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A Look at Micro Trends at Creativation 2019

It’s easy to spot the big trends while walking the Creativation show floor. When there’s a unicorn or cactus in every booth you go into, it’s pretty apparent that is a headline trend. But one of the more important things you can take away from visiting the show floor is not the big billboard trends (although that is important too). Instead, assessing the micro trends of the industry is a task that should not be overlooked during busy show days.

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation show. Some links in this article may be affiliate links.]

AFCI Creativation 2019 entrance banner

Micro trends, like the micro in their name suggests, are small scale trends. They aren’t industry-consuming like macro trends are. They aren’t “in your face”. But they are noticeable little blips in the flow of the industry.

Why are micro trends important? For one, micro trends are usually cutting edge. Do you or your customer like to be on top of the latest colors or style icons? Micro trends are where you will find that, because the cutting edge comes and goes so quickly that its elements don’t have a chance to become macro trends. If they do stick around long enough to, then they are no longer really cutting edge.

The fact that some micro trends do become macro trends, becoming the next big thing, is another important reason to search down industry micro trends. What today is just an interesting thing being done by a handful of companies might tomorrow be the next industry saturation trend. Identifying that trend early helps you get on board with it- or carve out a position to counter it! Paint pouring, llamas, gold foil, succulents…they all started out as just an interesting product a few brands were doing. And then they took over everything!

Micro trends can be hard to spot because they aren’t at saturation level. At the show, immersed in the new product displays and the industry goings-on, is by far the most effective way to identify them. Reviewing products over a period of weeks, or months….they may not stand out. But at the show, when you realize that shade of yellow looks familiar from earlier in the day, or a discussion you are having is a repeat of one from this morning…you’ve possibly stumbled into a micro trend.

Here’s a few examples of some micro trends that I found at Creativation 2019:

Art Deco:

Hero Arts Deco in the City stamp

Hero Arts 6″x6″ Deco in the City stamp

Hero Arts has released a significant release of Art Deco style stamps and stencils recently, such as this 6″x6″ Deco in the City background stamp. But they aren’t the only ones to dabble in the retro style of Art Deco in the industry – it’s been lurking around for awhile. In 2017, Tim Holtz released an Art Deco styled alphabet as part of his Sizzix line of dies. At the same show, Graphic 45 debuted a heavily Art Deco collection called Vintage Hollywood. (While their lines frequently allude to that period, this particular collection was very up front with classic signature elements of the period.) Both of these brands are known for vintage products however and so it’s not entirely surprising to see the style from them.

Then in late 2018, we saw Art Deco start to show up from companies that didn’t specialize in hardcore vintage. BoBunny released the Something Splendid collection. And then at Creativation we got the new Hero Arts stamps and also a paper collection from Lawn Fawn with Art Deco style scallops. Given that it has escaped its vintage roots and is showing up elsewhere now, it will be interesting to see if Art Deco continues to grow as a design presence in the industry.

Space:

Photo Play To the Moon

Photo Play Paper To the Moon And Back

Whether it was the total eclipse in 2017, America’s impending return to manned space flight, or the raft of recent space themed movies…space seems to be on the mind of a significant number of product designers. Photo Play Paper did an entire space themed collection in December called To The Moon and Back. Meanwhile, other brands like Hero Arts and Doodlebug are doing moon and space themed stamps, and Sizzix has a new set of space themed dies.

Mustard Yellows:

Lawn Fawn No 2 Pencil

Lawn Fawn No 2 Pencil cardstock

The release of the spring lines is usually the time that we see yellow shades turn lemony after having been more brown in the fall lines. Instead, some of the spring lines are showing more mustard tones of yellow. Companies such as Paper House, Simple Stories, BoBunny, Authentique, and Photo Play all showed at least one line that used a more mustard tone of yellow. This micro trend is definitely approaching enough saturation to be called a macro trend!

And in a hint that they think it may stay for awhile, Lawn Fawn has released a cardstock pack they are calling “no. 2 pencil“. Is mustard no longer just a fall seaonal color? The fashion world seems to think so, and now it appears that scrapbooking is following suit.

Card Sentiments:

Altenew Mega Greetings 3

Altenew Mega Greetings 3 stamps

Another micro trend that jumped out while walking the show floor was the number of stamp companies releasing sentiment-only stamp sets. Hero Arts refreshed their line with multiple new staple sets. Stampendous, Altenew, Heffydoodle, Honey Bee, Spellbinders, BoBunny and several others all have released or upcoming sentiment only stamps. While these are an industry staple, the volume of releases at once is perhaps an indicator of stamp companies shifting their sole focus back to card making as scrapbooking and planner stamp sales both decline.

What micro trends did you detect at Creativation? Tell us in the comments!

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Color Trends | Neutral Navy

Color trends often begin in the worlds of home decor and fashion before migrating to crafts. The latest color trend making its way to the papercrafting world, neutral navy, is no exception.

[Disclosure: Some products were provided to me as part of my work with the Cricut blogger program but this is not a sponsored post. Some links in this article, including links to Amazon.com, are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the user if a purchase is made after a click.]

Color purists may argue that navy is not a neutral, but it is increasingly used as one, especially in fashion. Darkwash denim may be the ultimate in neutral navy – it goes with everything and can go almost anywhere. But in the last two years we’ve seen its influence spread beyond the basic in both fashion and home decor.

In the fashion world, navy has found popularity as a slightly softer alternative to black. It’s a trendy option for replacing everything from your “little black dress” to those black leggings. It’s even become a popular color for bridesmaids’ dresses!

The home decor world has seized on to the neutral navy trend as well. Best used in small doses due to its eye-catching drama, navy is being used for everything from accent chairs to kitchen islands to throw pillows. To see a few examples, visit Freshome.

Navy is perhaps most often associated with a nautical style in fashion and home decor. Last year we did see navy invade the scrapbooking world as a nautical trend. But this year, navy is back on its own – and trendier than ever.

Neutral navy nurseries are quite trendy in home decor, and BoBunny has seized on that trend for their newest baby themed line “Little Wonders”. The collection has two parts, one that pairs navy with pink and one that pairs navy with mint and dusky blue.

BoBunny Little Wonders

BoBunny Little Wonders collection

I bought a few sheets of the navy and pink part of the “Little Wonders” collection to try out on some baby pictures of my daughter. (Let’s not talk about the fact that she just turned 15 and there were still baby pictures to be scrapped, alright?) Continue Reading →

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Creativeworld 2018 Trend Show Tour, Part 1: The Purist

Without a doubt, one of the more interesting things that I look forward to seeing each year at the Creativeworld show in Frankfurt is the Trend Show display. (Or, as it is called in the Messe’s native German – “trend schau”.)

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt and the Creativeworld show are a sponsor of Scrapbook Update.]

The Creativeworld trend show is divided each year into three themes that highlight a different trend happening in creative industries. For 2018, the themes selected by the Messe’s trend consultants were “the purist”, “the colourist”, and “the gardener”.

Credit: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

This article focuses on the first of the trend show’s featured concepts, the purist. The trend named “the purist” by the Messe is perhaps best translated into English as “minimalism” – simple, clean, and subtle. That’s not to say the purist style is without detail. But what details are present are fine and modest. This is not a style of large exuberant floral patterns, or in-your-face bling. It’s restful, and elegant. Continue Reading →

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2017 Creativation Trends for Scrapbooking

One of the greatest thing about attending a trade show is that seeing so many product introductions all in one place at one time really brings into focus the trends that are taking place in the industry at that moment. Here’s a look at some of the top 2017 Creativation trends for scrapbooking.

[Disclaimer: Some links below are advertiser links or affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

Puffy Stickers

Perhaps this is part of the growing trend of 1980’s nostalgia, but whatever the reason, puffy stickers were making their presence felt as a trend on the Creativation show floor. American Crafts used this sticker style across several of their brands, including Maggie Holmes, Crate Paper and Pink Paislee. But it was also seen in the Jillibean Soup and Echo Park booths, among others.

Below: Maggie Holmes “Chasing Dreams” Puffy Stickers

Creativation Trends - Maggie Holmes puffy stickers

Stamp Presses

Since the introduction of the MISTI created what is arguably an entirely new tool category for the industry, other companies have rushed to introduce their own versions of a stamp press. We R Memory Keepers released theirs last year, and at Creativation, Hampton Art and Tonic Studio (under its Tim Holtz signature line) added their versions to the mix. This trend is definitely being fed by the increasing interest in stamping in the papercrafts market, especially layered stamping. The growing DIY party market (with the mass production of items like invitations and table decorations) is also a factor in their popularity.

Below: Hampton Art Stamp Perfect stamp press

Creativation Trends -Hampton Art Stamp Perfect 10x10

 

Geo Shapes

These geometric shapes that appear to be faceted or geodesic started appearing a lot in stamps and dies last year, and the trend continued at the Creativation show with products like this die from Spellbinders’ collection by designer Lene Lok. This trend is one of those “universal” style trends that can be adapted for any season or theme, so its life isn’t artificially limited by changing seasons (like the flamingoes below).

Below: Spellbinders Lene Lok collection.

Creativation Trends -Spellbinders Lene Lok

Planner Madness

Trend doesn’t cover the level that planners have reached in the papercrafts industry. They are rapidly reaching full-on market domination, Creativation brought an avalanche of products for planners. Companies that had previously experimented with the market dived head long in and companies that had yet to enter the market dipped their toes in. Ranger, which markets itself mostly as a mixed media company, added a planner to its Dylusions line by Dyan Reavely. The trend’s influence is visible even in lines not being explicitly sold as “planner” products, as “planner friendly” products like small stickers and washi tape are being seen more in papercrafts lines.

Below: Dylusions by Dyan Reavely Creative Dyary.

Creativation Trends -Dylusions planner

Flocks of Flamingoes

We started to see the flamingoes pop up in last summer’s beach and tropical themed lines, but this summer scrapbooking is being invaded by entire flocks of flamingoes. There’s stamps, dies, patterned papers, stickers – almost anything you can imagine has a flamingo on it! Echo Park, Crate Paper, and Spellbinders are just a handful of the industry names that are going to the (pink) birds for 2017.

Below: Lawn Fawn “Baby Flamingo” clear stamps

Creativation Trends -Lawn Fawn Flamingo stamps

Emojis

They’re not just for for internet hipsters anymore – emojis are cool for everyone. And with emojis making their way into the home decor and fashion markets, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing them in the crafts market. They’ve popped up in a few places in the past, but at Creativation they were much more noticeable. DCWV was prominently displaying a set of icons for its new letterboard, and Simple Stories introduced an entire emoji-inspired collection called “Emoji Love”.

Below: Simple Stories “Emoji Love” clear stickers

Creativation Trends -Simple Stories Emoji Love

Americana/Farmhouse

We usually see patriotic lines released late spring for the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays. But this year they reflect a new trend showing itself in home decor and fashion: Americana/Farmhouse. While Americana is red, white and blue like its patriotic themed counterparts, there are some key differences. Patriotic themed design is centered around red and white stripes and white stars on a navy background. But in Americana theme, the designs include those elements along with things like flowers, cows (or buffalos), bandana print, and other so-called “country” graphics.

Below: Pink Paislee “Sweet Freedom”

Creativation Trends -Pink Paislee Sweet Freedom Samples

Everything Old is New Again

Trends in the crafts industry tend to be cyclical, both in the sense of what craft is popular at a given time, and also in style trends. We’re seeing a real avalanche of trends and products this year that harken back to the industry’s early days. Hand lettering, foam stamps, rub-ons, cute animal characters, and the dominance of pens were among just a few of of the things on the Creativation show floor making me wonder if I’d time traveled to the early days of the 21st century again.

Below: Tim Holtz idea-ology Tag Press

Creativation Trends -Tim Holtz tag maker

Foam Stamps

One of the “old is new” products currently growing in market presence are foam stamps. Back in the early days of the scrapbooking boom, foam stamps were one of the commonly available supplies to scrapbookers since the stamps were already on the market for use in painting and home decor. Making Memories in its hey day of being a trendsetter even made some specifically for the scrapbooking market, including popular alphabets. They were loved for their affordability, but fell in popularity when the market began to be infatuated with affordable clear stamps.

With the rise of mixed media and increasing use of paint in papercrafting, foam stamps – designed for use with paints – have been creeping back into the market again. Prima launched some a few years ago. Last year, mixed media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer launched a line of foam stamps with Canadian company Art Foamies, and Heidi Swapp launched foam stamps in her line as well. Creativation saw more releases, including from Tim Holtz’s idea-ology line.

Below: Tim Holtz idea-ology Cling Foam Stamps

Creativation Trends -Tim Holtz idea-ology Foam Stamps

Hand Drawn Lettering

Another blast from the past that is rapidly gaining in popularity is the art of hand drawn lettering. This look was so popular in the early days of the industry that its popularity gave us the designer who is one of the biggest names in today’s industry, Becky Higgins. Partially driven today by the popularity of Bible journaling, this resurgent trend is spawning books, pens, stencils and even stamps to fake the look of hand done art.

Below: Tammy Tutterow collection by Spellbinders

Creativation Trends -Spellbinders Tammy Tutterow booth samples

Letter Boards

Retro looks and signage have been very popular lately, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before the letter board came back. These old style boards that could have letters or words anchored in their crevices were popular before that age of computer signage. Now they are back courtesy of craft industry brands like Heidi Swapp and DCWV.

.Below: Heidi Swapp Letterboard

Creativation Trends - Heidi Swapp Letterboard

Butterflies

It’s not uncommon to see a sprinkling of butterflies this time of year, but this year we are seeing hordes of colorful ones. Butterflies are being used in overall designs on patterned paper from One Canoe Two and Maggie Holmes, along with on many embellishments. This versatile trend covers themes from spring to little girl to nature.

Below: One Canoe Two “Hazelwood – Flock” patterned paper.

Creativation Trends - One Canoe Two Hazelwood Butterfly paper

Mixed Media

The past few years have seen the scrapbooking industry dominated by a trend toward “mixed media”. In case there was any question about whether mixed media was still going strong, two of the three new signature lines introduced by American Crafts at Creativation were mixed media lines: Jane Davenport and Vicki Boutin. Other companies such as Prima and Faber-Castell continued to expand their mixed media offerings, proving that they are still all in on this craft concept that combines various areas of the industry.

Below: Jane Davenport collection by American Crafts

Creativation Trends - Jane Davenport collection

Bible Journaling

It’s hard to believe that the launch of Bella Blvd’s “Illustrated Faith” brand with Shanna Noel was barely less than two years ago. Since then, Bible journaling has become a true force in the papercrafting industry, influencing the launch of mixed media products, stencils, stamp lines, and even a trend toward hand drawn lettering.

Below: Faber-Castell Bible Journaling Kit

Creativation Trends - Faber Castell Bible Journaling

What Creativation trends are your favorites? What trends did you see at the show?

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CHA Mega Show 2016 | Succulents are Hot!

The CHA Mega Show is a great place to distill scrapbooking trends and craft trends, with so much of the industry and its products in one place for the show. Walking the show floor, patterns and themes become easily apparent – trends!

One thing that kept popping up as I walked the floor of this year’s CHA Mega Show was succulents for crafts! This trend, an outgrowth of the general 1970’s trend in crafts, fashion, and home decor, started to manifest in 2015, but really became prevalent at this show.

Several companies were using real live succulents in their booth decor as a touch of green:

Webster's Pages planner display with succulents

Webster’s Pages planner display with succulents

Continue Reading →

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