The 13 Best Stationery Brands to Elevate Your Writing in 2023

Our favorite picks include Papier and Dear Anabelle

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Best Stationary

The Spruce / Kevin Liang

When it comes to organization, imposter syndrome is real—and sometimes in order to look put together, you need to fake it a little bit. The easiest way to do so? Start with your stationery. 

Having good writing materials—notecards with matching envelopes, business cards, invitations, personalized stationery—is the hallmark of organization. They should be crisp and sturdy, aesthetically appealing and tasteful all at the same time. When it comes to selecting stationery, Joseph Alayon Ormaza, Head of Global Studio at WeWork, says, “I always look for the basics first, what my needs are, and then I layer in some fun and interesting items to ensure my working surface is one that motivates and inspires me day to day.” 

We consulted with Ormaza and then explored the extensive market of stationery brands to ensure that we were choosing the fiercest competitors. One of our favorites is  Dear Annabelle, which offers an elevated take on writing essentials through elegant designs and thoughtfully crafted materials. 

Keep scrolling to find the best stationery brands to sign, seal, and share.

Papier

Papier Brand

Papier

Papier is one of the world’s leading stationery sellers for a reason, effectively serving as a writing emporium that offers notecards, writing paper, thank you cards, and any other accessories you might need. Founded in 2015, the UK-based company weaves curiosity and contemplation into its designs, curating a variety of aesthetics. And if it doesn’t have a design that quite fits what you are looking for, it welcomes you to make your own with customizable options. 

We especially love its work with astrology, crafting horoscope notebooks that are just beckoning our pens and ideas. It carries a striking set from Desmond & Dempsey, with the iconic jaguar gracing the bottom of the page. If you prefer something minimal and timeless, well, it also has that.

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Economy, standard, priority, overnight | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: 3 business days

In Haus Press

In Haus Press Brand

In Haus Press

With options for (nearly) every occasion, In Haus Press is one of our top choices when it comes to stationery. The style is minimal and sophisticated, with a hint of subtle detailing. Based in San Francisco, In Haus Press uses its own technique called “Slow printing,” a hand-fed printing process on three antique presses. Eponymous for designing, printing, and shipping everything in-house, the brand is a small business on the rise.

On its website, you can find everything from modern social correspondence, notecards, invitations, announcements, and limited edition prints on its website. You also have the option to personalize stationery sets with names (which also makes for a fabulous gift). One of our favorites is its “Brunch Date Cards,” perfect for any quiche and mimosa mornings you might have planned.

Return Policy: All sales final | Delivery Options: Standard | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

Dear Annabelle

Dear Annabelle Brand

Dear Annabelle

We’ve already mentioned Dear Annabelle, but allow us to elaborate. This woman-owned stationery store is designed in NYC and shipped everywhere, as well as being carried at retailers like Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. The brand was born out of the concept of the loving sight of a friend’s handwriting, familiarity, and real human connection. Thus, the inspiration for the name.

Dear Annabelle produces luxury paper products—notecards, notepads, place cards, invitations, gift tags, and even wrapping paper—with refined and delicate composition. The Tropical place cards brighten any table setting, and we also love the Vices notecards, a 10-piece set that plays off of our kryptonite. When the holiday season rolls around, be sure to check out its Holiday Collection, with gingerbread men and candy canes decking out the paper. 

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard, two-day, overnight | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

Elūm Designs

Elum Designs

Elūm Designs

Elūm Designs may be lesser known, but don’t let that fool you. Created to reduce disappointment in the simple “happy birthday” timeline post or email invitation, Elūm Designs aims to enhance all of life’s noteworthy moments. From creative collaborations with bigger brands such as Anthropologie and HomeGoods to one-of-a-kind custom work, Elūm Designs is constantly doing something new in the stationery world. By using the letterpress technique that was developed in the mid-1400s, the brand embeds its unique artwork onto high-quality paper.

Fierce leopard print cards and sweet little mini notes await at this crafty retailer. You can even find it on Amazon, in case you need some stationery to get to you at lightning speed. The Citrus Florals Collection is perfect for any spring sentiments you are trying to send out, a busy-bee-inspired selection of listpads, notecards, and art prints.

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

Rifle Paper Co.

Menagerie Forest Art Print

Rifle Paper Co.

Founded in 2009 by a husband and wife team, Rifle Paper Co. is a popular choice when it comes to paper. The brand specializes in bold colors, hand-painted florals, and whimsical characters, which create a look that is unlike any other on the market. Intended to be high-quality yet accessible, the products are hand-assembled by local Florida printers. 

Selling writing sets, everyday cards, and personalized stationery, there is a plethora to choose from on its website. One of our favorite pieces? The Mix-N-Match Dogs personalized flat notes incorporating custom lettering and a pet portrait from its mix-and-match template. Be right back, ordering Golden Retriever note cards right now.

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard, FedEx expedited | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: 4-6 weeks

Poketo

Poketo Brand

Poketo

Poketo is not just another stationery brand; the brand also creates home decor, apparel, and accessories. Recognizable for brightly colorblocked designs, Poketo mixes yellows, reds, blues, purples, and more into signature pieces. It’s more than just its products—Poketo is a celebration of art. Whether it’s throwing a large art show featuring a free Portugal The Man concert or dreaming up (and actualizing) a collaboration with Target, the brand is constantly evolving beyond its merchandise.

That being said, its offerings are still fabulous, with stationery that’s designed to make you smile (we’re partial to the Tutti Frutti postcards, which bring a juicy abundance of hues to the page). Its travel journals are also a great way to put pen to paper and do so stylishly in eclectic waves of color. There’s really nothing that Poketo can’t do.

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

Crane

Crane Brand

Crane

Crane is another name in stationery that we’re pretty sure you’ve heard before, and for good reason, too. The brand pushes everyone to share their second voice, a voice that is found on paper. Its designs reflect this, creating a range of formal to friendly pieces with the craftsmanship of 250 years in the making. Crane is a heritage brand, and it threads its history through its thoughtful products.

With artful paper for just about every occasion, Crane manages to quite literally push the envelope when it comes to stationery. The Queen Bee card is one of our favorites, optimistic and regal atop the card. Vintage jotter cards also make an appearance, a retro monogram to add a personal touch to your stationery. At Crane, the basics are mastered and then embellished just a little bit, creating playfulness out of practicality.

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard, two-day, overnight | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: 10-24 business days

Appointed

Appointed

Appointed

Originally, Appointed’s mission was to create a better notebook. In 2016, it debuted an American-made quality design that immediately was a success. From there, the brand delved into the stationery space, creating planners, calendars, journals—all sorts of sets—to give people its writing needs in a minimalistic style. Sophisticated stationery is at the brand’s forefront, and it consistently delivers on this.

One of its highlights is the brand customization offerings. Appointed designs custom printed notebooks, journals, and notepads for personalized corporate gifts. Another favorite from the brand is its greeting notecards, which have check-boxes to indicate the occasion in an ergonomic yet engaging fashion.

Return Policy: 14 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard, expedited | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: 5-7 weeks

Smythson

Smythson Brand

Smythson

For over 130 years, Smythson has been one of the leading leather goods companies in the world. The British brand brings a versatile luxury to its craft. While its leather goods have established the brand’s prestige, the stationery is not to be missed. Handcrafted and elegantly engraved, Smythson stationery is in its own category. Its correspondence cards, writing paper, business cards, and wedding invitations can all be personalized for an individual stamp on the iconic brand.

If you are in the search of a business card that conveys the pinnacle of class, Smythson is the place for you. Simplicity at its finest, the bordered correspondence cards in effervescent colors are a staple of the brand. Tissue-lined envelopes ensure that your letters get there safely, soundly, and in style, too. The classic letterhead is also an essential in timeless coloring. 

Return Policy: 28 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: Additional 2-3 days

Sugar Paper

Sugar Paper Brand

Sugar Paper

For about 20 years, Sugar Paper has been making bespoke stationery that speaks to its customers. Made in its Los Angeles studio, every single item is crafted with peak attention to detail. While Sugar Paper can be found around the world in big and small stores, the website holds endless opportunities for signature styles or special customization. In case you need an example of its superior craftsmanship, every envelope is lined by hand and personally checked for quality. 

Letterpress printed by hand, the custom stationery is one of the stars at Sugar Paper. It also has a box of Cards for Every Occasion, consisting of 12 assorted greeting cards to cover all of the bases. If you want some basic stationery like a desk jotter, the gold foil-edged note cards in a chambray fabric holder are a fantastic option.

Return Policy: 30 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard, expedited | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: 3-4 weeks

Moglea

Moglea Brand

Moglea

Based in Iowa, Moglea’s production processes are done by hand, and each piece is truly one-of-a-kind. The brand brings dip dye and hand painting to the fine stationery market, something that it hadn’t really seen before. Moglea’s simple stationery sets in swirling prints of colors are a joyful addition to the writing world.

The Candy Swirl cards are hard to resist, and their hand-painted design makes each one vary slightly. This applies to the Neon Shape cards as well, pieces of truly unique work that you can’t find anywhere else. Or maybe you’re feeling festive and opt for the Holiday Drip set, a splatter that feels very Jackson Pollock meets Etsy. 

Return Policy: 7 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

Joy Creative Shop

Joy Creative Shop Brand

Joy Creative Shop

Joy Creative Shop does just what its name says: create joy. It promotes the notion that the simplest things inspire the greatest joy. Helping its customers find different ways to express gratitude throughout its days, Joy Creative Shop puts emphasis on the importance of a personal gesture. Bright pops of color and bubble lettering breathe youth into the designs.

If you have a teacher or a family member you want to send a little memo to, this is the brand to use for it. From fill-in-the-blank thank-you cards to personalized notes, there’s something for everyone at Joy Creative Shop. Just take its personalized gingham stationery, for example, which is preppy and sophisticated all at the same time.

Return Policy: On a case-by-case basis | Delivery Options: Standard, expedited, overnight | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

Mrs. John L. Strong

Mrs. John L. Strong Brand

Mrs. John L. Strong

If you want some stationery that’s really deluxe, Mrs. John L Strong is giving you just that. Founded in 1929, the brand upholds the tradition of creating the finest stationery of the highest quality. Hours of craftsmanship go into each piece, with old-world techniques lending to its hand engraving, hand bordering, hand lining, and hand finishing processes. Opt for a classic design or customize your paper—either option is just as satisfactory.

Bring back business cards with custom engraving done by skilled artisans. Send your notes in style on luxurious cards in a thick gothic font. Pair a nature motif with a lined envelope for a special set to create your own Strong Collection. Whatever route you choose to go, just know that there’s a card for that.

Return Policy: 14 days for a full refund | Delivery Options: Standard | Average Wait Time for Personalized Items: N/A

What to Look for in Stationery

Design

It may seem obvious, but the design is one of the most important factors to consider. It’s critical to think about what style suits you, whether that’s something more basic or with intricate detailing. If you are more demure, you may gravitate towards minimalist designs. On the other hand, if you prefer your paper to be bold, you may opt for something that’s reflective of that in bright prints. Ormaza advises, “As a creative, I typically look for items that do not carry someone else’s styles or trends in order to focus on my own craft.” Our favorite stationery for doing just that? Moglea’s Candy Swirl cards, which are hand painted so that each card is entirely its own design.

Quality

Quality is a necessity when it comes to selecting your stationery, as you want paper that is crisp and won’t easily fold under pressure. Literally. Your stationery should be crisp and sturdy but also a bit soft to the touch. Look for handcrafted stationery, which is a great way to ensure that every piece is checked for quality. Mrs. John L. Strong’s Strong Collection notes are a prime example of that, as all of the production processes are done by hand. 

Personalization Options

One of the best parts about stationery is the ability to customize it. And if you’re into this sort of thing (which we definitely are), then pay attention to personalization options and turnaround time. Crane’s Georgia Jotter card is our top pick when it comes to customizing stationery, as it’s tasteful and timeless, which a 10-24 day turnaround.

FAQ
  • What is stationery?

    Stationery is an encapsulating word for writing materials, specifically writing paper and matching materials. The category denotes all sorts of writing implements, including letterheads, notecards, business cards, envelopes, greeting cards, and more.

  • What’s the best way to organize stationery?

    When it comes to organizing your stationery, Ormaza says, “Think about what you use in a day, clean and store away anything that is a distraction and not necessary.” Keep the essentials on your desk, and then put anything that you use less frequently in a drawer nearby.

  • What’s the best type of writing utensil to use with stationery?

    A fountain pen is one of the most classic choices when it comes to fine stationery. The metal nib applies water-based ink to the paper, and this free-flowing liquid ink causes less surface tension when you write. Ballpoint pens are a runner-up, and Ormaza’s favorite is Montblanc’s Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition Ballpoint Pen if you really feel like splurging.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Gaby Keiderling is a freelance writer based in New York City, covering fashion, lifestyle, sports, and travel. Her work can also be seen in Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Who What Wear, and Travel + Leisure. As a writer, she has much experience when it comes to putting pen to paper, so these stationery brands have been expertly vetted. For additional insight, she spoke with Joseph Alayon Ormaza, the Head of Global Studio at WeWork.

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