The final weeks of February mark the staging of the Sydney gift Fairs – where the latest in the interconnected worlds of giftware, homewares, packaging and most importantly gift wrap and wrapping accessories go on display over three venues and hundreds of stands. It’s a chance to see what’s new, what’s fabulous, what’s enduring and what’s out in gift wrap, ribbon, tags and twine. Now I have had a chance to pour over all the catalogues and samples and snippets, I’d like to share with you my five wrapping paper trends for 2018.
The days of wrapping paper being positioned for one event only are well and truly over. Paper that can be used for any occasion is a big focus of mine. There’s plenty of embellishments to personalise to the event so be gone paper printed and thus burdened with words like Happy Birthday, Your Wedding Day or Silver Anniversary. But just as you don’t want a paper that only speaks to one occasion, you don’t want a paper that’s insipid and that’s where patterns and motifs, texture and metallic touches come in. Against that backdrop, let’s explore the big trends for 2018.
Botanicals and Florals
The biggest trend and one that shows no sign of abating – is botanicals and florals – from beautiful Australian natives like waratahs and proteas and May Gibbs inspired gum leaves and gum nuts to the gorgeous greenery of monstera, palm leaves and olive branches, right through to the perennial (pardon the pun) favourites of roses, peonies, and hydrangeas.
There’s also lots of variations on the botanical theme – with neon florals making their presence felt and monstera motifs venturing into non-traditional colour combinations such as navy jade and gold.
Little Bit of Bling
Metallics are still making their presence felt with 2017’s breakout colour graphite going strong. Rose gold and copper are still to be found but are not as prominent as in years past. The metallic splash or splatter look is popping up and it dresses up a treat. Metallic touches to a floral pattern also add a touch of elegance.
Marbling Makes Waves
The marbling effect (as distinct from a marble pattern) is having a major moment and comes in many styles – from a subtle natural marble look in dove greys and pastels through to big bold swirls particularly in blues, pinks and purples.
The Animal Kingdom
It seems that this year animals abound. Well animals, birds, insects – all of God’s Creations real and, it seems, mythical. We are talking the cutest of dogs and cat patterns as well as new dudes on the block meerkats, llamas and sloths. Swans are on the cusp, flamingos are a bit yesterday and the mythical end to the mythical unicorns is nowhere is mythical sight as the unicorn motif continues to appeal to the little people gift and birthday market.
Natural Looks and Eco Cred
As you would expect gift paper manufacturers are most aware of the need to state their eco credentials and the processes by which their paper is made. Kraft paper – plain and patterned is still popular. Specialist eco papers such as elephant paper are also being sought out. As an entirely natural product, each sheet of elephant paper is slightly different and that’s a good thing. The slight challenge is that natural papers tend to be a little thicker than regular wrap and thus a little harder to fold but that’s a tiny imposition for something that so unique.
I do love visiting the gift fairs but not the resultant sore feet from wandering up and down the ailes. I don’t believe anything can match the ability to touch and feel the paper and chat with the people who designed it and enjoy seeing it being used. I also love the combination of the returning classic paper styles and patterns and the new looks that emerge in response to broader designer and colour trends. I note that there was not a big presence of Pantone’s Colour of the Year Ultra Violet – leaving me to wonder whether it’s too soon, too much or too divisive for the rich purple colour. That aside, there’s botanicals, metallics, marbling, funky animals and beautiful natural papers all with a 2018 twist. Something for everyone