National Stationery Show 2016
The National Stationery Show remains the premier event for the US stationery market. From cards featuring millennial idioms, to non-occasion greetings promoting mental wellbeing, we select the highlights.
Colloquial Millennial Speak
Colloquial Millennial Speak
All About Me
- Dubbed generation ‘me’, a handful of companies are tapping into the millennial attitude with ‘day of you’ cards as an alternative to traditional birthday greetings. Speaking to this sentiment, Brooklyn-based The Great Lakes Goods offered ‘The day the universe made you is the best day of the year’, while New York’s Meeschmosh declared ‘Happy Yourday’.
Keeping It Real
- Kind sentiments without the sentimentality were also a key trend at the show. ‘Sorry’ is skewed into ‘Damn’ or ‘Dammit’, as seen at Portland’s Egg Press and US/Scottish brand Print Arms. Meanwhile, backhanded compliments – such as ‘You’re awesome, no matter what those bitches say’ from US brand Creativity – give cards of congratulations and encouragement an edgy humour.
- Baby congratulations and announcement cards also took on an urban edge, with both Hello Lucky Cards and Utah’s Paper Bandit Press using the phrase ‘Shit just got real’. Melbourne-based Meet Me In Shermer used a Tamagotchi (an electronic care-giving pet game popular in the 90s) as a culturally relevant graphic to appeal to older millennial parents, while Good Juju Ink featured a scratch-off panel that reveals the baby’s sex.
- Cultural rather than religious references provided the inspiration for some of the most noteworthy holiday cards. Highlights include referencing the season’s over-indulgences as seen at Virginia’s A Smyth Co and Egg Press, to the humorous ‘It’s a burrrrr-rito seasons greetings’ at Rat Bone Skinny.
Joy to All
- Hanukkah greetings ranged from traditional graphics to cards that speak to both this Jewish holiday and the Christian celebration of Christmas. Meeschmosh presented ‘Merry Christmukkah! Because hope is non-denominational’, while Maryland-based Model Citizen’s ‘I want you to have a very happy Hanukkah’ features Father Christmas offering a greeting from one faith to another.
Brand Highlight – Lotto Love
- Based in Brooklyn, Lotto Love is a social-good scratch card sold as an alternative to a gift card. Featuring the phrase: ‘Play for good. It's not luck, it's love’, every scratch card helps to provide education, clean water and solar energy to people in need, making every card a “winner”.
Brand Highlight – Noat
- A real show standout, Noat Paper by Massachusetts studio Noat launched at the show. The collection consists of a beautifully muted range of minimal greetings cards, stationery, art prints and fragrances, which are reflective of a still, mystic and mysterious mood.
Quiet Empathy & Positive Energy
- Non-occasion greetings that convey messages of strength and understanding made a strong impact across the show. Just launched, the sanity series by Brooklyn-based Tack and Ward was born out of designer Stephanie Wards own struggles with depression, while new Brooklyn brand Heartell Press’s bold woodblock printed cards offer moments of quiet and stillness.