The industry as seen by top designers.
HIA 2004: WOW!
A bonanza of color, themes, and products.
by Tracia Williams and Lynda Musante (February, 2004)
The mood of the show was definitely upbeat, and it was a pleasure
to walk the floor to view the wide variety of products and displays
created for the show. Many of the general craft vendors had new
products, with many of those products supporting their core product
lines. Scrapbooking and paper crafting continued dominating portions
of the show, as has been the trend for the past couple of years, and
many long-term exhibitors also included paper-related product lines.
Since HIA is predominantly a craft supply show and not a finished
gift show, the colors and commentary discussed below are based on
product offerings of paint, paper, and yarn colors, and overall
color themes of displays we saw while walking the show.
We saw soft yellows with lavender, rose, and periwinkle. Tropical
colors, too – aqua, sea blues, sunny yellows, bright orange, and
soft fuchsia.There were warm reds such as brick, sienna, and merlot
tones. Nature colors: soft mocha, olive, sage, wheat, butterscotch,
and pumpkin. There were two-color combinations in many booths with
black and white, as well as traditional toile color combinations. We
saw lots of papers and fabrics featuring stripes and patterns in
these color families.
Motifs we saw at gift shows carried over to the HIA show.
Butterflies, dragonflies, and bugs are still popular. Flowers: both
funky and fun looks, as well as grandma’s garden flowers such as
lilacs, roses, and daisies were on paper, fabric, stickers, and
Girly-themed motifs such as hats, shoes, purses, and other
accessories were showcased in many product categories. Vintage
images such as the heirloom look of sepia-toned photos or black
& white images, old maps, advertisements, and such were found
throughout the show.
A trend we noted in the gift industry was also seen throughout
the show floor: sentiments and warm words appeared on everything
from rubber stamps to stencils. Words and verses were seen on wood,
metal, fabric, signs, and more.
Stripes and repeating images were found in many booths on paper,
painted objects, home decor, and more. In many cases, the stripes
were very tone-on-tone, with an elegant shading.
Embellishments: The beads, charms, and embellishments categories
continue to be extremely strong, and these products are still
showing up on just about any craft/paper craft project there is.
With the growing acceptance of altered art, more embellishments were
seen on traditional craft surfaces such as wood, metal, and glass.
The Beadery’s make-it/take-it featured the company's new,
high-quality beads and the seats were full, full, full. No-hole
beads continue to grow in popularity and were seen on many projects
that didn’t include paper!
Metal: Tags, plates, frames, charms, screen, and die-cut shapes
were in abundance in the paper craft section. Architectural elements
were popular too; in keeping with the metal theme, EK Success
showcased a new line of Architectural Elements (a stylish
collection for the paper crafter). Walnut Hollow featured a
collection of wood architectural elements for crafting of all sorts,
and, FloraCraft had a non-metal, pottery-based line of architectural
elements for craft projects and home dec.
Paper: Arnold Grummer featured a full line of products for
creating paper and paper casting Deco Art introduced a new product
called Paper Perfect, a unique paint that features paper
fibers in a special formula to create the look of handmade paper on
surfaces. Specialty paints for paper crafting were seen in many
booths – Deco Art, Delta and Plaid all released paint products for
the paper crafter.
Fashion: Knitted scarves were on display in all of the yarn
booths. Purse making: Novelty purses were extremely popular and seen
in many booths. Several vendors featured wood and fabric purses for
decorating along with a wide assortment of handles and hardware to
accompany them. Fabric isn’t just for sewing anymore. When one of
us noticed K & Company’s new fabric paper, there was a big
"WOW!" They showed upholstery fabric that was stiffened
and cut to a 12"x12" size, which is suitable for
scrapbooking or any paper crafting, and the designs are beautiful.
Delta also featured FabriCraft, which is an adhesive-backed
fabric that has a multitude of uses. Fabric developed for computer
inkjet printers was on display in several booths showing
high-quality images printed, then used for memory quilting, on
purses, and on wearables.
Vintage: The vintage, stained/aged look is still growing in
popularity with vendors such as 7 Gypsies expanding their line AND
their booth size (they were a single booth in the new section last
year!); Me and My Big Ideas’ Scrappy Chic line, and Ranger’s
new Distress Inks created by designer Tim Holtz were just
some of the examples of this very popular look.
We are a part of an art group called Arts Angels (www.8angels4art.com).
There are eight artists in the group who share ideas, swap art
projects, and send out good thought and inspiration to our group
members. It was our pleasure to see our new book Altered Books
103, Little Decos, Miniature Books and More featured in the
Design Originals booth. This book is also a good example of the
vintage, "moldy oldie" look that is so popular.
Dimension: Adding texture and dimension to EVERYTHING was a big
trend in the products seen at the show. In the Delta booth dimension
was added to walls and furniture using a new paint called Texture
Magic. Just when you thought you had seen every imaginable style
of dimensional/multi-layered adhesive-backed designer sticker,
several booths offered incredible collections of these hot sellers.
Slide frames were everywhere, as well as beads, buttons, game
pieces, letter tiles, and other small goodies to glue onto any hard
surface. Sulyn Industries featured a new line of alphabet tile
beads. Deco Art unveiled a new dimensional paint for adding
dimensional writing and embedding/adhering things like letter beads
and micro-beads. Taking a project to the second and third dimension
is definitely the rage!
This category continues to grow with new collage-style motifs and
florals being popular. Many stamp vendors also offered a multitude
of themed accessories and embellishments to accent their special
stamps, and were demonstrating new, interesting techniques. We were
sad when more than one stamp vendor shared great frustration over
the inappropriate use of their images without permission.
Regardless, it's great to see stampers, scrappers, and mixed media
artists all using a mix of products within these three categories.
The lines between them seem to be getting less distinct as scrappers
embrace stamps, scrappers embrace mixed media, and so on.
With the merger of the HIA and ACCI into CHA just about complete,
we anticipate the Summer Show being bigger and better than ever!
If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or comments, please send
us an email! Contact Tracia Williams, Tracia & Co. at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Lynda Musante, Nifty Development Corp., at email@example.com.
(Note: To read previous Designing Perspectives columns, click on
the titles in the right-hand column.)