Spielwarenmesse: The relaxing effect of creative products for both young & adults alike

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Erwachsener entspannt beim Malen


The relaxing effect of creative products for both young & adults alike

from Ulrich Texter

Bye bye, cyber world – hello, analogue world! Whether it's a matter of sewing, knitting, crocheting, stitching, felting or weaving, the craze for creative leisure activities continues unabated. And there's a whole slew of reasons for this. The creative and DIY trend represents one thing in particular: making things yourself is one way to express your self-sufficiency as well as your own individuality.

Just how highly the concept of "leisure" time is once again being regarded is clear when one compares Generation Y with Generation X. Whereas the performance-oriented Generation Y struggled to achieve a career with a good work-life balance, Generation Z would prefer a "work-life separation", privacy and a 9-to 5 job. The digital world is taken for granted by today's 25-year-olds, which is what makes them very different from the "digital natives" (Y), who had to "discover" the smartphone.

Switching off from time to time

The longing for simplicity and relaxation is what characterises the colouring-in trend with its sophisticated and naive motifs for both children and adults, which have simply fuelled the stationery market in recent years. In Germany, for example, the demand for painting and drawing articles has gone up by 80 per cent, according to the Handelsverband Büro- und Schreibkultur (Trade Association for Office Products and Stationery). The adult colouring-in trend, however, should by no means be regarded as a way of regressing to one's own childhood, manufacturer Staedtler emphasizes, but is an expression of people's creative urge. At the same time, the trend benefits people's sense of well-being. For children, however, painting means more than just that. The activity promotes their fine motor skills and creativity, as Oetinger Verlag discovered a few years ago. At this publishing company, the colouring-in book is now turning into a "colouring-in house".

"Creativity and individuality," says HBS Managing Director Thomas Grothkopp, "will remain a trend topic in 2017." This is confirmed by Claudia Förster, PR manager at Staedtler, which again achieved a record year in 2016. "Colouring-in books for adults are still a big thing for Staedtler." In October – just in time for the upcoming Insights-X – the company will be launching another book by English colouring-in book pioneer Joanna Basford.

And even an age-old topic is celebrating a revival: the mandala is making a comeback. On Staedtler's website, mandala fans can find free mandala colouring-in pages they can print off and colour in. They can also use the 'Creator' to create their own designs thus cleverly intertwining the digital and analogue worlds. With crayons, fine liners and accessories, Staedtler can provide precisely the right "tool".

STAEDTLER Mandala Creator

Written with love

The next trends for adults are already becoming evident: "Hand Lettering" and the "Bullet Journal". "Hand lettering" could be interpreted as being "the art of beautiful writing". Examples of decorative writing are ubiquitous on Instagram and Pinterest.

Pixel it by Faber-Castell
Faber-Castell: Pixel it

"Bullet journals" are notebooks that are evolving into personal organisers. The fact that "hand-lettering" could become the new "colouring-in for adults" is something of which Faber-Castell and Staedtler are convinced. But companies are also keeping a weather eye on the next generation. The "24 Colour Grip Pens with A4 Pixel-it Colouring-in Book" set from Faber-Castell also gets to grips with the issue of digitisation in the analogue world. The highlight of this book is that, at first, you can't even guess what picture will come to light when the individual parts of the picture are coloured in. And when the colouring-in book has been completed, children can download new images from a microsite.

Particularly attractive and perfect for every child's birthday party is the new three metre long self-adhesive colouring-in roll, which can easily be removed from the wall after use. It can be coloured in using coloured pencils, felt-tipped pens, wax crayons, stamps and watercolours – everything possible. Stabilo offers colouring-in beginners a wealth of motley-hued artistic fun with "My First Painting Set". The 78-page book contains the most beautiful pictures from best-selling colouring-in books for children's from publisher arsEdition.

Everything's so wonderfully colourful here!

The colour spectrum of coloured pencils and paints sets is continually being expanded – for example, with neon and pastel tones or additional colours. Examples include the new Artista creative series by Carletto, painting by numbers from Ravensburger, and the Triplus set from Staedtler.

Brilliant Colours Fineliner by Staedtler
Staedtler: Brilliant Colours

The Artista "Gel Pens" set offers children 8 glittery metallic and neon gel pens, on top of the templates. The same applies to Ravensburger, whose "painting by numbers" range now comes with luminous colours, so that the finished pictures glow in children's bedrooms at night. The sets contain a canvass, acrylic and fluorescent paints as well as a frame. With 42 colours, Staedtler has always offered one of the widest colour palettes. Now the Nuremberg-based company is adding more colours to their ranges: its 'triplus color' felt-tipped pens and its 'triplus fineliner' series have had 16 and 6 new colours added to them respectively.

There's also something in this year's range for parents who want to keep their couch mess-free. Vivid is presenting "Color Wonder" under the umbrella of its Crayola brand, which promises a creative and, at the same time, clean artistic experience. The ColorWonder pencils, which are initially colourless, are used on special paper, and it is only on this paper that the actual colour is revealed.

As the range of articles shows, painting and colouring-in are activities that are not just popular with children and adults. They also demonstrate that innovations are still possible in such a traditional toy segment

Trends and new products for paper, office supplies and stationery. Visit the Insights-X, your stationery expo in Nuremberg from 05 - 08 October 2017. Buy tickets now!


Author of this article:

Ulrich Texter

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