With the invention of e-mail and texting has stationery been relegated to the annals of history? Is beautifully penned prose on a piece of personalized paper something now only suitable for a museum exhibit? After all, many schools don’t even teach children cursive handwriting anymore. Believe it or not, there are many who long for the “good old days” of a personally crafted message. I’m definitely one of them. I use to write my husband letters all the time, and I’m actually one of the few who don’t mind checking the mailbox to see what’s arrived (besides bills of course). Apparently, I’m not the only one. The stationery industry is seeing a resurgence in the accouterments of the handwritten letter. The 2017 National Stationery Show (NSS) has given everyone who loves the feel of cardstock and the aroma of ink a heads-up on what to expect next.
Cards with realistic images of flowers printed as the primary graphic are expected to be in high demand for the greeting card industry. With so much focus on the environment, it is no wonder that a bit of flora and fauna are the preferred images. However, the depiction is more art than just a bit of copy and paste work. Simplistic styling with virtually no background, drawing all attention to the work of art on display is the hallmark of this greeting card trend. The overall goal is to create a message envoy that has the potential to become a framed work of art the recipient can hang on their wall, forever reminded that they were remembered by a loved one.
It seems that since the Great Recession every single person in the country has become a do-it-yourself-er, especially brides. Thanks to the do-it-yourself wedding planning trend, the stationery industry has enjoyed a boom in customized products such as:
- Personal notecards for wedding party members.
- Bridal notebooks, journals and planner calendars.
- Announcement cards for all related wedding events such as engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.
- Guestbooks and personal wishes cards.
- Thank You cards.
Non-profit organizations are cashing in on stationery, particularly in the production of colorful calendars. When I say colorful, I don’t just mean calendars that feature gorgeous illustrations or striking photography each month. This craze for adult coloring books is taking the calendar industry by storm. As grown-ups enjoy a bit of retro-relaxation, immersing themselves in the pleasurable childhood pastime of coloring, they can get a two-for for their dollars spent: pleasure for themselves and helping out a good cause. The great thing for non-profits is that, by foregoing the extra expense of loads of colored ink, they are able to maximize the usefulness of donation dollars. It’s a win/win for everyone!
Printers have never before performed like the powerhouses they are today. People are printing all sorts of things, even 3-D houses! What this means for the stationery industry is innovation like never before. Not only can people design their own greeting card, they can also print out matching wrapping paper for the gift that goes along with the card. For the arts and crafty, this is manna from heaven.
All of this greeting card madness requires one thing for any bit of stationery to ultimately fulfill its purpose: writing instruments. For today’s stationery the traditional ink pen simply will not do. Modern stationery lovers have the hearts and souls of art connoisseurs. What they prefer are the colored pencil sets they have been re-introduced to through the adult coloring book trend. The appreciation of a finely sharpened pencil to create the right shade and hue that complements the graphic color scheme of a card is the perfect final touch.
Whatever your stationery longings are, don’t get left behind. Stationery is for everyone. Pen a heartfelt message to a loved one and send it by mail. Even if you share living space with them the impact and delight of such a thoughtful and unexpected gift is immeasurable.