Our Top 10 New Products of the Year
This is the 4th Annual Bureau Stationery Awards and each year we chose our top products of the year. The only criteria is that they are new to our range during the past 12 months, and we vote on whatever basis we chose - price, value, style, function, innovation, cute-ness. Whatever we like in a product. The votes are then compiled and a winner's list announced. This year with so many more staff we extended the awards to a Top 10. So without further ado, here are the winners and runners-up.
Nos. 10 to 8
In 10th place was the useful-yet-fun smile clips from Ohto of Japan. Why clip papers together with boring old paperclips when these smiley faces will do the job for you?
In 9th place it was the Nuuna Glow in the Dark notebooks. Give them a good charge of natural light and flick the switch to watch it glow. Fun, but these are seriously nice notebooks as well.
In 8th place it was that old favourite, the Lamy Safari fountain pen. Why? Because this year's limited edition (sorry, special edition) colour was Neonlime. Now sold out sadly but look out for a new special edition colour in April 2016!
Nos. 7 to 6
Getting down towards the serious end of the voting, in 7th place was the fairly new arrival of Diamine Shimmer Ink. Ten colours of rather wonderful ink each with its own metallic shimmer inside.
In 6th place was another recent arrival - Maste washi tape from Mark's Tokyo Edge. This is an alternative brand of washi tape, and whilst it is a direct rival to our favourite MT tape, we chose it for the very different designs it brought to the party, from baby pandas to cosmic rainbows.
And now the Top 5
In 5th place was the only one of our Stationery Compilations to make it into the Top 10, but it was a very popular choice with the customers too. Known as Compilation No.10 it was made up of a Lamy Vista fountain pen and a bottle of the Herbin 1670 Anniversary Ink, it was packaged in a nice Lamy gift bag and made a good gift as well. The Vista was chosen as it is the pen of choice round the Bureau office - last count saw almost everyone with one (except me) - and because the clear barrel shows off the stunning Herbin ink to its best.
Talking of Herbin Anniversary Ink, look what came in at number 4. Yes, the new Emerald of Chivor ink was the fourth colour in this amazingly popular range of inks and proved another big hit. Faisal's gorgeous shot of the tempest-like ink says it all.
And so to the Top 3 and in 3rd place it was the fun and playful Midori paperclips. As always, fun doesn't mean frivolous as they are still a paperclip and serve a useful purpose around the office. But still, a paperclips shaped like a penguin or a cat? Surely makes you smile more than a boring old paperclip?
And in 2nd place was the simply phenomenal Palomino pencil. Added to the range with a degree of uncertainty - after all, we have to sell them in boxes of 12 and they're something of a punt if you're unsure - they have proved such a success. The vote was for the three 'core' pencils in the range - the softer Blackwing, the harder 602 and the middle-of-the-range Pearl. There are also some limited editions out there such as the brand new 1138 edition, but we voted for the classics and they are a worthy second place.
And so, to a trumpet fanfare, here is our Number One choice. And in true Bureau style we have voted for something you cannot buy. The special edition Copperorange Lamy Al-Star fountain pen was an object of beauty, rich and metallic and such a shame that it sold out in weeks. Maybe that added to the mystique around the pen? Anyway, as with the Lamy Safari we are due a new special edition in 2016 - look out for Charged Green sometime around February (think of a metallic lime-y green).