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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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ExaClair announces product line-up for the Stationery Show

Posted on 24th February 2017 by Vanessa Fortnam

exaclair lssExaClair, the UK supplier of Rhodia, Europa, Clairefontaine, Exacompta and Decopatch, has confirmed it will exhibit a wide variety of traditional and social stationery products at this year’s London Stationery Show, on the 25th and 26th April.

Key to ExaClair’s offering will be the new ‘Heritage’ range of notepads from Rhodia. The collection embraces the brand’s signature orange and black roots, with a retro feel. The new collection also looks to build on the brand’s growth, where sales have increased by approximately 50 per cent in the last year.

Kevin Wharton, marketing manager at ExaClair said, “all in all, we are very excited to share our line up with this year’s visitors. The ranges are fun, bright and have a wide appeal across the student and young professional and boutique stationery markets.”

Other featured Rhodia sub-brands will include: Rhodiarama, hard-bound leatherette notebooks in a range of bright shades; Rhodia ColoR, colourful cardboard-covered, head-stapled flip-over pads; and Rhodia Softcover, notebooks available in mini, A6, A5 and a very popular, slightly-smaller-than-A4 190 x 250mm size. The range has tactile, lightweight leatherette covers, elastic closures and ribbon markers along with Rhodia’s signature premium 190gsm paper.

Iderama’s new document wallets will also make their debut at the show. The range has the moisture and tear-resistance qualities of polypropylene, but is manufactured from the more environmentally-friendly and cost effective press-board. Also not-to-be missed will be J Herbin’s range of inks and calligraphy products and Clairefontaine’s new Collections, including coordinated and themed notepads, bags, pens and accessories for young stationery fans.

Also included on ExaClair’s stand will be Europa’s new range of A4 notebooks aimed at students and young professionals.

Kevin added, “The pads include all the features that appeal to this market and are sold at an appropriate price point, but the paper is of a much higher quality than equivalent products on the market.”

Visit ExaClair on stand M501.

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It’s all about the GRID! A short video from Mum’s Office

Posted on 15th March 2016 by Vanessa Fortnam

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