We have been busy making sure we're on trend for our upcoming boxes!
A busy few days visiting the Spring Fair at Birmingham's NEC has made us excited for our future plans...
Every year we decide to visit a few trade shows and exhibitions that will help us determine how to develop Boxcitement's future themes and boxes - after all we want to be ahead of upcoming trends and fashions so that by the time our boxes get to you, they are spot-on! So during the first week in February we planned an exciting few days at one of the biggest of them all - the Spring Fair at Birmingham's NEC. Not only
are there hundreds of exhibitors and displays to visit, but the fair also organises seminars, workshops and meeting places to help with everything from understanding retail analytics to networking with suppliers. Phew!
One of the things we wanted to focus on this year was sustainability - how the gift and stationery products we love are going to become more eco-friendly in the future, how our supply chains work and how we can do more to make sure our footprint on this earth is as friendly as possible. And we weren't the only ones - we discovered lots of stationery companies (such as Vent For Change - take a look at this gorgeous range) who are using environmentally friendly inks, recycled materials and minimal packaging, and we have started talking with a great new supplier of notebooks printed using organic vegetable inks - watch this space!
A big trend for this year seems to be humour that is slightly on the naughty side - from a gentle ribbing such as on this range from Objectables, to full on swearing and insults!
We have to be a little bit careful when using naughty humour in our boxes, because we have a wide variety of customers and we would never want to offend anyone - but you never know, we may get a little bit more cheeky in the future!
Rich jewel colours, textured papers and clashing patterns also seem to be big this year - though glitter and sequins seem to have become less popular now that we know they make it harder to recycle cards and paper.
We have long been fans of the gorgeous textiles from designer Matthew Williamson so I was delighted to discover that his work is being featured on a range of notebooks from Museums And Galleries - just look at those patterns! I think I can feel a bit of Boxcitement inspiration coming on...
We love designing ranges of greetings cards for our subscribers so we were like children in a sweetshop in the stationery and greetings section of the fair. Simple designs, clean backgrounds and pastels are definitely on trend - such as featured in this range from Hunter Paper Co. - and lots of recycled cards and envelopes seem to be in evidence which is a great move.
To top off our visit we said hello to some of the suppliers we have worked with in the past year, and made arrangements to talk to some new manufacturers - we love working with UK-based independent businesses and it's always nice to connect with some familiar faces as well as discover new talent. Let's just say we came away with goodie bags stuffed with samples, brimming with ideas and raring to get going on the rest of this year's themes! So all in all, a success then...
If you would like to see any themes or designs in our upcoming boxes just pop a comment below - we are always looking for creative suggestions!
Best wishes for now, Deb
(Any design trends you'd like us to feature - leave your comment below!)