Welcome to my last blog in this mini-series celebrating this year's stationery trends... If you'd like to start at the beginning - click here.
Humour is as important in the stationery market as it is in cards and one publisher having significant success in stationery at the moment is Ohh Deer using their own designs as well as those licensed from Gemma Correll. They have developed a range of great stationery formats all manufactured in the UK from notebooks in various sizes, to pencil cases and post it notes.
Whether cute and cuddly ahhh variety or the more direct one liner that makes you smirk or laugh out loud – it’s a popular genre! Having humour as part of your offer can make a real difference to the ambience of a shop and I think there is nothing nicer than a group of friends finding a display of products that they spend some time looking through because it makes them laugh.
But it's worth remembering that there are so many good ranges available this year that retailers are going to need to be really focussed to ensure they chose ranges that their customers are going to want rather than being tempted by what they themselves find funny - which is always a danger for a buyer.
While I am enjoying seeing more and more paper stationery being made in the UK and thrilled by the investment being made in new machinery which enables great product and design innovations there are plenty more general gift companies like Mustard, Suck and Kikkerland offering bright, affordable and fun accessories like erasers and sharpeners which will brighten up any stationery range and make great pick-up lines to drive average transaction values which is what all retailers are after (see here for more retail tips for growing sales).
And what about colouring-in in 2016? Colouring was a great bonus at the end of 2015 driving strong sales of books at £10 plus as well as add on purchases of colouring pencils and pens which really helped to increase average transaction values often getting them up to £20. The colouring trend seems to be carrying on nicely into 2016 with new formats like greetings cards and even bed linen from companies like Egg Nog being introduced, and I am sure there are at least another 6 months of good sales to get out of this area - even if there isn’t a second big Christmas.