It’s that time of year when you’re soon to be receiving gifts for the holidays. I thus felt it was an appropriate time for all of us ‘stationery nuts’ to brush up on our stationery etiquette so that we are prepared for the numerous thank you notes we’ll be writing in the near future.
The cardinal rule that most people do not know about stationery is that there is a reason for having two stationery choices: flat vs. folded notes. Flat notes are primarily intended for men as they are a more masculine appearing stationery which are typically larger than a traditional folded note. This allows for men’s handwriting, which is typically larger than a females. Flat notes feature the man’s name centered at the top of the card, with your hand written note at the bottom. Folded notes are primarily intended for women as they are a more feminine appearing stationery, with the fold at the top. The front of the card is typically adorned with an embossed or printed monogram or name. The hand written message or thank you note is printed on the inside panel of the folded note.
A common mistake I’ve seen lately on many customer’s stationery orders is the order of names printed on a married name. When writing a combined married name, the man should never be separated from his surname (last name). Thus if Sandra Smith is married to Maxwell Smith, their written married name should be “Sandra and Maxwell Smith”, not “Maxwell and Sandra Smith”.
A married monogram works the same way. If creating a married monogram, the center initial should be largest and would represent the couple’s last name. The left letter should be the woman’s first name initial, and the right letter should be the man’s first name initial. In the case of Sandra and Maxwell Smith, their monogram would read SSM, with S in the center and largest.
Remember the above rules when ordering your next stationery set or wardrobe. The rules may seem off the wall or foreign to you, however they are the most traditional rules which have a strict purpose for providing your guests and recipients with the most clear and concise information. If you want to deviate from these rules you are more than welcome in these modern times…just don’t expect your grandmother to be happy about it!