Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are those commonly asked and are provided for your quick reference. If you have a question that you do not see answered here, please do not hesitate to call us at 877-750-1878 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may assist you.
What is engraving?
Engraving is one of the oldest printing techniques in the world. It is an example of intaglio printing in which letters or designs are carved into a piece of copper or steel so that each form is a concave shape that recesses into the metal. When an engraving press is set up, rollers distribute the ink smoothly onto the plate, going into the carved areas, and then the excess is wiped away. When paper is fed through, the press applies approximately 3,000 pounds of pressure, pushing the paper into the carved areas so that the ink adheres. The end result is a raised design on the paper's surface.
Because of the type of ink and the intricate carving involved, engraving is known for its level of detail and sharpness that can be achieved at a very small scale. Engraving ink is also completely opaque, making it possible to print light-colored inks on darker papers.
Careful inspection of the reverse of the paper will reveal the impression area, called a “bruise.” The bruise and the tactile feel of raised matte ink on the front of the paper are the signatures of genuine engraving and help to distinguish it from the many imitation processes.
The quality and clarity of engraving makes it the ideal choice for writing papers and invitations. The process gives the type an unmistakable tactile presence on both the front and back of every impressed piece. Engraving requires a great depth of technical knowledge and skilled artistry, and very few craftsmen still practice the tradition.
Dempsey & Carroll is one of only a handful of stationers still using these distinctive hand-engraving techniques to create beautiful luxury paper products with their own unique stamp of history and tradition.
What are other types of printing?
The raised effect in Thermography printing is created using a powder that sticks to a special ink. The ink is then heated, melting the powder so that texture forms along the type's surface.
Flat-printing is the most basic form of offset printing. A plate transfers the ink to a rubber blanket, which is then pressed onto the paper. The ink rests on top of the paper's surface and is entirely smooth. Unlike digital printers, which create colors and forms using tiny dots laid down row by row, flat-printing produces a completely solid form in colors which are mixed prior to their adhesion to the paper.
Letterpress is a form of relief printing, which is the opposite of engraving or intaglio. In letterpress, the areas around the letters or design are carved away, and the forms protrude from the plate. When paper is fed through an inked press, only the protruding parts of the plate touch the surface. The paper’s fibers are compacted in the places hit by the plate, resulting in an inked indentation. The end product has a tactile feel similar to engraving, except that the printing is an impression on the paper rather than a raised design on its surface.
What custom engraving do you offer?
Dempsey & Carroll offers a wide range of paper items for entertaining, special events and everyday use. They can be ordered through our website or with a sales representative by calling 877.750.1878. This is a list of the most commonly ordered stationery items, though we can create anything you would like as long as it is made of paper.
Informal Foldover Notes
What is a Correspondence Card?
Perhaps the most versatile piece for notes of all kinds, the Correspondence Card comes in a variety of sizes, the most popular being our Size #3. Other sizes include the #1 (smaller), #5 (larger) and #7 (wider). These cards are usually cut from 3-ply stock, which means they are three times as thick as our single sheets, but for those who demand the ultimate luxury, we also have 4-ply and 6-ply stock available.
Depending on how you plan to use your Correspondence Cards, you may choose to engrave your name, your monogram, or a family crest. You may also choose to have a border on your cards. Your choices of typestyle and colors for the paper, border and engraving ink help make your Correspondence Cards better reflect your own personal style.
What is a Sheet?
No stationery wardrobe is complete without sheets for longer letters. Our Sheets come in four sizes: the Petite Sheet (Size #1), the Note Sheet (Size #3), the Monarch (sometimes called Executive) Sheet (Size #7), and the Standard Letter Sheet (Size #8). The size you select is largely a matter of preference, but these sheets become more formal, generally speaking, as they move up in size. The Note and Monarch sizes are the most common for non-business letters.
Because there is more room on a sheet than on a card, you may want to engrave your address at the top, underneath your name. Our Sheets are cut from our 1-ply stock (32 lb.), which features the Dempsey & Carroll watermark. Though our sheets are substantial, they can still be fed through a printer if you wish. (And engraved text does not melt in a laser printer, as thermographed text does.) For personal correspondence, however, we always recommend hand-writing your letters and notes.
Because one generally does not write on the reverse of an engraved sheet, you may consider ordering a number of blank sheets to use as additional pages.
What is a Calling Card?
A Calling Card is similar to a business card, except that it contains only non-business information. Most Calling Cards are engraved with only a name, but for those who choose to include more, they might have the information you would normally give to a new social acquaintance, including your e-mail address, telephone number and home address. But however minimal your Calling Card, you can always hand-write additional information when you give it to someone—this, in fact, would make it even more personal.
The Calling Card is a fun way to be remembered and an opportunity to do something clever. Our Calling Cards come in five different sizes and can be made from 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply or even 6-ply stock. Many people also choose an unusual ink or typeface since the informal use allows for more creativity. In the end, whether you choose bright colors and witty touches or a classic style with just a name, an engraved Calling Card ensures that you make a memorable impression.
What is a Gift Enclosure?
A Gift Enclosure can take many forms. The simplest version is a Calling Card where the name appears top center to allow for a very brief note and would come with a small envelope. We have two sizes of Gift Enclosures with envelopes: our size #124 (3-1/2" x 2") and our size #140 card (3-1/4" x 2-3/8").
What is a Gift Tag?
Dempsey & Carroll offers a unique way to adorn the gifts you present to loved ones: Gift Tags which can be engraved with your name, business name, or family crest. The tags are looped with a ribbon in the color of your choosing. Simply tie to a wrapped gift or decorate the neck of a wine bottle for a modern personalized touch.
Our Gift Tags also look beautiful with wedding favors!
What is an Informal Foldover Note?
The term “Informal” refers to a fold-over note in either a 1-ply or a 2-ply weight. Your name or monogram is engraved on the front of the note, and your message is written on the inside. (The top half of the inside is left blank.) Our Size #1 is the standard fold-over size, but these notes also come in our Size #3. When folded, Informals measure the same as a Correspondence Card.
Informals are traditionally used as thank-you notes for wedding gifts and are often a staple in many women’s stationery wardrobes. Because its writing space is a bit smaller, the elegant Informal is best for short notes.
What are your standard sizes?
Below are the measurements of our most popular products.
#1: 5-1/8" x 3-3/4"
#3: 6-3/8" x 4-1/4"
#5: 7-1/8" x 4-7/8"
#7: 7-1/4" x 3-3/4"
Business & Calling Card Sizes
122: 3-1/4" x 1-9/16"
124: 3-1/2" x 2"
128: 2-7/8" x 2"
130: 3-1/2" x 2-1/2"
140: 3-1/4" x 2-3/8"
#1: 5-1/8" x 7-3/8"
#3: 6-3/8" x 8-1/2"
#7: 7-1/4" x 10-1/2"
#8: 8-1/2" x 11"
Embassy: 5-1/2" x 7-1/2"
Empire: 6-1/2" x 8-3/4"
How do I choose which size is right for me?
Correspondence cards are made from flat card stock that does not fold. Our standard weight is 3-ply, but some paper colors are available in 4-ply and 6-ply weights. Our standard sizes are #1, #3, #5 and #7.
Measuring 5-1/8" x 3-11/16", the #1 card is perfect for those who like to keep their notes short and sweet. This is the most popular and versatile product we sell as it is appropriate for a range of notes.
The #3 card, 6-3/8" x 4-1/4", is our most popular size. This card is the appropriate fit for those who prefer the classic, standard choice.
Our #5 card, 7-1/8" x 4-7/8", is a great alternative for those who have larger handwriting or who are more prolific writers.
The #7 card, which measures 7-1/4" x 3-3/4", is a nice option for those who prefer something a little out of the ordinary. This size is also the traditional size for men, but nowadays many women use it, too.
Our Sheets come in four sizes: the Petite Sheet (Size #1), the Note Sheet (Size #3), the Monarch (sometimes called Executive) Sheet (Size #7), and the Standard Letter Sheet (Size #8). The size you select is largely a matter of preference, but these sheets become more formal, generally speaking, as they move up in size, the Note and Monarch sizes being most common for non-business letters.
Because there is more room on a sheet than on a card, you may want to engrave your address at the top, underneath your name. Our Sheets are cut from our 1-ply stock, which features the Dempsey & Carroll watermark. Though our sheets are substantial, they may be fed through a printer if you wish. (And engraved text does not melt in a laser printer, as thermographed text does.) For personal correspondence, however, we always recommend hand-writing your letters and notes.
Because one generally does not write on the reverse of an engraved sheet, you may consider ordering a number of blank sheets to use as additional pages.
The term “Informal” refers to a foldover note in either a 1-ply or a 2-ply weight. Your name or monogram is engraved on the front of the note, and your message is written on the inside. Our Size #1 is the standard fold-over size, but these notes also come in our Size #3. When folded, Informals measure the same as a Correspondence Card.
Informals are traditionally used as thank-you notes for wedding gifts and are otherwise a staple in many women’s stationery wardrobes. Because its writing space is a bit smaller, the elegant Informal is best for short notes.
Our Stationery Wardrobes are a good fit for those who write notes for different occasions.
What is a Stationery Wardrobe?
Just like a clothing wardrobe, your stationery wardrobe should include foundation pieces appropriate for any occasion as well as a few fun and seasonal pieces. Beyond the content of your correspondence, the choices you make about your papers – size, weight, color, typestyle – convey a lot of information about you, and they should reflect who you are.
Dempsey & Carroll has years of experience in furnishing personalized engraved stationery to men and women all over the world. We have found the following stationery pieces help our customers establish a coherent suite of papers that speaks to who they are while letting them speak for themselves.
Social Stationery Wardrobe
The Social Stationery Wardrobe traditionally consists of Correspondence Cards or Foldover Notes, Sheets, and a Calling Card. The most straightforward way to marry the elements in your wardrobe is to use the same typestyle and ink color on every piece, but it's perfectly acceptable to be creative and mix things up-- whatever best reflects you.
To create a consistent foundation for you wardrobe, Dempsey & Carroll recommends building a Stationery Wardrobe in a single size family. For instance, the #3 Sheet folds once to fit the same envelope as the #3 Correspondence Card.
Dempsey & Carroll offers three bundled Wardrobes: the Petite (Size #1), the Social (Size #3) and the Executive (Size #7), each with Correspondence Cards, Sheets and Calling Cards.
Business Stationery Wardrobe
Your stationery wardrobe may include papers for business purposes. Whether coordinated in some ways with your social stationery or not, business stationery is usually more conservative. Papers should be White or Ecru, and ink should be black or another dark color. The exception, of course, if for individuals with less conservative professions – an event-planner or photographer would probably choose something very different from what a doctor or lawyer would choose.
Letterhead Sheets for business is almost always the Standard Letter Sheet, our Size #8. . This would normally features the firm’s name or logo prominently at the top of the page could be used by the entire firm. Sometimes, however, an executive keeps separate stationery at the office for business letters that do not require the firm’s letterhead. Here, the executive may use a smaller sheet in the Monarch size (Size #7), engraved with his or her name and the firm’s address. Many customers also choose to purchase blank second sheets in case a letter goes on longer than a page. Additionally, the envelopes for business stationery are not typically lined.
Correspondence Cards are also utilized in Business Stationery Wardrobes. After a big meeting or event, a hand-written note is just the right touch to close the deal or say thanks.
The final component of a tradition Business Stationery Wardrobe is the Business Card, and an engraved card makes an impressive statement. The engraving process gives much more clarity and distinction to lettering, and the result is a card that not only feels luxurious but also is crystal-clear to read. Business cards are available in a 2-ply weight and a 3-ply weight.
Another element that many businesspeople find useful is the Jotter Note. Measuring 3” x 5”,Jotter Notes are perfect for keeping paper at hand whenever the need to make a note comes up. They’re easily coordinated with your Business Stationery Wardrobe and are a nice final touch to the package.
Where can I view your selection of typestyles?
To view our entire range of typestyles, please click here. If you have identified a typestyle you would like to use but do not find it in our offerings, we can most likely acquire it. Please call us at 877-750-1878 to inquire.
What is blind embossing?
Blind embossing is engraving done without applying ink to the press. The result is a raised mark showing the texture and depth of the impression without any color. It is a subtle form of personalization and is a sophisticated alternative to traditional contrast engraving. It looks equally elegant with a monogram or a name.
Recently the United States Post Office made a change regarding blind embossing and has decided it will not return letters with a blind embossed return address. Some people still prefer to have their return address blind embossed, but it serves only an aesthetic purpose, not a functional one.
What is your paper made of?
Our papers are made of 100% cotton fibers, which are a renewable resource. Since cotton fibers are significantly longer than those in other materials (such as wood) it gives our paper an especially soft, rich texture. It also means that it is naturally acid free.
Our papers are milled exclusively for us in the United States. Our watermark can be clearly seen in our 1-ply sheets. When more than one sheet is plied together, the watermark disappears, but it is still the same paper stock of the highest quality.
What if I don't see the stationery item I would like to have made?
Custom engraving is just that – a custom job every time with myriad options from which to choose. If you have an idea in mind and need advice, or want to take your customization to the next level, please do not hesitate to call us at 877.750.1878 in order to speak with a sales representative. We have several artists and graphic designers on staff who would be glad to help you build a custom stationery wardrobe or unique invitation.
Can you a plate or die for me from my own artwork or design?
If you are interested in having a plate or die made from an existing design, please contact us with your inquiry.
Can you create custom artwork to be made into a die for my order?
Our skilled design team is available to help you develop custom artwork for your stationery order, from logos to house vignettes. Please contact us to discuss your project with one of our design staff.
How long will it take to engrave my stationery?
Our hand-engraving process is time intensive and can take between four to six weeks from the date of your proof approval. We do offer rush services for an additional cost. Please call us at 212.570.4800 for details.
How long will my boxed product order take to ship to me?
If you order any of our boxed Correspondence or Gifts, they will ship to you in three to five business days.
Do you have my engraving plates?
If you have ordered with Dempsey & Carroll in the past and did not receive your plates with your order, we most likely have them. Please email us as much information as possible about your plates and we will let you know whether we have them in our files.
When will my credit card be charged for my custom stationery?
Your credit card will be charged at the time you place your order. Personalized stationery, though it takes time, is custom-made for you and must be paid for at the time the order is placed.
Is it possible to make a change to existing engraving plates?
Engraving plates are carefully cut from copper or steel dies, which are then used to stamp the paper. Our engravers hold themselves to the highest quality and precision when it comes to engraving your stationery. Therefore, once a plate is engraved, it cannot be changed to reflect a change of address or new phone number. A new plate must be created to reflect any changes you may have.
I have just placed an order. What is the best method for sending my engraving plate to you?
The U.S. Postal service has sorting machines that can damage plates in transit if the plate is not packaged properly, and even a small defect can render a plate unusable for engraving. Please make sure your plate is carefully packaged to ensure it will not be damaged in shipping. Dempsey & Carroll recommends that you ship your plate via UPS, Fed-Ex, or another shipping method that has the ability to track packages. Dempsey & Carroll is not responsible for plates that are lost or damaged in transit.
If you have not placed your order yet, please call us at 877.750.1878 to discuss your existing plates.
You may ship your plates to:
Dempsey & Carroll
1049 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10021
Why do some border colors cost more than others?
All of Dempsey & Carroll’s borders are carefully painted by hand. Due to our extensive selection of ink colors, keeping every border combination in stock is not possible. The selection of borders we keep in stock are “standard borders,” and are priced as such. All other borders are “custom,” meaning they must be made-to-order just for you. For this reason, an additional two weeks must be allowed for delivery, and custom charges are applied.
Do your cards ever go on sale?
You can find select motif cards offered at reduced prices at our web site's sale page.
Throughout the year, we offer occasional sales on selections of motif designs or on a specific type of personalized stationery. The most notable of these sales is our Annual Correspondence Card Sale in January.
Do you offer Gift Certificates?
We do indeed offer Gift Certificates for any amount above $25.