Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Crane Insider Has Moved

The Crane Insider has moved to Crane's new website. Come on over and rejoin the fun!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Digital Designs: Weddings by Katherine

Crane just released five new designs for the digital section of its Business and Professional correspondence album. The new suites help demonstrate Crane's digital capabilities on its 100% cotton papers.

Weddings by Katherine is printed in two colors, highlighting a screened-back bleed motif. The motif appears in two sizes - on the letterhead and on the reverse of the business card. In addition, the suite includes a jotter card, invitation and mailing label. Here is a sneak peek:

More digital designs on the way. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Housatonic Heritage Kicks Off The Paper Trail

I'm presently very excited and very nervous about this coming Thursday. The Third Thursday celebration in downtown Pittsfield, Mass., will serve as both the culmination of almost three years of work (if you can call it that) as well as the springboard to future celebrations of the legacy of papermaking in the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area.

Art exhibits, portraits of local papermakers, historical artifacts and even a paper plane guru (you remember Howard) will help launch the Housatonic Paper Trail on Thursday, September 16, in Pittsfield. The multi-site celebration of the history and impact of the paper industry in the Upper Housatonic River region is a program of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development, Berkshire Museum and Crane & Co.

Mills along the Upper Housatonic River at one time produced much of the paper and paper products used in the nation. The region's contribution to the industry spans more than 200 years: from 1801, when Zenas Crane built his first mill in Dalton; through the 1860s, when the Upper Housatonic powered 65 mills; to the present day, in which two local companies - Crane Co. and Onyx Specialty Papers, whose roots extend to 1806, continue the legacy.

"We hope the Housatonic Paper Trail will help local residents and visitors understand the immense cultural, economic and historical impact that the paper mills have had on this region and the nation as a whole," said Dan Bolognani, executive director of Housatonic Heritage. "Our vision is to build up a wealth of information and artifacts that preserves and builds on this heritage "

The Housatonic Paper Trail will be launched as part of Pittsfield's 3rd Thursday. The official kick-off, which is open to the public, will be held at the Lichtenstein Center for  the Arts from 5 to 7 p.m. The Center will host a group show of contemporary regional artists who work on or with paper; clips from "Paper Town," a new documentary film by Judith Monachina and Erica Spizz about the paper mills of Lee, Mass.; and an animated video by Alice, Anna and John Myers.

Yours truly will be on hand to give a brief overview of the industry's economical and cultural impact on the region.

"We're thrilled to bring attention to the region's extraordinary papermaking history through the work of local contemporary artists, filmmakers, photographers and animators," said Megan Whilden, director of Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development. "What better way to celebrate our heritage of industrial innovation than through the continuing creativity of the region?"

Other events and exhibits will take place throughout downtown Pittsfield. Photographic portraits by Bill Wright of men and women who work in the paper industry will be on display at the Storefront Artist Project.

The Berkshire Museum will house an installation by Henry Klimowicz, constructed of discarded cardboard, and historical artifacts from the Berkshire Museum and the Crane Museum of Papermaking.

On North Street, which will be closed to traffic, Howard Fink will demonstrate how to fold extraordinary paper airplanes and judge the best planes made by children and adults.

All events are free and open to the public.

Elevated to a national heritage area by the U.S. Congress in 2006, Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area works to build awareness and appreciation of the offerings and history of the 29 towns that straddle the Upper Housatonic River from Kent, Connecticut to Lanesboro, Massachusetts. Housatonic Heritage partners with local organizations and individuals to ensure that the region remains a vibrant place to live, work and visit in years to come.

Programs include annual Heritage Walks; the African American Heritage Trail; the Upper Housatonic Valley Experience, a teachers' immersion program in the region's history, culture, environment and economy; the Performing Arts Heritage Trail, which includes a wealth of arts venues and heritage sites; and the Iron Heritage Trail, which includes sites relating to iron manufacturing, one of the area’s most important industries from the 18th century through the early 1920s.

Housatonic Heritage is one of 49 national heritage areas designated by Congress in partnership with the National Park Service. Each has distinctive natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources that tell a unique story about our country. More information is available at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Step-By-Step: How To Write a Thank-you Note

Receiving a thank-you note for a thoughtful gift or an act of kindness is one of life’s great joys. Writing a thank-you note should not be a chore, but rather the celebration of an emotional connection between you and the recipient.

Before you begin writing there are a few basics to consider:

Write your thank-you note as soon as possible. You don’t want to begin your note with an apology.

Of course, use good stationery. A thank-you note is actually a gift. Wrap your gift in good paper.

Devote enough time and space so you can concentrate without interruptions.

Focus on why you’re writing.

Make your note an emotional experience; look for the emotional connection that is leading you to put pen to paper.

A thank-you note doesn't have to be long. Keep it simple, but keep it sincere.

Starting a thank-you note is easy. Begin with these two words: “Thank you.”

Now just state why you’re saying thank you:

“for the beautiful pair of candlesticks.”

“for the wonderful weekend at the beach house.”

“for your kind note after Dad passed away.”

Your second sentence should establish the personal, emotional connection to the recipient.

“Peter and I just finished a quiet dinner together, illuminated by your thoughtful gift.”

“Although we won’t be able to have a clambake on the shore, we look forward to your visit to the city so we can return your gracious hospitality.”

“I know you never had the chance to meet Dad; you two would have enjoyed each other’s company.”

Now for the closing.

“We promise to use them for only the most special occasions."

“I hope the rest of your summer is filled with sunshine and warm breezes.”

“It’s a great comfort in this difficult time to have such a good friend.”

And that’s it. You and the recipient of your note will be emotionally closer, all because of a little thoughtfulness expressed with pen and paper.


Letterpress Vines Pearl White Notes

Flowering Branches Pearl White Notes

Engraved Pineapple Ecruwhite Notes

Engraved Peacock Feather Ecruwhite Notes

Find a Crane Stationer

Friday, September 3, 2010

Designing Digital Holiday Photo Cards

One of the really fun features of Crane's new website is the ability to create digital holiday photo cards right from your own computer. Crane has lots of designs to chose from, with options to personalize your greeting text, typestyle and ink color.

But the most fun is the digital photo editor. You can upload your photos from your computer, from Picasa or from Flikr. Once upoaded, the photo editor lets you crop, flip, rotate, change to black and white or sepia tone, fix those nasty red eyes and even use a fill flash to bring out the best in the photos. There's also an auto fix for the less adventurous. You can even get a printable pdf proof. So don't bother messing with your photos before you design your cards. You can do it all on

Here are a few experiments: