national stationery show: watercolor washes + gold

Image above: Watercolor wash cards from Rifle Paper Co.

One of my favorite trends at this year’s National Stationery Show was a move away from overly precious tiny prints to larger scale washes of color. Whether the color was used in writing form (like the calendar below) or in a soft, watercolor-style wash in the background (like the cards above), this look was a welcome change from some of the small, compact and almost rigid printing I’d seen in previous years. The softness and loose quality of the line felt so fresh and light.

Images above: Top Image (Watercolor-style hand-written calendars from Linda & Harriet), Second image (Watercolor wash calendars from Fine Day Press)

In addition to these beautiful watercolor washes, there was a lot of gold popping up in fun places. It wasn’t an overuse of metallic, but rather little subtle hints that showed up to accent specific designs. Anna at Rifle Paper Co.’s work did this the best for me- her booth was on fire this year. In addition to Anna’s work, I’ve also chosen over a dozen of my other favorite examples of watercolor washes above and below. I hope you’ll enjoy them! xo, grace

Click here and here to read parts one and two of stationery show coverage from last week.

Image above: A black envelope card from Rifle Paper Co. with a pop of metallic gold.

CLICK HERE for 16 more stationery designs after the jump!

Images above: Gorgeous little spots of metallic gold in the work of Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co.

Images above: More washes of soft color at the Rifle Paper Co. booth

Images above: I loved the big loose writing style in Linda & Harriet‘s calendars. They were so clean, simple and refreshing after a few years of very tight/tiny designs in paper.

Image above: Bonus- Liz from Linda & Harriet had my favorite cards of the show. I loved the simple red hand-drawn stripes.

Images above: More watercolor-style washes in the gorgeous calendar of Fine Day Press.

Images above: Last but not least, more colorful designs (notepads, calendar and coasters) from Anna at Rifle Paper Co.


Wow, thanks for sharing–I just so happens that I recently bought some watercolors to experiment with, and now I’m even more excited. Just recently found your blog and wanted to let you know I find it very lovely–you and your team are beautiful and talented!


Thanks so much, Grace! Always exciting to see you & Amy at the show.


amy turn sharp

I was looking for you! I helped my pal with her booth {igloo letterpress} and we hoped to show off her awesome new work. Sad face I missed you! xoxo


I loooove the watercolor motifs… Makes me want to break out my watercolor set… Thanks for the inspiration! :)


I’ve been waiting for the Rifle NSS post! I grew up in Orlando and have known them for a while…Anna is the most talented… Love her & all her new stuff!

Olive Reich

I have been a watercolor artist for many, many years. It is so nice to see the medium appreciated and promoted on your lovely notepads and cards.