January 18, 2021 •
Holding it All Together

Trays from Rifle Paper Co.

A narrative thread lies at the heart of many a sale.

The buzzwords to keep in mind through 2021 are Lifestyle — the theme of this issue — and Storytelling. The former concerns mostly consumers, the latter how we in the trade interact with them. Let me explain. On the one hand, shopping as a leisure activity in physical stores has pretty much stopped for most of us, or has been altered enough that it is no longer the laid-back pastime it once was. Those days will hopefully return, but most likely not anytime soon.

That doesn’t mean that the American urge for buying something new has stopped — but it’s morphed into a more practical process, meaning a given item needs to blend into an existing lifestyle, not vice versa as it was for so long. That means stationery and gifts should be sensibly approached with an eye toward practicality and utility. We want to nurture ourselves, so Feel Good Aphorisms are compelling now. We are working at home, so Organization Items have never been more in demand.

Meanwhile, more Americans than ever are bored at home, practically begging to be dazzled. That is where storytelling comes in. Whatever design elements and product categories you choose to put in front of your customers, do so with well-styled imagery in which different elements unite to tell a quickly visually digested story. Your story could be called, The Stylish Desktop, or maybe The Pinterest-Ready Project.

Whatever tale you decide to spin, tell it well — and start your hunt for narrative elements here!

Design Elements

Breakfast Burrito Sticker from The Mincing Mockingbird
Breakfast Burrito Sticker from The Mincing Mockingbird

DIY Category

Brighten Up Coloring Book from ban.do
Brighten Up Coloring Book from ban.do

Product Category: Trays of All Types

Trinket Trays from Mud Pie
Trinket Trays from Mud Pie


The Recycled & Upcycled

Shop Local Produce Sack Set from Now Designs
Shop Local Produce Sack Set from Now Designs


75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


Stationery Trends Spring 2022 cover image
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