Top Drawer London Stationery Likes

Top Drawer London Stationery Likes

Top Drawer London is the first trade show of the year, a place to go and find lots of new goodies to stock in your high street shops and online stores.  Held at London Olympia, it’s a great showcase for new products and new talents in the gift and design industries.  It leads to aching feet, and sensory overload at the end of the day but it’s great fun.  Here are a few companies that I liked…

Fox & Lark

A range of beautifully covered notebooks with 48 plain white pages just waiting to be filled with whimsy and daydreams.   The notebooks come in a range of colours and there are three books in each set.


Website:  Fox & Lark

Ruth Jackson

When I walked passed Ruth Jackson’s stand she was busy sharpening pencils – looks like a fun job – in preparation for turning the sharpenings into greeting cards.  They’re very cute and it’s quite a cool idea, a bit retro, a bit homemade and crafty, and something that will definitely make you smile.


Website:  Ruth Jackson

Meticulous Ink

We can’t resist a quality bit of writing paper here at Papernation, and Meticulous Ink, based in Bath, certainly comes up with the goods.  They were a bit busy with their laptop when I passed their stand so I didn’t get a sense of what the company is all about, but it all looks lovely.  They have a store in Bath, so you might want to drop in if you’re passing that way.


Website:  Meticulous Ink

Mac and Ninny Paper Co

Designed and printed in the UK, Mac and Ninny seem to care how their products are produced, ensuring that even the printer has some good eco credentials.  Their range of book plates are fantastic and jam labels divine.  They even make a book kit – for wrapping a book to give as a gift – almost too nice to give away.


Website:  Mac and Ninny

Hole in My Pocket

I’m not surprised to find that the owner of Hole in My Pocket is an architect.  The stand at Top Drawer was beautifully put together with everything displayed just in the right place.  I particularly love this nautical themed notebook, the perfect pressie for someone who really does loves life on the ocean waves.


Website:  Hole in My Pocket

 Ola Studio

Ola Studio has created some very grown up notebooks with timeless patterned covers.  I don’t think you could ever tire of looking at one of these if you were lucky enough to have one sitting on your desk.   The design and manufacture allows the book to lay flat – just perfect in every way.  I think these were my favourite things at the show!


Website:  Ola Studio

If you’re interested in registering for information about Top Drawer, they have a useful site here




GF Smith and Colorplan


I’m having another sort out of my stationery cupboard at home today which consists of three cartons and a shoe box crammed with stuff.  I’m obviously not focussed on work, as I wouldn’t be having a sort out if I were.  During my delvings I came across some old swatches of paper from GF Smith, which in turn led me to have a little browse on their website, which in turn took me to their Colorplan website, which is a lesson in how to use up an hour without really trying – it’s fun.

When Papernation had a store in Bristol we used to buy papers from GF Smith and they were a fabulous company to deal with.  They managed to make paper sexy and stylish and fun.  They win awards for their products and for their design skills and it’s certainly easy to see why.  Even their trade swatch books are highly sought after because they are so cool and all round lovely.

GF Smith make Colorplan paper.  It’s a range of papers that comes in 50 colours, in 8 different paper weights and can be embossed in 25 different finishes, and last year they launched a website devoted to Colorplan.

The website has all the color swatches on the  page which you can then drag and drop to different positions to see how colours work together.  If you’re a designer it’s a really useful tool, and great to just play with too.

Watch a short video of how the Colorplan website works

GF Smith is a lesson in how to get things right.  Their attention to detail is fantastic.  They even had a font designed especially for their new website, yep, you’ve guessed it, called Colorplan.  Their website tells you to pay particular attention to lowercase ‘g’, uppercase ‘M’ and the numerical character set.

I wish I still lived in London as they’re currently advertising a job at their offices in Southwark.  I’d be very tempted to apply.


Noodoll Artist Pocket Sketchbooks


I’m in the throes of planning a trip in my motorhome and I’ve been remembering some of my earlier travels, and in particular my visit to the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain, Dali’s home town.  It’s an amazing place, eccentric, surreal, all round awesome, and bone-crushingly busy.  If you’re ever close by you should pay a visit.  As if by coincidence too, I had an email from the lovely Noodoll, makers of cute stationery, and featured in the email was their range of artist pocket sketchbooks, and one of them has Dali on its front cover….



It’s a really cool sketchbook with 50 sheets of cartridge and coloured paper and it truly is pocket sized at just 11.5cm x 8cm.  Dali doubles as a bookmark too.  There are some of my other favourite artist in the range:

Andy Warhol



and Frida Kahlo



and Pablo Picasso



I see that Gilbert and George, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock and Yayoi Kusama are joining the range.  Just as soon as I have photos, I’ll add them to this post.

And here they are, hot off the press from Noodoll…



I didn’t know anything about Yayoi Kusama but her story is a fascinating one and you can read about her here.

The notebooks are designed by Clifford Richards (graphic artist), not to be confused with Cliff Richard (pop singer), and you can see more of his work at

You can buy the notebooks direct from Noodoll here at £4.50 each.

If you fancy visiting the Dali Museum you can find out all about it here.  It’s a great location, close to the French border and also not too far from Barcelona, so it’s an ideal day trip if you’re holidaying in the South of France or spending a bit of time sunning yourself on the Spanish coast.



National Stationery Week

Oh Twitter and Tweet to your heart’s content but don’t forget to send a letter once in a while.  Keep it real, keep it personal and make someone’s day.

Papernation loves all things stationery – cards, letters, pens and pencils, and so we were very happy when Chris Leonard-Morgan created the Stationery Magazine and the London Stationery Show.  Not just happy to engage with people who already love stationery, he got out there to encourage everyone to get writing, by creating the National Stationery Day too, which has been so popular, it’s now a Stationery Week.  It’s aim is to get people to engage with stationery by taking the time to write a letter, or a card, as a thank you or just to say hello.


Chris very kindly agreed to be interviewed about all things stationery which we hope you enjoy.

What made you start the Stationery Show and its accompanying magazine?

The London Stationery Show was born out of the former Stationery & Office Products Show which was launched in 2008. We fairly quickly reached the view that a dedicated stationery show was the way to go, quite separate from office products, if we were to truly reflect this changing and dynamic market. The first standalone Stationery Show was in 2011.

We launched Stationery Magazine in 2009 when we realised how little coverage there was of stationery products in the trade press. The dedicated exhibition came later!

The Stationery Show is a must for all stationery buyers now.  Has the show developed as you expected?

The exhibition and magazine have taken longer to develop than expected. I thought they would be embraced much more quickly by suppliers than has been the case, although the buyers were  quicker off the mark . However, we always believed we would get there in the end and that is now happening.

The magazine is a great read and highlights everything new to the market.  How long does it take to put together each magazine?

The magazine is currently published four times a year, with three of the issues coming out before important exhibitions including the London Stationery Show in April. It is largely edited and produced in a concentrated three week period.

You established National Stationery Week and Get Britain Writing.  Did you realise immediately that it would catch the public imagination as it has?

I had the idea for National Stationery Day not long after launching the Stationery & Office Products Show, it was always just a question of waiting for the right moment which turned out to be last year, in 2012. It only ran once as we immediately turned it in to National Stationery Week as a result of the enthusiasm with which it was received! Although I had never done anything like this before, I couldn’t see how it wouldn’t work because of the unique sentiments stationery generates among consumers, especially now that it is such a fashion item too. It has definitely caught the public’s imagination, as well as retailers and our sponsors.

Why do you believe that hand written notes are so special?

Handwritten communication is important at a number of levels. Above all, it shows you care enough about someone to take the time to put pen to paper, or send a card. It’s a lot more personal, and it’s easier to keep and retrieve.

What’s your notepaper of choice when you write a letter?

I use writing paper and correspondence cards from The Stationery Box, which were given to me by my wife.

What items of stationery can’t you live without?

I would find life extremely difficult without highlighters and sticky notes, and well nigh impossible without pens, pencils and paper in some form!

What’s the most exciting product to come to market in 2013?

Now you’re asking! There really are too many to single out, but my Ferrari pen from Sheaffer always gets a comment, followed closely by the Parker Ingenuity last year.


What are your predictions for 2014?

2014 is going to be an exciting year for stationery. The London Stationery Show’s expansion into the main hall at the Business Design Centre is a significant development, and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more interest in stationery and pens by the consumer media as a result of National Stationery Week, and the Get Britain  – and Kids – Writing campaigns.

National Stationery Week runs from 31 March – 6 April 2014.  Find out more about it here.

If you’re a stationery retailer then why not visit the London Stationery Show at the Business Design Centre, London 1 -2 April 2014.  Find out more about it here.

You can read the digital edition of the Stationery Magazine here.



All I Want for Christmas….


All I want for Christmas is, wait for it, a Leuchtturm pocket diary.  I’m fairly easy to please on Christmas morning, but like a lot of people, I’m quite fussy about what diary I have for the new year.


For the past couple of years I’ve had a Moleskine page a day pocket diary.  This is great if you want to keep a journal, as it gives you plenty of room to write what you’ve been up to and what’s on your mind.  I want something a bit smaller this year, so I’ve decided on  a week to view format, with the days of the week on one half and notes page on the other half, known as a weekly planner/notebook.

I used to be a Moleskine kind of girl but when Leuchtturm 1917 started selling their diaries in the UK I gave them a go.  I have to say that I think Leuchtturm is a better quality diary than Moleskine, having used both.  If you put a Moleskine diary and a Leuchtturm diary side by side they are really quite alike.  Use each one for a year and some subtle differences appear.  For me Leuchtturm wears better.  My diary goes most places with me and is stuffed into jacket pockets and tucked at the bottom of my bag, so it has to be tough.  With a Leuchtturm, the elastic closure band stays taught, with a Moleskine it’s gone a bit baggy by about April.  The paper is better quality with Leuchtturm.  I usually write in pencil in my diary and on the Moleskine even pencil shows through a little bit.


There is just one problem that I’ve noticed about liking Leuchtturm diaries more than Moleskine, and that’s getting hold of one on the high street.

Moleskine is everywhere.  Where once it was the preserve of a true stationery aficionado, who just knew a little place somewhere that stocked them, now you can take your pick on the high street.  Leuchtturm doesn’t seem to have achieved that just yet.  Although I don’t know if I want them to.  Maybe their paper will get just that bit thinner and their elastic just that bit baggier.  I’ll just have to get cracking and order one on the internet as the last posting day is just two days away.



Mark’s Tokyo Edge Stationery

One of my favourite stationery companies is Mark’s Tokyo Edge so I thought I’d share some of their products with you.

graphia1 sttorage_it2

I love the range with its sleek notebook enclosed in a ziplock cover so you can store stuff in the cover.  The range of colours is awesome too.


The Paperie has a good range of Mark’s notebooks but they don’t seem to be stocking the diary range for 2014

Bureau Direct stock the 2014 diary.



I love the Mark’s Silicon Diary too.  I haven’t found a very good source for these online so if you see one on the high street I would grab it there and then.



Here’s some more lovely stuff –








You can visit the Mark’s Tokyo Edge website to see more of their stationery.




Huck & Pucker Notebooks


I came across a new kid on the stationery block today, Huck & Pucker, so thought I’d give them a mention as their notebooks look cool.  I like that they’ve gone for a hardback notebook with lined paper pages.  I like lined notebooks the best as they appeal to the neat and tidy person in me, that a plain page just doesn’t provide.

Whether you’re a Hipster or a Geek, a Genius or a Dreamer, Arty or Bookish, they’ve got a notebook for you to be proud of!







It’ll be interesting to see how the brand develops and what products they add, as they fit well with the hipster vibe of the moment.

Each notebook has a hard cover, elastic closure band, 192 lined pages made from acid free paper and is 130mm x 188mm.

You can buy online from Huck & Pucker for £7.99 plus £1.99 shipping.


grumpycatwall calendar

Cats & Dogs Calendars 2014

grumpycatwall calendar

I never said that my roundup of 2014 calendars would be a particularly sophisticated affair.

I generally quite like cats and dogs, even my cat Sibyl, when she’s not behaving like something out of Hammer House of Horror, so here are some of the calendars I quite like, in a funny sort of way.

Grumpy Cat makes me laugh.  Everyone knows one.

grumpycatwall calendar


Boo the World’s Cutest Dog.  I can’t believe he has so many followers on Facebook, over 8 million.  His sidekick Buddy is a sweetie too.



I Could Pee on This 2014 Wall Calendar – hmmm…..


Oh dear,  Sibyl should have posed for this Fat Cats Calendar.


Frenemies Wall Calendar.  Is this just a bit nauseating?



Unlike cats, dogs always seem so excited to be going on a car journey.  It always makes me smile to see a dog with the wind in its fur, much like the mutts in the Highway Hounds Wall Calendar

calendar6I think Dogs do know when they’ve done something wrong but I’m not sure they can read, so hopefully they don’t understand they’re being shamed in the Dog Shaming Calendar.


The Underwater Dogs Calendar 2014 is just plain weird.



I always love the Yoga Cats Calendars.



And finally, the William Wegman Man’s Best Friend Calendar brings a touch of sophistication to the Cat and Dog calendar market.




Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart at Staples

Martha Stewart appears to be a very busy woman.  Cooking, media, TV, home-making, entertaining, crafting.  You name it Martha Stewart seems to have done it.  For those of you who haven’t heard of her, she’s an American TV star and owner of a huge media empire who has also put her name to a range of stationery, in collaboration with Avery, for Staples.

I popped to my local Staples store and the Martha Stewart range looks good.  I do like a nice bit of organisational stationery.  My desk is currently groaning under the weight of utility bills and various bits of paper that really should be filed neatly away.  So I have a shopping list of what I might need from the Martha Stewart range.

Ring Binder

Martha StewartA useful ring binder that can hold up to 320 sheets of A4 sized paper.  The cover is extra wide so if you’re using file dividers too, they don’t poke out of the side of the file.

File Dividers

Martha Stewart

This pack contains 5 plastic dividers in blue, green, yellow, orange and red.  You can customise the tabs in ballpoint pen which can be erased if you change your headings.  Clever.

File Labels

No point in putting everything in files if you don’t actually label the files too.

Martha StewartThe pack contains 36 labels sized 44mm x 41mm.

So, once I’ve filed everything neatly away there’ll still be a pile of paper and bits and bobs that I don’t know what to do with, so I think a couple of Storage Boxes would be useful.  To co-ordinate my office, what about  this box which matches the blue file…

Martha Stewart

I usually work on a laptop computer, and in my general office tidy it might be nice to have a smart cover for it.  In Martha’s world, everything co-ordinates so how about this Tablet Sleeve?

Martha StewartTo view the full range of stationery from Martha Stewart visit your nearest Staples store or check it out online at


Roger la Borde Advent Calendars

Our family always had an advent calendar at Christmas.  It signalled that Christmas was just around the corner.  It would hang on the door in the dining room and my two siblings and I would take turns to open a door.  My sister’s birthday is the 8th December so she always got to open the door that day even if it wasn’t her turn.  I’m sure there was much huffing and whining from me and my brother about that!

Today, lots of advent calendars seem to come with chocolates and gifts but I have to say that I like the simple ones best and Roger la Borde has come up trumps with their range.


Christmas House Advent Calendar – £4.99


Fuzzy Friends Advent Calendar – £4.99


Vintage Toy Advent Calendar – £4.99


Christmas Party Advent Calendar illustrated by Christine Pym – £4.99


How the Grinch Stole Christmas Advent Calendar from Dr Seuss – £4.99

Contact Roger la Borde to find a list of stockists in your area and to order online, and don’t forget to order in time for hanging up on 1st December.