Friday, April 22, 2011

Giftware News Goes to Giftionery Taipei!

Giftware News Associate Editor Amy Cavanaugh is currently attending Giftionery Taipei, the annual exhibition of gifts, stationery and other products. She's meeting with Asian companies and attending seminars to uncover new and notable products and anticipate trends for the coming year. This is the first blog post about what she found; look for products to appear in future Giftware News articles.
On Thursday, Giftionery Taipei held an afternoon of international seminars on design trends. The most compelling discussion, on what we can expect in the world of product design in the coming year, was led by Elaine Tam, product manager of WGSN, which predicts global design trends. Tam presented three different areas — Cinematic, Laboratory and Primal Futurism — which can be directly translated into gift stores through products or store displays.
• Cinematic is based on 1950s California style, so think vintage, tropical florals and summer shades. Turquoise is hot, and so is retro photography. The age of digital cameras isn't over, and iPhones feature apps like the Hipstamatic, which takes retro-inspired shots. 
Ways to incorporate this into your store: cool reproductions of vintage cameras (Diana and Holga cameras are huge right now), products with Hawaiian floral prints or tiki-inspired dining items and generally anything with a laid-back vibe.
• Laboratory is the intersection of art and technology, which Tam says is inspired by art galleries showcasing work in online blogs. Think punches of bright colors set against white backgrounds. 
Ways to incorporate this into your store: Look for gift items made of transparent materials, like glass, or bright designs printed on a neutral background. Geometric shapes are big, and you can find cool geometric-inspired jewelry to sell.
• Primal Futurism is a complicated way of saying something we've been including in sister magazine HomeFashion & Hospitality a lot lately -- rustic is chic. The trend features heavy forms that are made upscale and more contemporary for today's living. 
Ways to incorporate this into your store: Rustic doesn't just include furniture — think accent pieces like throw pillows in dark browns and greens, country-inspired products (look to our June issue for a round-up of new country items!) and animals prints.
WGSN predicts that we'll see all three of these trends in the coming year, so if you start including them in your stores, you'll be ahead of the curve!

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