National Stationery Show Review, Part 1

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I’m going to guess I need a couple posts to share all of the wonderful, new, and interesting sights I came across during my first experience walking the National Stationery Show in New York this past week. I’m still in the process of looking through all the tons of materials I brought home with me, and I’m also mulling over the direction I’d like to take my own business in over the next year. Attending the show is extremely beneficial to aspiring stationery designers, those stationers hoping to exhibit sometime down the road, or for artists wondering where to focus their creative energies. But watch out kids, you might walk out wishing you were a retailer. For those who truly love the art of letter writing, you will certainly feel the urge to shop!!!

Perhaps the most exciting part of the show for me was meeting fellow stationery designers whose work I admire and am familiar with. In many situations it was great to finally put a face to the name and/or marvelous work. First up is Jill, from Jilly Jack Designs, who was kind enough to share a photo of her hip and stylish booth for this post. Jilly Jack’s designs are fresh, eco-friendly, and manage to be bold and capture a certain softness at the same time. I’m loving the line’s sweet felt folio packaging, which holds and coordinates with the enclosed note cards and envelopes. Just perfect for stashing in your desk drawer.

I’m a printmaker at heart, and while etching has long been my favorite media, I’m completely enamored with the woodblock designs from Artful Sentiments. Artful Sentiments designer Molly offers a huge selection of cards offering a wide variety of images charmingly printed in bright and catchy colors. My personal choice, her lovely desk calendars which are sure to spice up any home or workspace.

Letterpress was at the forefront of the show this year. There was lots of it! I was delighted to see a few familiar faces as I walked the rows, including fellow upstate New York locals Debbie Urbanski and Harold Kyle of Smock. Debbie and Harold are committed to printing sustainably, using fine bamboo paper and all while reducing the carbon footprint of their business and giving back to environmental causes. My favorite designs from their social collection are “horsey”, “ellie” and “giraffe.” Too sweet. Having had some of my own work printed with Smock’s parent company Boxcar Press, I have seen first-hand this shop’s love for the historic art of letterpress. With their beautiful colors and deep impressions…if there is such a thing as being gorgeously green, Smock has it down. Just scroll through the images on their home page and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Whimsical preppy is how I’d describe the many deliciously colored offerings from The Paper Menu. Carried by a whole bunch of authorized online and brick and mortar retailers, you should have no problem tracking down the greetings, invitations, calling cards, and much more, that designer Marie has become known for. My favorite pick from The Paper Menu? Their gift wrap that can be personalized with a message, monogram or image. I’m definitely going to be hunting that down sometime before the holidays hit!

This is just the beginning. I promise there is more to come in a future post!

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