For all those at Top Drawer in January (15 – 17) I am sure you will agree it was a great start the year, I wasn’t sure what it would be like having moved to Olympia this year which as a visitor it is not my favourite venue because I always think the back area is dark and feels a bit claustrophobic and it is just so awkward to get to. How wrong could I be? I thought it was fantastic; light airy, spacious and well curated and a great venue in which to see cards and stationery. I was pleasantly surprised and needed more than the day I had planned. I felt the card and stationery area worked particularly well for those with smaller stands as they were not overwhelmed by larger exhibitors.
If prizes are being handed out for innovative stands then Eloise Hall’s really stood out for me; her use of a tree to display her bird cards was delicate and beautiful and reflected her imagery well. A really well thought through idea.
One thing that struck me was how many card publishers now have additional products to supplement their offer be it other paper based items like stationery or gifts like towels, mugs and gift bags.
Artfile have been offering stationery as part of their range for a number of years but their new ranges are a real move on with some fantastic use of contrasting details on notebooks and some great pens.
I noticed Ohh Deers note books last year but they have really increased their stationery range for spring 2015 with some fantastic new formats like post it notes and pencil cases with some great humour.
The gift wrap that stood out for me was Lagom’s new range of foiled gift wraps with a variety of eye-catching design and colours which are just stunning particularly the copper colourways; I hope I find someone selling it soon as I would really like to use it!