My Trip To The National Stationery Show

The National Stationery Show (or NSS) is the event of the year for the North American stationery industry. I've longingly scanned through pins, blog posts and my Instagram feeds of the NSS in years past. This year I decided to go.

My main reasons for going were to get inspired and to get some inspiration for booth ideas for a possible run at Trendset, a big lifestyle trade show that takes place in Munich every year.

I have to be honest, looking at so much design at once can be overwhelming. It all starts to become a blur after a bit. But here's some work that caught my eye:

I've been a long time admirer of Hello Lucky and it was neat to meet Eunice, one of the founders in person. Of course the zippy beer stein card tickled my fancy, and being an eternal sucker for retro art and design I loved their new holiday line.

I was walking down an aisle and boom! There it was the Holstee poster that went viral and that I see everywhere digitally and physically these days. These kids also created a pretty cool booth.

Eunice from Hello Lucky said that some of her favorite work was in a booth around the corner from hers by a young woman named Sue Jean Ko. No kidding! I loved the almost psychedelic, poppy illustrations on her hand printed cards. I also loved the simplicity of her booth.

Map themes abounded, but I found these cool maps from Archie Press distinctive. Their designed in a way that emphasizes certain neighborhoods by circle size to help you get oriented. It's been awhile since I've been in Manhattan and I could have used something like this as I was trying to get around using my (totally old-school analog) NYC subway map.

Yellow Owl Workshop has creates beautiful stationery and fun rubber stamp kits, but I was especially bowled over by their lush, hand painted booth design.

It was also great to meet a lot of people that I've admired in person, like fellow A Practical Wedding advertisers and stationers Kimi from A Printable Press and Julie from Up Up Creative. What a shot in the arm to talk to people that are doing the same kind of work that I am and to hear their challenges, perspectives and just talk shop.

I also came to some important conclusions: I am not going to develop a wholesale line, I will continue  doing more design licensing (more on that in an upcoming post) and that I will strongly consider offering printed cards in the'll just have to stay tuned to see how it all rolls out!


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