Following on from my last article on the Top 3 Stationery Trends of 2018, I promised to share some great examples of 'on trend' stationery that may be of interest to your customers. From Diaries and Journalling products to Social Stationery and Calligraphy sets - it's all covered in my blog this week...
To start us off on a high - BUSY B are a well-known stationery brand renowned for creating innovative products that help us organise all aspects of our lives. They are always well thought through with great extra details and they look great too. A good example is their Perfect Planner Diary launched in 2017, it is week to view and has a notes section each week, and includes lots of features like faux leather cover, pen loop, storage pockets, stickers, extra notepad, perforated lists etc.
The uncertainty around Brexit, increasing inflation reducing disposable incomes and potential job insecurity are all are fueling the need for people to keep in touch, making sure they remember special occasions and generally stay connected and this is good news for those businesses offering social stationery be they on the high street or on-line.
This type of communication is very personal and to make the recipient feel even more special the products are often made using lovely materials with extra details. At Spring Fair, I saw a perfect example of this from Dotty about Paper who were offering some lovely bags of invitations, presented in these organza bags makes them special and they were reasonably priced too.
Journaling continues to be very relevant for consumers this year and products linked to helping us to note down our thoughts, current goals, organisation and use of time, are all aimed at helping redress our work life balance. Retailer Kikki K has based the bulk of their product offer around this idea of life goals and organisation and there are many new ranges being offered by UK suppliers so that more retailers can offer these types of products. Allsorted have an attractive range of journals from Eccolo a growing American trend led stationery brand– inspired by Italian design - that seeks to rekindle the importance and pleasure of the handwritten word.
Another stationery format increasing in popularity are Bullet Journals again aimed at helping us to organise our lives tracking the past, keeping on top of the present and planning the future. Leuchtturrm bullet journals are the leader in this market and their sales are going from strength to strength.
Products that help us organise are certainly in big demand at the moment and Graphique offer the Franklin Covey system; an American system widely used as a management tool which has some useful features including daily, weekly and monthly planning pages as well as space for flexible scheduling, prioritising, important dates as well as notes, and monthly calendars for planning ahead.
In the 30 or so years I have worked in the stationery industry it has become more and more design-led and licensing popular designs from other industry sectors particularly homewares and greetings cards - and this is still very evident in the stationery market this year.
There is something for everyone on offer this year including the stylized fun of I Like Birds from Artfile, the distinctive florals of the V&A offered by Museum and Galleries, the exotic Sara Miller range from Blueprint, and Mini Moderns from Portico Designs all adding real breadth to the stationery ranges available for retailers to stock.
But it is not just licenses that are giving us great images for stationery we have fabulous on trend llamas from Mustard, to beautifully drawn wildlife and stunning florals from Laura Stoddart’s In Bloom range. While we are seeing some changes in emphasis in the stationery on offer now humour, happiness and laughing still play an important part and the Wiffley Waffley range from Really Good will certainly brighten up many displays and have us laughing as we get tongue tied trying to say it.
In terms of finish, high shine glosses, metallics and glitters are very much in evidence and they will allow retailers to create some really strong displays that will WOW their customers. For the last few years new colours of foil have been used on greetings cards from bronzes through to rose gold and ice blues and as often happens these trends are now filtering through on to stationery. There are some stunning products being launched this year from a cross section of suppliers including Go Stationery, Graphique and Helix! Metallics inks are also being used in subtle and sophisticated ways too as shown here in the Noir range from Otima - an experienced Brazilian manufacturing company launching in the UK at the Stationery Show this year.
I have commented previously that there are strong links between the trends in greetings cards and stationery and this is a good example because for the last few years there have been a significant number of card ranges featuring calligraphy and hand lettering because the cards are featuring messages rather than images. This design trend is very relevant on stationery too, both in terms of the graphics and messaging being used on products and the products being offered that are allowing consumers to write in these different styles. One of the main suppliers in to this sector is the UK Manuscript Pen Company who are launching their new Callicreative Switch Tips Range - a complete set offering a brush tip, a fineliner and two italic nibs that can be used in one single pen making it the perfect solution for creatives of all disciplines.
And because modern calligraphy continues to stay in vogue, Manuscript are also adding an Oblique Calligraphy Set and a more comprehensive Modern Calligraphy Set to their Modern Calligraphy collection which are ideal for experts and beginners alike.
There is another important connection to make here; a lot of the journaling mentioned earlier relates to thoughtfulness; the creativity and skill of learning calligraphy encourages personal development, relaxation and ‘losing yourself’ so maybe for some modern calligraphy is taking over where colouring left off?
So whether you are a retailer who stocks stationery or a passionate stationery user yourself - there are some fabulous products on the market this year and plenty to get excited about!