national stationery show 2012: top 10 trends in stationery

i've always dreamed of going to the national stationery show, of course, but the thing that finally got me motivated to actually attend was the chance to speak on a panel about trends in stationery. i was SO excited to be able to participate and i'm so grateful to the team at GLM for inviting me!

my fellow bloggers are stationery social media celebrities -- nole from oh so beautiful paper, kristen from paper crave, and suann from simplesong -- and i was seriously honored (and intimidated!) to speak with them. it was lovely to finally meet them in person after emailing and tweeting with them for so long. our panel was moderated by sarah schwartz, editor of stationery trends magazine. this was just one portion of a phenomenal three-day buyer education program sponsored by NSS, filled with other informational sessions designed to help store owners and buyers with new sales and marketing strategies.

the day of our panel was humid and rainy -- i had forgotten how CRAZY my hair looks in that kind of weather. for the record, i don't always look like a frizzy mess ;)

we discussed the stationery trends we've been seeing online lately -- fun things like chevron, nautical icons, stripes, bright colors, stamped seals, envelope liners...all my favorite topics. we also discussed some of our favorite social media tools like pinterest, instagram, twitter and facebook. i hope it was a helpful overview for the attendees.

[photos by amy locurto for the stationery place]

we were also asked to put together our "top 10" trends of the moment. i think my list turned out a little different than everyone else's because i don't have the sophisticated design background of my esteemed fellow panelists -- my outlook is a lot more marketing- and social media-focused since i spend my days in the business consulting world. anyway, if you're interested, here were the trends i listed on my handout:

Top 10 Stationery Trends from The Stationery Place

1  -  S O C I A L  M E D I A
These tools are everywhere and bring so many possibilities to the table. Research the big ones, decide if / how they'll help your business, and put them to work for you

2  -  P I N T E R E S T
Whether you love it or hate it, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media tool around. Learn to harness it appropriately to boost your visibility, sales and fan base.

3  -  V I D E O
Online video is the marketing tool of the future. Think tanks estimate that online and mobile ad budgets will have tripled by 2015 -- how can you bring video into your business plan and take advantage of this?

4  -  B O L D  P A T T E R N S  &  C O L O R
From damask to lattice, bold patterns are IN and not likely to leave any time soon. 

5  -  M E T A L L I C S
Gold, silver, bronze -- they're not just making an appearance at London 2012 this year! Shimmer and shine pop up in more stationery text, graphics and accents every day.

6  -  J E W E L  T O N E S
Taking a page from the fashion runway, the "in" colors for this year include bright, rich colors like rhubarb, navy blue, chartreuse -- and of course, the Pantone color of the year: Tangerine Tango.

7  -  B U S I N E S S  C A R D S
Unique, clever, tasteful business cards are all the rage right now -- what does your card say about you? 

8  -  H A N D  L E T T E R I N G
 "Typography" is a hot buzzword these days as the world falls in love with rare fonts, calligraphy and design. Hand lettering adds a personalized, organic touch to an average piece of stationery.

9  -  P H O T O G R A P H Y
With DSLR cameras so prevalent, no blog or shop can afford to post grainy, dark or ill-focused photos anymore. Get a nice camera and learn how to use it (there are plenty of free tutorials online!) -- a good photo makes your product look 100% more awesome.

10  -  C A P I T A L I Z E  O N  I R L !
Relationships IRL, or "in real life," are becoming more sacred as we're all driven further into online worlds. Join a local networking group, host a face-to-face meet-up in your shop for other stationery and design fans, support handmade craft fairs or art shows. And bring handouts -- you never know who you'll meet or how they'll be able to boost your business.


  1. Lyndsey - I love all of your NSS recap posts! This was my 2nd year going and I thought it was awesome! There were so many amazing booths and quite an inspiring show to attend.
    Megan Rockey

  2. Lyndsey, I attended NSS and this panel and I just wanted to say that you did a great job. Your blog is a little newer to me, but that doesn't mean you aren't a social media celebrity in a lot of peoples eyes ;) You seriously held you own and spoke very eloquently. Congrats, great job and thanks for sharing your knowledge on these topics!