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Social Stationery Wardrobe Dos and Don’ts

Build a social stationery wardrobe

Correspondence or flat card

You would never walk out of the house without at least a quick thought to your appearance. The same goes for sending correspondence out into the world. The best and easiest way to be sure your messages make your best impression is to create a social stationery wardrobe.

Build a social stationery wardrobe with pieces that you love. After all, just like your clothing wardrobe, your stationery represents you in the world, so you should feel proud of the way it fits your unique style. And remember, quality stationery stands the test of time. While many of your missives will be discarded, some will be kept for years, maybe decades or even centuries!

So what’s in a social stationery wardrobe? These are the basic pieces that provide the tools you need for any occasion that pops up. We recommend four must-have pieces in your stationery wardrobe:

Flat card or correspondence card

If you need to write just a couple of lines, a flat card is the perfect tool. Need to send your father-in-law the belt he left at his last visit? Slip in a flat card with a quick hello. Want to send a memorial donation in the name of a friend’s sister? Write your instructions to the charity on a flat card and include the check. Anytime you need to send a casual,  brief missive, the flat card works beautifully.

How to use: Write  your brief message on the side of the card that shows your name or monogram.

Build a social stationery wardrobe at giftsin24

Folded note

Folded note or foldover note

A folded note is slightly more formal. It’s perfect for one of the most common social tasks we perform (or should be performing, ahem! ): the thank you note. Folded notes give plenty of space to express gratitude for a wedding, birthday, Christmas, anniversary or baby shower gift. Folded notes are also perfect for acknowledging the nice things that people do for you. It could be that referral that a client made on your behalf. Or the wonderful dinner party you got invited to.  Ask yourself: “Did someone spend time and effort to do something just for me?” Return their energy by writing a thank you note on a folded note.

And using polished and professionally made thank you notes can be rewarding in other ways: If you are on the job hunt, doing job interviews or attending sales calls, that embossed folded note could make or break a potential employer or client’s impression of you.

How to use: Start on the lower inside panel. If you need more space, move to the upper inside panel.

Build a social stationery wardrobe at giftsin24.com

Letter sheet

Writing papers or letter sheets

If you are writing a message of a few paragraphs or more, use writing papers, also called letter sheets. Whether you are channeling your inner Jane Austen or simply telling your college bound daughter how much you love her, writing sheets emblazoned with your name or monogram are the perfect touch.  Accompany the paper with matching envelopes and a pretty stamp, and you will create correspondence worthy of being handed down through the ages… or at least saved for a little while.

How to use: Write on the front of the paper only. Use a blank sheet for the second page and find your best pen filled with blue or black ink.

Build a social stationery wardrobe at giftsin24.com

Gift enclosure

Gift enclosures

Whether you are giving a bottle of wine for getting that big sale or offering a gift to your evening’s host, a gift enclosure is your tool. Keeping a well-stocked stash of these around will help you avoid a last-minute scramble to the drug store. A well-crafted enclosure ensures that every gift is presented beautifully.

How to use: Brevity is your friend here. Sign your name under a brief greeting: “Thank you!” “I love you” “Happy Birthday,” etc.

Assembling your social stationery wardrobe 

You can put together a beautiful stationery wardrobe using individual cards, notes , writing papers  and enclosures that you love on their own. Buying individually gives you more flexibility and design choices. You can select pieces that are on trend, traditional designs or a mix of both.

Or you can purchase a coordinating set. Giftsin24 offers a number of wardrobes and ensembles that represent terrific values. Especially if you love a particular lettering style or monogram, purchasing a wardrobe is an easy way to get what you need quickly. Here are a few of our favorites:

Henley Monogram Wardrobe. This graceful assortment of embossed papers gives you many options to fit any occasion. Featuring your beautifully embossed monogram on high quality paper. Includes choice of monogram. Each Monogram Wardrobe set includes 50 letter sheets, 50 folded notes, and 50 enclosures with 150 paper-matched envelopes. Choose a return address or hand-inserted lining to make this set complete. Supplement with the Delavan Monogram Card to complete your monogrammed, embossed wardrobe.

Cove Wardrobe. An amazing value. The Cove Wardrobe has you covered. Be prepared for all of life’s occasions with a letter sheet, folded note and gift enclosure. Beautifully embossed in a bold, pleasing lettering style. 150 pieces, total, with 150 color-matched envelopes. Choose a return address or hand-inserted lining to make this an extra special gift. Add the Corridor Card to complete the set.

Somerset Wardrobe. The Somerset Wardrobe features three sizes of single panel cards (Apex, Correspondence and Enclosure) in your choice of ink color and lettering style. Containing 150 pieces, plus 150 matching envelopes, this set will cover all your casual stationery needs. Optional hand-inserted lining and return address on the envelopes. Supplement with the Somerset Letter Sheet to complete your raised-ink wardrobe.

 

 

 

Stationery Etiquette: How to Choose Stationery

Monterrey Note from Giftsin24.com“A WOMAN is known by the stationery she uses. Paper talks. We read between the lines, along the margin, and across the envelope, the story of good or bad taste which speaks in tone, texture and design.” So opens A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery published in 1910 and written by Jean Wilde Clark. What was true then, with a slight tweak, is still true today. Our stationery can speak worlds about us. What’s changed? “The Rules,” or stationery etiquette, are more relaxed: we no longer must use black-bordered mourning stationery after a loved one’s death, for example. In addition, we can all agree that men have just as much of a need for stationery, and that their stationery choices speak for them too.

What’s more, in this age of fast fashion, speed-of-light communication across the globe, what’s “In Style” changes on a dime. And that makes us lucky: there’s no need to cram our taste into rigid expectations of what’s proper or even what’s in style. Sure, white or ivory paper will always be correct. But if you want to use red pepper, who will care? Citrus paper? Be my guest. The fabulous Jackie O used robin’s egg blue paper. If she could do that in the 1960s, the sky is the limit for us in the late 2010s.

On the one hand, the lack of stylistic expectations is liberating, because it means we have the freedom to choose whatever stationery suits us. On the other hand, it can be slightly intimidating, because we’ve got almost unlimited choices.

Damask Card from Giftsin24.comLet it be your style.

There’s one rule to follow in 2017/2018: You be you. Don’t worry about what a friend is doing, or what you saw in a magazine.

Not sure what you like? Look at the furnishings in your home and the clothes you wear.

Do you tend toward traditional (try a 3-letter monogram), primitive country (try a quirky or hand-lettered font), or contemporary (try your name in block letters)?

Like neat, clean surfaces (look for simple lettering) or do you like to cram every nook and cranny with beloved objects (look for curvy, embellished designs)?

Do you like to follow the rules (center the personalization at the top) or do you like to push them (personalization goes in a corner or at the bottom)?

What colors do you like to surround yourself with? Pastels? Metallics? Jewel Tones? Neutrals?

Take advantage of the preview function when considering lettering styles for your name. Scrutinize the way your initials look – perhaps you like one font’s S better than another?

These are great clues to help you pull together your stationery style. In the end, whatever you choose will be perfect, because you chose it.

Anthony Card with border from giftsin24.comBusiness or personal?

When you’re writing a note to your pastor, the school principal, or your favorite author, you might want to consider a more formal letter sheet or correspondence card that tends toward business-like. Perhaps it’s embossed. Perhaps it’s on white paper with gray ink. Or ivory paper with coffee ink. This stationery might include your middle initial and the formal version of your first name.

It will work equally well for when you’re sending a gift to your best friend, writing to your brother, or thanking your neighbor for her homemade scones. Or, for those more personal uses, you could purchase a second set that reveals your more relaxed side. Any form — letter sheet, flat card or folded note — will do. Perhaps there is a small illustration, or your nickname, rather than your given name. You might use colored paper with black or metallic ink or a more brightly colored ink on ivory paper.

Caprice Note is a raised ink folded note from giftsin24.com

Raised ink vs. embossing?

It’s really a matter of choice. Raised-ink printing, or thermography, is a more affordable version of engraving. Engraving, a centuries-old printing method, requires the creation of dies, which are expensive to produce and reside at the stationery company until you require more stationery. Raised-ink printing conveys a pleasing texture and a shimmery quality to the ink.

Embossing lends an even more delicious texture because the paper is pressed from below. In that sense embossing resembles traditional engraving, as well. Especially on white or ivory paper, embossing tends to be more formal. It also tends to be more earth-friendly, because the paper recycles easily.

So to recap, choosing stationery can be an enjoyable and fulfilling exercise. Taking time to think about your style and consider your options will reward you each time you sit down to write. See all of our personalized  correspondence cards and folded notes. Happy choosing!

8 Signs You’re a Stationery Addict

Embossed personalized stationery from giftsin24Many people enjoy using stationery. After all, it’s a pleasure to pull out a crisp new sheet and put thought to paper. But for some of us, the joys of stationery transcend ordinary pleasure. You know who we are… we are the stationery addicts.

How do you know you are one of us? Here are some common signs you are a stationery addict:

  1. Your heartbeat speeds up when you spy a new monogram style you’ve never seen before.
  2. When you have downtime, you use it to look for new stationery (and sometimes you look when you should be doing something else – but shhhh, it’s our secret).
  3. The boxes in which you keep your stationery are almost as pretty as your stationery, and definitely prettier than the containers you use for other essentials, such as food, water and clothing.
  4. personalized stationery for the stationery addict from giftsin24

    Are you a stationery addict?

    You know stationery printing methods (embossing, thermography, letterpress, etc.) and you have at least 5 examples of each of them in your collection. Bonus points: you can define the difference between blind embossing and debossing.

  5. When you feel low, you get out your stationery and admire it as you ponder whom to write.
  6. You have splurged on 100% cotton paper stationery – and maybe even ate pbj sandwiches for a week to afford it.
  7. When you’re in a new city, you make a point to research and visit its best stationery store.
  8. You save your prettiest stationery for the people you love the most – it would be a shame to waste it!

Of course, the best and biggest sign you are a stationery addict is being a Giftsin24 customer: you can satisfy your need for a stationery fix in just a matter of minutes – and receive it at your door within a few days.

See our newest stationery

New! Pearl String Monogram Note

Feeling a craving coming on?

Check out one of our newest items: Pearl String Monogram Note. It’s a delightful riff on our Classic Monogram, but with a cool pearl strand treatment.

 

Or shop the whole site.

Monogram Magic: Monogramania Hits Fever Pitch in the Victorian Age

In our previous blog, we explored the ancient history of the monogram. We saw that for centuries, people used monograms widely – on everything from coins to letters to homes and pottery. But people really went crazy for the monogram during the Victorian Era (1837-1901). In fact, one writer of the day called the art of collecting monograms an “epidemic” and named the monogram’s most ardent fans “monogramaniacs.”

Whitlock Monogram from Giftsin24.com

Our Whitlock Monogram is based on a popular Victorian motif.

What was going on? The Industrial Revolution ushered in a new middle class of factory owners, bankers, railroad managers, insurance agents, merchants and all the salaried professionals who helped run these businesses, as well as new ranks of civil servants, teachers, doctors and lawyers, according to Donna Loftus, author of “The Rise of the Victorian Middle Class.” Millions of people now had disposable income, and they desired some of the comforts of the upper classes. They began purchasing household goods as well as clothing, watches and jewelry, which the new economy had made more plentiful and affordable than ever before.

Celebrity and the Monogram

At the same time, the idea of celebrity took on power in popular culture. People began collecting crests and monograms of the rich and famous, according to Nancy Sharon Collins, author of The Complete Engraver. 

Monogram for Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria’s Monogram went through many iterations. Here is a simple one.

Enthusiasts created albums of their most prized monograms, marks and seals. In this age of avid letter writing, “coats of arms or monograms from famous families, politicians, opera stars, or members of the theater were particularly coveted and displayed,” writes Collins.

Whole books explored and documented monogram design, such as An Encyclopedia of Monograms, published in 1884. The book included 5,000 decorative monograms to inspire artists and craftspeople.

Popular women’s magazines of the time, such as Godeys Lady’s Book and Peterson’s Magazine, regularly included alphabets, initials, names and monograms. Middle class readers copied them to embroider nearly every scrap of cloth – tablecloths, sheets, towels, pillowcases and clothing. “Hardly an item in her home escaped from being monogrammed,” writes Rita Weiss, editor of Victorian Alphabets, Monograms and Names. “Young girls learned how to embroider simple alphabets on the linens for her trousseau,” Weiss continues. “By the time she got married, her skills improved and she was ready for more expert work.”

Louis Vuitton monogram

Louis Vuitton company developed its monogram in 1896.

Monogrammed Needlework Attains Art Status

The expert needlework skills attained by women – at all levels of society – and the invention of the Jacquard loom, which spurred faster and cheaper textile manufacturing, coincided to create the perfect circumstances for a boom in monogrammed linens like we’ve never seen before or since, according to Robin Molbert in Monograms and Antique Linens. “Bold and artful monogramming burst into vogue, serving as a kind of democratizing factor in the personalization of one’s linens,” writes Molbert. In England, France and the U.S., women formed sewing and embroidery circles to enjoy and support one another in their endeavors. They shared ideas and perfected their art, incorporating many other aspects including lacework, cut-outs, florals, animal figures and much more.

To this day, many people still cherish, value and collect antique linens from the Victorian Age. A rather funny example: In December 2016, a pair of Queen Victoria’s monogrammed bloomers went on auction, expected to be sold for £6,000. Some famous monograms developed by the Victorians continue to be in vogue. The world of consumer goods offers a perfect example: The interlocking L and V on Louis Vuitton’s bags and luggage. His son Georges designed the iconic image in 1896 to increase sales.

And the practice of monogramming continues to be popular. Whether it’s stationery or wine glasses, ornaments or napkins, personalizing one’s possessions conveys tradition and a sense of pride.

Our story about the monogram isn’t over. Next we ask: what exactly is a monogram?

Explore our lines of monogrammed Cards, Notes, Notepads, Napkins & Guest Towels, and all Monogrammed Items.

 

Sources:

Nancy Sharon Collins. The Complete Engraver: Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and the Etiquette of Social Stationery. Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

Donna Loftus. “The Rise of the Victorian Middle Class.”   BBC History. Website.

Robin Molbert. “The Royal Lineage of Table Linens.” Monograms and Antique Linens. HM Books, 2016.

J. O’Kane. An Encyclopedia of Monograms. Originally published in 1884. Reprinted by Dover Publishing in 2003.

Rita Weiss, editor.Victorian Alphabets, Monograms and Names. Dover Publishing, 1974.

 

 

Gutsy or Geeky? Typography & Personal Style

Monogram Coaster from Giftsin24.com ships in 24 hours.

Here’s our Classic Monogram engraved on a cork coaster.

Here at Giftsin24, we are completely and utterly ga-ga over typography. It’s really our first love. We offer so many different lettering styles and monograms just so you can find one that perfectly expresses your personal style.

Yes, we completely enjoy the creamy, dreamy, thick paper we use. And yes, we can’t get enough of our shimmery raised inks and foil colors. And yes, we “lurve” embossing, which is, ahem, half the name of our brand of stationery, Embossed Graphics.

But typography is where it all begins. For us, typography is really all about an essential attitude. It’s about personality. It’s about STYLE.

Express Your Personal Style with Typography

If you select Dune, a bold lettering style, for your stationery, you are telling others you have the courage of your convictions. You’re a risk-taker who doesn’t back down.

If you select our Classic lettering style– best represented by our Classic Monogram — maybe you love history and custom and see yourself as part of a long tradition of manners and community and fellow-feeling.

If you select Anthony, a casual hand-lettered font, you signal a fun-loving attitude and that you’re not too invested in “the rules.”

See what we mean? Typography expresses the un-erasable part of you, the area of your psyche that can’t be denied or squished into someone else’s idea of what’s “cool.” It’s your personal style.

Not caring about typography is like not caring about the clothes you wear or the food you eat. Crazy, right? Yes, you could walk around day after day in a white t-shirt and khaki pants and eat plain pasta 3 squares a day. But where would that get you in life? And perhaps the more important question is: would life be any fun?

So the next time you select personalized stationery, pay attention to your gut reaction to each lettering style and select the one that really speaks to you. Don’t worry about what’s popular or what that next guy or gal chose. Typography is all about you.

That’s why we offer so many options– many of them exclusively created by Embossed Graphics. We know that secret, inner you is just dying to announce herself through an expression of personal style.

 

 

Viva Las Vegas! US Postal Service Issues Elvis Stamp 8/12

Elvis stamp by United States Postal Service

This commemorative Elvis stamp was issued by United States Postal Service in 2015.

Grab your “Blue Suede Shoes”: Thousands of people are celebrating Elvis Week in Memphis August 8-16. Can’t make it? All fans of “The King” can demonstrate their “Burning Love”by getting the new Elvis Presley Forever(R) stamp. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will issue it on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, with a dedication ceremony at Graceland.

Whether you’re sending our stationery to the “Heartbreak Hotel,” a “Hound Dog” or the”Devil in Disguise,” rest assured your letter will arrive with the Elvis Forever stamp.

Elvis Stamp Works for All Giftsin24 Stationery

Our cards and notes weigh about one ounce, which fits within the USPS maximum dimensions for standard first class postage. That includes our line of oversized Chesapeake cards, as well as luxury triple-thick notes.

Purchasing USPS Forever stamps ensures you can easily send a card or note anytime. You won’t have to worry about the current value of stamps or changing postage costs in the future. And “That’s All Right!”

It’s Hip to Be Thankful

thank you note writing and showing gratitude never goes out of style.

Gratitude is in. Thank you note writing has been circulating around in pop culture lately.

Gratitude is hip. In the news just this week, Nascar driver Daniel Hemric  penned thank you notes to American servicemen and women. They keep our country safe.

Thanking supporters

Taylor Swift is writing thank you notes to DJs, radio hosts and others who help support her musical career.

Writing of your gratitude

And, Regis Philbin helped late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon complete his regular thank you note writing bit last Friday night.

These celebrities demonstrate the power of thank you notes. They help strengthen relationships and are a main way to express your love. Plus, they may even help you in your career.

Thank you notes are powerful because people yearn to feel appreciated and acknowledged.

But you knew that already, didn’t you?

 

 

What Kind of Person Are You?

What Kind of Person Are You: are you a kind person?

Empathy, compassion and gratitude are some of the beautiful qualities shared by Giftsin24 customers. Be a kind person.

Here at Giftsin24, we sell personalized stationery. But that’s not all. When you purchase our product, you are doing more than simply buying stationery. You are ultimately acting on being a kind person. A polite person. A thoughtful person.

On the heals of commencement speech season, many speakers choose to focus on the importance of character and kindness. Yes, academic achievements are important, but when push comes to shove, being kind might just get you farther in life. Here are two speakers and their speeches that explore this topic and are generally judged among the best commencement addresses:

George Saunders  2013 at Syracuse University

David McCullough Jr. 2012 at Wellesley High School

Acknowledging the generosity of others keeps that positive vibe flowing. The concept of “paying it forward” has become very popular in recent years. And there’s a great reason why: Connecting with others makes life more happy, more meaningful.

Kindness is King

Writing a note in your own handwriting is a small yet powerful way to share your gratitude with those around you. From the basic thank you for a birthday gift, to the expression of your deep gratefulness to someone who changed your life, penning thoughts on paper is a wonderful, simple way to act on your best impulses, and bring more love and connection into your life.

So, we thank you, dear customer, for being the kind person you are.

Winter Blahs-Busting Stationery

Giftsin24 offers beautiful stationery to chase away the winter blahs

Beat the winter blahs with new stationery.

When the skies are grey, temperatures plunge and daylight barely breaks ten hours, we all need a break from the drear. How about some happy stationery to perk you up and help you connect with friends?

With a good pen and a stamp, you can cheer yourself up by writing a friendly note to your old college roommate, favorite cousin or old next-door-neighbor. Won’t they be surprised to get your letter?

Three of our happiest cards and notes

Notable Note: One of our best selling notes! Your monogram appears in an ebullient, rounded script lettering style in one of ten luscious raised-ink colors. Choose fuchsia, red or purple for a pick-me-up vibe.

Blossom Note: Another exquisite design by America’s leader in social stationery! Our Blossom Note features superb embossed and creamy, triple-thick paper. Yo’u’ll enjoy writing a letter on this note. The Japanese-inspired motif features a spray of flowers deeply impressed into the paper. Below, your name appears in shiny raised ink. Choose from 6 pretty lettering styles and 10 ink colors.

Manhattan Card: This single panel card lights up an ordinary day with a ticker tape parade of polka dots, highlighted by your name in a curling script. For a real treat, choose lined envelopes in your choice of 5 patterns and 4 colors.

 

More Letter Writing Blogs We Love

Letter writing blogs

Find other people who love to write letters through letter writing blogs.

We love reading about writing! Do you? Two months ago we listed some of our favorite letter writing websites. Here are a few more; these are blogs that explore the not-so-lost art of letter-writing.

Check out these letter writing blogs

Letter Writers Alliance Their mission is to be an “An Alliance for those who enjoy letter writing and postal adventures.” Recent posts have been about pens, the US Postal Service’s consumer commission and carbon paper (remember that?).  Learn about letter writing events near you and much more. For just $5, you can become a lifetime member and receive a badge.

Mrs. Murphy’s Mailbox Magic   This website has a clean look and short, engaging articles that are fun to read. Recent posts have been about Flat Stanley, round robin letter writing groups and more.

Letters of Note  If you enjoy the historical aspects of letter writing, you’ll enjoy this blog, an “attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.” Famous events and people are examined through the lens of the pen.

Red Letter Day  This San Francisco-based blog has a modern edge and focuses on mail art and other related topics, including ink stamps, stamps and postcards–all beautifully curated and described.