Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trends to Watch

As I walked the floor of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) mega show last week, I kept my eyes peeled. 

Not only did I want to see the new products that were being released but I also wanted to see where the industry was headed in terms of trends. And to see which trends from last year might be on their last legs. 

Of course it often seems like the pendulum always swings, so I never really count any trend as down for the count.

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In no particular order, this is what popped out to me at the show...

--Brights: Bright colors were everywhere, from scrapbook paper to planners. Vivid and bold colors in both pastel and jewel tones were in evidence.

--Letters: A very popular theme at the show was the use of text as a design element. Large bold letters were frequently seen not only in product but in booth design as well, where too many booths to count used marquee-style letters (with and without light bulbs) to spell out their company names.

--Watercolors: A number of companies highlighted a watercolor look in their papers and/or other products.

--Planners: The newest incarnation of the scrapbook are planner-style books, complete with dated pages and to-do lists but with the addition of art-filled pages as well.

--Metallics and Iridescents: One of my personal favorite trends from the show, metallic and iridescent could be found in paints, sprays, markers, paper and more.

--Stencils: The stencil trend from last year continues unabated, with more and more companies dipping into the stencil pool.

--Mixed Media: Mixed media was everywhere and it seems like more and more companies that have been traditionally based in the scrapbooking-arm of the market have fully embraced mixed media products including paint, texture mediums, and the like.


In terms of trends losing steam, I noticed the following...

--Vintage: The vintage style continues to dwindle, which seemed to me to be a very polarizing occurrence. While many people I asked about this cheered, an equal number mourned.

--Washi Tape: While still available, washi tape was not evident in abundance as it had recently been.

--Chalkboard: Last year it seemed like a majority of companies were embracing chalkboard products. At the 2015 show there was definitely less to be found.

--Rub-ons: Not sure that anybody would have said these were a trend last year, but they are a personal favorite of mine. I hunted and hunted for rub-ons, but in the end saw relatively few.


In terms of buzz...

--I asked many of my colleagues which product(s) stood out to them and seemed to generate the most buzz at the show. Unfortunately, person after person had a hard time with this question and noted that there seemed to be less innovation and excitement in the releases this year.



Am I missing something...

--If you were at the show or have noticed any trends in your local shops or online, please share them here in the comments. I am curious as to what others have seen.

44 comments:

Sharon W. said...

Thanks for your observations. I am sorry to hear that there seem to be few innovations,at least at first glance. Personally, I am noticing a decline in original ideas in magazine contents and even workshop offerings. Magazines are costing upwards of $20, and publishers have no problem introducing new titles, but the contents are remarkable repetitive. Three successive issues of a single title proved indistinguishable from each other, and in some cases an ongoing series of articles were chopped up presentations of the same "master" article. It is all a blur of repetition, with an emphasis on "fast", "easy", "messy" as opposed to "precise" or "meticulous". As a result, I have bought no new titles in months. I was hoping for news of a new, exciting, inspiring ideas. PLEASE, Seth, look again!!!!!

elle said...

No rub ons??? :(

Maryanne said...

I have found on the blogs I follow and in books and magazines that there is a lot of repetitive content. The sneak peeks at some of the new things that companies were releasing at CHA were the same, new paints, new molding paste, new whatever. It was all the same product with a different designer's name on it. I think companies, like the population in general, are careful about spending their money and are going for the tried and true. But, one jar of modeling paste is much like another so how many can you buy?! Some trends I'm glad to see go, some not so much. Thanks for your insight, Seth. It's good to have a discerning eye on the scene to keep us informed of what's happening.

amy of four corners design said...

thanks for your insights Seth...I too am disappointed with lack of rub-ons...and if the demise of vintage means the end of the reproduction stuff in lieu of the real thing - that's fine by me! I only want to use the real thing...and will keep doing so in spite of the trendsetters...

Karenliz Henderson said...

No, you didn't miss anything. Although I was not there I was watching on the side lines through Facebook, blogs, etc. There was nothing that I saw that popped out at me and said buy me.

PocketSize said...

Thanks for sharing your findings, Seth! It's a shame that there's less innovation going on. Can't say I'm too excited by some of the upcoming design trends (bright colors are so not my thing) but having more metallic and iridescent media available is happy news! Can't say I'm sorry to see the chalkboard trend peter out. It's cute but way over done. But then I guess that's the problem with trends in the first place.

Rita Vindedzis said...

Thanks for this very informative post Seth. I like to keep up with the trends and what's current and would have loved to attend that show. Maybe someday. Happy to hear that 'watercolor' is in and 'text' also.

Terri Sproul said...

so nice spending time with you at the show. that Sandwich was special. I want to eat another one today, call me when you are in San Diego and I will take you to my favorite place here

Jeanne Tierno said...

Seth - I was there the last day and so sorry I did not run into you! I love that the metallic and iridescence products are staying - they are some of my favorites. I also fell completely in love with the Pebeo Fantasy paints. Next year, I plan on being there on Day 2!!!

Thanks for the update!

Jeanne

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Interesting post, Seth! I've been "attending" CHA via YouTube videos :) I agree with you about the watercolor look. It's blossoming across the board in the craft world. The planner trend is enormous and cool. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi Seth! I got very little time outside the Spellbinders booth but what I did notice was some popularity in techniques/products that I haven't seen in awhile.
I think Gold Leafing is gaining popularity again....which feeds into your metallic reference!
I was so surprised to see shaker boxes on cards....feeding into the sequin popularity.
Love reading your insight!
Kim Hupke

Veronica Funk said...

Of course I'm excited about the bright colours! And I do find that I tend to use the same materials in any case, just in a different manner for different projects. But it would have been interesting to see something new.

Seth said...

Hey Kim. Gold leafing. Yes. Foil in general was big. Thanks for adding that to the list. Seth

Cindy J said...

Attended only by remote Ustreams and Youtubes, but I noticed more and more manufacturers coming out with their own dies now too…dies seemed to be everywhere.

Cindy J said...

PS Really enjoyed reading your article!!! Rude of me not to mention that first :-)

Kathi said...

Thank you for sharing all your photos and your trend report.

I'm a bit sad that you think the Vintage trend is ebbing a bit.

I'm very sad that you couldn't find many rub-ons. I love them and my supply of them and of transfer type is rapidly dwindling.

I am happy that metallics and iridescent are on trend. It's also good to see that mixed media is spreading even further.

Janet Hickey said...

Seth, I appreciate reading your insight on CHA. Luckily (I think) I'm a supply junky and have a lot of the upcoming supplies already on hand (specifically some semi-vintage gold leaf). I'll keep the things that are on their way out until they come back around again;) Thanks for taking us on your adventures. Looking forward to seeing you in Saluda.

jinxxxygirl said...

Thanks so much Seth. I like to keep the trends in my peripheral vision but i usually just go with what i like. Trends Schmends i say... lol They always all come back around again... well most of them anyway.. I value your opinion so thank you again for sharing.
Hugs! deb

Ro Bruhn said...

Great news Seth that colour is in, it's about time. Thanks for your insight into the future art trends.

Lynne suprock said...

Loved your synopsis Seth. Thank you.

bobbie said...

Thanks for your observations, Seth. I've been following on blogs, etc., and I've been very disappointed. One company I love has one one set of papers that I'm drooling for, and a favorite designer's releases leave me with only a "blah" or "BT,DT" feeling.
In talking with the head of the scrapbooking dept. at our regional chain, she said she has seen a HUGE decline in SB products being ordered by corporate.
Sad.

trish quilty said...

Thanks Seth for reporting on the current trends and/or disinterest in other art supplies. I too have noticed the magazines are repetitive and recycling old articles from their other magazines. Glad to hear the metallic spread I just did for a Round robin challenge is "in". I also do vintage but use real items, not what is bought in stamp stores.

Linda Ledbetter said...

I have to agree- I didn't see much in the way of innovation this year. Wendy Vecchi showed a very cool faux enamel technique, and I'm excited about the emergence of personal planners in the crafting world, but as far as amazing new products...? ENot so much. There sure is a huge variety of die cutting machines on the market, though. HUGE! ;-)

Nathalie Kalbach said...

Loved your article- spot on about the trends and what was out there. I linked it in mine where I just think a bit of what I really wanted to see ...and ....not really did see ;) Thank you Seth!

JackieP Neal said...

I'm with Jinxygirl- trends-schmends!
I know what I like and I like what I know! am glad to hear about the chalkboard stuff- never got into that!
As far as the repo vintage going! Yay! I have enough real to last a lifetime and it wears so well! And for metallics? I have always and will always be on the bus with them- love em- can't live without em! They make me feel glittery! heehee
Thank you so much for your insight- awesome post and comments! Cheers! ")

Carol said...

Great review, thanks Seth! Interesting to hear your thoughts. I'm pleased about the metallics and irridescents, and I do like to use real vintage if I can. Also enjoyed your readers' comments...

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I like to wander through aisles of craft supplies, but in the end, found papers, items from nature and papers I alter myself will be my main stay. I do like tools that make things easier to do like a good paper punch punch or adhesive. I recently received spray walnut ink. Have you tried it?

Sharon S. Newby said...

Hi Seth,

Lovely and informative review for those of us that are unable to attend CHA. Thank you! I liked what I have seen of Rebekiah's sewing products. Can't wait to do more things with my hands and her new product line looks amazing.

Susan said...

Your observations were right on the money. My group was very disappointed that the show felt less energetic than years past. One thing i would add to your list, and am hoping to see more porducts like it, were the spray paints made from sugarcane! I think it was called sugar. They were exciting to me since i love a more "organic" product and the color palette was great.
Thanks for your insight!

Anonymous said...

I thought that the Fuse by We Are Memory Keepers was an Innovative Product. You didn't mention about the Project Life approach to memory keeping. Staying or going!

Ri Pal said...

Thanks Seth for posting your insights about CHA. While I wan't there I have been following through posts by various artists and haven't seen many products that are new. Although some companies are releasing products under a new artist's label I'm holding off buying until I hear that they work better than the brands I currently use. I am waiting for the release of some new stencils and stamps. I've been having a hard time finding rub ons which is disappointing. Can't wait to see you at camp in March. Big hugs! Maria Palazzo.

Marjolaine said...

I noticed an overwhelming amount of bling...more than I could handle! The one thing I'm really excited about is using textile in my mixed media. That seems to be emerging in a really fun way but it was only evident at a few booths. I'll have to stock up on rub-ons before they disappear!

Kay Wallace said...

I would personally hate to see vintage elements and rub-ons (as well as washi tape) disappear from the shelves of the stores I haunt! But, that said, at the age of 71, I am thinking of downsizing my "stash" a bit and buying fewer of what was once considered "must haves." How much spray ink can I actually use in the next 10 years??? Everyone I know who went to CHA this year seems just a smidge disappointed with upcoming products. That just tells me I need to stick with my tried-and-true elements for now!

~*~Patty S said...

Having never been to CHA I really enjoy reading your take Seth.
Thank you for sharing.
Have a great weekend!
oxo

Linda Donnelly said...

Is steampunk on the way out? I still love it with the metallic paints and the grunge look for my mixed media journals and pieces.

Jo Murray said...

Interesting thoughts Seth. Never being one to follow trends I'm not perturbed by the popularity or decline of various techniques and products. Rub-ons tho' are a fave of mine and I'm sorry to see them fading away.

lindagiesemakesart said...

I love rub ons....had a hard time finding them in the stores too. Great article and comments...kept my attention..thanks!

Julie McGuffee said...

Hi Seth, one of these days we'll get to meet. Enjoyed your post. I just posted 300+ photos on my blog (juliemcguffee.blogspot.com) but no comments... I saw that foiling is back (Heidi Swapp and Thermoweb) and bling is in... loving the little lights (Liteseeds by Jill MacKay and others). Rubons! Still love those. My first licensed designs were for rubons for scrapbooking with Chartpak. Still a great product! I did see peel off stickers at Elizabeth Crafts and Mark Richards USA. What I didn't see was a booth that didn't have their own dies!!! After 25 years of Winter and Summer shows, I'm still waiting to see something new and innovative. Seems like we're recylcling old product and old ideas, but I guess it's new to a lot of people - just have to remember that :)

Carolyn Dube said...

Thank you for sharing your CHA experiences - interesting to hear an overall opinion on it. I've seen lots of blog posts about a specific company sharing their new products but yours is the first I've seen with such a great overall recap!

Gaby Bee said...

Thanks you for your informative review Seth, for those who couldn't attend at the CHA. I loved reading your article about the trends.

Greetings from Germany,
Gaby

Michael Trent said...

Hey Seth. Was watching a lot of videos and blogs too from CHA and was blown away by the number of companies doing "Planners".

We are so attached to our apps, devices, and online calendars, that it is interesting to notice a sort of reverse trend of going back to a paper planner. At least all those empty filofax binders I have will soon be used again. LOL

Michael

mark gould said...

Thanks for the response, Ill keep my eyes peeled and will check out the retreat

Frances said...

Really enjoyed your take on things Seth and all this great feedback here too in the comments. Very helpful information. What about Gelatos and gelli printing? Just wondering about that. I haven't tried it but don't want to invest in it if it is on the way out. What about colouring tools such as Copics??? Any comments. Thanks.

Sandra Evertson said...

Hi Seth,
I'd like to invited you to the Prima Marketing Inc booth at the next Winter CHA 2016 to review my new line of resin craft blanks called RELICS & ARTIFACTS by Sandra Evertson, we'd love to have you!
Thanks so much!