Entries came in from Australia, the US, Russia and the UK from designers and established companies outside the stationery sector, all keen to see if they could break into the UK stationery market
The judges were looking for well-thought out product ideas, that were realistically priced which would benefit from the exposure a trade show can offer. Following this criteria they chose six winners to receive a free exhibition stand at London Stationery Show 2020.
O What A Feeling
O What A Feeling is an art studio specialising in playful, quirky stationery. Their greeting cards, notebooks and calendars are illustrated and hand-lettered in their Winchester studio and digitally printed onto luxuriously thick FSC-certified paper at a local, independent print shop. Illustrations are created using traditional art-making materials such as India ink, charcoal, watercolour and gouache before being scanned and digitally edited for a polished, commercial finish.
The judges said: “In a sector saturated with greetings cards, these really stood out – it’s unusual to see a combination of original illustration, a solidly eco-focussed manufacturing process along with UK production, and text that you don’t find on dozens of other cards. The makers have clearly identified a gap in the UK market for foreign language cards, along with a charming and original range of LGBTQ+ cards.”
With a huge increase in demand for well-designed, functional products that are consciously created and designed to be reused and last, Wrag Wrap’s reusable gift wrap – made from recycled plastic bottles – responds to the shift away from single-use products towards long-lasting reusable ones. Designed to emulate paper products and better them, it’s easy and quick to use with no cutting or sticking needed. To be passed between friends, given as part of a gift or kept within a family, memories are created and attached to the long-lasting products.
The judges said: “With consumers increasingly eco-conscious, this recycled plastic bottle reusable wrapping paper is sure to easily find a market. The well-explained instructions make an unfamiliar concept simple to understand and use. The rustle as the sheet is unwrapped is perhaps even more satisfying than the sound of real paper!”
Port West Stationers
A team of three from London, Port West Stationers’ mission is to encourage the mass adoption of local, sustainably made stationery. They only use recycled paper for the pages and partner with British bookbinders to deliver their notebooks. The notebooks are also finished with other low to net environmental impact materials. Port West Stationers see themselves as both designer and eco-stationers who want to make the sustainable option the first option.
The judges said: “The design is confident in its minimalism – a good product that is well-made is its own best advertisement, and the simplicity of the journal and its packaging shows the confidence the makers have in their product. Stationery addicts love dot grid paper, and numbered pages and an index are always a bonus! This year a lot of stockists will be looking to source products made in the UK for supply stability, and this company have clearly put a lot of thought into sustainability and local sourcing which will stand them in very good stead.”
My Happy Journal
This beautifully designed children’s creative positive mind-set and activity journal is overflowing with inspiration to ignite any child’s imagination and gratitude skills. My Happy Journal is designed to celebrate and savour daily memories, encourage communication and laughter while bringing adults closer to their children. Full of fun facts, activities and 90 diary entries to complete while embracing mindfulness through moments of calm and a positive mind-set. A few minutes at bedtime with this journal will give parents a precious peek into the imagination of their little ones as they celebrate everyday joys.
The judges said: “A truly joyful product. Thoughtfulness has gone into every detail – for instance, the wipe-clean cover, a great feature for a kid’s journal – and the thick paper which would cope with even children’s heavy-handed scribbles. The content is simply written but never patronising, with lovely graphics, and achievable and inspiring goals and suggestions for fun family activities. This one will fly off the shelves.”
Pencil Me In
Pencil Me In is passionate about pencils and offers a custom printing service in their independent bricks and mortar shop in Elgin and online. With 19 different colours of pencil and printing in 8 different coloured foils, their box sets of 4 make excellent gifts. Look out for their pencil printer at the show where they’ll be demonstrating live to potential clients.
The judges said: “These pencils are simple but attractively packaged, with a good quality eraser. Personalised presents are a huge market, and I think independent retailers especially will love the small-run personalisation option. They are extremely giftable in the sets, and singly are a very attractive option for in-store giveaways and promotions.”
Love Writing Co.
Love Writing Co. is on a mission to make it easier and fun for children to learn to write. Their age appropriate writing and colouring pencils have been specifically developed for a child’s hand. They come in two sizes and are designed with a wider diameter, so they are easier to hold and have a softer core, so the pencil moves smoothly across the page. They also produce handwriting practice books full of fun and engaging activities to help children learn letter and word formation, build pencil control and establish a solid writing foundation.
The judges said: “Having the right tools to work with comfortably will encourage children to enjoy writing, and hopefully imbue them with a lifelong love of stationery, which is obviously what we want for everyone!”
All the LaunchPad winners have been awarded a free stand at this year’s London Stationery Show at which to showcase their products and ideas.
“We must say a huge thank you to our LaunchPad judges – Amanda Walker of Cult Pens, Chris Lambert of ScrawlrBox and Holly Probert of Scriptum – who took the time to review and discuss each of the entries. We’re very grateful for their time and feedback,” commented event manager, Hazel Fieldwick.
“The LaunchPad stands always draw visitors keen to see new ideas coming into the market – and often it only takes one order, or one recommendation to make a huge difference to one of the winners!”
London Stationery Show runs on Tuesday 21 April and Wednesday 22 April at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. For more information visit: www.stationeryshowlondon.co.uk.
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