LaunchPad Winners Announced!

LP judges

L to R: Sally Newall, Kim Harrup-Brooks and Rebecca Saunders make their final selections for the first-ever LaunchPad competition.

There were just over 40 entries for the first-ever LaunchPad competition, run by the London Stationery Show, and the panel of three judges had the task of identifying 12 winning entries to take part in this year’s show free of charge.

Aimed at individuals and companies eager to break into the booming UK stationery industry, each of the 12 winners will be allocated a free display space at the show, which runs on 25 and 26 April at the Business Design Centre in London.

The three judges all know what consumers like and respond to; Rebecca Saunders is head of development at leading online curated marketplace (NOTHS) and is regularly involved in NOTHS’ own ‘Pitch-Up’ sessions to find potential partners; Kim Harrup-Brook, graphic designer and founder of Elegant Stationery Made In England or ‘esmie’ started her business from scratch, sells through iconic store Liberty amongst others, and understands the challenge of creating a desirable brand and range of products, and Sally Newall is editor of IndyBest, the product reviews section of The Independent, and has a great feel for pricing and what consumers want to buy!

The judges were looking for product that showed clear thought and execution when it came to brand and offer, offered value commensurate with the retail price and which they thought would be of true interest to the UK stationery industry and its huge number of stationery loving consumers.

“We were delighted with the response to our first LaunchPad competition and we’re keen to make it a regular part of the London Stationery Show.  We want to encourage and support new companies and products to come forward and showcase their ideas,” says Tim Willoughby, COO at Ocean Media Exhibitions Ltd, which organises the London Stationery Show.

The winners are (in alphabetical order): Archivia, Berjo Creative, By Mrs Carter, David Hayward Designs, Elmo Paperstories, Foggish, My Pretty Circus, Off lines, Ortiedesign, Spots & Stripes Design, Think Trigg and Treewise (See later sheet for more detail on each).  They will be travelling to take part in the show from Germany, Gibraltar, Dubai, France, Cheltenham, Cheshire and London and their products range from wrap and greeting cards to notebooks, personalised journals and pens and spincils!

The LaunchPad winners will get exposure to all the leading retailers and suppliers in the stationery industry, receive extensive PR and marketing support from the London Stationery Show and be eligible to enter their products for the 2017 Stationery Awards.

“They will be appearing on the UK’s biggest stationery stage and we’re sure they’ll receive plenty of pertinent feedback from show visitors and fellow exhibitors too,” comments Tim, “All of which is invaluable for those starting out in or testing a new market.”

The Essentials:

The LaunchPad competition was open to any company which, or individual who:

  • Has not appeared in the show previously
    • Has the rights to sell the featured product
    • Does not currently sell the featured product through any UK national retail accounts or distributors in the stationery retail sector

Each entrant had to complete an entry form giving a description of their products and RRP and send samples for the judges to consider.

The show will continue to support a winner with a complimentary stand in 2018 if the judges feel their product or service merits ongoing assistance from the industry.



1. Archivia (Notebooks)
This is a stationery line from a young Italian company devoted to architecture, design and paper.  Their initial range of notebooks features eye-catching sketches or technical drawings of either neglected or renowned buildings or iconic designs.  The range covers many different items and they have started to create some new designs with contemporary architects such as Jan Kaplicky, a Czech architect who spent much of his life in the UK.

2. Berjo Creative Ltd (Journals)
This London company produces exclusive handmade journals called The Cyclist.  Each product is hand stitched and assembled by experienced book binders.  They are suitable for taking notes, drawing, watercolour painting, writing, doodling – and anyone interested in cycling!

3. By Mrs Carter (Planners)
This eponymously named range, from Cheshire-based Emily Carter, incorporates a luxury, handmade journal produced in the UK.  It has five insert options; a Wedding Journal, Baby Journal, Positivity Journal, Diary and blank note pages. The outer casing is available in a choice of leather, Harris Tweed or linen, in different colour options.

4. David Hayward Design (Writing Instruments)
Based in Cheltenham, David runs a small design company that manufactures its own writing and drawing instruments.  Using both silversmithing and engineering skills the company offers a bespoke service to corporate clients across the world.  However, developments in the UK market in the past 5 years mean that pens retailing for £100 are no longer unusual, and the company has developed hand crafted exclusive pens aimed at this price point in a range of different materials and finishes.

5. Elmo Paperstories (Notebooks)
A modern wedding stationer, London-based elmo Paperstories are printers and bookbinders and have used beautiful textures and luxury high quality materials to produce Wedding Notepads and customisable Notebooks that would make a perfect gift or treat.

6. Foggish (Greeting Cards)
Niomi Fogden, the designer behind Foggish, is based in Gibraltar and describes her range of colourful greeting cards, art prints and wrap as coming with ‘a side order of smuttiness and extra sprinkles’.  Her motto is ‘Live life colourfully because normal is boring’ and she tries to reflect it in all her work.

7. My Pretty Circus (Gift packaging/Wrap)
Just launched in their home market of Germany, My Pretty Circus is all about ‘wrapping & writing’.  The offer includes unique reversible gift wrap, greeting cards, boxed card sets and matching ribbons.  The cards are blank but come with sticker sheets of different messages and matching envelopes so that they can be prepared as you wish!

8. Off Lines (Analogue Storage Mediums)
Just launched in Germany and described by founder Christophe Chayriguet as an ‘analogue storage system’ the off lines range includes leather products and a wooden paper station and notepad dispenser.  They are ‘Analogue storage mediums for the distracted age’.

9. Ortiedesign (Gift Stationery)
This French company creates playful and practical objects, ‘as pleasant to use as to look at’ made by French and European craftsmen.  Its ‘Spincil’ caught the judges eye combining both a pencil and a spinning top.

10. Spots & Stripes Design (Children’s Stationery)
This London-based stationery brand produces cards and notes aimed specifically at getting people to communicate with each other by writing.  Each item in their range ‘Written words matter’ is designed to be a prompt to convey a message and make meaningful connections. They also focus on children aged 5-12, creating designs that tie into educational prompts and trigger words to help children start writing their message.

11. Think Trigg (Diaries)
Trigg is a page-a-day productivity and mindfulness diary.  Its guiding structures help to blend the conventions of a calendar with personalised journaling and a range of productivity tips and tricks to help balance Self, Passions, Relationships and Work. Trigg has been conceived and designed by two friends; Matthew, a writer and producer and graphic designer Bree.  Following feedback from the expert productivity community they have honed their page formats to ‘drag mindfulness into the workplace’.

12. Treewise (Children’s Stationery)
Treewise make pencils made from 100% recycled newspapers. They are the invention of Ghulamhussien Jhanjaria; his passion for saving the environment and contributing to its conservation lead to the development of Treewise pencils which are made in India.  They are already sold to schools throughout India and the Middle East.



Posted on 27th February 2017 by Vanessa Fortnam