Today at the Birmingham NEC was Spring Fair, the UK largest home and gift trade show with 300,000 new product launches across 12 sectors and the key trends of 2011 presented by HomeBuildLife.
The event is extremely large spreading out across 20 Halls catering from Home and Gift, Art and Framing through to Fireworks and Toys. As i had limited time and with such a wide range of products to view I specifically wanted to spend the majority of time concentrating on the halls for Home and Gift, Greetings and Stationary. similar to last year there was a lot of very commercial companies that supplied the larger department stores. Although this isn't quite where is fit into the market as i want to be more one of hand made designer maker, it was good to see the quality of product produced by these larger companies. the standard of product was extremely high with sophisticated colour palates, luxurious materials and a sophisticated finish. This was definitely something to aspire to and bare in mind for the competition I will be against once i have established myself. the greetings and stationary sections to the event was interesting to see yet i dint feel this was where i saw my self exhibiting. the products are extremely commercial and there was a lot of large design studios there. However the more hand made greetings cards stood out to me for there individuality and charm against those mass produced and digitally printed. These began to all blend into one with a lot of repetition of motifs and colours.