Our eighth annual abecedary takes you back to trends school
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in today’s market. There’s so much great product out there — which means long gone are the days where one could walk a trade show and easily ascertain that one must-stock product category, color or design trend.
But that’s not necessarily all bad — while the market is certainly fragmented, there is something within for everyone. And if there is one underlying current driving everything, it’s that the consumer want to be dazzled and inspired with artisanal, clever touches.
Whether it the fresh thrill of copper foil, well-thought-out details such as an unexpected die-cut — or even the means to channel one’s inner child — great stationery and gifts have a seemingly effortless ability to deliver just what we’re looking for, often before we know we’re seeking it.
However, honing in on our cultural mood and desires only looks simple. Keep reading to get a handle on noteworthy design trends sure to catch the eye and capture sales this fourth quarter!
Clockwise from left: Art prints & Posters. Wall art is a natural progression for the artistry displayed by today’s makers — and they are ready to merchandise on a statement wall! (Snow & Graham) Bees. Honeybees may be endangered, but this motif — along with its companion, the honeycomb — is thriving across stationery and gift categories. (Giddy Paperie) Copper Foil. Expect regal gold foil to continue to shine, but its copper counterpart provides a lively twist that is simultaneously classic and trendy. (Kleinfeld Paper) Dimensional. Want your stationery to really pop? Then offer selections specially engineered to catch the eye. (Up With Paper) Edgy. Die-cut corners put a posh twist on any paper — and, depending on their usage, enhance any design’s mood, from vintage to mod. (Missive) Fruits of the Farm. As more and more Americans have begun patronizing farmer’s markets, more and more product speaks to this home-grown shift. (Rigel Stuhmiller) Grown-up Coloring Books. This lifestyle trend is translating into sales, noted Patricia Michael of American Pie in Chatham, New York. “Stress levels are on the rise in this complicated world, and these books and cards give folks a break.” (Stevie Streck Designs) Hello, Baby! A host of products help expectant moms not only get ready for baby, but to relive those special years together once that child is grown. (Compendium)
Left to right: Idioms, Southern Style. Vernacular prevalent below the Mason-Dixon line not only resonates with those residents, it fits card-sending occasion everywhere. (Concrete Lace) Just So. The bar is set high for brides thanks to Pinterest, so day-of wedding elements need to be picture-perfect and able to accommodate any colorway or theme. (Eliza Gwendalyn) Kindnesses, Small. While acknowledging gratitude for life’s little pleasures is a key trend, speading it to others never goes out of style. (Smock) Local Love. When people shop small, everyone on that spot on the map wins — and a plethora of product salutes this idea. (Hartford Prints) Modern Feminists. Instead of burning bras, the second sex empowers itself these days on sleek and slick giftware and stationery. (Rosanna)
Clockwise from left: Nerd Pride. The ultra-brainy are ashamed no more — and they too deserve themed repositories for formulas, facts and fictions. (Quarto Publishing Group USA) Out of This World. The final frontier spurs imaginations and lends itself particularly well to star-studded product. (The Firecracker Press) Plaid. Tartans, checkerboards and even patchworks are a designer’s dream as they can suit any mood, from preppy to rustic, depending on presentation. (Luscious Verde) Quilling. The paper filigree technique has been used since the renaissance, but its dimensional artistry continues to resonate. (Quilling Card) Rainbows. It has been a good year for love in all its forms, and the all-inclusive rainbow motif has flourished accordingly. (Beve) Spirits. Speak to the passions of alcohol aficionados by pouring out plenty of themed finds. (Scotch & Cream) Tools for Organization. We may be living in the digital age, but the preponderance of paper planners speak to the eternal need to write it all down. (Ferme à Papier) Ultra-Luxe. Lovers of epistolary love setting their correspondence apart with upscale details like letterpress touches and fabric-lined envelopes. (MARCH Paper & Design) Vintage. While modernism has many fans these days, product that nods to the richness of the past and the touch of the hand resonates as well. (Sir/Madam through Aesthetic Movement)
Clockwise from top left: Wall Calendar Prints. The artistry in our industry brings life and color to walls while also functioning as calendars. (Gingiber) Xtra-Long. Draw customers in with selections that leave the expected behind and experiment with the size and shape of each sheet. (Carde Blanche) Yes to Rescue. As more Americans adopt dogs from shelters and rescue organizations, the animals’ stories add character and spirit to canine displays. (Princeton Architectural Press) Zest for Color. Nothing makes as big an immediate impression at retail — and, in this case, on gifts — as bright, bold color. (Knot & Bow)