Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008 national stationery show recap part 3

finally, here's a sneak peak at our new "greener" line that we debuted at the stationery show (inside reads: "i know you want me.")-- head over to to see some more previews. the industry is definitely headed in this direction, and rightfully so. i mean, there's always going to be paper goods -- nothing can substitute the feeling and tactile nature of receiving a hand written card, but we can all benefit from being as smart as we can with what we use, and how we can reuse, maximize and preserve our resources.

we're just glad we were able to find a 100% post-consumer recycled paper that met our standards. it was definitely a long and arduous search -- there seems to be an ugly stick involved whenever recycled paper is manufactured. there seems to be only 2 options -- ugly plain white or off-white recycled, or heavily fibered paper. this stuff looks like it's been swimming in the ocean for a few days and dried off. it's just not what we would consider "high-end."after all, we're big-time paper snobs! the look and feel had to be top notch, and it had to retain the colors we've placed in our designs. those plain white generic stocks just weren't cutting it. after our extensive search however, we're definitely relieved and happy with our choice!

this year, recycled paper was a major theme of the show, which is a very encouraging sign for the future of this business. it seemed as if everyone was into greener, more sustainable paper and printing methods. pretty soon, i think it will be more of the standard, and less of a "promotable" quality. just saying you're 'recycled' or 'green friendly' will no longer be such a huge deal. buyers will begin to expect it, and if you're not on board -- i think you'll find yourself left behind in a hurry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2008 national stationery show recap part 2

i really think that the show shot itself in the foot by placing the new product display booth in the back of the javits center this year. this large "preview" of the show used to be front and center at the entrance to the show, and buyers could quickly check out what companies had to offer at a glance, and quickly write down which booths they wanted to check out. i think it also gives each company a chance to display what they think is best in their new collection -- a sort of test that can only be validated by a visit from the buyers/parties interested. it's an invaluable lesson in how well a company knows its audience. and even if you miss the mark, you still learn something!

we personally saw lots of traffic from this display the past two years, and were very disappointed to see its position taken this year by a big name company. so what was once a great showcase turned into something "second fiddle," and very hard to find. i guess that's business...
on another note, we got to walk around a lot and were impressed with all the beautiful work out there. i'm still a sucker for the humorous lines, but i'm still wowed by the letterpressed designs that people come up with. i did some letterpress work in school, and that stuff is pretty tedious. the old school way is, at least. i suppose it's not that bad if you just make a plate every time you print, but if you have to use the hand leading/kerning/typesetting techniques the original art requires, then i just gotta say wow...just wow.
anywho, at least we got to do our annual comparison on new york hot dogs. i swear, i think we (ok, maybe just me) gorge ourselves on these every year -- gray's papaya is still one of my favorites, although the street vendor dogs (aka "sewer dogs") are always pretty good. papaya dog is alright, but just not up to snuff. i think we had 4 hot dogs in the first 36 hours we spent there. yummmmy.
part 3 of the recap will be coming soon. i really don't know how many parts there will be in the end, but there will be a third. oh yes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

national stationery show recap part 1

we just got back from the 2008 national stationery show in new york, and i've got to say, we're pretty tired. it's always fun to go, even if we have to get up at 4am everyday (effectively, since we're on west coast time --oh come on, we can whine a little). anyways, we love the vibe of the show, and are excited to see our friends, stores and meet new people. not to mention, there is just a wealth of talent out there, and it's just great to see this being exhibited all around us!

some of the people we've talked to at the show have said that it was slower in terms of traffic and orders this year. we noticed this to some extent on the first day, but the second and third days definitely made up for it with some exciting new orders, reorders and potentials.

overall, we're glad we went. it's always a rush to be there, though we would rather have it in vegas, since it is infinitely easier to have a convention there (for ALL parties involved). i mean, think about it -- hotels, transportation, entertainment, flights, space, cost, food, etc. etc. -- true, new york is the hub of design and i love the vibe of the city, but c'mon -- how expensive is it for someone to set up a nice booth here? how much does it cost for a hotel in new york compared to vegas? how hard is it to travel 6 blocks on a bus through times square after the show ends (around rush hour)? just ask around and you'd see how many people would prefer a convention-friendly city to this logistical nightmare. vegas was made for big shows like this. i bet you'd see much more elaborate exhibits and many more people (creatives and buyers alike) attend than you currently would.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

national stationery show

if you're planning to attend the National Stationery Show, be sure to stop by the bumble ink booth (#2447) to say "hi"! we'll be featuring our latest line of "greener" cards printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.