Beth Vickers provides her insight on what the future of stationery in a digital world might hold in our latest Guest Blog article.
We can trace caves paintings back 40,000 years in Borneo.
The first paper known to man was discovered in Egypt and is from around 2900 B.C.
The first commercially successful ballpoint pen was patented by László Bíró in 1938.
Our interest in documenting history and knowledge clearly has a long and varied history, yet the pen that we know today is less than 100 years old.
Most notably, recent technological developments have led to the use of digital documents.
The Advent of the Paperless Office
A paperless office (or paper-free office) is a work environment such as where the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced.
This is achieved by converting documents and other paper-based notation into a digital format.
The driver of this is predominantly to reduce environmental impact, save money and to increase the efficiency when sharing and collaborating on documents.
Despite this shift towards paperless systems, stationery still plays a huge role in our working lives.
Outside of offices there are large number of people who use paper-based methods as access to computer systems is either unsuitable for the work environment or investment in new equipment does not provide a suitable cost-benefit.
As long as we’re still writing and printing on paper, we will need to keep our stationery cupboards full.
The UK stationery is predicted to increase to £2.1 billion by 2021.
The upward trends are thanks to consumers choosing to purchase more premium stationery products, the purchase of stationery as gifts and personalization of stationery.
Why Is Stationery Still Used in an Ever-Growing Digital World?
The modern office and economy utilises new technology and innovations, often investing in the digital world.
One prime example (no pun intended!) is the rise of Amazon and online stores.
Many shoppers choose to order products online, a trend that is only increasing and that is likely to keep doing so.
More often than not, each parcel includes delivery stickers for name and address, packaging, printed delivery notes inside the parcel and on some occasions a pre-printed returns label that may not even be used.
It just takes one power cut or virus and your computers can be out of action.
Recently, we had a power outage that affected the whole industrial park.
Lasting around four hours, a substantial impact was had on local businesses.
Another worry is battery life on mobile devices.
Many people still use a hard copy of a diary, print their boarding passes for flights and opt for a physical ticket for an event.
Imagine waiting to board your flight and your phone runs out of battery.
You’d not only miss your flight but would have to find an alternative means home!
Stationery Innovations for the Future
It’s likely that as the digital world evolves, stationers are going to develop their product ranges to accommodate for a broad audience.
Digital products that merge traditional stationery are becoming more popular.
Rocketbook is a product that digitizes hand-written notes from a notebook directly to your tablet.
The user gets the benefit of digital notes available anywhere, at any-time, with the ease of taking hand-written notes and drawings that are difficult to achieve with a PC or Laptop.
Another example of technology that combines analogue with digital is the Moleskine Smart Writing set.
Again, this product digitizes notes so that they can be easily archived and stored, but still uses pen and paper to capture the notes in the first instance.
What’s Next for the Future of Stationery?
We can’t be certain as to what might be around the corner relating to the future of stationery, but one thing’s for sure – the industry is growing.
Traditional stationery looks like it’s going to be here for a long time, especially within the gift and luxury sectors.
Through advances in technology we are likely to see new products entering the market, aiming to make our lives more effective and efficient.
We’ll have to wait and see as to what’s on the shelf in your stationers in the years to come.
This article has been kindly provided by Beth from The Cleaning Collective, an online one stop shop for domestic and commercial cleaning products