Reports on shows, trends, and more
2007 New York Stationery Show
Earth-friendly products and
creative new designs.
by Ellie Joos (June 4, 2007)
After fabrics and ribbons, high on my list of beautiful products
that I like to collect is paper, so the New York Stationery Show is
always one of my favorite trade shows to visit. This year's show was
no exception with more than 200 new exhibitors according to show
How optimistic it is in this digital age to see so many new
companies designing and producing products that appeal to our
creative side and need to reach out and communicate in ways other
One other observation: this year's show was arranged to integrate
products, rather than group like-products together. Show management
reported that the vendors were much happier since they were being
visited by new buyers who might have otherwise overlooked their
As for the trends at the show, as with my recent visit to Quilt
Market, I was curious as to how many companies I would see with
"green" products and this being a paper show, I expected
to see far more this year than I had at past shows.
Earth Friendly Products.
These products include handmade papers with soy and vegetable
inks, paper products made from recycled paper, soy candles,
plant-able papers with wild flower seeds embedded, and several new
fibers I had not heard about, such as Kenaf (related to hibiscus)
and Bagasse (sugar cane waste product). These fibers are used by
Tree Free Greetings to make their greeting cards and their booth
display reflected their commitment down to the plywood used to make
their booth. This company, as several others, is also about
education with flyers and brochures that tell about their products
and promote the importance of contributing to a better world.
The Arbor Day Foundation, exhibiting for the first time, featured
their Give-A-Tree cards. For every card purchased, a tree is planted
by the U.S. Forest service. Since 1990, more than seven million
trees have been planted.
Among the many other companies, one of the oldest, Green Field
Paper Co., makes plant-able cards, journal, note cards, and does
packaging and product tags for other companies, including the card
that Target is using for their new biodegradable gift card. Rick
Smith, owner, said about his company, "We used to be vague and
now we are vogue."
Bloomin' Flower Cards has a colorful line of plant-able cards,
bookmarks, and invitations embedded with hundreds of seeds, as does
Symphony Handmade Seed Papers.
What was really clear at this show is that earth friendly
products are also beautifully designed as were the hip and modern
gift wrap papers from Fish Lips, another new exhibitor. This company
also gives ideas for reusing their papers on its website. EcoJot
featured very chic stationery on 100% recycled paper, using
vegetable-based glues and inks, and made in a mill that uses
alternative power, while donating a portion of sales to
As with eco-friendly products, another trend is giving back to
charities and organizations. Art with Heart donates 100% of the
proceeds from its line of greeting cards and books featuring the art
of a number of contemporary artists, including Mary Grand Pre of
Harry Potter fame, to benefit youth in crisis or facing profound
Another first time exhibitor, Cards from Africa, sells cards made
by Rwandan orphans with all proceeds going to help these children
with medical care, education, and to learn important skills. Red
Raven's products fall into several trends – soy based inks on
recycled papers, great animal prints, and a portion of their
proceeds are donated to charity.
Color, Color, Color. Pink and green for a preppy look and
blue and green are still evident, monochromatic color schemes of
color on color, black and white, brown and white, navy and white,
bright colors mixed with pastels, Wasabi green with any number of
colors including brown, yellow, red.
Textures. Flocking or velvety, wood looks, embroidered,
sparkles. Eco Friendly Papers had lovely handmade embroidered papers
and Ephemera had great hand-stitched note cards.
Design Motifs. Birds, owls, silhouettes, flowers, chain link,
pirates, skulls, vintage 50's faces, aprons, lingerie, shoes. Smack
of Jellyfish features silhouetted animals in their unique line of
Organizational Products. There's no excuse for a messy home
office with fashion colored and designed products, calendars, list
making products, and planners for the "Alpha Mom."
Buttoned Up has a line of organizers and kits for the busy woman in
themes from Moving, and Collision to Do&Delegate to Valuables.
MO, Inc. has folders , binders, and accessories in fashion right
Kids Interactive. A number of companies had kids in mind with
such products as cards for kids from Express Greeting Cards to color
and record 10-second messages, cards with pirate or princess masks
inside. One of my favorites was Minikin Press, exhibiting for the
first time with its Upside Down Book, The Wishing Star books
that turn into wishing stars, and the new King's Crown, a
waterproof book and crown to make any child feel like royalty.
Goffengel Workshop has the most remarkable pop-up albums and cards
that are incredible feats of paper engineering and the booth was
designed with whimsy and charm.
Sophisticated Holiday. Blue with red and white is new for
Christmas from TwoTrickPony. Great Arrow (this company also has a
line of cards with the Paint Box Project which supports
national research to help end cancer) also featured lovely blue,
red, and white designs. Motormouthpress has a great line of
food-themed stationery and greeting cards that double as mementos
and ornaments, including several done in the blue, red and green
Gift Wrapping Kits. They including ribbons and tissue,
reusable boxes, fabric bags, and wrappings. Firefly had a beautiful
line of coordinated boxes and bows.
Pets. Greeting cards, wrapping paper, and unique kits that
include ribbons and D-rings from Just Fur Me. The Bow Wow Leash
Bow is decorative and functional. Sweet Petatoes has scrapbook
kits, bags, and calendars for pet lovers and their best friends.
Girlfriend. Humor, encouragement, and tea time in cards and
social stationery, and good looking men doing housework in a
calendar from Urban Photography, a company from UK, that also
donates a portion of its proceeds to charities.
Craft Influence. Stationery stores have many products from
which to choose to capture some of the scrapbooking and cardmaking
business. SEI was at the show for the first time with new scrapbook
and cardmaking kits. Jumpstart Scrapbook introduced scrapbook kits
for the busy mom who wants the look of great pages in a fraction of
the time. AMH Design combined needlepoint with paper to offer
contemporary, stylish kits for photo albums, journals, cards, and
Beautifully Designed. The Gift Bag Factory, another first time
exhibitor, has taken gift bags to a new level: great colors and
designs, hand-assembled and stitched, reusable bags that are too
pretty to ever toss out. Designed Reflections has given coasters a
new look with oversized flowers that are multi-purpose and reusable.
IScream launched a line of colorful lenticular covers on journals
and notebooks that have a very fresh and young appeal.
Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a
marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's reports
on other industry-related shows, particularly the recent Quilt
Market, click on the titles in the
right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.