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2015 News Flash – New Products

on January 4, 2015

news-flashBEvery year the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Conference & Trade Show is held in Anaheim, CA. It is the largest craft trade marketplace in the world.  Buyers and Exhibitors from all over the world come together for 5 days to learn new techniques and preview new products.  Anticipation runs high as the time approaches to see what’s going to be the trend for the coming year.

By now you may be asking how this applies to Close to My Heart? The answer is simple.  CTMH strives to provide the best scrapbooking/card making products available for their customers and to do that they must be current in their product line and in touch with what the customer is looking for when making purchases.  Tracey Ray a fellow CTMH Consultant has put together a brief summary of what we can expect to see this year in general for scrapbooking and card making. The great news is that Close To My Heart is on Trend with the world and an industry leader.

Planners

The Filofax is back – along with paper planners of all different varieties! What started as a niche movement of a few people getting creative in their planners with their scrapbook supplies (such as washi tape, stamps and pens), has turned into a full-fledged trend in the industry. Several paper crafting companies have come out with planner lines, including Simple Stories and Project Life.

An interesting aspect of this trend is that it overlaps with the pocket scrapbooking trend in many product areas. Both trends include date products, washi tape, and the use of small icons and alphabets. This allows companies to serve two trend markets with the production of one product line, and gives retailers two ways to serve customers with the products.

Smaller Albums

Consumers have been dabbling in shrinking album sizes for awhile now – think SNAP albums and We R Memory Keepers’ Insta albums – but what started as a fad is going mainstream. Many paper crafters are starting to use smaller albums, such as 8.5″ x 11″, as their primary album size for projects such as pocket scrapbooks, and 6×8 is becoming the new standard size for “mini” album projects.

School Collections

Products with school themes have traditionally been released in the fall, following the traditional “back to school” marketing calendar of mass market retailers. But manufacturers seem to be waking up to the fact that there is the largest demand for school collections at the end of the school year, to create retrospective albums, rather than at the beginning of the year when memories have yet to be created to record.

Adding school to the spring collection schedule also helps balance out the year’s releases for many companies, as the 3rd and 4th quarter are already very heavy with themes like Christmas, and Fall/Thanksgiving. Valentine’s Day, which was previously a CHA winter show release for most companies, has become shifted into the 4th quarter mid releases as well. Moving “school” to a spring release fills the hole left in the release calendar by the shifting of Valentine’s Day, alleviates the pressure on the 2nd half of the year’s release schedule, and better serves customers.

Vacation collections

The economy is coming back, and statistics show that more people are traveling. More people traveling means more people travel scrapbooking! At the height of the recession, travel scrapbooking lines all but disappeared, replaced by “staycation” products in some cases. But with travel on the rise, companies have been jumping back in to travel themed products again. Expect to see lots of camping themes, especially – a reflection of the retro camper fad.

Stars

Part of the retro graphic trend that has been hitting the industry lately, stars have become the random icon of choice for many designers. Look for them to show up in in paper designs as well as in every material imaginable: wood, epoxy, stamps,and dies.

Gold

Metallic gold has been everywhere in 2014, and that will continue (and grow) into 2015. Perhaps it is an unconscious desire by consumers to gilt up their lives after lean years in the recession, or a throwback to the metallic-infused 1980′s (or both). Whatever the reason, gold will continue to shine on in 2015 in everything from paper to albums to embellishments to inks.

Less Vintage

Out with the old…and in with the new. Vintage (especially shabby chic), which ruled the show only a few short years ago, has been gradually disappearing with the rise of the bright graphic look. The 2015 Mega Show looks to be the show where the tide turns completely, turning vintage into a style niche from the dominant aesthetic that it once was. This means that mass market companies that follow the trends instead of having a distinct signature style will likely be showing little to no vintage, leaving that remaining market to the designers that specialize in it (like Tim Holtz, Authentique, and Graphic 45).

The ongoing dominance of shabby chic design in the European market raises interesting business possibilities for U.S. companies as vintage declines in the U.S. market. The remaining U.S. vintage producers may look to Europe to expand their market base, and U.S. companies producing graphic style products may find themselves welcomed as a fresh alternative in Europe by consumers who are not shabby chic minded.

Typewriter Fonts

Vintage may be disappearing, but it’s leaving its typewriters behind. Apparently in our transition to graphic style design, we have become nostalgic for the 1980′s but not its signature early computer-era dot matrix fonts. So the typewriter font has come along in the transition as a bit of quirky funk in the mix. These fonts will continue to be especially popular in stamps for use with pocket scrapbooking projects, mimicking the trendy use of vintage typewriters to type on cards or create strips of text.

Everything old is new again…

Wait, didn’t she just say that vintage is out? I did. The old that is new again isn’t vintage – it’s old scrapbook trends. In 2015, we’re going to party like it’s 1999! Scrapbooking is starting to look an awful lot like it did when I first entered the industry in the late 1990′s, with a few updates to the trends this time around. Templates are back, along with pens. Rub-ons are experiencing a resurgence. Decorative cut edges are making a comeback. Trends are circular, and it looks like we’re almost back to the beginning. (Please, please, I’m begging you all – can we skip the depressing brown on brown on brown grunge phase next time around?)

Outline Alphabets

And finally, speaking of recycled trends, outlined alphabets are back! Whether created with stencils & pens, die cut machines, or stamps, this style of alphabet is becoming more and more visible as part of the return of old industry styles and the rise of retro graphic style. It’s a modern, clean look that is easy to produce for all skill levels, and which lends itself to a myriad of design possibilities with its open space. Expect to see more of it in 2015!

So what do you like about these new products? Which one(s) is your favorite? Leave a comment below no later than 11:59pm on Friday, January 9th and your name will be entered for a random door prize drawing!

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