Features Product Features

January 9, 2022 • Sarah Schwartz
Fresh Year, Fresh Approach

he Riviera Arch paper vase from Octaevo

Dazzling your customers is a matter of thinking outside of the proverbial box

In our Winter 2021 cover story, I predicted that the buzzwords of 2021 would be Lifestyle and Storytelling. Well, we’re a whole year older, and hopefully accordingly wiser. We have gotten used to makers and brands presenting their wares in more of a narrative style, often on our screens, as we have embraced various lifestyle niches.

As a result, a fresh authenticity has pervaded messaging, while visually, consumers are mesmerized by new takes on existing forms. So with that said, if I had to pick two buzzwords for 2022, they would be Personality and Pedigree.

Personality is fairly self-explanatory: a given design has to seem to directly speak to the consumer, and express her in such a way that she feels compelled to send it to her friends or display it in her home. Card-senders, especially millennials, don’t necessarily need a holiday to send a card, but they do need that card to feel completely organic to their mindset.

Pedigree is a bit more complicated. It begins with how the product is made: Is it made by hand? Domestically? Is there a cause-related or fair trade component? Who is the maker? What kind of mission is the customer supporting with their purchase? How do they give back to its community or our planet? It is also how the given item infuses sustainability or function into an outstanding form.

Since consumers are now used to listening to stories, these are the questions they have become comfortable asking. That means that any range you take on is not just the product, but its entire backstory as well. Now more than ever, get truly acquainted with what goes into every SKU in your store … you and your staff will want to be ready to share it to bring every offering to glorious life onscreen or on the selling floor.

First and foremost, however, is the product itself. Lettering — the basis of stationery — has gone as individual as the maker or each of us. Japanese aesthetics have a welcome simplicity next to American complexity, while rainbows have been revisited with glorious results. Meanwhile, candles and even pencils have become the latest repository for the catchy copy once reserved for stationery. And, fresh approaches to existing strong sellers are almost always guaranteed to attract the attention!

DESIGN TRENDS

Off-Kilter Rainbows

Paper Vase from Octaevo
Paper Vase from Octaevo

Cartoonish Lettering

Hi Folks Card from Maginating
Hi Folks Card from Maginating

Japan

Portfolio Japanese Bird Prints from Pepin Press
Portfolio Japanese Bird Prints from Pepin Press

PRODUCT CATEGORIES

Catchy Candles

Down to Earth Candle from Aya Paper Co.
Down to Earth Candle from Aya Paper Co.

Prolific Pencils

Rustic Box Set from Blackwing
Rustic Box Set from Blackwing

Updated Classics

Cocktail Napkin from Boston International
Cocktail Napkin from Boston International



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Stationery Trends summer 2022 cover image
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