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Products

 Importance of Business Stationery Part (3)

Published 2010-3-31 19:57:00 - Office Stationery

What your Business Stationery should include

One of the best ways to ensure that your business image is consistent across your entire suite of office stationery and business stationery is to order it all from the same source. When you source all of your custom business stationery from one supplier, you can be certain of the quality and the consistency of your design across the full spectrum. When you are choosing a source for your business stationery, be certain that they can supply all of the pieces that you will need to put your business’ best face forward. A full suite of business stationery includes:

Creating an image with your Business Stationery

What impression do you want to convey about your brand? Here are some specific suggestions for paper and color choices that you might make for your company.

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 Importance of Business Stationery Part (2)

Published 2010-3-31 19:55:00 - Office Stationery

What you want your Business Stationery to say

Of course, the message you want to send will vary depending on your company, but there are some constants that you want to convey. No matter what your business is, you want your business stationery to deliver the message that "we have really got it together and can get the job done." Coordinated business stationery delivers that message unequivocally. When everything from your business cards to your letter stationery to your invoices includes the same design elements, you subtly establish your company as truly professional.

Branding is more than a logo

There is more to a coordinated appearance than just putting your logo on everything. Every design element of every piece of stationery should coordinate to present a polished image that is unmistakably your own. Every time a customer or contact sees a piece of paper from your office, they should immediately recognize that it came from your office. That is what branding is all about — creating an impression and then making certain that every time your company is seen, it fits that image.

That means that all of your stationery, from business cards to invoices to executive correspondence cards carries common design elements. You should keep colors, fonts, sizes and typefaces consistent across all of your business papers.

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 Importance of Business Stationery Part (1)

Published 2010-3-31 19:48:00 - Office Stationery

When you are doing business, image is a vital part of your success. Whether you are a small, home-based business with just yourself as an employee or a huge multi-national company with thousands of workers, your business image is a key part of your ability to connect with clients and associates. These days, the popular term for it is ‘branding’. In the old days, business consultants called it what it is — building an image. Any business consultant will tell you that one of the vitally important tools in branding is your business stationery.

Business stationery is more than just your letterhead, though your company’s official letterhead stationery is certainly important. The term stationery encompasses every bit of paper that your company uses in communicating with its customers and associates. That means letterhead, envelopes, invoices, shipping labels, calling cards, calendars and presentation folders — to name just a few. In order to make the best impression on prospective customers and business contacts, you need to first define your brand — and then make sure that every single piece of communication that leaves your office carries through on the theme. Coordinated office stationery and business stationery make it easy to keep your brand consistent across a wide range of communication and correspondence products.

Why Business Stationery is so important

Imagine that you are interviewing salespeople to handle a million dollar manufacturing contract for your company. You are handed two business cards from two different sales representatives. The first is lightweight and bends easily, has the company logo printed on a plain background and the sales rep’s name is written on a line below the company name. The other card is heavy card stock with a smooth finish, the printing is raised and glossy, and the sales rep’s name is engraved in a font that coordinates with the company logo. Which company would you rather do business with?

Communication on your business stationery is often the first impression that you and your company make on a new business contact. Whether you send a letter of introduction, drop off a business card or include an invoice with a shipped order, the paper on which that message is printed carry a subtle, but very potent message about your business. Choosing business stationery that presents your company positively with the image that you want to project sets up an expectation in the minds of your business contacts. 

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 Shopping Guide for Personalized Gifts

Published 2010-3-30 22:32:00 - Personalized Stationery

Personalized gifts are a great way to show a person how much you really care. A gift that is personalized shows that you put time and thought into picking a gift. Anybody can go to the local department store and buy a shirt or picture frame, but it takes effort and some amount of forethought to buy a customized stationery gift.

As personal as it can be, the act of giving a personalized stationery gift can be a little tricky at times. You really have to know the person the gift is for. You have to know their likes and dislikes and even some of their hobbies. You need to know what the person is interested in. You don't want to buy a gift for someone that they are not going to like. Just because you like it, does not mean that they will. For personalized gifts to be effective, you should use your own likes and dislikes only to help you decide between a few items. It is ultimately about the other person. When buying a gift for your mother who loves to cook, you might think about buying her a personalized cookbook that she can fill with her recipes or stationery with pots and pans on it. You also have to think about whether or not the person would actually use the gift you are contemplating. Your 80-year old grandfather may really like to watch surfing on television, but a surfboard with his name on it might not be a good idea.

There is one downfall to a personalized gift. Even the most thought out, heartfelt gift might not be liked by the recipient. With personalized gifts, there is no option to return the gift or exchange it for something they would rather have. What then? The person is now stuck with a personalized gift that they don't like and they can not do anything about it.

It all goes back to making sure you know the person you are buying the gift for. If you are not sure what the person would like, go with something non-personalized. And remember, if you can't decide between personalized and non-personalized, there's always gift certificates.

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 When and How to Write Thank You Notes

Published 2010-3-30 22:28:00 - Cards

Thank you notes seem to be becoming a thing of the past. We at Chinese Stationery believe that it is not only proper etiquette, but appropriate to write thank you notes for certain things. Thank you notes can be formal or informal, simple or complex, but should always be heartfelt and genuine. Here are just a few of the occasions where thank you notes would be appropriate:

You can use formal stationery or the preprinted thank you notes from the grocery store. The situation will help decide how formal you should be. For wedding gifts, a formal thank you note should be used, usually one that matches your wedding invitation or theme. Baby shower or bridal shower thank you notes can be informal, although you can typically get thank you notes that match the shower invitations as well. You can substitute personalized stationery instead of an actual note with "Thank You" printed on it, but we would not recommend getting too informal and using a memo sheet or notebook paper. The card should reflect the occasion and yourself. Get something that you like and it will let the people receiving it know that you thought enough of their gift to take the time to pick out a thank you note.

You should send the thank you note as soon as possible. The longest you should wait is a week in most cases. If you wait too long, it might seem to the recipient that you forgot about them and their gift. If the thank you note is being sent for gifts received while in the hospital, you should wait until you are well enough to write to send the note. With wedding presents, too, there is a forgivable exception to the one week window, as a honeymoon will typically delay the writing process by a few days or even a week. The longest you should ever take to send a thank you note is two months from the day you received the gift.

When you sit down to write the thank you note, be specific. If the person was at the event, be sure to say how much you enjoyed seeing them. If a gift was given, be sure to reference it and its intended use in the note. For example, if Aunt Mary sent you a set of sheets as a birthday present, you might want to say "Thank you so much for the floral sheet set. They'll go perfectly with the colors we've chose for the bedroom." Even if you do not like the gift and will end up returning it, you should still let the person know that you appreciated their generosity.

The thank you note should be written to whoever sent the gift. If it was your Aunt Mary and Uncle Steve, then you want to address the card to them. If the gift came from Aunt Mary, Uncle Steve and the cousins Johnny and Jenny, you would still only address the thank you note to just Aunt Mary and Uncle Steve, but you would want to make sure to mention Johnny and Jenny in the body of the note.

Most importantly, when it comes to thank you notes, be personal. No one wants to get a thank you note that sounds like it was written by a robot. It just doesn't seem genuine. If you make sure the note is personal, the recipient will know that you actually did like what they got you and that you appreciated them being there or sending the gift, etc.

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 Personalized Stationery Suggestions for Friendly Letters

Published 2010-3-30 22:25:00 - Stationery Set

Always be prepared with a stash of stationery with which to send friendly letters whenever the occasion arises! The birth of a child, an anniversary, graduation and a birthday are only a few of the holidays that would be brightened by a hand-written note from a friend.

Black and white stationery will always be in style. Choosing the optional envelope lining of black acanthus leaves takes this classic stationery combination from basic to bold.

Hand bordered correspondence cards in the color of your choice are a timeless stationery option. Chinese Stationery has a wide variety of colors to fit any personality or personal style. Choose your favorite from Navy Blue, Wine, Espresso, Sage, Yellow, Hunter Green, Tangerine, Black, Silver or Gold.

If bordered is too boring for your personality, design your own embossed stationery to create a note card set that is undeniably you! Our huge selection of typestyles, monograms, and design embellishments help you create your one-of-a-kind stationery set.

If you are looking for a fast, easy solution to all your stationery needs, you could try out our ensembles. Our custom stationery sets come with a variety of pieces, including letter sheets, cards, fold notes and even labels, making your stash of stationery all-inclusive with just one purchase. For those who have a love for gardening, our Purple Rose Ensemble is perfect for your passion. If your green thumb has a more contemporary flair, you might opt for a modern floral ensemble.

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 Letter Writing in Tough Economic Times: Be Resourceful...Be Yourself

Published 2010-3-30 22:03:00 - Personalized Stationery

In many ways, taking the time to write letters is both sensible and memorable. Think back to your last birthday...how many generic birthday cards did you receive? Do you remember what any of them said? Instead of sticking to the standard store-bought cards, you can start sending the types of cards everyone will remember. If you have a stash of beautiful stationery on hand, you can create special, personalized cards for any occasion that may come up. Believe it or not, your personalized stationery or note cards can stand in the place of any type of card.

There is a logical, sensible side to stationery as well. The national average for the cost of a greeting card is $4. The average U.S. family purchases an average of 30 cards per year, or $120. Don't wait until you get to the checkout counter to buy your greeting, birthday, anniversary, holiday and thank you cards. Choose instead of stock up once a year on beautiful, personalized stationery. Purchasing a beautiful set of versatile stationery will ensure you are always ready for any occasion...and will save you some serious cash in the long run.

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 Letter Writing in Tough Economic Times: Landing a Great Job and Looking to the Future

Published 2010-3-30 22:00:00 - Cards

According to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Affairs, fifty-two percent of Chinese are not saving enough money, with many saving no money at all. If you and your family are "just getting by," you are certainly not alone. Why not take matters into your own hands and make a change for the better? Even small changes, like switching to a company with better benefits or one with a great retirement plan can make a huge difference for you and your family in the long run. Think about it...you owe it to yourself, and to your future, to see what is out there and weigh your options.

A great way to uncover your options is to get out there and just start interviewing. Even with all the hype about layoffs and hiring slumps, you never know who might be on the lookout for your specific skill set and singular background experience. Is there a local company you have always been interested in? Have you heard that a friend's company is looking to hire? Update your resume ASAP, print it on a high quality paper, and drop it in the mail along with a professional, personalized cover letter introducing yourself to the hiring manager. With any luck, they will call you soon to schedule an interview. At the very least, they will probably file your resume away for later, because a resume delivered via "snail mail" is much more memorable (and not as easy to "delete") than the hundreds of email applications they will likely receive. If you are lucky enough to get that interview, make sure to leave an immediate and lasting impression for all the right reasons.

As soon as you get home from the interview, ensure that you will stand out from the crowd by writing a professional, sincere, hand-written thank you note directly to the person with whom you interviewed, thanking them for their time and re-expressing your interest and enthusiasm for the job. Make sure to proofread it, and send it without delay. Employers have to make tough decisions, and any extra steps you take can only help your chances to land the job of your dreams.

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 Letter Writing in Tough Economic Times: Creating a Personal Network

Published 2010-3-30 21:52:00 - Cards

We all know the old adage that says "birds of a feather stick together." While it may sound a bit cliche, research shows that there is in fact value in surrounding yourself with positive, successful, happy people. When you surround yourself with people and things that inspire you and make you happy, you will be more likely to find strategies to help you live the life you want to live. When you spend time with people who you don't aspire to be like, who you don't respect, or who make you feel bad about yourself, you will likely feel less empowered, and not at all inspired, to make good things happen for yourself. Think about it...reaching out to people that you admire just might provide you with a better job opportunity, some solid advice, or even just a new network of positive friends.

Sounds good...but where do you go from here? It can be a bit intimidating to randomly reach out to a casual acquaintance just to say "hello," and it's definitely tough to blatantly ask for help or advice. Writing a friendly, hand-written note can be much less daunting than picking up the phone. A hand-written note also displays a certain level of respect because it takes more time and thought than sending a quick email. Maybe most importantly, a letter can actually make you more approachable and a lot more memorable. Receiving a letter in the mail is less intrusive to the recipient because they can read it, put some thought into it, and get back to you in their own time. A letter is also special in that it is something more permanent than a phone call or email. It's easy to forget to return a voicemail or absently delete an email; it's a lot harder to ignore that beautiful, hand-written letter sitting on your desk!

Some suggestions for opening the lines of communication are: Just saying hello; inviting the person for dinner or a drink; sharing a story or discussing a topic the two of you have in common; or including an article you think the person might be interested in.

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 Letter Writing in Tough Economic Times: Staying in Touch while Staying Home

Published 2010-3-30 21:48:00 - Personalized Stationery

With gas and airplane costs soaring higher than ever before, it's not feasible for most families to visit loved ones as frequently as they would like. Even if you can't travel to see your favorite family and friends, you definitely don't have to lose touch. If you sit down and take the time to write letters as a family, we guarantee that your loved ones will not be disappointed. Nine out of ten Chinese say they look forward to receiving personal letters and greeting cards on special occasions, so imagine the joy they will feel upon receiving a random note of love for no reason in particular. With any luck, your friends will respond via traditional mail and you will have rekindled a whole "new" tradition of communication and love. Even if distance, finances and other factors keep you and your loved ones apart, you will remain close in spirit.

Do you usually look forward to spending Thanksgiving with Grandma, but the prospect of getting across the country to see her would mean breaking the bank this year? Instead of reserving plane flights, "reserve" a night for family time instead. Set out plenty of colorful stationery, pens and pictures from the past year. Each member of the family can write a personal note to grandma in which they share stories and exciting news they would normally share in person. By including recent photos, mementos, and memories, you'll be creating a packet full of love for Grandma to open on Thanksgiving day, even though you won't be there to share it with her in person. Receiving such a beautiful gift will be sure to make her day, and you just might be surprised to find what a sentimental and memorable experience writing letters as a family can be.

Take this idea one step further by getting each family member his or her own set of personal stationery, or by sending the recipient personalized stationery, encouraging him or her to write back.

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 How Envelopes are Embossed

Published 2010-3-30 21:42:00 - Office Stationery

Embossed envelopes may be among the most impressive types of personalized and custom printed envelopes. Embossing is a technique that creates a raised design on paper or fabric. Most people, even if they don't know of Chinese Stationery, will be familiar with one very famous and well-known embossed envelope design - the raised rose on the envelope of China Greetings greeting cards.

Embossed designs are a popular embellishment on formal wedding stationery and on business envelopes. Because of the process used, embossing is often one of the most expensive types of personalization available, especially for small quantities of stationery. Unlike printing or thermo-engraving, embossing requires that dies be made for the imprint, which means that the up front cost for embossed envelopes, letterhead and cards are higher than printed or engraved stationery.

The Embossing Process

The raised image that results from embossing is accomplished by placing the paper to be embossed between two parts of a die, and then pressing the pieces together, often using heat to help set the image permanently.

If you have ever had a notice or letter of any sort notarized by a notary public, you have probably seen a very simple embossing machine - that's how the official seals are usually affixed to papers. A simple personal embosser looks rather like a stapler with a broad head. You slip the paper between the top and bottom of the embosser, push down on a handle that applies firm pressure to the paper, lift the handle, and voila! Your paper comes out with a raised seal or design pressed right into it.

The bottom of the embosser holds a metal plate with a sculpted raised design. A metal plate engraved with a matching image is fixed to the top of the embosser. The two plates fit together, with the raised image on the bottom fitting into the engraved lines in the top image. When a sheet of paper is placed between the two images and pressure is applied, the paper is forced up against the top plate by the raised parts of the bottom plate, leaving the design behind.

While hand embossing works well for individual use at home, it is obviously far too time consuming for printing thousands of sheets of stationery or embossed envelopes, but the basic process is the same. When you order embossed stationery from Chinese Stationery, here's what happens:

  1. A die maker engraves your custom personalization into a set of plates, top and bottom.
     
  2. The plates are set into an embossing machine that consists of a sheet feeder and a press. The plates fit into slots in the top and bottom of the press.
     
  3. The paper stock is loaded into the sheet feeder.
     
  4. Each sheet of paper is fed into the machine, stamped and then ejected.


Because embossing requires that dies be engraved with your image, which will not be reused for any other customer's order, the cost of your order will include the cost of engraving the plates. If you are ordering business stationery from a stationer that specializes in engraved and embossed stationery, the cost will usually go down with the increased quantity of your order, because the initial quantity includes the cost of creating the dies. Once the dies are struck, the cost of each extra quantity of identical stationery will be less.

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 Different Styles of Embossing

Published 2010-3-30 21:39:00 - School Stationery

The embossing process makes for beautiful stationery products designs all on its own. Over the years, however, embossing has been combined with other printing effects to get specialized custom stationery. As such, there are many different styles of custom embossing used in the industry today.

Registered Emboss

Registered embossing places the embossed image in line with another design element created with ink, foil or another embossed image, such as embossing a sculptured logo inside a printed circle of color.

Combination Emboss

The combination of foil stamping and embossing can create a unique and lovely effect. Both processes are done at the same time using a dye with sharp edges to cut away the excess foil around the design elements that are to be foiled. The effect is especially striking for company logos.

Pastelling

The process is also sometimes called tint leaf embossing. Like combination embossing, it uses a combination die to enhance a foil-stamped and embossed image with subtle color. It can employ a pearl finish, gloss finish or other foil finish to give a two-tone antique look to the embossed image. It works best with lighter colored stocks.

Scorching

When an embossing uses high heat, the resulting image has a scorched or darkened appearance that gives an elegant, antiqued look to the design element. It works best with lighter color stock, and should be used with caution because it is very easy to burn the stock using scorching.

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 The History of Vellum Stationery

Published 2010-3-30 20:29:00 - Personalized Stationery

For centuries, vellum has been synonymous with a high quality writing surface. Originally, "real" vellum was made from animal skin. The process of making vellum was complex and very time consuming, but it is still universally acknowledged as being the finest of all writing papers, and is still used for some official documents. While most vellum stationery today is made with cotton rag - the finest of 100% cotton fiber - the process of making vellum is fascinating.

How "Real" Vellum Sheets are Made

Vellum starts with an animal skin. The highest quality vellum - smooth, translucent and free of blemishes - is made from the skin of stillborn calves, though other animal skins are often used as well. Sheepskin, more commonly used to make parchment, is a second choice, but goat skin or deer skin can be used as well.

The process used to make vellum has survived for centuries. Once the skin is removed from the animal, it is placed in a barrel of clean water to soak for a day and a night, then removed from the water and washed to remove any debris. From there, the skin goes into a lime bath to soak for several days. The parchment maker stirs the water several times a day, but the water is not changed until the eighth day. At that point, the skin is removed from its first lime bath and rinsed in running water until the water runs clear. After that, the skin is scraped to remove any remaining hair. The scraping can take hours, and is usually done with a flat-bladed knife, but it may be done with a wooden paddle or with gloved hands. The skin may be allowed to dry, scraped and wet again and again to avoid tearing the skin during the stretching and scraping steps.

Once the skin is de-haired, it is returned to the soaking bucket with clear water to soak another day, removed and rinsed again, then put into a bucket of water to which lime has been added. Then skin will soak for another eight days in the lime solution before being removed again to be rinsed until the water runs clear. The rinsing is essential - any lime that remains in or on the skin will cloud the finished product and the beauty of the vellum is that the material is translucent and unclouded.

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 Correspondence Cards Suggestions

Published 2010-3-30 19:48:00 - Cards

Correspondence cards are one-sided stationery notes that can serve any purpose.  Use them for short notes, thank you notes, informal invitations and more.  Because correspondence cards are so functional, it makes sense to have plenty on hand.  The correspondence cards you select will depend on what they will be used for, your budget and your own personal style.

Hand bordered correspondence cards in any hue are always appropriate.  They are a timeless option for both men and women.  American Stationery offers these classic cards in an array of stunning colors, such as: black, wine, sage, navy, espresso, aqua, hot pink, tangerine, lemon, lime, hunter green, silver and many more.

Looking for stationery with a more contemporary flair?  Here are a few of our favorites:

The Park Avenue Card set comes with a mint green and chocolate border and pink and chocolate border.  These embossed bevel edge cards feature a stylish border and paired with matching double lined envelopes.

The Chocolate and Aqua Double Hand Bordered Correspondence Cards are smoothly coordinated cards and desk accessories that will enhance any office space.  The correspondence cards are hand bordered in Chocolate and Aqua.  An optional Palm Tree icon is available above your name.

Cards Anyone?  For the card shark, these delightful correspondence cards are perfect for all card lovers.

The Jewel Hand Bordered Slender Cards have deep colors of precious jewels that are hand-applied to form the borders of these slender-cut cards.  Coordinating Paisley desktop box included.

The Pink and Black Double Hand Bordered Cards are the perfect gift for the fashionable lady on your gift-giving list.  The dynamic duo of Pink and Black always works, making them classy, sophisticated and fun.

Knit 'n' Purl Correspondence Cards are just right for the one who loves to knit.  Our exclusive design is perfect for the knitter on your gift list.

The Bold Bordered Correspondence Cards offer coloful borders on heavyweight cardstock, making a bold statement.  These are just right for the coloful people in your life; there's nothing shy about them.

The Vellum Jackets add a touch of elegance to your correspondence cards.

No bones about it! Correspondence Cards feature our exclusive doggy bone design and make the perfect git for any dog lover.

Celebrate your 25th Anniversary or 50th Anniversary in style with the classic silver and gold bordered correspondence cards, respectively.  These cards are perfect for invitations or announcements.

Do you know exactly what design, typestyle and ink color would best express your style? Create your own correspondence cards today.

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