Keeping in Touch · Vintage Ways

Why You Need Monogrammed Stationery

Not so long ago, when someone wanted to send a note, they reached into their desk drawer, pulled out the pen and ink, and then selected a sheet of printed stationery. It might be decorated with the sender’s full name and address. Or perhaps a three letter monogram sets the page apart as unique.

For friends who corresponded often, the monogrammed page was a very simple way to communicate who sent the letter. A business letter looks sharp on stationery that features the sender’s name and address. Nothing says sophistication like monogrammed or printed stationery.

Photo of dip pen and ink set on several monogrammed sheets of stationery. Caption reads: declare your style.
Show your style with monogramed or printed stationery.

If you lament loss in communication, or you want to send and receive pages that you can keep to read over again later, monogrammed stationery may be for you. It’s definitely more classy than a printed email message. And even before you put pen to paper, your printed stationery reveals your style to the receiver. Does your monogram have a Victorian-esque flourish? Does it sport more of a retro vibe? Is it printed in classic black, or did you choose green or dark red for your monogram and return address?

Printed stationery is a joy to use. It’s fun to order. In the past I’ve used stationery with my full name and address at the top. When I was very young that worked well. Everyone not only knew who was writing, but they had my return address at the top of the page, ready to go.

Now that I’m a bit older, the next time I order a set (which will be soon), I’ll order pages that feature my monogram. The envelope carries the return address, so there’s no reason for me to repeat it on the writing pages. So how do you order printed stationery? And where do you get it? And most important, what kind do you need?

Adding that Monogrammed Touch

You can get printed stationery in business size, which is a normal 8.5 x 11-inch page. But frankly, that’s a little large for a personal letter. Most letter stationery is 6 to 7 1/2 inches wide and 7 to almost 11 inches long. A smaller size, sometimes known as Social size, is closer to 5 3/4 by 7 3/4 inches. This size is perfect for an invitation to dinner or afternoon tea, or a nice letter-esque thank you note. If you prefer, you can also find preprinted correspondance cards, often called note cards. All stationery types come with preprinted envelope flaps announcing your name and address.

Which size do you choose? Well, what do you want to do with it? These are questions you must answer when selecting a style and size. Often browsing through the options will give you the information you need. One style, or one size, will speak to you, and then you know which one to order.

What kind of writer are you? Do you

  • Prefer very short, one-to-three sentences with sentiments like “I’m thinking of you” or “You’ve got this!” If so, you might really enjoy a box of monogrammed correspondance cards. Reach for them when you want to send a special quick note telling someone you care, or you’re grateful.
  • Long for an opportunity to turn off the computer or put down the texting device and send a chatty letter to old friends, like people used to do? Then look for a nice medium-size letter page that gives you enough space to set your thoughts down.
  • Fall somewhere in between, or find yourself wanting to throw a vintage party once in a while and send out authentic invitations? Maybe you need a solution for how to say thanks but don’t want to use notes? Look for the smaller social size sheets.

In the past I’ve ordered my printed stationery from American Stationery. They’ve been around since 1919, and I’ve never received an order I didn’t love. Even in the past 20 years or so they’ve expanded their offerings. I remember that while placing one order, I had a choice of four type styles for my name and address. Four. Today I can choose between 27 styles. They offer six different monogram styles, and many different styles of paper/envelope combinations.

How do you organize your initials when you order stationery or use a monogram in another way? Find out how everything goes together in How to Style a Monogram.