News & Blogs
15th March, 2016
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.
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!More Blogs...
Write Size making all the right headlines
Posted on 22nd August 2016 by Vanessa Fortnam
Since its appearance on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den recently, Write Size has been inundated by retailers and press to learn more about their unique stationery concept.
Broadcast to 3.4m people, the Midlands based innovators went head-to-head with the notorious entrepreneurs on the BBC Two programme, when they pitched their revolutionary product which aims to make writing easier for children to learn.
Write Size has developed a range of pencils to scale for children aged two years to 10+ in an attempt to make handwriting less daunting, easier to learn and more enjoyable amongst children as a result.
The concept was originally brought to life in 2012 by Ross Williams, after watching his young children struggling to learn to write with a tool which was not in proportion to their hands. Since the programme aired the team have seen the demand for their product range grow and increased interest from leading and independent stationers in the UK.
Moreover, the concept has attracted industry accolades; a Small Business Sunday Award, a nomination in the Express and Star Business Innovation awards and operations manager Surlender Pendress has been recognised with a ‘Woman in Business’ prize by leading business woman and retail expert Jacqueline Gold.
The successes keep mounting up despite the dismissive comments of Peter Jones and Deborah Meadon, with Write Size products now being launched in a number of retailers across the UK including Webbs Garden Centres, LPC Stationers, Ruddocks of Lincoln and national retailer Rymans. Products are already available in New Zealand and the Middle East.
The company is steadily building a reputation for its products that inspire young and old alike to take a fresh look at what writing instruments should be used to teach a fundamental skill. With the Back to School campaign well under way, Write Size are now focused on the run up to Christmas 2016.
Surlender is ambitious for the company and sees an opportunity for Write Size to be the face of a writing revolution worldwide, saying, “Consider this, would you give a five-year-old an adult cricket bat, a full size trumpet or an adult sized meal? The list goes on and on with comparisons being made across all sections of daily life.
“Around 14 billion pencils are sold yearly, yet they only come in one size – the right size for adults’ hands. And yet a five year old’s hands are 50 per-cent smaller than an adult’s. Clearly this makes a pencil feel twice as long as it does to us, creating discomfort.
“It became apparent to me that the only product not manufactured to meet the specific needs of a child is a pencil. This is a key tool they use at an important time in their lives. Children are even taught on seats and desks that are in proportion to their arms and legs. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
The Write Size team believe that the recent plaudits and accolades add weight to the viability of its concept.
“Even though we didn’t receive investment from the Dragons’ Den, our experience on the programme has been a real eye opener and we have taken the feedback on board. We are approaching a very exciting time with the product and brand. Who knows where this will lead us,” concludes Surlender.
For more information: www.writesize.co.uk
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