Doing Surtex: An Artist's Experience

Sharyn Sowell Reports on her Experience of Doing Surtex

What a whirlwind! The show was a stellar success, with almost every exhibitor giving it rave reviews. My booth was so busy that I had trouble talking with everyone. In one case a company came by 8 times before I was able to talk with them. The GLM team seems to have made a real effort to overcome many of the problems we've had in the past and we all sensed a much improved attitude and greater commitment to teamwork.

Here are some photos of set up:


Blank booth & lots of energy (Sharyn's Booth)




Looking at Walls
This one may not look interesting but it's a good point of information. Before you set up it's a good plan to look over your walls and document any damage. I had scratches which I didn't want to be billed for if the management thought I'd done it. Take a shot from far away like this and then from close up. Note things like scratches and duct tape (as you can see in this photo)





Here's Jane Shasky and Alicia Dauber (Licensing Liason agent) setting up Jane's booth





Most people don't cover their walls but I wanted to this year. Here I am midway. Another tip to offer: there is not ventilation during set up so you must dress for a warm day of work.





A few fun booths:

These photos illustrate how great it is when artists set up their booths to look like themselves and their artwork, instead of imitating others.

Here you see how different the booths show the artwork to it's best advantage instead of trying to do a booth that will look like anyone else.

I'd love to have to share that with anyone who might plan to show later because I think it's a big part of successfully capturing the eyes of potential partners.



Caroline Simas of Multiple Blessings





Megan Halsey in her booth




Jane Shasky & Alicia Dauber in Jane's booth



Thanks to Sharyn for this information and photos:
Sharyn Sowell
Art. Design. Inspiration.
http://sharynsowellartblog.blogspot.com/
Tel. 360-424-5846

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.

Surtex & Stationery Show Pics


By "Roving Reporter" and creative consultant Jeannene Langford


Jonathan Adler featuring bright bold palate on disposables for table top:





Cards: Using book covers and rewording them.





Paintings of a husband and wife team. He paints birds on cards and features the paintings on wall decor and cards.







New concept - a card line for singles, specifically designed to remind you why you are happy to be single. They fall into the snarkasim category that seemed to be all over the show:











There are lots of cut outs and three dimensional paper configurations. The paper tree below with messages (tags) hanging from it is a good example:






Cindy Ann Ganaden has friends helping her set up her booth at Surtex!







Finished Booth!

Stationery Show Report: Young Designers

The young designers that are featured each year at the show are always fun to check out. Here are a few of them.

By "Roving Reporter" and creative consultant Jeannene Langford


Bee's wax and resin teacups plus feathered cups are by designer Mariana Torcornal.








Other Designers



















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.

Trend Report from the Stationery Show Floor

by "Roving Reporter" and creative consultant Jeannene Langford


The Stationery show this year is all on one floor again. This includes the Supply Side and Surtex too. It seemed to be well attended today even with the wonderful weather, street fairs and I think an Aids walk that was making traffic here a bit crazy.

Here are pictures of some of the "best of show". These were submitted by manufacturers as "new product" they were introducing at the show.





TRENDS
Trends that seemed predominate were:
  • Tranquil turquoise paired with lipstick red or lime green.
  • Purple of course and it had a classic look when paired with neutrals.
  • Black and white sometimes paired with red or orchid.
  • Brights = feel good purchase.
  • Personal connections = personalized product.
  • is again filtering down to even more product.
  • Economic trends = less eating out more home based parties on reusable and disposable product.
  • Girls night in instead of out.
  • Teens setting trends that are edgy and snarky. Many lines of cards have digital icons and or snarkasim and over the edge text that is borderline on being offensive.
  • Eco/green is everywhere. People like having more of a choice and reaching for alternative products.
ICONS
  • Cupcakes and food in general.
  • Romance of france fleur de lis, eiffel tower, scrolls.
  • Butterflies.
  • Retro revival pinup girls, peace and love.
  • Monsters/dinosaurs for kids.
  • Owls are still around.


Sample products from the show floor













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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