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Product Design
Published: 25 May 2016

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

  • Continuing a key trend from last year, cards that speak to an online-driven millennial language were seen in abundance. Most offer a whimsical take on popular phrases – from LA-based Ratbone Skinny’s ‘Lawn Chair Don’t Care’, to ‘The Snuggle is Real’ from Kansas City’s Hello Happiness.  
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Anne and Kate
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A Smyth Co
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Hartford Prints
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The Great Lake Goods
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Ratbone Skinny
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Hello Happiness
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Good Juju Ink
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Dhalia Press
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’. 
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The Great Lakes Goods
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Meeschmosh
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. 
  • Irreverent messages of affection dominated romantic greetings cards. Highlights included ‘You warm my cold black heart’ from San Francisco’s Hello Lucky Cards, and ‘I love you like a cow loves not being a burger’ from Brooklyn’s Crimson and Clover
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Egg Press
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Hello Lucky Cards
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Egg Press
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Print Arms
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Crimson and Clover
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Creativity
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Dhalia Press
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Greenwich Letterpress
Celebrating Age

  • A handful of companies are embracing the ageing process with positive language. Highlights included ‘Happy birthday you ageless beauty’ at US-based Kate and Anne, while San Francisco’s Good Juju Ink and Sydney’s Fox and Fallow celebrate grey-haired males by labelling them ‘Silver Foxes’.
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Good Juju Ink
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Anne and Kate
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Fox and Fallow
Modern Parents

  • 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. 
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Meet Me in Shermer
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Hello Lucky Cards
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Fugu Fugu Press
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Crassholes
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Paper Bandit Press
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Good Juju Ink
Humorous Holiday

  • 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. 
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Egg Press
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A Smyth Co
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Ratbone Skinny
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Bruno Press
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A Smyth Co
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Hello Lucky Cards
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Hello Lucky Cards
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A Smyth Co
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Egg Press
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. 
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Model Citizen
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Dhalia Press
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Fugu Fugu Press
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Meeschmosh
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Ratbone Skinny
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”.  
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Lotto Love
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Lotto Love
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. 
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Noat
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Noat
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Noat
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Noat
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Noat
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.
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Tack and Ward
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Tack and Ward
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Hello Happiness
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Noat
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Heartell Press
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Heartell Press
TOPICS: Craft
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