Tuesday, July 8, 2008

National Media Select Stationery Designs

One of the most enjoyable and fulfilling tasks I have during the National Stationery Show is to sit down with members of the national media and design personalized stationery for them. This is the fourth year I have done this, creating holiday cards, calling cards and other pieces of stationery. Each year, I see some interesting trends from these design sessions, so I’ve decided this time to formalize the results into The First Annual Crane Insider’s National Media Stationery Design Survey.

I use the term “formalize” as a relative term, in that I realize this is not a scientific process. But the sample size is large enough to measure – which means I had to use a calculator – and these writers, editors and stylists are hugely influential with the American consumer.

First, the ground rules. At this year’s National Stationery Show, we offered to design correspondence cards. In Crane-speak, that’s a #3 Kent Card, which measures 4 ¼ by 6 3/8 inches on 96-pound paper. And we offered engraving, which allowed our visitors to choose any paper and ink color combination. We also gave them free rein to embellish their stationery with any available design element.

Although not part of the ground rules, it was interesting to note that all our visitors were women. Of course, I was too polite to inquire, but I can say with a certain confidence that all were younger than me, and many were, well, young.

So what did we learn about the stationery tastes of these taste-makers?

The most interesting result is that more than half – 54% - selected a monogram to adorn their correspondence cards. Monograms ran the gamut from traditional to very contemporary, with a pretty even mix of one- two- and three-initial designs.

The second favorite adornment was the person’s name – selected by 38% of our visitors. The majority of those preferring to have their name engraved on their card chose typestyles that would be considered to be on the less-formal side; fonts such as Futura Book Cap, American Gothic Light and Parisian. Thirty percent selected more swashy fonts such as Bickham Script.

Paper and ink color selection provided for a much wider range of results. The leading paper color was – you guessed it – white, selected by 23% or our visitors. Coming in a close second were Tangerine and Gray, each chosen by 15%. Green, Coral and Blue were preferred by 12%, with others selecting Taupe, Yellow and Raspberry.

Since we were offering engraving, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the most popular ink color was white, chosen by 23% of our guests. Of course, these were not the same folks who selected white paper, as white on white has never done very well. Blue ink, of several shades, was preferred by 19% of our participants, followed by Gold, Pink, Brown, Yellow and Green.
So, to wrap up this First Annual Design Survey, the results are: monograms are hot. White paper is cool, but color rules.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Peter, I have to say this is absolutely fascinating!