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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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2018 Halloween Scrapbook Collection Round-Up!

Halloween is on the minds of many crafters already! Whether their preference is spooky and scary or cute and fun, scrapbookers will find plenty to love in this year’s Halloween releases.

2018 Halloween Scrapbook Paper Collection Round-Up

[Disclosure: Some links below are links to our advertisers or affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you when a purchase is made after a click.]

There’s been a lot of talk the past few years about the explosion of Halloween products in the scrapbooking industry. As holidays go, it’s probably the second most popular one to create scrapbooking products for. That said…for 2018 I’ve one been able to collect about half as many new Halloween paper releases as Christmas ones. This is a testament to both the runaway popularity of Christmas, and the fact that the Halloween “trend” may not be as ubiquitous as it seems. One factor limiting Halloween’s market, of course, is that it doesn’t have quite the international appeal of Christmas.

What are the trends for Halloween 2018?

The biggest trend visible this Halloween is the integration of purple and green as Halloween palette colors. The integration of these colors started with “alternative” Halloween collections entirely in purple and green, offered as alternatives to the traditional black and orange. This has now progressed to purple and green being mixed right in as part of the color palette of the black and orange.

American Crafts is betting that the “photo realistic” look is coming back. This look was popular in the early days of the scrapbook industry nearly two decades ago but hasn’t been widely seen in products in a long time. American Crafts’ new Halloween Photo Real paper pad is part of an 8 pad Photo Real collection. The company’s DCWV brand also appears to have included some “photo realistic” style paper designs in its Dark Fairytale paper pad. Is photo realistic back? It’s up to consumers to decide!

Vintage style is conspicuous in its almost complete absence from this years’ Halloween lines. Only three 2018 Halloween lines are arguably vintage in style. (Although we haven’t seen pictures yet, it’s a pretty safe bet that the new Tim Holtz idea-olgy release will qualify as vintage!) The presence of vintage style in the industry has been growing in the last year or so, but many of the brands traditionally associated with vintage in the industry (Prima, Graphic 45) don’t have Halloween releases so that influence looks less than it really is in the Halloween releases. Continue Reading →

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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 3: The Gardener

Welcome to the third and final installment of my series on the Creativeworld 2018 Trend Show! Today, we’ll be looking together at the trend identified by the Messe Frankfurt trend consultants as “the gardener”.

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

Each year, Creativeworld divides their Trend Show display into three themes. We’ve already looked at this year’s other themes – the purist and the colourist. The third style, the gardener, shares some things in common with the first two – and yet could not be more different.

Creativeworld Trend Show Gardener

Credit: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

This trend theme is exactly what its name sounds like – natural, organic, and raw. Displays on raw wood showed off lush green designs of leaves, natural icons like bugs and butterflies, and projects using natural materials in earth tones. Continue Reading →

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Update | Facebook, Instax, My Sweet Petunia, Jobs, and More!

Sneak Peeks. Creativation and Creativeworld will be here before we know it. Are you ready for some sneak peeks? Our 2018 Creativation Sneak Peeks page is now live!

AFCI 2018 Sneak Peeks Art

Retail. Working at Hobby Lobby lately seems to come with more than its fair share of the weird and wacky. First there was the horse that tried to go shopping in South Carolina. (Seriously. There’s video.) Then there was the North Dakota shoplifter who got caught because he got his cart stuck in the snow – and left his wallet behind when he fled. Unfortunately, it was no laughing matter when a North Little Rock employee of Hobby Lobby was assaulted yesterday by a fleeing shoplifter.

Closings. Two Chicks Designs, a popular source of scrapbooking and sewing themed t-shirts, is closing down this week after 15 years in business. The company retailed via their website and often exhibited at conventions as well.

Social Media. Facebook is cracking down on what it calls “engagement baiting” in an attempt to make newsfeeds less spammy. I strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with the new rules, as some of the tactics for improving reach that were formerly considered best practices will now get you designated as a spammer and removed from newsfeed distribution.

Facebook Engagement Baiting

[Disclosure: The following item contains an affiliate link that pays this site a commission at no cost to the reader if a purchase is made after a click.]

Subscriptions. Like everything else on the internet it seems, Craftsy has gone to a subscription model for access to its online classes. A new “Craftsy Unlimited” subscription costs $14.99 per month (or $120/year) in the U.S. Continue Reading →

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Update | Michaels, Studio Calico, Jared Leto, Sew Sweetness & More!

Dream Job. For many crafters, the dream job is to get a staff designer position where they get paid to craft to produce project samples all day. Find out from three of Cricut’s staff project designers how they got where they are, and what the job is really like in this fascinating behind the scenes article.

Sizzix Sew Sweetness Box Pouch

 

Designers. Sizzix used Quilt Market last month to announce the launch of their new collaboration with “Sew Sweetness” blogger Sara Lawson. Lawson’s three new Bigz L Dies, which retail for an MSRP of $29.99 each, will launch this month. The three new dies create a box pouch (pictured above), coin purse, or purse tabs. For more information, visit the Sizzix website.

Designers, part 2. Tammy Tutterow has announced a partnership with StencilGirl to make signature stencil designs. The initial release of 9 designs includes 7 two-step stencils that create layered designs such as flowers and plaid.

Exclusives. Joann Fabric & Crafts stores are getting four new exclusive kits to add to their large Project Life offerings. There’s “Lullaby”, a value kit available in boy and girl versions, as well as a recipe card value kit and matching album. There’s also an exclusive core kit called “Modern Wedding”.

Mixed Media. Designer Anna Dabrowska has announced that a selection of products from her popular Finnabair mixed media line made by Prima Marketing is hitting the shelves at Michaels Stores. The selection includes rust paste, patina paste, mixed media essentials, glitter, and more.

Trends. Slime is hot this summer and according to Adweek, the trend is paying off huge for craft brands like Michaels Stores and Elmers that have committed heavily to it. My own local Michaels store has an end cap right by the register area in the seasonal section containing gallon sized containers of Elmer’s along with all sorts of additives and other slime accessories.

Marketing. The wedding market is highly competitive, and content marketing continues to become more and more important. How important? Blogger network Aisle Society has just completed a successful $30,000 Kickstarter campaign to create an online tool to make submitting products and content to their more than 30 top wedding bloggers simpler and more streamlined for companies. The tool, called Matchology, will launch later this month, and cost $69.99 a year to use.

Equity. Kentucky-based Inked Brands – better known to most scrapbookers as Studio Calico – has raised $4 million in Series A equity funding. The equity was raised from BIP Capital, whose portfolio also includes companies like Tropical Smoothie, Huddle, and a variety of technology and health companies. Inked Brands was founded in 2007 by April Foster, and creates products for influencer brands such as Ali Edwards, A Beautiful Mess, Baby Boy Bakery, and Tom Kat Studio in addition to their in-house brand Studio Calico.

Equity, part 2. Digital education platform CreativeLive has raised $25 million in Series C funding from a combination of investors that include GSV Acceleration, Creative Artists Agency, Greylock Partners, Jared Leto, REV, Richard Branson, and Social Capital. (Now there’s a few names I thought this site would never have Google results for…) This raises to $58.8 million the company’s total funding. Part of the new funding will be used to extend CreativeLive more into the enterprise market.

Earnings. Michaels Stores will be reporting its first quarter earnings on Tuesday (June 6th) before market open, followed by a conference call at 8am central time. For information on how to take part in the conference call, visit the Michaels website.

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