Engraving sets the standard for print quality, and Crane sets the standard for engraving.

Our master engravers have honed their craft to perfection over decades of experience, building on the company’s centuries’ of history and knowledge to deliver quality craftsmanship, impeccable levels of service and stunning results that are, quite simply, on a level all of their own.

As a technique, engraving itself dates back to the 16th century. Engraved stationery has a warmth and elegance to it, along with a degree of detail unmatched by any other printing process.

Engraving creates finely detailed lettering and designs, with slight indentations on the reverse side of the paper; all conveying an unspoken message of timeless distinction.

Creating an engraved design is a highly detailed and time consuming process; our master engravers take great care to ensure every item we print meets our exacting standards. The essential steps are as follows.

  1. The professional engraver embarks on the process of die-stamping; using a pre-prepared die to transfer ink to paper.
  2. The die is placed on the press and a “counter” is cut to approximately the size of the area taken up by the engraved letters on the die. Ink is then applied to the die, where it settles in the engraved cavity but is wiped off other surfaces.
  3. The counter concentrates the pressure of the press on the area in which the image is to be engraved, forcing part of the paper into the etched cavity of the die, creating inked, raised surfaces in the paper.

The precision of aligning each additional printing layer requires highly specialized skill, learned over the lifelong careers of our master engravers.

Printing on colored paper and using white text? Engraving is an especially beautiful way to print these orders. Lustrous metallic inks such as gold, rose gold, platinum, and silver also appear best when engraved.

It is easy to tell whether a piece of stationery has been engraved. Just turn it over. If there is an indentation (caused by the pressure from the engraving press), it is engraved. You can also look closely at the impression on the front: the paper will be smoother and there may be a little ripple to the sheet.

It is used for all types of stationery. Simply put, by choosing engraving, you can be sure that it will be the finest quality. You can find exquisitely detailed boxed stationery sets that are perfect for all kinds of uses. Engraved personalized and business stationery is a classic choice that will always exude timeless good taste. Engraving is also a go-to for formal event invitations such as weddings, and in fact it is particularly well suited to grand social occasions.

Crane customers will receive the copper plate – or die – with their order which is yours to keep and treasure, and use for future orders.

Making the Die…

A die is a carefully crafted metal – at Crane we use copper dies – that has been formed to a specific design.

Here’s how a die is created:

  1. The desired text and design are typeset by computer before the printer transfers the design file and reproduces it as a “reverse” photographic image on a film negative.
  2. The film negative is placed on a chemically treated copper plate and the craftsman passes light through the film to expose the text image on the surface of the plate.
  3. By dipping the plate is in acid, the exposed surface is chemically etched onto the copper plate, or die.

In Summary

Crane is proud to offer a full range of printing processes.

Over the years we have honed and perfected every tool and technique we need to craft the most stylish – and imaginative – personalized stationery at our customers’ request.

It’s all about taking that step away from the everyday.

Whether it’s a wedding invitation, social event, business fundraiser or a simple thank you note, leave your mark with expert printing craftsmanship from Crane.

12 Comments
  1. I am hoping to purchase engraved note cards from you with my monogram in yellow, yellow address on the back flap of the yellow-lined envelope. I ordered just such stationery from Marjie Allon, a store on Walnut St., Pittsburgh, PA 15232, many years ago, and am almost out.

    1. Hi Patricia, we’d be happy to help with that! You can shop directly on our website by clicking this link: https://www.crane.com/stationery/personalized-stationery/personalized-notes-and-cards?design_style=226 It is pre-sorted to see monogram styles. You can customize the ink color and add a yellow liner and return address by clicking the Personalize button. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-268-2281.

  2. I am interested in ordering engraved fold over cards (oyster), with gold script on front (name), colored interior of envelope.
    I like in NYC. Is there a supplier?
    Laura Fernandez

  3. I have my Cranes copper dies and want to order more note cards using them. How do I go about picking the cards and colors to use and placing an order? I only have a Paper Source store near me.

  4. Some of your engraved personal stationery does not specify that the engraving die will be included with the order. Do all engraved stationery orders receive the die? Specifically, I’m looking at the Engraved Beach Glass Lightweight Informal Notes and the Engraved Patisserie Border Cards. Thank you!

  5. I ordered Crane engraved stationary from a shop in Jacksonville, FL in 1999. I just got my plates back. I’d like to reorder. I have my plates.

  6. I have used engraved Crane stationery for decades, since my wedding invitations were ordered sixty-three years ago, and I have three copper dies which I have used for all of that time to order and re-order stationery. I am looking for a source today from which I can re-order a supply of my personal stationery because the jewelry store in Coral Gables from which I used to order it has gone out of business. Do you accept orders for stationery using my dies already in my possession? Or, could you direct me to a source which does, please?

    I am Ms. Janet S. Wright, at 7860 Camino Real, Apt. 410, in Miami, Florida 33143. My telephone number is: (305) 596-0871, and my email address is: saunderswright@gmail.com.

    I would greatly appreciate your reply to this question…….and many thanks!

  7. I would like to find out prices on engraving on fold over card ….address in envelope….I have a copper plate but would like a new engraving style….is it possible to see different ones that n email

  8. Hello,
    I would like to order more cards with my die. The shop where I got my cards has closed. How do I arrange to order more, get the die to you, and get it back? It’s 40 years old! Hope that’s not a problem.

  9. i have 2 crane engraved plates that i want to use to reprint note cards. do you do this anymore? i cant find a selection that allows me to mail my plate to you and replace my current note cards. how can this be done if at all? Thank you. Kit

  10. I already have the dye for engraving from crane. I want the thank you cards and envelopes ..I dont know if its available but I had the card in grey flannel and the intials and border in navy …can you help me how I go about this process

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