As National Stationery Show approaches, so too does several weeks of stellar mail days. If the dozens of mailers I received are any indication of the quality of product to be found at NSS, let’s just say it’s going to be a very impressive show!

I left the winter Atlanta market several months back thinking the design theme of 2018 would be “elevation.” By that I mean it is not so much about introducing entirely new product categories, rather just ensuring that every detail of a given item is nothing short of amazing — much like these envelopes. Each of these is a little hand-lettered work of art, replete with lovely stamp — and many of them are hand-painted as well!I invited NSS exhibitors to send me images of their mailers — and I got an eyeful in my inbox as well! Let’s review, shall we?

Here is And Here We Are. This one never made it to me, but no worries, I’ll be by! Is that a veggie dog by chance? I love this mailer from Friendly Fire Paper. The stripes and pastel color palette, anchored by a rich Palace Blue, is so upbeat — and the “grab life by the balloons” is letterpressed, perfect for my desk inspiration board!I’m still laughing about stuff I saw in Frog & Toad Press’ booth last year, so you know I’ll be back in ’18. This ombre ink effect is enchanting, and I’m looking forward to not laying eyes on those invisible dogs.

Good Juju Ink is on fire these days! Between their Legion Paper #PutAStampOnIt promo, to these sky blue envelopes with your name in white, to this letterpressed and rather stately Egyptian queen, I wouldn’t miss this booth for the world!ilootpaperie again made smart use of that #PutAStampOnIt die, using it for their palm-sized mailer. Even the stamp matches, and inside, the little tiger is a separate piece so he springs from the foiled greenery. When I first moved to NYC in ’87, there were still a few Checker Cabs driving the streets, so I’m thrilled Lindsay used one for Inklings Paperie’s mailers inspiration. The envelope matches the cab on the mailer, there’s a shiny penny enclosed to scratch off the message … and that street map liner? I’m smitten!
I see that Asfaneh at JooJoo Paper is equally obsessed with envelopes and stamps — love her custom design! The mailer for Of Unusual Kind lives up to its name with a cello-encased card, packed with glitter. Meet Amelia, “beloved daughter of the ringmaster and lion tamer (who) dreamed of flying and so became a wondrous trapeze artist.” She’s the first in a series of coloring paper doll kits to be found there! Page Stationery invites you to wander where the wifi is weak, you know, Javits Center! Everything is as impressive as always here: contrasty envelope liner, well-executed letterpress, patch takeaway! The mailer for Sagebrushed really feels it arrived from where it did … sunny Tampa, Florida. I always love it when a card is enclosed so you can really see what you’re getting a taste of beforehand.The Imagination Spot is also in a Checker Cab … this time with a bevy of animals and a suitcase bursting with paper! No doubt they’re heading to Javits as I write this.

Little Well Paper Co. is new to me, but they had me at gold foil printing on dark navy paper. Who am I kidding, they had me at the envelope and all the fancy pieces in it! Oh, and then there’s this, from their mission statement (?) printed in that aforementioned gold ink: “Stationery helps us do things that carry more weight than can be measured in grams per square meter. It helps us when we have the opportunity to really be there for someone else, at the times when we’re celebrating and, in equal measure, when finding the right words for a hard moment feels impossible. It helps remind us we belong to one another. And that is why we do what we do.” This is just a tiny taste of the treasures that arrived in my humble mail basket, pictured below with the mailer from Ginger P. Designs. And of course, these mailers are just a tiny taste of the treasures to be found at NSS! I hope to see you there. Meanwhile, I’ll be back here just as soon as I recover from all that paper pulchritude!

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