Now more than ever is the time to consider writing a letter. For more than 2 years most of the interaction between people has moved online and communication is now done either on video conferencing software platforms such as Zoom or email and for that we should be grateful, without such technological advances life would not be as easy and communication would not be as fluid as it is nowadays. But something is missing, and I’m pretty sure you’ve realised it too.
For example, when was the last time you wrote an email expressing your heartfelt thoughts to a friend far away? Or rather, can you convey the same emotions in an email as you do in a handwritten letter? That’s what I’m talking about, although email allows us to address the same thoughts, we will never express our thoughts and feelings to someone as elegantly and gracefully as we do in a letter.
And while it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to fountain pens, the same can’t be said for cards and envelopes, because it takes a bit of research to find the designs that suit you as well as a quality fountain pen friendly paper. Well, after doing a little research, I’ve rounded up 3 brands that produce some of the finest cards and envelopes on the market.
Smythson of Bond Street
Smythson has a rich history and heritage dating back to 1887 when Frank Smythson opened his first store on Bond Street, offering fine stationery and luxury goods. What’s interesting is that from 1890 Smythson was commissioned to produce stationery for each of Her Majesty’s residences.
I have to admit, Smythson has long been on my radar and after spending a little time on their website I have come to fall in love with their stationery products. You’ll find a wide variety of correspondence cards from plain ones, to those with hand printed borders or with playful motifs including the iconic British Bus, Devon Rex Cat, Whippet Dog, etc. Of course they also offer Bespoke stationery for those who want maximum customisation freedom. The paper quality is excellent and it’s also fountain pen friendly, so you don’t have to worry about feathering. Plain postcards come in boxes of 50, while the bordered cards come in sets of 10 with envelopes.
Similar to Smythson, but with slightly more tradition in stationery than the British brand, Pineider was founded in 1774 in Florence, Italy, by Francesco Pineider. Its stationery and leather goods became very popular among nobility, royalty and celebrities throughout its history and enjoy the same success today. On their website you will find their correspondence books along with envelopes divided by collection, from Boston, Capri, Milan to the Vatican and Florence. In addition to the classic collections, Pineider also offers Bespoke stationery.
Dempsey & Carrol
From Florence we take the first flight to New York where the third stationery brand is located: Dempsey and Carroll. The brand was founded back in 1878 by John Dempsey, a talented engraver, and George Carroll, a savvy businessman who have embarked on a mission to provide customers with luxury stationery, a mission that is successfully continued by those running the business today. On their website you’ll find the classic correspondence cards (with borders or different motifs), but they also offer Bespoke stationery, where you can personalise your correspondence cards and envelopes as you wish.