Confessions of a Stationery Addict
I became a stationery addict fairly late in life as a result of launching the London Stationery Show and Stationery Magazine – National Stationery Day/Week came later. At least, that’s when I officially recognised my ‘addiction’. I realise now that my interest in stationery probably took root many years before when I was a boy and my mother gave me a Parker 51 for passing an important exam. I don’t remember much about the exam, but I’ll never forget the excitement of receiving that pen.
Since then, stationery and pens have played a big and useful part in my life. Day in, day out, at home, at work, in between home and work… they are always there, the dependable unsung heroes of my professional and private life.
When I sold my last business, it was to my trusty 51 that I turned for signing the contract. So many of life’s milestones and defining moments in history are marked with pens and stationery.
I’ve moved on since signing that contract, as have stationery products themselves, many of which are now as fashionable as they are functional. The injection of fashion-led style has contributed massively to giving even more pleasure to the user of the notebook or holder of the pen. A recent visit to the Paperchase preview of S/S13 was a riot of colour and pattern, with products that can’t fail to seduce even the most dedicated follower of fashion.
I have now also become something of a stationery spotter, always looking to see whose products are being used in lifestyle consumer ads like the recent ones from Boden and Patek Philippe, and which products are being written about in consumer magazines, used in films and TV programmes, and wielded by authors and well-known public figures. It’s hard to walk past a stationery store without going inside.
And I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering which pen Barack Obama reaches for when he signs all those documents! And the Queen, for that matter.
My interest in stationery is also now taking on a more serious side as I reflect on some of the issues which will affect its future use and sales such as:
LITERACY – EDUCATION – EMPLOYMENT – ETIQUETTE AND COURTESY – RECORD KEEPING FOR POSTERITY – LEGALITY WITHOUT SIGNATURES
The more I think about it, the more I come back to the vital role that stationery plays in our lives – it simply isn’t going to become redundant anytime soon. Nor is it a question of choosing one over the other. Stationery or technology – they are completely complementary to one another.
I’m looking forward to seeing the next generation of stationery products and pens at next month’s London Stationery Show (trade only) and taking part in the big conversation during National Stationery Week from 22 to 28 April, when we aim to get more of Britain writing!
Posted on 12th March 2013 by Chris Leonard-Morgan