I'm happy to report that there were plenty of great greeting card and stationery companies exhibiting at the recent New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), held August 14-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. In fact, there seemed to be more stationery-related exhibitors there than in recent years past, with cards and other paper products appearing throughout various sections of the show, including Accent on Design, Studio, General Gift, Handmade, Museum Source and New York's Newest.
A new, "concentrated presentation" of stationery and book publishers was located in Aisle 7500 on the lower level of the Javits Center, where card companies such as Notes & Queries said they were pleased with both the traffic and the number of new accounts they opened. Show producer George Little Management is hoping to grow this stationery-focused section at the NYIGF, but several card companies with whom I spoke said they preferred to stay in their current location at the show.
As I walked the aisles, it was apparent that certain themes such as cupcakes, robots and monkeys continue to be a popular presence on a variety of stationery merchandise. Yoga is also proving to be both a big lifestyle and product trend, as evidenced by its appearance on card lines such as the "Cardiology" blank notecard collection from Flavour Design Studio.
Also popping up at several booths were stationery items bearing the message "Keep Calm and Carry On" -- from an iconic poster originally produced in 1939 by the British government to raise morale at the start of World War II. Although never used, the poster was rediscovered in 2000 and is now being used on products such as notecards and journals from Peter Pauper Press and 2011 weekly planners from Cavallini & Co.
The DIY trend also continues to influence the stationery market and has spurred fun items such as the "Stitchable Journals" shown at AMH Design, LLC. This mashup of stationery product and craft project includes everything needed to create a needlepoint monogram accent on the journal's laser-cut cover.
Also merging two categories are "Flat Flowers" greetings distributed by OOTS!, which are 6" x 6" blank notecards featuring a floral-themed static window sticker attached to the card's cover. The presence of such innovative stationery products helped to make this summer's NYIGF fresh and exciting.
Kathy Krassner, former editor-in-chief of Greetings etc. magazine, is the owner of Krassner Communications, a writing-services firm specializing in the stationery and gift industries, based in Ringoes, NJ.
Services provided for clients have included writing print articles, website articles, e-newsletters, greeting cards, trend reports, blogs, catalogs, brochures, marketing materials, book proposals, packaging copy, and more; providing public-relations support; and conducting seminars.
Current clients include Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine, the Invitation & Stationery Alliance, and NobleWorks Inc. She can be reached at email@example.com.