Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Man's View on Stationery

Masculine Stationery

These two words are rarely said together. I don’t understand why it is that most stationery products are created for a primarily female market, but they are. Now don’t get me wrong, I find all kinds of designs, color combinations and artistic styles beautiful. You’re just never going to see me walking the show floor with a bright pink and baby blue notebook. Instead, I’ll be carrying a yellow legal pad or plain spiral notebook; that seems to be my only other option.

That is why I am really excited to see that there are a few new companies out there that are in some way catering to me and my half of the species. “Big Fat Black Cat” is a brand new exhibitor at the Show and I am really looking forward to stopping by their booth to check them out. They registered to exhibit in my first week of working for GLM and I was drawn in by their vibrant colors and fringe style. I think that it also gave me a nostalgic feeling for the CD cover artwork of the Swing revival of the late ‘90s.

Coffin Skull Print from “Big Fat Black Cat”

“ManCards for the Thoughtful Gent” is another company that will be exhibiting at The National Stationery Show. Their products have a decidedly masculine bent. Their basic and elegant style appeals to a desire for simplicity inherent in most men. With mellow, cool colors their note cards lend a feeling of serenity and peace to an occasion. It’s the kind of card that I wouldn’t feel weird displaying on my bookshelf. And, they are packaged in a really cool metal tin.

Green Note Card from “ManCards for the Thoughtful Gent”

So here’s the insider information about how most men shop for greeting cards. We wait until the last second. I consider myself to be a very thoughtful guy and generally I plan ahead, but I will freely admit that I almost always buy greeting cards on my way home from work, on the day of the event.

Since we buy so last minute, we tend not to buy cards online (we don’t plan that far ahead when it comes to these situations). Most of us buy them either at a store in or near our office building, or wherever it is most convenient; the grocery store, drug store, hardware store, etc.

I believe that there is a huge untapped market out there. I know that the common belief is that men do not buy social stationery, but like the famous line from a movie the man in your life is sure to have seen, “If you design it, they will come.” I know I would.

- Aaron


  1. Very interesting! I personally have always liked this card from Vera Wang for men: It just seems woodsy and masculine :)

  2. Great post, as a stationery rep it is one of the questions I'm asked the most: Do you have any great cards for guys?

    Will definitely refer some of my buyers to these two companies!

  3. One of the biggest hurdles in selling stationery to men is that many men are uncomfortable with sentimentality. As a greeting card company with a strong male customer base (over 50%), I see that humor--specifically, irreverent humor--helps to overcome this hurdle.

    Andrew Shaffer
    Order of St. Nick
    Booth #1856

  4. I have found stationery for males at They had all types of designs that can be used on notepads, invitations, stationery, etc.