Tuesday, May 28, 2013

National Stationery Show 2013 Recap

Last week was the National Stationery Show at the Jacob Javits Center and every year it's like my Christmas has come early. Approximately 800 exhibitors gathered in one space for me drool and squeal over their paper products. For paper geeks, this is the event of the year and as a fellow creative I loved talking about the industry with new and veteran stationers. Below, photos and notes on the booths I visited during the show.

1. The Saturday before the trade show kicked off, Dabney Lee, Haute Papier, and Rock Paper Scissors hosted The Year of Party, a little shindig at the Dabney Lee Showroom in Brooklyn to give a preview of their new products. I'm an Uptown girl, but I was digging the neon and gold foil stamped "Brooklyn" print from Dabney Lee.

2. The ladies of Haute Papier also embraced metallic foil stamping in their latest collection and added shimmering pencils and festive washi tape to the mix.

3. Rock Paper Scissors was releasing a line vintage style wrapping paper and monogrammed gift tags printed on kraft paper. The mesmerizing zebra wallpaper in the background is by Dabney Lee.

4. Sunday was the start of the National Stationery Show and I was super excited to go see my friend Cynthia LaColla's debut! Her booth turned out cute, simple, and clean with loads of patterned cards and illustrated critters filling the wooden shelves. I was rooting for her all the way and popped back in on Tuesday to see how the show was going for her. Loved seeing all the hard work she's put into Cynla and the leaps she's taken since we took Joyce Wan's greeting card design class at the School of Visual Arts back in 2010.

5. Claudia Smith of Fig. 2 Design had a selection of new gold foil stamped wrapping paper (I'm sensing a trend here) and her collaborative collection, The Letters for Love Project, with Lindsay Letters, Meant to Be, and Feast. Proceeds from the line will go towards a charity yet to be determined. P.S. Fig. 2 Design landed the cover of Stationery Trends' NSS issue!

6. Ilee Paper Goods had so many letterpress goodies - including this prickly love card that immediately stole my heart.

7. I had a nice chat with watercolor illustrator Julie Allen, who's one half of The Glendale Girls, about starting up the business and making it to the stationery show. That's the wonderful thing about NSS, the connections you make and the encouragements you'll receive from others in the industry. I only wish I could physically surround myself with that vibe all year round.

8. Paper cuts are also a huge trend. Avie Designs create these custom wedding invitations that are delicate and pretty enough to frame.

9. In my opinion, Chewing the Cud nailed it in the cute + eco-friendly division with their canvas buckets and multi-use tea towels. Not to mention their kick-ass presentation. Happy to note that the company ended up receiving an award for new eco-chic product of the year.

10. I'd actually stumbled upon and bookmarked Tamisha Anthony's stationery company Puffed Sleeves months ago because I couldn't stand how adorable her illustrations were. Well Cindy wanted to introduce me to another exhibitor who'd taken the greeting card design class after we did. At first I didn't recognize Tamisha (not that I knew what she looked like), but after taking a closer look at her work, I immediately recognized her style. Happily, she actually lives in the city so I hope to connect with her and Cindy more in the coming months.

11. I finally got myself tatted up with a Tattly, which are designy temporary tattoos. I also got to finally meet Tina Roth Eisenberg of ├╝ber-popular blog Swissmiss.

12. Laura Fisk's Fisk & Fern booth is another one of my regular stops at NSS each year. Her screenprint cards are full of vibrant colors and cheeky characters. Plus, the printing process gives each card a very nice almost grainy texture.

13. Plane Paper has taken the paper cut appeal one step further by adding pop-up hidden messages inside.

14. This chipboard calendar from 6.25 Paper, named after founder Abbey Fowler's wedding anniversary, featured snippets of words to remember.

15. Shelley Seguinot, a fellow Dominicana and former NYC police officer, was such a pleasure to meet and chat with during the show. Her company I'm Inkpressed was returning to NSS after skipping a year and expanding into greeting cards. Her customizable collection, which features a variety of characters and details in different color ways for children's events, prints, and stationery, is still her most popular offering.

16. Pei Pinney of Pei Design had always been inspired by Paris and this year she finally put out a collection in honor of the City of Lights. Her illustrated calendar and prints would look wonderful in a nursery or a Francophile's home.

17. I always love hearing the stories behind the companies and getting to know the people who push out these amazing collections year after year. Kate and Birdie is a favorite of mine and I was thrilled to discover that Gloria Wall is expecting a baby boy this August! We wondered if toy trucks and Hot Wheels will be making their way into her designs. Her husband Steve and daughter Sophie were also on hand for some banter and to help the mommy-to-be handle orders.

18. I'm still practicing my calligraphy so I can appreciate some hand-lettering porn like these designs from 9th Letterpress. The team even won the Rising Star Award at the Louie Awards (it's like the Oscars for paper geeks.)

19. Belle & Union's general store-inspired booth set-up made me want to grab a vintage basket and scoop up everything from the shelves - tiny toy campers included. They even had an old bell hanging off the corner.

20. I had to visit Penelope's Press' booth after my Souvenir Foto School teacher Michelle P. informed me that one of my foto-mates, Debbie, was exhibiting at the show. Her older sister Elaine illustrates while Debbie pumps out her designs through letterpress.

21.Watercolors are another hot ticket and Fine Day Press debuted their nature-inspired watercolor calendars and note sets.

22. Shino of Fugu Fugu Press explained that her design inspiration comes from vintage illustrations.

23. Sapling Press never fails to amuse. She's expanded on her line of words of wisdom and this Jesus card won her a Louie for Most Humorous.

24. The Surtex licensing show happens in conjunction with the National Stationery Show so I popped on over to visit another greeting card classmate Feng Liang to see her latest artwork. Let me tell you, the girl is pattern-making genius. I'm seriously considering asking her for a tutorial.

25. The Crow and Canary booth is also a fun one to visit. Not only is rep Carina Murray a doll, but you get to look through a number of lines that the group represents like Rock Scissor Paper.

26. Candyspotting, which is also represented by Crow and Canary, caught my eye with these intricate paper cut cards.

27. After spotting Ten-Four Paper's press kit, I needed to swing by for a visit because I loved the company's branding. Unfortunately, Julie Goethe wasn't in the booth at the time, but I took a closer look at her hilarious cards anyway. They're so rambly, I love it.

28. Sass & Peril has recently branched out to include a line of screenprinted paper goods called The Paper Cub Co.

29. Paper Lovely (top) and Fat Bunny Press (bottom) banded together again and filled their bright booth with letterpressed doodles and festive typography.

30. After spending Tuesday afternoon walking the show it was time to head to the Paper Party! The annual event, hosted by Nole Garey of Oh So Beautiful Paper, is a fun meet-up for exhibitors, stationers, and all who love paper. This year it was held at the swanky rooftop bar Hudson Terrace where the views were lovely and the drink were hella pricey. I walked over to the venue with Cindy where we met up with new friend Lynn Graham and had a good chat about the business with Sarah Rollinger of Tutta Lou Press.

Have I mentioned that I wish the stationery show could go all year long? I can't believe it's already come and gone!


  1. Whew. You sure had a busy time there!

  2. I bet you walked out with a TON of cool ideas!! That's the best part about shows like this....it gets the creativity moving! :)

  3. Making a card and having a message of own words looks so real and express true feelings of any person. http://www.cherishedmemories.ie/memorial-memoriam-cards-card.html

  4. Thank you for the kind words about The Glendale Girls! It was a pleasure meeting you and we hope to see you again next year!


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