Spring 2020 / Product Feature

Office 2020

“While the idea of “putting the fun in functional” still resonates, there is a lot more going on. “I think personalized desk spaces are really having a moment, which is so much fun for us stationery and desk accessory designers because there is a market for almost every aesthetic!” laughed Katie Gastley, COO, Idlewild Co. “Women are starting and running businesses in record numbers right now, and it’s exciting to see what used to be ho-hum, mass produced ‚Äòoffice supplies’ getting revamped with elevated style ‚Äì from folders and clip-folios, to stylish staplers and catch-alls. We’re really thinking broadly about how our paper products can expand into functional and beautiful tools to dress up your desk.”

What’s Hot
“Sustainability is key!” exclaimed Gwen Weinberg, president and design director of Three by Three Seattle. “Our goal is to continue to reduce our climate impact, which is a challenge given the nature of our business, but gladly it’s become a bit easier lately given the increasing interest from our manufacturing partners to do the same. In our line, we’ve expanded our assortment of felt products, which are made with a 100% post-consumer PET material recycled from plastic pop bottles. We’ve designed entire collections using the material, and have also incorporated it as a soft protective layer on our newest jOTBLOCK sticky note sets and wood and felt desktop sets.”

“2020 is really going to be the year of the conscious consumer, and I think that is going to be reflected in the products customers will be drawn to. It’s great to see the market turning to sustainable products in a real way!” agreed Gastley. “I think more and more people will be discerning when considering how a product is made, from materials to how it is packaged. Regardless of aesthetic, sustainably-sourced papers, natural materials, and low (to no) waste packaging are going to be point-of-purchase factors for more and more customers. Idlewild Co. took steps last year to eliminate non-recyclable materials from our shipping processes, and this year we’re focusing on redesigning the retail packaging of every product that currently contains single-use plastic. We expect 90% of our products to ship plastic-free by the year’s end.”

Also Look For
Neutrals with pops of color; clever verbiage and styling; and luxe or enduring materials.

Tried & True
“When it comes to functionality, people look for simplicity in the design of their organizing tools to best help them achieve their organizing goals, so we always keep a simple, clean-lines aesthetic in mind when developing new designs,” observed Weinberg.

Designer Quote
“It sounds cliche, but I am really inspired by our awesome clients. The majority of them are women, and they’re so creative themselves that I really want to design products that are useful, surprising and delightful -‚Äì making a boring work or school day just a tiny bit more fun.” – Katie Gastley, Idlewild Co

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