The Fun of the Fair in Frankfurt

Following Top Drawer (read my review here) – I jetted off to Frankfurt Paperworld (28 – 31) for a couple of days sandwiched in between my days at Spring Fair as the two shows coincided this year. Cards are not my main reason for visiting this fair but is it always interesting to see if there are any trends emerging in Europe that would work in the UK. While most card suppliers are in Hall 5 they tend to be the ‘ordinary’ cards full of words that are very typical of the cards you would find here at the lower end of the market, they tend to contain verse or captions which means they could not work here because of the language barrier. The innovative ranges are in Hall 6 which is the fantastic design led hall and there were some stunning cards there with a range from Paula Skene from America being the stand out range for me.A letterpress range it offered embossed foiled images in up to 4 colours, the strength of the colours and wonderfully fine detail was exquisite.

And then back to the Spring Fair and Hall 4 is where the bulk of cards are on show but by no means all, as there are plenty of cards in the gift halls too if the exhibitors main line of business is gifts rather than cards and of course whether you will find them will then depend on focus of your visit to Spring Fair.

I found a really interesting cross section of cards this year, not surprisingly most exhibitors be they small or large were launching new ranges for 2015 to excite retailers and to encourage them to place their 1st orders of the year. Not only were there seasonal cards for Easter, Father’s Day and Christmas but also exciting new everyday ranges too and here are a few that stood out for me.

I spotted Jessica Hogarth 18 months ago when I was on holiday in Norfolk and I watch her ranges with interest as I love her style she had some lovely new ranges at Spring Fair including this new birthday card.

I was interested to talk to Ged from Artfile and learn that the designer of 1 of their eye-catching new ranges Miks Letterpress they found at the New York Stationery Show last year

Licensing is still very important for card publishers be it images they want to access for their cards or indeed their images being licensed for us in other markets. Soula from The London Studio recently announced she has licensed Wisdom of Kids onto stationery with Blueprint and Museum and Galleries are having great success with images from illustrator Jane Robbins however for me their new range using images from Walker Books is very strong and my favourite is this lovely card which I hope will be very successful for them as the sentiment is lovely and there are very few grandfather cards in the market.

And then there is Christmas frighteningly the deadline being mooted by larger publishers for placing orders for Christmas packs is the end of March, so by Easter larger retailers will already have a significant percentage of their Christmas card orders placed... here we go again!!!