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Writing by hand DOES matter

Posted on 25th May 2016 by Chris Leonard-Morgan

There is a lot of discussion in the media about whether writing by hand is any longer relevant or has a place in a digital age.  It is a subject which concerns, or should concern everyone in the stationery market although to part quote Mark Twain, reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.

Generally speaking, writing by hand matters much less today in an office environment where technology has become such an integral part of day to day operations.  There are however many situations where writing by hand and note taking in particular come into their own – you only have to visit an exhibition to see notebooks and order forms (and pens) in action on the front line alongside mobiles and tablets.A-Z why writing matters

The truth is, we need and are better off with both.  The mistake many people make is believing it has to be one or the other, so it was reassuring to learn from YouGov research carried out recently on behalf of National Stationery Week that 86% of business managers expect applicants for jobs in their organisations to be able to write by hand, as well as have keyboard skills.

It’s a different story away from the office where although technology is also widely employed, personal (and handwritten) communication is increasingly the order of the day, and not just text and email.

A handwritten envelope will always be opened before a typed one but it goes deeper than that, and is part of a bigger picture which for most people starts in childhood.

People love stationery.  If I could only have a pound, euro or dollar for every time someone tells me this!  Today’s stationery market is driven by colour, design and fashion.  The products are viewed as a treat and often as a bit of affordable luxury – it makes you and the recipient  feel good, if given as a gift and there is no sense of guilt because the products are useful and fulfil a need.  It’s where fashion meets function. … I often think that design-led stationery and pens now actually encourage people to write, and keep writing.  There is a shift away from need to want, and that includes wanting to communicate and be communicated with in a personal, thoughtful way.

There are a number of other factors which are underpinning the resurgence of consumer interest in writing and stationery.  Who would have believed that adult colouring books would be one of last year’s hottest tickets and come to be seen as the perfect antidote to a hard day at the office and other stresses?  And that this year’s National Stationery Week would trend on Twitter on three consecutive days and feature so prominently on BBC Radio2.

There is growing evidence that just as writing and drawing helps stimulate creativity in children, so it also stimulates the growing army of older people’s brains and everyone’s memory.  When you stop to think about it, the only surprise is that anyone should be surprised by this.

The future of handwriting and the stationery market rests with today’s younger generation, and the future is bright if other findings from the YouGov research are any kind of guide.  97% of adults think it is important that children continue to be taught to write by hand at school, while 91% of children aged between 8 and 15 think it is important to be able to write by hand. How encouraging is that?

The message is clear – keep writing, and spread the word.  Because if writing matters, stationery matters!

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Ocean Media Group Buys London Stationery Show & National Stationery Week

Posted on 19th September 2016 by Vanessa Fortnam

omg_logo_landscapeThe London Stationery Show, the UK’s most important trade exhibition for the paper and writing products industry, its consumer awareness campaign National Stationery Week, and Stationery Magazine have been acquired by Ocean Media Group, a leading provider of exhibitions, events, awards and specialist publications.

NSW 2013 with date and website and partners (no website)Founded by Chris Leonard-Morgan of LMC Media in 2011, the London Stationery Show marked its sixth show in April this year. During this time the show has trebled in size, attracting a growing number of suppliers every year, many of whom do not exhibit elsewhere, and visitors from across the retail spectrum, including companies from over 40 countries around the world.  The 2017 show is on course to continue its upward trajectory with over 85% of the 2016 stand space already booked.

Ocean Media Group currently works in three sectors; Weddings, where it runs the National Wedding Shows, and leading consumer events across the UK; Bridal, where it produces the leading trade publication and organises three key trade events, the Harrogate Bridal Show, the London Bridal Show and White Gallery; and Housing, a sector for which it organises conferences, events, awards, including Europe’s largest housing event in partnership with the CIH, and publishes the leading trade magazines.

David Watt, CEO at Ocean Media commented, “This is an exciting opportunity to add two more market leading brands, and a new sector, to the Ocean portfolio.  The London Stationery Show has captured the imagination of both mainstream and niche retailers whilst stimulating consumer demand for quality stationery products. Ocean believes it can help foster the sector and help the London Stationery Show continue to grow to meet the demands of this vibrant industry.”

Chris Leonard-Morgan, who will remain in place as an advisor on the show alongside the existing team, says, “The London Stationery Show has much to gain from the Ocean Media Group, who have a wealth of experience working with, and attracting large b2b and b2c audiences to their exhibitions, events and publications.  We are looking forward to making the most of the support, experience and investment which they can offer.”

The 2017 London Stationery Show ( will take place at the Business Design Centre on 25 – 26 April and National Stationery Week ( from 24 – 30 April.



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