Features Industry Profiles

January 17, 2020 •
A Small World

Blackwing stationery product

Product doesn’t have to be large in size or high in price to make a big impact.

By and large, the stationery industry is filled with inexpensive, palm-sized baubles. Last year, Stationery Trends’ State of Paper Report found the sweet spot for cards to be $3-$5 retail, according to 63% of our respondents; 53% cited $11-$20 as the sweet spot to retail small gifts and impulse items. These don’t represent a substantial investment; what customers are investing in are relationships and a type of self-care. Cards enhance personal connections over time and space, while small gifts and self-splurges tend to affirm personal quirks, passions and affinities as they “speak” directly to customers.

When it comes to design elements, we can all use a laugh right now, which explains the puns proliferating across stationery and giftware. Meanwhile, paint splatter and holographic foils add tantalizing texture, and today’s makers revisit and occasionally reinvent established concepts like maps, ‘80s and ‘90s retro and lettering.

Blackwing stationery product
Blackwing pencils and accessories make a strong statement in displays, but are easy on the wallet.

In product categories, pencils are the ultimate harbinger of the current market. They’re simple in design, affordable in price, extremely collectible not in the Beanie Baby sense, but in that it’s hard to buy just one, and variable enough that whatever is purchased brings with it a certain distinction and personality to its new owner. They also run out and need to be replaced, plus they are fun to merchandise and interactive for customers to try out.

For the most part, ours is a volume-driven business, and will most likely stay that way for some time to come. So keep reading for a selection of irresistible pieces to offer your clientele — and be ready to refill those displays!

Here is a round-up of products to help you find inspiration to drive your sales.

Design Elements

‘80S and ‘90S Retro

Graphic Verbiage

Holographic Foils

Maps: In Stationery and Gift Categories

Paint Splatter Designs


Product Categories

Design-Driven DIY


Loquacious Jewelry


Pocket Notebooks

Pampered Pets



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