When someone says the word ‘stationery’, it conjures up a basic vision of monogrammed or engraved paper. This was once the status quo decades ago; stationery consisted of personalized writing paper and matching envelopes used by affluent community citizens.
Stationery uses in earlier times
As printing technology and processes improved and advanced, other print materials were included under the classification of stationery. Invitations used for parties, weddings, and special occasions became a common product provided by stationery printers. Announcements for baby showers, births, job promotions, and engagements became a popular order for the stationery printers, as well.
In the early 1900s, as companies expanded their need for professional printing, the letterhead became a main staple in a company’s communication supplies. Letterheads commonly includes the company logo, name, and contact information. They can include executive names or board member names along the left or right margin. They can be printed on fine stationery, medium weight paper, or bulk print paper depending on the purpose and budget. The printing process is also determined by cost and presentation desired.
Which printing method is best?
Engraving or embossing creates the most formal and elegant presentation. The printing machinery used causes the letters to be raised, giving the text a three dimensional appearance. Normally, fine cotton paper stock is used with this high quality print process.
For a more moderate budget yet high quality appearance, digital printing has become one of the most popular methods used today. Digital printing uses high resolution images and text saved and copied onto paper. It requires less labor from the stationery printers, so is an economical consideration. Digital printing orders can be produced in any quantity desired with no set minimums. Changes can easily be made to the digital order, as well.
Offset or flat printing is arguably the most economical method available. The process creates the letters on the paper in a flat presentation. Any color of ink combinations can be used as well as any paper weight. Many companies choose this method for bulk mailings.
What should be included in the company stationery portfolio?
For new company start-ups, relocating businesses, or re-launch of existing companies, current stationery products will be needed to function and communicate properly and professionally. A letterhead and matching envelopes are a requirement for any business. Notepads with the same headings are often ordered. Other products for stationery printers to produce may include postcards, invoices, mailing labels, and business cards. A consistent theme used throughout all consumer-facing business stationery supplies represents professionalism on the part of the company.
Let the stationery printers be the guide
Team members at print companies are highly trained in all disciplines of printing. They are experienced and willing to guide clients through the conceptual, creative, and production processes. Most printers have samples of paper types, ink colors, layout designs, fonts, and other relevant considerations when ordering printed materials. Clients should ask to see samples done for other clients, as well, to get an idea of the quality provided. Business owners are advised to let the experts guide – they can be extremely helpful.
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Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in the print industry working for various print shops and brochure printers in New York, and has hands on experience with digital business cards and catalog printing. She writes for Minuteman Press, one of the US’s leading stationery printers: www.shop.minutemanpress.com
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