We are living in an age of digital communication and automation. Smartphones, social media and instant messaging apps are now some of the most common methods of speaking to one another. Because of this, written communication has effectively been killed off. This is not necessarily unnatural; communication changes every few generations as technology advances. Carrier pigeons once replaced smoke signals, and carrier pigeons later found themselves replaced by the postal service. It is a part of our evolution. Communication is about survival of the fittest.
Why is it, then, that stationary supplies, like the ones available from Duralon, are selling just as well in 2017 as they did in 2007, or even 1997? In the next few years, the stationary market is not merely expected to stay on an even course; it is set to grow by it up £50m. People are predicted to spend upwards of £2.1 billion in stationary by the end of the century. These are the kind of figures you would expect to see of a growing digital corporation or from consumer technology. They are not what one would expect from paper, chalk, adhesive tape or drawing pins.
Most people would expect that millennials have killed off stationary in the very same way that they have killed off, well, almost everything else from the analogue world. However, consumer trends indicate that millenials are actually one of the largest demographics purchasing stationary supplies. Market research shows that the most popular age range buying greeting cards, for example, are 16 to 24 year olds.
One theory for this is that digital communication is not, actually, killing off written communication. Rather, it is making people more appreciative of it. Take, for instance, Facebook’s automating system and its ability to notify you of your friends’ birthdays. A friend will receive hundreds of digital birthday greetings on Facebook because of this – even from people they have not communicated with in years. Therefore, if you want to do something special for a friend, if you do not want to be just another person on their wall wishing them a special day, you could write a birthday card. The tangible, physical nature of it makes it more real than a digital message.
It is also worth remembering that digital media isn’t especially cool just because it is commonplace. Many people in their 20s are reverting back to analogue technologies because their retro, vintage nature stands out in the digital era. Paperback books have seen an enormous new wave of popularity in 2017, outselling eBooks for the first time in years, for precisely this reason. Furthermore, you can see a similar trend with vinyl records and 35mm film screenings. This effect has also contributed to the stationary boom. Handwritten letters, physical notes, diaries; all of these things have a vintage cool. They stand out in an era where everyone has a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop