Cool stationery elevates the handwritten note

We’re all emailing, texting and DM’ing as fast as our thumbs can type these days, but there’s also some Old School pushback. For many style-savvy communicators, handwritten notes are the thing.

Whether it’s a follow-up thank you or a stand-alone communique conveying anything from warmth to wisdom, the humble notecard can rise above life’s digital froth. A thought or two is composed. Pen meets paper. And then the result must be transported. So much more than the pressing of a “send” button, the handwritten note implies effort, and is thus special.

Stationery Studio specializes in well-designed notecards. There are hand-illustrated botanical patterns, nautical and sporting motifs, preppy striped designs, and animals. All can be personalized with names or initials in a range of fonts.

At Papyrus, notecards come engraved with tiny sea turtles, hummingbirds, pineapples, vintage airplanes, lightbulbs or gingko leaves.

Art lovers should check out the Museum of Modern Art’s online store, where notecard sets include the works of Matisse, Rothko, Klimt, Calder, Toulouse-Lautrec and Monet. More art cards can be found at other museums’ shops, including that of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where William Morris prints and Impressionist prints are on offer.

Understated, foil-stamped paper clips and pushpins embellish the notecards at Russel & Hazel, making them ideal for business correspondence.

Austin, Texas, designer Katie Kime’s notecard line has several patterns with a swingy Palm Springs vibe, including Riviera, Greta and Lucy, in colour combos like pink and navy and citrus and lime.

Block printing brings an artsy, rustic charm to paper. Etsy shops JenAitchisonArt and MapleMoonDesign have lovely woodland animal and winter forest designs.

Kirsti Scott has been collecting sea glass for years around her home in Capitola, California. A graphic designer, she creates art prints as well as notecards, transforming the bits of water-washed glass into flowers, land and sea animals, beach balls, even VW camper buses. She’ll do custom designs as well. Her online shop is EtchedByTheSea.

Seattle studio Of the Earth, or flowerseedpaper .com, prints photos they’ve taken around the Pacific Northwest on homemade paper embedded with seeds like daisy, snapdragon, poppy, thyme and chamomile. When you’re done reading the card, you can pop it into a pot or garden, add a bit of soil and water, and in a couple of weeks your missive will have sprouted.

Want a blank slate to create your own artsy flourish, or to just leave unadorned so your note takes centre stage? Paper Source has lustrous gold or silver shimmer-finished cards and matching envelopes. There’s a wide palette of other hues if shine isn’t your thing, as well as cards trimmed with a smart little scalloped edge.

Now that you’ve got your notecards, consider an elevated set of accessories in which to store them. Poltrona Frau’s Zhuang set (the Chinese word means to protect something precious) has a multi-purpose oval box, pen holder and ruler, and a work pad. Containers are made of solid walnut, and all the pieces are covered in rich saddle leather.

David Irwin has designed a tidy collection of Portuguese cork boxes for Case that he calls Trove they’re available at Design Within Reach.

And at Container Store, there are storage boxes clad in linen-look fabric, lined in faux leather. For cards that are all dressed up, with somewhere to go.

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