In my view, the world is split into two camps: people who aren’t that fussed about stationery, and people who love nothing more than getting their hands on a snazzy new notebook, a brand new set of highlighters, or a fresh box of post-it notes.
As a designer, and therefore someone with a highly creative brain, I definitely fall into the latter camp!
What makes good stationery great?
National Stationery Week, which is running from 15th – 21st May this year, got me thinking… what makes stationery so great?
What is it about these products that we love?
Is it their practicality; the simple yet important function they play in our work and our lives?
Is it the way they give us a sense of nostalgia by making us put pen to paper instead of tapping away on our phones or at our screens?
Is it the fact that when we purchase new stationery we’re presented with, quite literally, a blank canvas – and we get excited about the fact we can fill this empty space with anything we like?
Personally, I think it’s all the above. And for me, what separates good stationery from great stationery is its ability to be both attractive and functional.
This is certainly true when it comes to business stationery, which is often wrongly accused of being bland, boring, and developed using a one-size-fits-all template that does nothing for the brand in question and ultimately isn’t a joy to use.
The hidden power of business stationery
Aside from boosting staff’s creativity and inspiring them to share ideas, what really interests me is how stationery can play another, equally as interesting role in the workplace: promoting a brand or a concept (and keeping that said brand or concept front of mind for longer).
In the same way that beautifully designed stationery will often fly off the shelves faster than bog-standard pads and pens, well-considered branded business stationery is more likely to be used than chucked into a drawer never to be seen again.
And as you know, the more eyes there are on your products, the more likely it is that people will remember your business and be compelled to contact you if they ever need your products or services.
In the same way that your eyes glance over at that branded calendar one of your clients gave you for Christmas every time you sit down at your desk, your logo will be on show for everyone to see when one of your own clients or contacts uses one of your branded notepads to take notes in a meeting, or when they pass around their business card at a networking event. Even bespoke letterheads and compliment slips reinforce your brand’s identity, albeit in a subtler way.
Therein lies the power of branded business stationery; it creates a never-ending loop of brand awareness that brings consistent value to your marketing strategy for months or years after you’ve made the initial investment.
How to convince the haters that there’s still a place for stationery – in business and in life
Put a blank notepad next to your stationery-hating colleague’s computer, and I guarantee they will fill it within a matter of weeks. They don’t need that paper – and they may have perfectly legitimate reasons for not wanting it there, such as they believe it clutters their workspace, or they are concerned about wasting resources.
But they will feel compelled to doodle, to organise, to take notes with a pen in their hand, because it’s human nature to want to create.
Research has also shown that writing things down by hand can increase our cognitive function and help us to remember things better – so there’s a scientific case for keeping stationery in the workplace, too!
Get help from a professional business stationery designer
As someone who has come up with hundreds of bespoke stationery sets for companies of all sizes and in all kinds of industries, I can confidently say that business stationery doesn’t have to be dull and lifeless. I can find many easy yet impactful ways to take stationery set designs to the next level – and I’m passionate about this aspect of my work because I know that stationery is a strong marketing tool that’s all-too-often underestimated in today’s digitally driven market.
Whether you want to add a professional touch to your office by creating branded stationery for use internally, or you’re keen to produce quality giveaways for clients, suppliers and other people who come into regular contact with your business, I can help. Contact me, Natalie at Design FX Studio, to discuss your branded stationery ideas in more detail and get a quote for the design and print of your new stationery set.