This is the 6th edition of our annual awards for the item of stationery we voted for, as a team. The criteria are fairly open - as long as the item was added to our range during 2017 then it was shortlisted, and each team member voted for their top 5 items. Scores were awarded (10 for a first choice, 7 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 3 for 4th and a solitary point for a 5th place). Scores were added, and a top ten was arrived at.
This year we had a clear winner, and with it gaining the top place from three people plus a second choice, it sort of ran away with the voting. The top ten did give a nice spread of items though, so read on and see what we voted for.
The Walk With Me maps were something of a departure for us this year, and not one that didn't cause a few waves with some customers, but then maybe that's a good thing. Somewhere between maps and artwork, these are quite unusual and very beautiful.
The Lamy Aion pen came out earlier in the year and whilst not immediately a pen that shouts out how different it is, it actually does have a lot about it worth a second look. From the smart aluminium barrel which is incredibly light for a pen seemingly quite big, to its brand new nib, this pen writes beautifully.
The Caran d'Ache 849 is a true classic, dating back to its launch in 1969. Since then many a special edition has come and gone, and the latest was these unusual two-tone 849 tropical editions. Very summer-y, and quite refreshing in the depths of a cold winter.
A very late addition to the shortlist and one that, unsurprisingly leapt into the top ten, was the Field Notes Haxley edition notebooks. A real departure and a welcome one too, these are notebooks featuring the illustrations of a local artist.
The Viking range really stood out for one product above all else and that was the Viking Rollo pads. Beautiful paper with equally striking covers featuring their celtic-inspired cover designs.
One that caught me by surprise was the popularity of the new Earl Grey ink from Diamine. Brought about through a Reddit group, it inspired our 'grey' week and is, to be fair, quite a beautiful colour.
The Flowers calendar from Japanese company Good Morning is an item that caused a few issues (let's move on from that one), this is nevertheless a stunning bit of stationery that is practical and quite beautiful all at once. What more do you need from your stationery?
An extra bonus point for this item - more of us voted for this than any other product, but it gained no big voted and ended up 4th overall.
Kyoto ink was chosen, I feel, not only for the inks (which are indeed very lovely) but also for the whole package - the bottle and the box included. It is just stationery that you want to own, stationery that gives you pleasure from the moment you see it to the the moment you use it.
The runner-up spot was taken by the new Diamine Shimmer inks. They gained a couple of top spots and were the subject of an Instagram pre-launch feature from Mishka and Faisal so maybe I should have seen that one coming. Beautiful inks as always, with some amazing shimmer.
And so to the winner. And it's no great surprise to anyone that has used it that the Taroko Breeze notebook swept the board. First we had the basic Taroko books with Tomoe River paper, then a sign of what was to come with the pocket sized Enigma book, so when a 'proper' book was launched it just gave us everything we needed in a book. A 'proper' cover, index/contents page, numbered pages, ink swatch pages, Tomoe River paper. I could quibble over the card cover and lack of a pocket but really, this book is as good as anything we have. That's why I was one of three of the team to vote it as my number one.