2013 National Stationery Show – Colors Part IV – Dark Neutrals

Black, is, of course, a perennial favorite for dark neutrals, and while there was plenty of black at the show, I found that folks seemed to be favoring lighter dark neutrals (oxymoronic, I know, but there you have it). In particular, charcoal grays and dark teals and navies were on display.

Charcoal

Charcoal is a strong neutral that offers a little punch of character, too. It’s not as anonymous or stark as a straight black, and has a nice hand-made feel to it (think: the big chalkboard trend that’s everywhere right now). I really loved how folks incorporated charcoal as an alternative to black or the now-depleted chocolate brown, which enjoyed a long and distinguished run recently, but seems to be settling into a less pervasive role.

Bison Bookbinding is using a lot of rich charcoal in its designs, from cards to calendars.

Bison Bookbinding new home card

Bison Bookbinding new home card

Bison Bookbinding produce calendar

Bison Bookbinding produce calendar

Chewing the Cud’s line of canvas buckets includes this bold graphic print in charcoal.

Chewing the Cud canvas bucket

Chewing the Cud canvas bucket

Charcoal has the leading role in these shot glass birthday cards from Fifty Five Hi’s. (And, by “shot glass birthday cards,” I mean these cards can be turned into actual paper shot glasses!)

Fifty-Five Hi's shot glass birthday cards

Fifty-Five Hi’s shot glass birthday cards

Night Owl Paper Goods applies charcoal to a juvenile card to great effect.

Night Owl Paper Goods party puppy card

Night Owl Paper Goods party puppy card

This monochromatic moon calendar from Hammerpress makes gorgeous work of varying shades of charcoal.

Hammerpress moon calendar

Hammerpress moon calendar

Up With Paper’s Forest Bouquet line of Luxe products—desktop notes, boxed notes, and sticky notes portfolio—incorporates dark charcoal into a fun, floral design, which gives it a nice element of sophistication.

Up With Paper bouquet desktop products

Up With Paper bouquet desktop products

Dark Teals and Navy

The other dark neutral(s) theme I saw around the show was the use of deep teals and navy blues. The popular turquoises of past years have evolved into these rich, dark shades, and make for a surprising—and welcome—neutral element.

The Mr. Boddington’s Studio’s booth was filled with all sorts of great teal-ish navy elements, including in these fun art prints.

Mr. Boddington's Studio prints

Mr. Boddington’s Studio prints

This heartfelt card from Maginating uses dark teals and other shades of blue to further convey the emotion behind the card.

Maginating sad flowers card

Maginating sad flowers card

A happy otter is backed in dark teal in this card from Night Owl Paper Goods.

Night Owl Paper Goods otter card

Night Owl Paper Goods otter card

L2 Design Collective’s Skull Grad card uses a traditional graduation navy to back its untraditionally-skeletal graduation card.

L2 Design Collective's skull graduation card

L2 Design Collective’s skull graduation card

These fun coasters, featuring navy-teal* from Rifle Paper Co., would make a great poker night host/ess gift.
* If such color does not currently exist, I hereby proclaim that it is an official color, now.

Rifle Paper Co.'s royal coasters

Rifle Paper Co.’s royal coasters

In my next post, we’ll move from the darkness into the light and explore NSS light neutrals.

Please note: the image labels I’ve used are not official product names/titles. For more information on any of the products in my posts, please contact the wonderful people who’ve created them.

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