“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.”
~ (© 1910) A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery by Jean Wilde Clark
And so it was, after much deliberation, that I decided to order bespoke correspondence cards from Smythson of Bond Street. I had always wanted a set of fine, engraved correspondence cards on beautiful stock; to me, they are one of the most versatile and useful pieces of social stationery. I frequently find myself writing short notes – thanks yous, a personal note enclosed with the mailing of a gift/clippings/photos, acknowledgements, informal invites, etc. What better piece of stationery than a personalized correspondence card? And who better to create my ideal card than one of the world’s finest stationers – Smythson?
I sent an email inquiry requesting samples of paper stock and ink colors, and very quickly received reply from a very helpful Smythson associate, who assessed my requirements and preferences and dispatched a packet of samples. I received the sample packet – cardstocks, tissue-lined envelopes, and sample cards – quite quickly from London. All presented within the beautiful Smythson blue mailing folio.
After looking over the samples and options, I decided on very simple cards – my name only printed in Smythson Blue ink on White Wove 350GM stock. I chose to order 100 cards and envelopes, adding tissue-lining in Smythson Blue to the envelopes, and also having my return address added to the back flap of the envelopes. Borders, motifs (stock and custom), tissue-lining and return address are all available for additional charge. I am so pleased I chose the tissue lining and return address; for me, it was well worth the additional expense.
I worked with Smythson via email to create and confirm the proofs for the engraving plates. It was a very quick process; in less than 24 hours I had the initial proofs. Once I approved everything and placed my order, it would take several weeks for fulfillment. Understandably, it’s a fairly involved process.
I received my exquisite set of cards and envelopes in about 5-6 weeks from order placement – and I couldn’t be more pleased. The people at Smythson were friendly, helpful, timely, and wonderful to work with. The quality of their work is exceptional, their presentation is lovely.
It’s a feeling not unlike savoring a piece of fine chocolate — to open the beautiful blue box, fountain pen in hand, pull out the heavy cream card and beautifully lined envelope to pen a note to someone dear. The indentation on the back of the card from the engraving, the discreet watermark on the envelope, the embossed letters of Smythson … it is fine and it is special. This old tradition still speaks to me – “in tone, texture, and design” – more than any email, text message or even mass-produced greeting card ever will.
Yes. Paper talks. Still.
*Apologies for blurring out/photo-altering my beautifully engraved text and information in the photos … all in the name of privacy. Thanks for understanding.