Writing still means culture: PSI 2018 to showcase paper, office and stationery trends

27 Nov 2017

Stationery products are the most popular promotional items of all – say 40 per cent of Germans. And Germany isn’t the only country where pens are preferred to all other promotional products. They also lead the Top 10 of most coveted promotional products in Canada, the UK, France and Australia.  Notebooks, calendars and Co. are perennial favourites, too. Promotional products distributors, consultants and agencies interested in getting an idea of the paper, office and stationery selection in the promotional merchandise landscape will find a comprehensive overview at PSI, the Leading European Trade Show of the Promotional Products Industry taking place in Düsseldorf from 9 to 11 January 2018.

Analogue? Digital? Both!

Soberly defined simply as thin, elongated writing implements with a lead or reservoir core, the category explodes at PSI with almost infinite variety. From classics like ballpoint pens, fountain pens, pencils and crayons to modern styluses, manufacturers of writing instruments use PSI to present the trends their customers can look forward to. New deployment and finishing options will be introduced at the trade show, as well, since the final step of applying promotional labelling holds particularly high innovative potential, says Alexander Ullmann, the managing director of uma Schreibgeräte : “More and more, the focus of our work is less on reinventing writing implements over and over again but on pointing out new, innovative deployment opportunities for positive promotions.”

Some of those innovative deployment opportunities exist in the digital world. The combination of analogue and digital represents an ongoing trend; illustrating it at PSI will be, among others, STAEDTLER Mars with their brand-new product Noris digital: “Our declared goal is to create a balance between analogue and digital, to combine the advantages of both worlds in order to make it easier for users to work in the modern world”, explains Oliver Leykam, the head of sales at STAEDTLER Promotional Products. To that end, the company developed the Noris digital in cooperation with Wacom and Samsung. Outwardly resembling a pencil, the resulting product contains a digital heart on the inside. “Innovations play an important role in the stationery business”, confirms the managing director of Schwan-STABILO , Harry Saffer. “The focus needs to be on the design and functionality of the products as well as on current trends.”

Counter-trend to digitalisation

Highlighters in pastel colours from the Schwan-STABILO assortment serve as a trend-setting example for how to put a new spin on a classic product – because new technologies aren’t always required. Rather, the industry is keeping an eye on the increasing momentum toward analogue writing and drawing that runs parallel to digitalisation. Underscoring this point is the huge colouring book trend, which has beguiled adults, in particular, over the last two years. According to Harry Saffer, hand lettering, which refers to the art of creating beautiful letters, and bullet journaling, i.e. the creation of individualised calendars, are trending very strongly these days.

Alexander Ullmann seconds the notion of a counter-trend to digitalisation: “Generally speaking, we benefit from the fact that there are almost no limits left in digital while simple, analogue writing receives unexpected appreciation. Writing is again perceived as a cultured act – a trend we view very positively.” Therefore, he says, the supreme duty of manufacturers is to make long-lasting writing and advertising tools.

Sustainable drawing

Analogue drawing and writing are also deployed in the context of campaigns and initiatives. STAEDTLER Mars, for instance, has created an initiative dubbed “Take your break: Colouring as a creative break at work” to help people cope with stress. “Colouring can be integrated into the work routine as a creative break very easily and with relatively little effort. It has been shown to help people relax quickly and efficiently”, explains Oliver Leykam. Long-term, the company aims at establishing a new, efficient building block of health promotion at the workplace. With the initiative, it’s seizing upon the growing importance of sustainability in the promotional products industry. PSI Sustainability Award winner STABILO emphasises similar core themes. The company has championed sustainability for years. “We’re convinced that promotional products sustainability is an issue that will gain more and more momentum and grow in significance”, says Harry Saffer. STABILO, which got its start in the promotional products industry way back in the 1930s already, now supplies every industry with promotional writing instruments, including the 100% sustainable STABILO GREENline product range.

Key industry players at PSI 2018

Additional trends and new products from the stationery sector will be presented at PSI 2018 by such key players as Senator, Pelikan and, returning after a break, Klio-Eterna. And by Ritter-Pen, A.W. Faber-Castell, Schneider Schreibgeräte, Burger pen and the stationery and stamp specialist Heri-Rigoni will present their innovations at the promotional products show, too..

Visitors on the hunt for promotional products to write on will find them at the stands of Lediberg, Geiger-Notes, Moleskine and Myrix. Among others, WALZ and Kalenderteam 365 will offer their product highlights from the calendar segment. “The promotional products market is our market. We’ve know it for more than 25 years, with its linkages, requirements and problems”, says Kalenderteam 365 managing director Thomas Hertranft. He’s already looking forward to taking part in PSI 2018: “PSI is the right platform for us, because this is where we meet our customers in our role as a manufacturer and procurement specialist. This is where we can discuss product ideas, market demands and requests in a face-to-face setting.”

For press enquiries, please contact:
Dr. Mike Seidensticker
Press Spokesman

Olesja Kehler
Press Officer

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