Design Trends in Stationery
GDA Staff -- Gifts & Dec, May 20, 2011
Here's "what's new" and what to keep an eye out for as you shop the National Stationery Show and upcoming summer shows.
I'M OFTEN ASKED IF THERE REALLY ARE ANY NEW TRENDS IN STATIONERY. THE ANSWER IS ... YES!
Sure, there are ongoing trends such as "green," "vintage" and "humor," but there are also plenty of new takes on recurring trends, and clever new spins on classic product categories. In other words, there's much to see and buy that will add pizzazz to your merchandise mix and pique your customers' interest.
1 Motion. The addition of motion to greeting cards and stationery products is helping to make this merchandise move out the door. Some items employ lenticular technology to animate their designs, such as Avanti Press's "A+Plus Motion" card collection, and the new lenticular notebooks from Vandor. Other companies use more "old-school" techniques, such as the handcraft ed paper-doll cards from Hungry Dog Designs, which have movable arms and legs courtesy of simple brads.
2 Windows. Windows offer a peek into the product that lies beyond. Sometimes these windows are die-cut, such as the intricately die-cut Forever Handmade greeting cards from Notes & Queries. Other times, unique packaging provides a window - as with Joelle's keepsake box (see p. 96) of "Shared-Wisdom" cards, or the Glass Top Note Card Box from Fringe Studio (see G&DA, March/April, p. 81).
3 Fabric. Paper isn't the only medium for greetings. In fact, several new fabric products are delivering messages in ways that are unique, long-lasting and eco-friendly. Fiddler's Elbow recently debuted its "CardTowel," a greeted kitchen towel with space on the back to write a personal message. Additionally, fabric wine bags from Amscan feature embroidered designs and greetings.
4 Top-Loaders. To add design interest to stationery, sometimes all that's needed is a litt le twist ... in this case, turning the top from horizontal to vertical. Several companies are introducing notecards featuring toploading envelopes, including Punch Studio, Dempsey Press and iota, which introduces a notecard set that comes in a reusable box with butt on-tie closure (see cover).
Scalloping. Styles in stationery often follow fashions on the runway, and this year's walk down the National Stationery Show aisles will be a refl ection of what's hot in apparel. For example, skirts with scalloped hems are translated by Feterie into notecards with scalloped edges. And, just as layers have been all the rage among fashionistas, so are coordinated layers of paper on numerous fashionable invitations, such as those from William Arthur.
Teatime. The English tradition of tea seems to be gaining ground in the U.S., as more Americans are switching at least a few of their cups of coff ee to tea. Refl ecting this, more teathemed cards are brewing, including a teacup motif get-well card from Anna Griffi n, and "High Tea" notecards with recipes from Interdecorations.
7 Francophilia. American companies - and customers - continue to have a fascination with all things French, as evidenced by the use of Parisian icons such as the Eiff el Tower on products (such as on one of Curly Girl Designs' latest notecards), and the use of French words as a design element (as seen on a new journal cover from Koco NY). These little French touches are adding much "joie de vivre" to stationery product lines!
8 Humor. They say that humorous cards do well in times of hardship and recession, but I believe they're appreciated at any time, for most any occasion. Foxy Blunt definitely has a blunt way of sending well wishes, such as its anniversary card that reads: "Here's to another year with no restraining order." Humor's not limited to cards, either; in fact, Shannon Martin has just launched a gift book line featuring some of her funniest messages, including: "Some drink from the fountain of youth. Others merely gargle."
9 Vintage. Call it vintage, retro, Americana ... there's something about imagery from the past that evokes sales from the present. Pinup girls always seem to be popular, as seen by the "Vintage Vixen Purse Notes" available from Oak Patch Gift s. Old-time signage is also a favorite, such as the motel-looking sign used to deliver a happy birthday message from Hammerpress.
10 Green. It's worth repeating: this is a trend that's here to stay. Customers might not always seek out eco-friendly items, but they're always happy to know that they're purchasing something green ... so make sure your signage says so! Among eco-friendly stationery standouts are notecards from Ecojot, which are printed on 100 percent recycled, acidand chlorinefree paper; and tree-free journals from World Paper, which are made from recycled cotton cuttings left from T-shirt and underwear manufacture. Now that's green!
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