Be more flamingo
It’s official: 2015 sparked our love for pineapples, but 2016 is all about flamingos. This curiously chic bird has captivated us for a long time – and has come a long way since being used as croquet mallet in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The flamingo is as bright and bold as ever and is instantly recognisable on this year’s back to school stationery. Diaries, notebooks, paperclips and pens just don’t look right unless they are adorned with one of our long-legged, pink feathery friends. Plus, a flamingo motif is guaranteed to raise a smile from whoever sees it – how can you go wrong?
Want a colour that’s going to help you relax? Go for blue. Want a colour that’s going to boost your IQ? It’s blue again. Known for its calming and cogitative effect, blue is a winning colour for school stationery and can help calm those exam nerves. Conjuring up images of the sky and sea, blue helps broaden our horizons and takes us to our ‘happy place’. Just as every wardrobe contains a pair of trusty blue jeans, so every stationery stash should contain a quota of trusty blue items, too.
Take one look out of the window during the cloudy British summer and it’s easy to see why we’re drawn towards tropical prints. From stunning palm trees to spectacular flowers, September is the perfect time to peer through the undergrowth and get a taste of your very own jungle style. From fashion to interior design, you’ll see Hawaiian shirts and 1970s wallpaper designs have been given a new lease of life and can be found on everything from stationery to school lunch boxes. It’s time to transform your desk into your very own tropical oasis!
Spots and stripes
If we’re honest, spots and stripes are never out of style. They have featured on fashion pages for countless decades and will continue to do so for many years to come. These perennial trends come in all shapes and sizes and never fail to impress, which is why a few dots or lines (or a combination of the two) will always be a design classic.
You have to be a certain age to remember Clippy. Microsoft Office’s virtual helper, Clippy was a paperclip that would pop up on screen to say: “It looks like you’re writing a letter” (or another equally ‘helpful’ comment). Clippy has moved on to pastures new, but actual paperclips have found a new lease of life. You may be happy with your standard paperclip, but that’s only because you haven’t come across a paperclip with pizzazz. Bright colours and quirky shapes are what the best paperclips are all about, and they are hard to resist. Seriously, could fastening paper get any more exciting?
Love it? Personalise it
Everyone loves stationery with a personal touch – those in the know do it with a Sharpie pen. Choose from the rainbow of colours to instantly transform a bog-standard notebook into a much-coveted item. But personalisation isn’t just for artistic types, there are plenty of ways to use post-it notes, card and even stencils to personalise your stationery in minutes.
If the word geometric makes you think of geometry sets – think again. Our social feeds are already awash with geometric shapes and there are plenty more to come. These shapes are striking in their simplicity and when used together can create some serious eye candy. Chvrches, Tame Impala and Foster the People are just a few of the bands that have used geometric shapes on their album covers – and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
Another design classic is the time-honoured combination of black and white. It’s fair to say that we have an ongoing love affair with all things monochrome; we love it for its high impact and minimalism. Instagram rolled out its black and white user interface earlier this year, reminding us all why monochrome rocks. Although, just because you invest in a black and white notebook, doesn’t mean to say what you draw and write inside can’t be a kaleidoscope of colour.
The great escape
The word escape can conjure up a number of ideas: travel, mindfulness and calm are just three. And all are big news on social media right now. Maybe it’s wanting to get away from it all or grabbing a bit of time to reflect. Either way, come September and the start of a new school year, who wouldn’t want to have an injection of calm during the day? Fill school satchels with pastels, florals and the most serene designs because a spot of mindfulness is the perfect antidote between double history and chemistry on a Tuesday afternoon. Or daydream about travelling the world with stationery featuring your favourite destinations.
The world of fashion loves a good revival. Whatever the decade, bygone styles are sure to make a comeback sooner or later. From grunge and huge logos in the 90s to the more demure fashion of the 50s, fashion takes us back in time – and those styles are making an appearance on our stationery designs too. From denim pencil cases to notebooks covered in vintage lace, it’s easy to give your back to school style a retro edge. So, throwback trainers? Check. Throwback notepad and pencil case? Check, check. You’re ready for the start of term…