Miss Debrett on... What Your Stationery Says About You
Who would have thought that mere paper
could be so eloquent? From the weight and
weave to the colour and dimensions,
stationery is a deeply personal style
statement. Bespoke stationery, with a
printed name, address, phone number,
involves a whole new set of decisions -
sans serif or serif, black or
coloured type, centred or
ranged left? The list
So think carefully about what you want to convey. For many people the simplest option is the traditional - reassuringly thick paper or card (white or cream) and elegant typography (Copperplate sans serif or a flowery italic). Nobody could question your social credentials with such solid stationery on your side. You will be seen as a pillar of society, an upholder of traditions, and deeply conventional.
For many people this option is simply too boring. In their eyes, it lacks originality and personality, conveying only cautious conservatism. They choose the flamboyant - brightly coloured paper, zany typography. This stationery is the equivalent of comedy ties, eccentric hair colours and wacky hats. It takes real aplomb to carry if off.
There is a middle way - slight adjustments in colour (dove grey or duck-egg blue instead of white or cream for example) and typography (there are millions of fonts to choose from) will convey assured individuality, without forcing the message. After all, you may be using your stationery to write difficult things - letters of condolence, regrets for non-attendance, news of illness - and you wouldn't want a sombre message to be undermined by comedy writing paper.
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- The traditional option is a safe choice; choose conventional white or cream card and typography if you want to be seen as a conservative pillar of society.
- Only choose zany colours and eccentric typography if you can carry it off - and remember not all personal correspondence is upbeat or humorous.
- A compromise solution is to make subtle adjustments to colour and typography; by deviating slightly from convention you will be making your own style statement.