple, classic style: white or ecru paper with black, blue, or gray ink. Having a few sets of the following types at hand will ready you for the writing of any kind of letter, both formal and long and short and casual.
From our very own AoM store.
Men have traditionally used the correspondence card over folded note cards or letter sheets for their communications. Letter writing need not always involve the writing of long tomes; the task of filling a large sheet of paper may seem too daunting and keep you from ever getting started. Instead, try sending off shorter notes more frequently. The correspondence card, simple, flat, heavyweight, and typically 4×6 in size, is ideal for this purpose. Correspondence cards often have a colored border, and while it’s appropriate to put your name across the top, having your initials in the corner in the classiest way to go.
From William Arthur
Slightly larger than the correspondence card (usually about 6×8), social sheets also make excellent stationery for shorter notes. You simply fold them in half and place them in an envelope. You may add just your name, or your name, address, and coat of arms to the top of the sheets. They can be used for longer missives too; just order plain sheets for additional pages. As with all stationery, the first page can be embellished with a monogram or design while additional sheets should be plain. Do not write on the back of these sheets; if you need more room, continue onto a new page.
From Crane and Co.
Monarch sheets, which are also known as executive stationery, typically measure around 7×10 and are used for longer correspondences. You can embellish them similarly to the social sheets, keeping in mind that adding one’s address makes the stationery appear more formal and business-like. When purchasing embellished monarch sheets, also order blank sheets for letters than go beyond the first page.Stationery Embellishments
When purchasing stationery you will likely wish to embellish it with your name, address, family coat of arms, or some combination of these things. Basic stationery will print these embellishments in the conventional way, and are acceptable for the man on a budget. But if you’re thinking about investing in higher quality stationery or asking for stationery as a gift, you should look into printing methods which lend the embellishments a more formal and distinctive texture and appearance. There are several options for this, and you should choose the one that best suits your aesthetic desires and budget.
If you want to give your stationery the most distinctive look and feel possible, and you’re willing to pay top dollar to get it, then engraving is for you. Engraving, which dates from Medieval Europe, is the oldest process for creating embellishments. It is still done much like it was centuries ago. For each order, a new copper plate must be made. The copper plate is engraved with the text or design desired. Ink is spread over the plate, then wiped off, leaving only the ink in the engraving. Paper (and only the highest quality paper will suffice) is then forcefully pressed against the plate; so forcefully that the paper enters the etchings and the ink is transferred. The force of the impression leaves the lettering with a raised effect you can feel on the front of the paper and a “bruise” on the back. The result is the most handsome, formal, and sharpest possible embellishment. It’s also the most expensive. But while the price for your first engraved stationery is quite steep, much of that cost is from the making of the copper plate. Once you purchase your own plate, re-ordering the stationery becomes less expensive.
For those who cannot afford engraving but desire something nicer than digital printing, adding thermography to the a conventional wet-ink printing process is a welcome option. Thermography involves placing resin power on the printed ink and then baking the embellishment. The baking raises the ink, giving it a texture that can be felt on the front of the paper. It can’t quite touch the look and feel of engraving, but it certainly approaches it.
Here’s a video from Crane’s explaining the difference between engraving and thermography and giving you a look at the complex process that makes engraving so expensive: