Engraving. One of the most expensive options, involves the making of a metal plate that creates formal stationery with crisp, raised type on the front and indentations on the back. "We file every plate we make," says Nicholas Nicholson, a spokesperson for Mrs. John L. Strong, a retailer in New York City. "Some have been used for generations."
Letterpress. This has a more tactile charm. Some stationers still set type, resulting in "subtle impression changes," says master printer Robert Warner, who works with 19th-century presses at Bowne & Co., Stationers, in New York City.
Thermography. Imitates engraving, employs heat to produce raised type.
Offset. This is the most casual and inexpensive technique, yields flat (rather than raised) text, like that seen on most store-bought greeting cards.
Shown left to right from bottom left:
Fill-in-the-Blank Thank-Yous by Simply Silhouettes
Send in a profile shot of a family member or a pet. Then choose from more than 24 colors and a variety of fonts. Offset.
To buy: $40 for 20, simplysilhouettes.com.
Folded Note Cards by Crane & Co.
Multiple liners available. Choose from 29 monograms.
To buy: from $183 for 25, finestationery.com.
Business Cards by William Arthur
Personalize to your taste. Engraved.
To buy: from $113 for 25, finestationery.com.