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New Trends in Personalized Products

28 May

may-stationery-show-002Last week we spent several days at the National Stationery Show which was held in New York City on May 15-18, 2016 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.  While there are many product types displayed at the National Stationery Show, of course the mainstay of the show and new product lines remains all things paper: note cards, note pads, invitations, calendars, place cards, place mats, and more. Printed just so and packaged just right, paper products are perfect for gifting.

Wondering about the new trends?  So were we when we took off for the show.  Now you can be in-the-know too.  The show featuring all things paper boasted several trends, which was the talk on the show floor.  As far as trends this year, many were standouts. There were six trends that will certainly be prevalent in the year ahead:

(1) There was the gorgeous use of watercolors on everything from note cards to note pads to invitations, moving cards and home decor.

(2) An extensive use of foil accent wording on products and design elements too.  Foil is everywhere and mostly shown in gold but other colors are around as well.

(3) There were large hand-lettered phrases and words all over many products, like a bride & groom’s name, or everyday wording such as “hello”, “thanks for everything”, “between friends” and unlimited other imprints.  These fun bold and dynamic imprints set the tone for so many new and existing product lines for 2016.  You’ll see these in big box stores featuring pre-printed products and on custom personalized items which are more exclusive.

(4) The use of preppy design elements are still as hot as ever, including stripes, nauticals, and fun florals.may-stationery-show-001

(5) There was an undertone of the quirky and slightly outrageous wording and designs appearing on everyday classics such as mugs, journals, note cards, and gift items.  Quirky (sometimes risque) phrases on items sets a tone for a segment of custom products.  This can include phrases printed on an item or design elements.

(6) High end letterpress and engraving and thick gorgeous stocks are still a prominent category for those who enjoy the specialty printed products and the finer things.  The use of luxurious touches to invitations, announcements and eve holiday cards marks a trend back to quality presentations for those that appreciate elegance.

We browsed through luxury leather goods, frames, journals, calendars, back-to-school, jewelry, stationery, address labels, self-inking stampers, note pads, invitations, announcements and all things personalized.  I’ve included some of the awarded best of show items for you to peek at.  Many of the new items we viewed in New York will begin appearing on in the next few months, whether they be award winners or items we feel should be best in show.  You can expect to see hundreds of new products we think you’ll simply love.

may-stationery-show-003We are still celebrating the world of beautiful paper items and can’t wait to go through all the new lines soon to come.  Fun, fresh, unique, these stand-outs will certainly beckon you as you browse through our website.  Bright colors, foiled products, many embellishments and great basics will be the fresh take in 2016.

Keep browsing our New Products over the summer and fall and we really think you will enjoy what you see!

Best wishes,




New York Stationery Show This Week

14 May

may-stationery-showThis weekend we’ll be headed to New York for our 22nd year as an attendee at the New York Stationery Show (NSS), held in the Javitz Center.  For 70 years, the NSS has been the place for all things paper – from greeting cards, custom invitations, gift wrap and journals, to lifestyle gifts – and everything in between.

Each year when we go, it’s always fun to see old friends, new trendsetters, creative products that wow us, current and predicted future trends, and all the best of the best.  So much has changed over the years!

From innovative designs to unforgettable accents, the talented work displayed at the Stationery Show never ceases to amaze.  While the basics are sure to be shown, there will undoubtedly be many luxe specialties from invitations to stationery and lifestyle items, plus a depth of skill in a variety of printing methods from laser cuts to letterpress, gilded edges, and much more.

The NSS attracts a diverse global attendance of 10,000 buyers and industry professionals from stationery, card and gift shops; bookstores; bridal shops; party stores; department, chain and specialty stores; large chains and “big box” mass retailers; online retailers and mail order catalogs; as well as special event planners, corporate marketers, importers, distributors and manufacturers’ representatives.  We have never failed to attend to be sure we bring our customers a well rounded product offering that is on trend.

We look forward to seeing all the new inspirations!  Stay tuned and I’ll update you with many of the new trends that will surface soon!

Best wishes,



Stationery Imprinting Techniques

5 Mar

printYou may have noticed different printing terms used on our website and in the industry.  There are a number of different methods for printing stationery, invitations, business cards and more to achieve a particular look and feel.  One method is not necessarily any better or worse than another.  They are a personal preference.  But for those that love the world of stationery, here are some main details that differentiate between the mainstream printing styles.

mar-printing-techniques-embossed-200x200The process to create an embossed image is to create a metal die of your imprint, whether your imprint is a name or monogram or design.  That die is pushed from the bottom up into the paper to create a raised image.  You can feel the image when you rub your hands over the stationery.  The note cards are done one by one for this special process.  You may have heard the term blind embossed, which simply means the imprint has no color, it’s simply the crisp imprint pushed into the paper stock.  Embossing can be on white or ivory paper stock but can also be on colored stocks.  Embossing creates an understated, elegant image perfect for everything from business use to social use.

Raised Printing known as Thermography
mar-printing-techniques-thermo-200x200The process of thermography was developed to achieve a less expensive version of engraving.  To create this look the imprint is printed on the paper stock with ink and, prior to the imprint drying, a very fine powder is sprinkled over it.  The paper is then placed in a heated oven to set the powder and dry the ink which leaves a slightly raised, slightly shiny imprint.  The powder is then wiped clean from the paper stock leaving a very sophisticated look and feel to the product.  The process of thermography is perfect for note cards, letter sheets, invitations, business cards and thank you notes for formal events, everyday social use and for business.

Flat Printing 
mar-printing-techniques-flat-200x200As its name implies, with flat printing the ink lays completely flat on the surface of the paper. It is the most popular style of printing and is used on almost all notepads, most holiday cards and many types of note cards.  Flat printing can create rich, stunning colors and patterns.  Flat printing can be done on either traditional offset printing presses or modern digital presses. It is neither raised like thermography nor depressed like letterpress. Flat printing can be used for everything from single color imprints all the way up to full-color photo reproductions. These printers are run by highly trained press operators to bring complex and colorful designs to life. With a desire from designers to print gorgeous full-color patterns and imprints now greater than ever, flat printing is the perfect solution.

Foil Stamping
mar-printing-techniques-foil-200x200Adding some shine to printed paper stock is referred to as foil stamping.  The process of fusing foil to paper can create beautiful accents on stationery, invitations and holiday cards.  For a touch of shimmer a metal die of the desired imprint is produced.   The die is used to push a thin sheet of foil into paper stock through a process of pressure and heat which leaves the desired foil imprint fused onto the paper.  Foil for this purpose is available in many colors. A real foil accent can add a brilliant touch to personalized items.  There are also many items which use a matte foil.  This technique is very useful for printing lighter colors over dark paper.

mar-printing-techniques-letterpress-200x200To create a letterpress imprint, a metal die is created and a specific type of quality soft cotton paper stock must be used.  The die is positioned in a special press for this process.  As the paper moves through the press, the ink color is pushed directly into the elegant, paper stock, from the top of the card down, to create a crisp impression and an elegant feel.  This is an old world process and requires a specialty printer to accomplish it correctly.  When you rub your hands over an item created via letterpress you will feel a depressed imprint.  Letterpress stationery, invitations and other items denotes personal and professional style.  The color, weight and texture of the paper are all part of the presentation. Letterpress items add a rich impression to stationery, business cards, invitations and more. Every sheet of stock is pressed individually for a subtle but exquisite touch of luxury.  Typically letterpress is done in one color imprint but a two color imprint is available which requires two metal dies and two passes through the press.

mar-printing-techniques-engraving-200x200This is one of the oldest and most elegant methods of printing.  Specifically, engraving starts by creating a reverse etching of an image onto a copper plate. Then, ink is applied to the plate and paper is pressed into it, creating a raised image on the front of the paper stock.  The process of engraving can print gold, silver and other metallic ink colors, a light colored ink on a darker colored stock, or most any other colored ink on a lighter colored stock.  You can tell if an item is engraved as you can feel and see a slight indentation on the back of the item where there was pressure on the stock.  Engraving can be done on products from note cards to invitations business cards.  It is a manual hand-process.  Each time the stock is pressed, a new piece needs to be fed into the machinery by hand.  Engraved items will be more expensive than thermographed product as there needs to be a metal plate produced and, as mentioned, the printing process is manual.  However, plates can be used over and over again reducing that initial investment.  If you are someone who appreciates an elegant product, engraving may be a perfect option for you.

Best wishes,