Category Archives: Social Stationery

Haptics: The power of touch

The power of touch

Have you heard of haptics? The word “haptics” comes from the Greek “απτω,” meaning “I fasten onto, I touch,” and in the modern world is any form of nonverbal communication involving touch. Haptic sense provides information about surfaces and textures and is vital in interpersonal relationships in relaying intimacy. Touch is the earliest sense to develop in utero. Every culture has a set of haptics traditions, and the sense of touch is both physical and emotional.

Now that you’ve learned something new for the day… how will it be useful to you and your business? Continue reading

Printing in China is cheaper, but is it worth it?

Brighton Collectibles, a high-end accessories manufacturer and retailer with over 140 U.S. locations, has been a long-time customer. Their primary order was foil stamped and embossed notecards (with plain envelopes), which they used to thank customers for their purchases. Brighton recently came to us and told us they were going to try to decrease their costs – by printing in China. We were sad to see them leave, but with the continuing economic difficulties, we understood.

It wasn’t long before they came back to us, though.

Brighton contacted us shortly after they received their product from China, with the request for a rush on their usual order – and they sent us some of the product they received. We were struck by how different it was in color from Brighton’s typical 80# Finch Fine Ultra Smooth Cover in Soft White. The paper above is more similar to smooth, heavy copy paper, and is just as bright. The second thing we noticed was the quality of the foil and the emboss. Not only was it out of register on the hearts, leaving a white rim on the curved tops, but the texture of the hearts was slightly raised and just flat. The foil itself wasn’t bright, but that could have been due to it’s finish, which was very rough. We understand why Brighton was so shocked to receive this after purchasing with us for so many years, but we aren’t.

We can understand the need to decrease costs, but like Brighton discovered, you can’t cut on craftsmanship. In an increasingly digital world, printed marketing still effectively engages customers – to long as there is something to engage with. An incredibly effective method is touch, which can be achieved with quality paper, textured surfaces, or raised images. Quality printing and finishing makes an impression – and sub-par printing, at best, makes none. It is now more important than ever to make a good impression on potential customers, and make existing ones feel valued. Giving them an aesthetically pleasing design, on beautiful paper, in well crafted printing and finishing techniques, can do just that.

Paperless Post Adds Tangible to Virtual

Image Courtesy of JP Stevens engraved social stationery.

It seems Ironic, but even Paperless Post  has introduced a creative new line of printed invitations and stationery, recognizing the impact of printed invitations far outweighs ephemeral e-cards.  Their customers can now choose to send e-vites, p-vites or a combination of both. We applaud PP’s creative response to helping others communicate more effectively.

Despite years of “anti-print, anti-paper” e-rhetoric, the “virtual behemoths” have actively used print to ensure their marketing messages reach intended targets. As others moves into the book sales competition with Amazon, perhaps the hyperbole will finally subside, giving way to the obvious: print is persistent, more persuasive and adds value.

Thank You Notes Increase Business by 25%

One Kings Lane, the online fine home goods store, decided to thank their customers by sending them a set of eight engraved notes and envelopes after they placed their first order. According to Elizabeth Dobbin, OKL purchasing manager, the primary objective of this campaign was to increase the customer’s rate of placing their 2nd purchase. Their secondary objective was to reinforce the One Kings Lane brand as a high-end online retailer. This campaign successfully met both their goals.

One Kings Lane sent the gift cards to a random sample of first time buyers and held back the gift from another sample set of the same size. They found that there was a 25% increase in 2nd orders placed from the group that received the free gift, thus generating significant revenue beyond the cost of the program. The ROI was enough to increase the number of gift sets OKL ordered from BurdgeCooper the next year by 15%. Continue reading

The Beauty of Engraving

If you look at Neenah Paper’s website “The Beauty of Engraving” you’ll find an image of the beautifully engraved cards we made last week on Crane Paper. According to Vanessa Kreckel, owner and creative director of Two Paper Dolls who designed the site, in just a few days there have been over 1,000 requests for the cards designed by Armin Vit of Under Consideration.

 

When Tom Wright, director of Marketing for Neenah, saw the engraved cards he commented that “The fine line, great screening elements within the solids, unique color pallet and clarity of the piece are wonderful to behold. I thank you both for working together on this. I hope you both have enjoyed this journey as we promote engraving and a bit of Cranes product too, to a host of potential designers that wish to reach for the next level of communication in fine printing.”

We were delighted to be asked to help show this fine craft that we know so well and bring the Beauty of Engraving to an entirely new generation of designers.

 

Octopress Atlanta

Mix together an original 1829 English Albion press, generations of engravers and printers, papermakers, graphic artists, 21st century multi-media design, delectable food and spirits, and you get a symphony extraordinaire.

The BurdgeCooper/Neenah Paper Octopress Fete held last Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia combined at least eight printing techniques, from centuries-old engraving to the latest in digital, to explore the tactile processes of traditional printing. Graphic designers were inspired by the variety of rich papers and tangible designs on display. As one person said, “I only design for the Internet, but now that I see this, I want to change my direction to include paper and printing. I just didn’t know this was out there, and to actually meet some of you who do this work has changed me. I see the possibilities.” Behind-the-scenes employees at BurdgeCooper feel this change, too.

The transformations in printing, from Albrecht Dürer to William Morris to BurdgeCooper, using age-old technology in combination with 21st century ideology is thrilling in itself, but the motivation for perfection comes from meeting our customers one-on-one, keeping us working together all on the same page. Lucy Stovall, 2012

 

The End of Business Cards? Hardly.

Today’s LA Times front page had an article (featuring an online entrepreneur :>) who definitely sees no use for business cards, no future and predicts “they’re over.”  Buried in the article were points which clearly refute the title of article, but no matter.

What turned out to be really interesting after reading this “echo from the Rot Com era” was: although I’m a loyal p-newspaper subscriber because I support their investigative journalism, I later visited the LA Times site to see reader responses (LAT generously provides a Comments section for each article).

Oops, all but one response derided the article and the idea that business cards are “over.”  Despite the “e-PR spin” –  the future is all about ‘bumping’ mobile devices, ‘snapping’ codes and such…to instantly download contact data – the article curiously failed to address the exploding problem of mobile device hacking, which is doubling every few months…the reason savvy folks resist dumping unverified data into their contact lists.

What was truly interesting among the comments, several clearly called out the “e-com is greener” myth…and backed their arguments with facts. Just as I was smiling and navigating elsewhere, I bumped into another “e-PR” article built upon the premise “Things change, the ‘New Normal’ is here to stay.”  Where I’d been smiling before, I laughed out loud at this one.  No, sorry Gen Y, “today’s New Normal” will also change.

That’s the problem with “spin,” once folks start, they can’t seem to stop, but no matter.

I needed a good laugh to end the week. And the biggest one of all came right after…when I read that neutrino communication can eventually replace the internet. The recently completed research and successful tests are no laughing matter, but the thought of all that e-PR facing finally facing its comeuppance, that’s sublime.

JP Stevens – Social Stationery with Timeless Elegance

JP Stevens has been perfecting the art and science of putting ink on paper for over 100 years. This year, the Atlanta social stationery leaders are offering Holiday greeting cards with classically elegant engraved designs as well as modern photographic cards on 100% cotton Crane paper.

Head over to JP Stevens to look over a small sample of the offering or contact Denise for a full catalog.

Read on below for a history of JP Stevens.

 

In 1874, only nine years after the civil war ended, Mr. J.P. Stevens founded his business in Atlanta Georgia.  He hand cut engraving dies and manufactured engraved stationery on machines he designed himself.  For the next 121 years the J.P. Stevens Company produced fine engraved stationery for most of the leading families and businesses in the South.  The company was purchased by the Stuart F. Cooper Company in 1997 and continues to manufacture engraved stationery.  Since its acquisition by Stuart F. Cooper, the company expanded into lithography, thermography, foil stamping, embossing and digital printing.  Today the company provides professional and social stationery along with other communications to business and professional firms nationwide.