Last updateThu, 26 May 2022 11am

Paperworld 2019: Flexible working and elegant style dominate Office and Stationery

Paperworld has its finger on the pulse with its range of products for the office and stationery segments, as well as its comprehensive complementary programme. At the end of January, the world’s largest trade fair for paper, office supplies and stationery products presented new themes and trends for the coming business season, focusing on flexibility and elegant chic.

In the office segment, it was all about flexible working, with intelligent solutions that make a link between modern working methods, digitisation and the office world of today. The stationery trends provide elegant styles and closeness to nature. Whilst megatrends, such as urbanisation and digitisation, continue to drive the tempo in working and everyday life, contemporary design approaches offer many sources of inspiration for personalised oases. The focus here is on harmonious colour worlds, natural materials and a touch of glamour.

The visionary office: a focus on flexible working
Flexibility is the magic word when it comes to contemporary working environments. And the exhibitors at Paperworld 2019 clearly showed that the future has already begun. Multifunctional furniture and work equipment make it possible to construct 'pop-up offices' quickly and easily. "It’s an open secret that innovation cycles have become shorter. In principle, people can no longer spend weeks on planning and setting up office spaces and project areas", says Burkhard Remmers, speaking for the office furniture manufacturer Wilkhahn. Instead, it is about encouraging employees to create the required spaces themselves according to what they need.
"On the one hand, this new flexibility facilitates contemporary working with agile methods and changing teams. On the other, it promotes people’s identification with change processes when they design their own environments", Burkhard Remmers explains.
With solutions like this, one and the same conference table can become a round table, a standing table, a room divider or a notice board. Whiteboards that are hinged or can be extended as needed function as a temporary wall and a creative instrument. Fully equipped, foldable tables can be constructed effortlessly and stowed away to save space. In addition, powerful, rechargeable floor lamps bring independence from the existing infrastructure. Modern acoustic systems and mobile indoor air purifiers create the important conditions for a healthy environment.

Digitisation also remains a big theme in the paper, office supplies and stationery sector. Here, impulses are coming from areas that tended to be analogue up to now, for example, with the first App-controlled stamp which allows people to configurate their own themes. There are numerous solutions for relaxed working and travelling when out and about. These range from mobile filing systems which become the 'smallest complete office in the world', to ingenious help with 'cable spaghetti', and mini reading glasses that can be stuck to a place where they don’t get forgotten – on a notebook or smartphone. The trend is clearly towards future-orientated solutions with greater functionality and elegant features. This means that the managers’ office will be furnished in a discreet style and dark colours next season. Reduction is the keyword. It is here that dark blue, green and ochre shades, together with natural materials, increasingly convey a style that combines an elemental, rustic and handcrafted look with an exclusive standard of design. In addition to crisp genuine leather and felt, cork stands out as an attractive and tactile material. Cases, bags and desk accessories organise laptops, tablets, smartphones, notebooks and documents, and their handcrafted aspects give the style a certain down-to-earth feel in a highly digitised environment.

The stationery trends: geometric designs and an elegant sheen
This year, retailers can fall back on a number of different trends: simple elegance and opulent chic are not mutually exclusive. Whether it is fine dark colours in blue and green combined with shimmering gold, or light natural shades with silver highlights – both trends put the emphasis on urban chic and give the office an elegant touch. These colour trends are combined with sustainable products, natural materials, a reduced design and a touch of exclusivity. For the modern office or home office Paperworld showcases cork folders and calendars made from handmade paper, which require little water in their manufacture.

There is an increasing focus on the theme of sustainability. It is here that paper manufacturers, in particular, surprise visitors with partly unexpected raw materials. The innovations to be found at Paperworld included paper made from stone, apple leftovers and the fibres of cocoa bean pods. Katrin-Rössler-Ehlers knows that customers have high standards in this respect. At Rössler, she is responsible for product development, among other things, and she was awarded the sustainability prize by the Office Brands Industry Association for her cocoa paper range. "The themes of sustainability, origin and responsibility, and the history behind the products is becoming more and more important. Traditionally, we see sustainability as an integrated concept that encompasses everything from responsible raw material production to good working conditions. We know all of our employees and control all the quality assurance procedures ourselves. This builds confidence." These products are combined with light beige as well as pastel colours, which give the office an airy and simultaneously modern touch. The light colours of summer are moving into the office, whilst geometric motifs continue to be on trend, this time strongly influenced by art deco elements. At Paperworld, this style adorned notebooks, folders and accessories. "The clear trend towards delicate pastels and relaxed non-colours reflects the need for calm and naturalness. The highly subtle colours and materials have a soothing effect. They create a certain feel-good factor as a counterpoint to the speed and sensory overload in our urbanised world", says Katrin Rössler-Ehlers, Product Development & Marketing, Rössler GmbH & Co. KG.

In the home office and the private domain, primarily light colours create a relaxed feel-good atmosphere. And here as well, carefully considered materials convey a near-natural, elemental look. Setting the trend for this are cotton and linen effects on gift wrap, writing paper and notebooks. An elegant metallic sheen of rose gold, bronze and dark gold pervades all different styles and product areas, and this harmonises perfectly with the latest highly graphic patterns. The mix of metallic colours with fresh mint and pink is reminiscent of the 1920s. Iridescent surfaces in subtly balanced rainbow colours and silver tones shimmer all over the place. The various patterns and designs have a particularly powerful effect when, for example, they are continued in coloured edging on notebooks or in complete writing sets.


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