What Exactly Fuels our Hunger for Pretty Stationery?

Why does our brain entice us to choose pretty designer stationery over standard designs?

What Exactly Fuels our Hunger for Pretty Stationery?

Whether it’s the start of the school year or time to give your desk a makeover, a trip to the closest kikki.K, Typo or Smiggle seems to be the way to go. From pencil cases covered in cute sloths to glitter pens, designer stationery has certainly turned what is considered ‘normal’ stationery onto its head. 

The act of buying branded stationery and office supplies is something we’ve all committed to. Perhaps you’re a Papyrophiliac with a constant burning desire to spice up your desk, or maybe you just need to feel like you’ve got ‘your sh*t together’. Whatever the reason, we’ve been there, done that and called it a day.

But what is it about fancy stationery that generic stationery simply can’t do?

You would think a pen is a pen no matter what it looks like. You can hold it, write with it and watch it glide over the page. But for some reason a kikki.K pen is so much better than the standard Bic ballpoint you could buy at any convenience store. But what’s the difference, they’re both pens – right?

Purchasing pretty stationery has become a hobby for many. Some do it for enjoyment, others see it as a form of self-expression and many find pleasure in looking at beautiful things. All three reasons are as a result of the appeal that designer stationery has on the brain through colour psychology.

Rewinding to our childhood years, there was always competition for who had the coolest stationery and a lot of it had to do with colour. I still remember dragging my mum into Smiggle and staring at the colour coded shelves trying to decide whether I wanted a hardtop pencil case in pink or purple. Either way, I knew that my purchase would make me cooler than the kids with generic stationery at school the next day.

Today, the desire for fancy stationery is more about self-expression than competition. We’re more enticed to buy a boho-patterned notebook than a plain Spirax because the designer style is a better representation of us. The need for a certain aesthetic also shapes our stationery needs, with more people taking their love of stationery online and posting photos of their purchases to Instagram.  

While psychology and the will to satisfy the creative eye makes fancy designer stationery more favourable, the need for standard stationery still exists. Afterall, not all fancy pens work the way they should. Remember to keep the good ol’ Bic Biro somewhere close just to be safe. They might be ugly and bland, but you could never go wrong by keeping one spare.