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The Real Thing: National Stationery Show Delivers

Written by in Events


Welcome to the Paper Wonderland

(By Abbey Fowler, 6.25 Paper Studio) It was  four days of eye candy for the paper soul, overflowing my inspiration and rejuvenating my love for the stationery industry. The National Stationery Show (NSS) is the place to be for all card/stationery/invitation companies large and small. During these four days, a concrete room is transformed into a paper wonderland, filled with the most elaborate display setups and of course the loveliest products.

Though the 2013 show was smaller than previous years, there was still a TON of awesome product to see. With 800 booths, 10 paper suppliers/distributers and 11,000 attendees to maneuver around, I didn’t quite make it around to see the whole show, but I did find some lovelies and even found time to place orders when I was able to get away from my own booth

NSScraneCRANE’S® line of  boxed correspondence is always a must for any stationery shop.
This year’s selection included especially colorful letterpress and embossed designs.

With the help of Nicole Block of Nic Studio, I journeyed the show floor in search of products outfitted in Neenah papers. Narrowing things down a little more, I decided to concentrate on letterpress.

If you’re in the greeting card or stationery industry, you’re well aware that CRANE’S LETTRA® from Neenah Paper is the go-to paper for letterpress printing. Its soft cotton texture and thicker gsm/weight options allow for a gorgeous indent and rich ink coverage. Many companies at the show were using CRANE’S LETTRA®, here are just two examples of the many using letterpress at the NSS this year.

Color Color Color! Wild Ink Press goes all out in experimenting with letterpress coloring. What do you get when you letterpress tie-dye red, blue and yellow? Well, purple and green of course. Mike and Rebekah Tennis (the husband/wife duo behind Wild Ink) are perfectionists when it comes to their process.

NSS_supplysideA peek into the supply side of the show which showcases an assortment of
production equipment, services and supplies for manufacturers exhibiting at the show

When chatting about how she consistently uses CRANE’S LETTRA® for her boxed notes, she shared her reasons with us. The end result is so lovely and unlike any other pressed paper, there’s nothing like it, so it’s definitely Rebekah’s top choice.

The artist behind Fugu Fugu, Shino Chalsum, prefers to use Neenah’s ENVIRONMENT® Papers even though they’re not cotton. The cards shown here are printed on 120lb cover Bright White and Natural White PC100 (100% post consumer waste) with soy-based inks. Shino has been using these papers for years! The thicker ENVIRONMENT® Paper options really show a nice indent from the press.

NSSfugufuguFugu Fugu’s line of adorable letterpress greetings.

Shown above you can see the final results from Legion Papers’ Bingo for Two boards (incentivizing attendees to visit 22 different booths and collect the lovely bingo “chips.” The Supply Side of NSS (an area sectioned for paper merchants, printers, finishers, packaging, and all those goodies that fill vendor needs) had a special extended cocktail hour this year offering an opportunity for exhibitors to visit their booths.

The show is a success for so many and always a learning experience for everyone — buyers and sellers, large and small. From a vendor perspective, it’s an opportunity to see retailers that you already work with, meet new ones, show off your skills and get inspired for what’s next. From a retailer perspective, it’s a chance to meet the artists behind the companies, refresh their stores and find new goodies, see friends and talk shop. And for paper companies like Neenah, it’s a rare opportunity to see their paper in action — to see and appreciate, in person, the amazing final results that start with a blank sheet.

NSScheckerboardA couple lovely examples of letterpress and thermography from Checkerboard and C’est Papier.

CRANE’S LETTRA ® Registered Trademark of Crane & Co., Inc.