January 20, 2016 • Sarah Schwartz
Editor’s Letter: Under the Radar

Welcome to Stationery Trends’ annual trend issue! Packed in these pages you’ll find lots of great design — as well as design inspiration. Notably, we announce this year’s crop of Designers to Watch in 2016. This impressive group of 10 women each shape the stationery scene in a most distinctive, dynamic way: Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.; Ashley Gardner of Printable Wisdom; Dorothy Collier of Dorothy Art; Erin Ozer of Knot & Bow; Jen Gotch of; Leigh Standley of Curly Girl; Mimi Kim of Clap Clap Design & Stationery; Patricia Shen of Our Heiday; Robin Soltis of Scotch & Cream; and Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber.

If you can tear yourself away from that coverage, you absolutely must check out The Perfect (Brain)Storm on page 76. It too offers inspiration, but of a whole different kind — namely, jumpstarting your own when the time comes to brainstorm and collaborate. After all, no matter what you do, at some point you’ll have to reach deep within to up your game.

So, in this installment, Susan Turnock and Heather Arak of Gifts for the Good Life present a fail-proof method for identifying your own persona — as well as those of your collaborators — to produce a hit destined to climb to the top of your sales charts. Using ‘80s artists as a guide, you too can figure out whether you’re a boundary-pushing Reinventor, like Madonna, or a counter-culture Artist, like Boy George.

Taking Socrates’ sage advice to “know thyself” has never been easier, and editing the piece prompted some soul-searching of my own. To that end, I can’t resist sharing an important archetype that didn’t quite make the cut — both in the column and on Top 40 charts.

Robert Smith of The Cure produced an alternative sound that wasn’t for everyone, but his funky edge helped define a generation of emo lovers, myself included! For me, reinterpreting my imperfections as artistic quirks, and then really accepting them as part of myself, has enabled me to not only become more well-rounded, but to produce work I am really proud of.

So, what are you waiting for? Go get in touch with your inner Prince — or maybe you are more of a Weird Al? Use that crucial knowledge to craft your next big hit!

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