Trend report on the Future of Papercrafting

Top six top take-always from a panel at the stationery show

By "Roving Reporter" and creative consultant Jeannene Langford

This Panel was directing the discussion to store owners, however, I thing this is good information for designers to hear as well.

Moderator: Sarah Schwartz, Editor of Stationery Trends (a really fantastic stationery magazine that comes out quarterly)

Panelist: Bonnie Marcus of Bonnie Marcus Collection, Whitney English Kolb of Whitney English, Prentiss Douthit of Prentiss Douthit , Jennifer Tatham of Night Owl Paper Goods and Leigh Standley of Curly Girl

1. How they interpret trends into product.

Each panelist replied they really followed their passion whether it be in attending fashion shows, being outdoors, reading design and home décor blogs and books, visiting flea markets or museums and then pairing that inspiration with the latest in color information from Pantone.

2. How have paper trends have changed in the last 10 years?

They come about much quicker. Technology has really sped things up by making communication accessible and so easy. We can easily be bombarded with new trend with rss feeds, twitter updates and simple image google searches. They also quickly manifest microtrends. Birds have been a popular trend for some years now and owls is a micro trend that developed out of that. Peacock and peacock feathers are also microtrends.

3.What are some of the most current trends?

Telling a story – Take the store Anthropology, walking into that store you feel as if you are taking on a bit of the culture of the décor and product allowing you to depart from your everyday life. “I feel so much better for having gone there.” Another trend is a result of the economy. It’s a happiness trend. We are drawn to the bright cheery colors because we want to feel good about ourselves and out lives.

4. Lifestyle trends

We are busier and busier these days and any product we can develop to help people organize their lives and add a punch of design to make it a little cheerier is in demand. The move to working on line out of our home office has brought about the need for more decorated office product which easily spills over into businesses

5.How to appeal to the facebook generation?

This is a generation who has grown up going to school knowing how to use a computer before they knew how to read or write.

Develop product for them as well as the traditional product

Develop skins for kindles, ipods, computers e-cards and invitations

One panelist has a service mailing out invitations for customers and then automatically in 5-7 days emailing the guests follow-up rsvp reminders

6.How to come up with not only good product but great?

Always be in the mindset of the customer. What could help her or make her happy in her life right now? Go where they go and make sure you are viewing their world and in their world. If that means facebook then be on facebook, if it means twitter then be on twitter.

Also, be obsessive about precision in design and in typography

Overall, be authentic in what you are offering. Let your passion drive your design and buying decisions as well as listening to the customer to always improve your product and try new things. If they sense you don’t love it then that comes through too.

A special thanks to Jeannene Langford for sending this information direct from the stationery show floor.
Jeannene Langford is a Creative Consultant, partnering with businesses to provide art & design, creative direction, and innovative product development. Some of her clients have included Current Inc., Inkadinkado, SuzyZoo, Disney, and Hershey's.

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