RemaDays Kiev

Ukrainian trade fair returns for ninth edition

This month saw the arrival of the RemaDays Kiev exhibition, a celebration of all things in the advertising and printing markets.

Spread over two days and situated at the IEC-EXPO exhibition centre, product/service demonstrators had the chance to showcase themselves in various new sectors: Gifts and Textile, Sign and Visual, plus Tech and Print.

The winners of the ‘Crowns of Advertising’ contest were announced at a gala dinner, receiving statuettes for their fine industry-leading work. Integra Gifts finished top of the Gifts section, Plastiks Ukrania won for Sign and Visual, SPYOUTDOOR for Tech and finally, CV Druk in the Print category.

RemaDays traditionally hosts the ‘Raffle for Visitors’, with this year’s event being no exception. The prize? A home cinema, more specifically the Yahama Kino System 383 Black.

Besides networking and getting to grips with the latest industry trends, exhibitors and visitors could listen to speeches organised as part of RemaCongress. A programme of lectures featuring experts was organised together with RemaDays’ media partners: the Association of Producers and Importers of Advertising and Advertising Gadgets of Ukraine (AVIRSU), the printing magazine PrintPlus and the Ukrainian Association of Visual Industry (UAVI).

Jeremy Lowes

Crystal Galleries celebrates 35 sparkling years

The hardworking team at Middlesborough-based suppliers Crystal Galleries will doubtless be raising a glass and toasting their success as the company marks 35 years of trading in 2018.

To thank their customers, old and new, the company heads have developed some exciting themed offers which they will be promoting throughout the year.

From its incorporation in 1983 Crystal Galleries has always been a family-owned and run business which currently includes six family members in various positions throughout the company.

“Initially the main aim was simply to meet local demand for sport trophies, wedding gifts, awards and promotional items,” explained managing director Jeremy Lowes. “However, after a short period of trading it became obvious that there was a much bigger opportunity to supply trade customers, including glass engravers and promotional gift distributors, throughout the UK and Europe.

“As the hairstyles came and went throughout the 80s, 90s and into the Millennium, we maintained a steady growth and, as a result, we outgrew our premises three times. We are currently located in a 33,000 sq ft warehouse in Middlesbrough.

“Fortunately, the demand for glass and crystal products grew and so did the need for complementary supplies and services which now include an extensive range of products and fast response times.”

So what is the secret to their success?

“We try to offer outstanding customer service and endeavour to exceed our customers’ expectations whenever possible,” said Jeremy. “We believe that this attitude has helped us to become the leader in our market place and we will work extremely hard to maintain this position for the next 35 years.

“As part of our anniversary celebrations, during the months of April and May we are celebrating ‘Innovation’.  With this in mind, if you place an order for our innovative Acrystalic Awards with new artwork in April and May we will give you 15% off the cost of your awards.”

Baby Max Leo Nardini

Yet another speedy delivery for Pro-Ad

The Nardini family, who created the Northumberland-based distributor company Pro-Ad, are celebrating after welcoming an adorable and brand new member!

Max Leo Nardini came into the world on the 25th of February … a few weeks ahead of lead time and weighing a tiny but very strong 5lbs 4oz! The parents Loren and Emily Nardini are over the moon with the new addition to their beautiful family and mum and baby are both doing well.

Nonno, Carlo Nardini, is excited for the 3rd Nardini generation to be joining Pro-Ad but has allowed for a few months before Max processes his first enquiry.  According to the Pro-Ad team: “Max is by far the most gorgeous Nardini in Pro-Ad and definitely the least cranky one! We can’t wait for loads of cuddles with him!”

The Cotton Textile Co spin a yarn – from bamboo

Formed just five years ago, The Cotton Textile Company is making fresh waves in the industry with its focus on environmentally-friendly product lines.

The producers of socks, towels and clothing now offer bamboo yarn and viscose in place of cotton, as they attempt to tackle the impact yarn manufacturing and regular washing can have on the planet.

A representative from TCTC shared: “We wanted to enable another option to cotton for our clients, as we know how important this is to them. We now offer the use of bamboo yarn and viscose instead of cotton due to its reduced impact on our planet.

“Bamboo is a fantastic alternative to the production of cotton and also performs well as a towel or garment because it’s softer and doesn’t pill in the same way as cotton yarns, it’s odor resistant, plus it contains naturally occurring antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

“Bamboo requires 30% less water than cotton and it reduces soil erosion, as it is cut rather than ‘dug’ when harvested. The plant is also harvested annually and therefore reduces the need for deforestation. Fertilizers aren’t used as much due to the organic nature of this crop, which means as they reach the end of their lifespan – they can be composted.”

Jay Deutsch

BDA in major panic recall as CEO quits quality initiative

US distributors Bensussen Deutsch & Associates (BDA) were left red-faced earlier this month as they recalled 1,800 promotional menorahs due to fire and safety reasons.

No strangers to controversy, BDA recently upset many suppliers with their pre-pack to acquire Dukes of London leaving creditors high and dry  last year, and suffered a recall in August 2016 for a bobblehead figure which was deemed a ‘racially insensitive’ caricature of Red Sox player David Ortiz.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) the fault was that: ‘the glue that holds the menorah’s candleholders can melt causing the candleholders and the lit candles to fall off, posing fire and burn hazards.’

BDA had originally distributed the faulty items to be given away at last December’s Jewish Heritage Night by Californian basketball team, The Golden State Warriors. The CPSC said that: “consumers should immediately stop using the recalled menorahs.”

In an unrelated but somewhat fitting coincidence, the CEO of BDA, Jay Deutsch, also announced that he is stepping down from his position on the board of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA).

The QCA is a North American organisation whose stated mission is to: “elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise.” Jay created the QCA and served on the board for ten years, eight of which as president.

“With more than 25 years of working in the Far East, BDA brought to the table our world class supply chain quality control program and associated best practices as the foundation of QCA,” said Jay. “This set a high bar for what is today’s QCA proprietary auditing protocols. I’m really proud of the work that we accomplished, and the great suppliers that opened their doors to improve and certify their supply chain practices.”

He also added: “Safe products are in the best interest of everyone in the industry. Vote with your purchase orders and do right by your clients.”


Audio software

New study suggests music is key in marketing

A new consumer study suggests that music can have a greater psychological effect on brand marketing than visuals when it comes to perceptions of a company’s brand.

Audio branding specialist PHMG conducted a study of 1,000 UK consumers and discovered that music is capable of producing strong emotional reactions that can be associated with a business brand. More than this, even subtle changes to the audio track, such as key, style and chord progression, can affect perceptions too.

60 per cent of respondents reported that they believed that in marketing, music is more memorable than visuals.

Daniel Lafferty, director of music and voice at PHMG, said: “This study underlines the emotional power of music and its potential for conjuring a clear picture of an organisation’s values and ethos in the mind of the listener.

“Our hearing is a more powerful emotional sense than our sight, so there is a clear opportunity for businesses to broaden their marketing horizons and gain a competitive edge by making better use of audio. The phone is one obvious channel where businesses should pay close attention to the sounds that customers hear, but this equally applies to radio and television advertising, videos and product sounds.

“It is important that organisations carefully design brand audio by defining the brand values they would like to convey and ensuring the different variables are matched to these values. Inappropriate music can lead customers to develop negative perceptions of a brand that may prove hard to shift.

“Understanding your own business and the values you want it to represent is crucial to building a strong rapport with customers, while enhancing brand loyalty and memorability. That’s why it is so important to build a brand that accurately reflects the various desired attributes – audio and visuals should be designed to complement each other in pursuit of this goal.”

Louise Etson

Sixty second interview: Louise Etson

Say ‘G’day’ to the general manager of Flourish Promotional Marketing, Louise Etson.

When are you at your most productive?
Mornings, definitely. I’m an annoying morning person. I do talk to our Australian colleagues every day, so I don’t keep regular office hours. They put all of my jobs up on the board over there so I still feel part of the company, which is nice. It’s a bit of a 24 hour working day.

What’s the main difference between the British and Australian markets?
The British market is a lot more cost-conscious. There’s a lot of shopping around for the best price and not necessarily a lot of value placed on the creative input.

What did you want to be growing up?
Originally I wanted to be in the film business, like my grandfather, but he refused to help me! I then tried to become an air hostess, but I was too tall. So I went back to Gibraltar where I had been living since a teenager and worked in a hotel that eventually led to me selling property in Spain and publishing an overseas property magazine.

Snap, cover and print

Digital print specialist Snap Products, has recently launched a fresh custom printed packaging service, complete with most of its comprehensive range.

This not only increases the perceived value of a promotional item, but is the initial touch point for clients and the first opportunity for brands to create an impression.

The company’s cardboard packaging is specifically designed to fit a wide variety of products while adding a retail-style premium touch and providing more space for messaging. This latest technology is used to achieve photographic-quality results. Snap takes care of all printing, assembly and packaging, whilst downloadable templates and 3D visuals help distributors benefit from custom packaging options.

As if this wasn’t enough, there’s even the option of variable date printing, something the company describes as ‘the ultimate in customisation’. This allows an order to be printed with artwork that differs from piece to piece – with an individual’s name, for example.

Danny Heenan

Sixty second interview: Danny Heenan

Meet the owner of Ashro Promotions, Danny Heenan.

What did you want to be growing up?
I knew I was going to be in business and I knew I wanted to have my own business. So I did Business Economics and Accountancy at school. I wasn’t exactly sure how that was going to work out but my friends say they remember me being adamant about running my own company.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Definitely the freedom. I worked for people for 20 years, from the age of 18 and I couldn’t go back. I love the ability to decide my own timing and plan my own day – your destiny’s mapped out by you instead of having a boss looking over your shoulder.

What’s the key to keeping on top of finances?
The most important thing from a business point of view is to keep your overheads really low. I have a small office which suits me perfectly. Keep all the expenses low and put the money back into the business.

Geiger + BTC

BTC Group’s transatlantic union

UK distributor BTC Group announced today in London it is merging with US distributor Geiger.  The company will now be known as Geiger BTC Group and will support clients in the UK and across Europe.

BTC Group is the largest private owned promotional products distributor in the UK.  Geiger is a 5-generation family owned and managed company, the largest such distributor in the US.  The union of the two firms is part of a strategy to support the needs of global customers in North America, Europe, and elsewhere around the world.

According to BTC Group managing director Frank Murphy: “Our team is excited to be part of the expanding Geiger global network.  We have known each other for years and have worked together on many projects.  Because our companies have similar cultures and each bring unique strengths, this formal joining of companies will enable us to better provide the enhanced services that multi-national customers are requiring of their business partners.”

Geiger CEO Gene Geiger noted: “This is a watershed opportunity for our firm, merging with the UK’s market leader.  We can already see we will learn a great deal from the talented team at BTC Group.  Moreover, Geiger BTC Group will become the launching pad to support our growth in Europe and beyond. This is really a case of one plus one equalling three and more.”

Geiger BTC Group will continue to be led by Frank Murphy as its managing director.

Founded in 1977, BTC Group has a staff of 55 and is based at Hayes in Middlesex.

Headquartered in Lewiston, Maine, Geiger has 335 employees and 400 independent sales persons across the country.

For further information please contact:

Jon Birrell;

Frank Murphy;

Roger Poll

Sixty second interview: Roger Poll

Meet the sole trader owner at AKA Promotional Products, Roger Poll.

If you could be granted one superpower, what would it be?
To read the future. I would like to know what’s around the corner. It might be a bit of a double-edged sword but I suppose the bad thing is you might realise you’ll never win the lottery! Then again, I could see what the lottery numbers were going to be…

What did you want to be growing up as a young lad?
I don’t think I had a major career goal in mind. I wanted to get into sales early on, just for the flexibility really. Being out there on the road, travelling and meeting people is what I like.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
I went to see The Darkest Hour. It think it was very good – much better than Dunkirk, which I also watched recently but wasn’t impressed. My late father-in-law was actually captured in France and I’ve been to the beaches, but I just thought it was a Hollywood version rather than a true reflection of history.

When are you at your most productive?
Mornings. I’m an early riser. My partner has to be at work quite early so I’m up just after 6am and I’m normally at the desk by 8 – 8:30am. I get to catch up with emails and chase stuff up before my working day really starts.


Contestants at the EverythingBranded dog show

EverythingBranded fundraise for furry friends

Earlier this week, the pitter-patter of canine paws could be heard within the Leicester offices of EverythingBranded as part of a fundraising event. This was in aid of account administrator Stacey’s pet dog Marnie, who’s in need of specialist surgery for hip dysplasia. If this condition is goes untreated, the risk of debilitating conditions increases, including arthritis.

During the lunchtime of Monday 12 March, the Peat House offices were transformed into an arena for staff to parade their dogs, with prizes being awarded for Agility, Best in Show and Poshest Pooch.

The show was judged by Stacey herself, alongside director of operations Chris Pitts, director of sales Mosh Aman and Monique James, director of finance.

Paul Rowlett, CEO and founder of commented: “My wife and I are dog lovers so we were always going to love this event. It was a great way to raise a bit of money for Marnie, as well as giving the team something fun at lunch. We always aim to provide a fun and engaging working environment, so it’s always a bonus when we can mix it with some fundraising to support a team member.”

Luna was the victor in the ‘Poshest Pooch’ category, whilst Theo the pug won Best in Show and Bailey took home the first place rosette in the Agility round. All three winners were given a large goody bag to enjoy as well, with the rest of the contestants awarded a bag of treats for their participation.

To read more and donate to Marnie’s cause you can find the GoFundMe page here

Jamie Gray

Sixty second interview: Jamie Gray

Meet the founder and managing director of Buddy Burst, Jamie Gray.

What did you want to be growing up?
From about 8 years old I wanted to be a rugby player. I even went to a rugby secondary school. I was a winger and everyone in my age group was about the same size. But I was a bit of a late bloomer so as soon as we hit our teens suddenly I was the small one and getting hit by men rather than boys. So I decided to step away and find a career where there was less chance of getting injured.

When are you at your most productive?
Sometimes if I have the time to go to bed really late I can be really productive in the evening after office hours. But if I get an early night, then the mornings are the most productive for me. I’m still fresh, I have a nice cup of tea in my hand, watching the world get light.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Well I wake up in the morning excited for the day ahead – I don’t get the Sunday Blues. Not only am I trying to help save the planet, but also as the boss I’m only accountable to myself. So I can organise my time as I see fit. It gets a bit nerve-wracking at times not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from, but being my own boss is worth it.

Trade Lanyards and Your Gateway

Trade Lanyards becomes Your Gateway

Surrey-based suppliers Trade Lanyards have given themselves a brand new look and rebranded as Your Gateway.

“It was time to find a name that truly reflects what we do and who we are,” explained Joe Evans. “Whilst lanyards will always be one of our core competencies we do so much more for our clients, acting as a ‘gateway’ from your briefs to pricing on most things you require from China or Europe, hence the name.

“As we grew as a business, we started working with larger distributors in the industry and consequently we took on increasingly large orders for a wider range of products. It was felt that we have now expanded beyond our original brand.

“We work as your sourcing arm, ensuring compliance is paramount, pricing is great and delivery is on time. We can even be very creative if you have the requirement. So if you’ve only tried us for the lanyards to date then now is the perfect time to try us out!”

The company’s phone number and address remain the same, although last year the company moved to The Green business Centre in Staines.

To contact them by email, please use the email address:


Eddie Douglas

Sixty second interview: Eddie Douglas

PPD picks the brains of some of the promo industry’s most colourful characters.

Meet the managing director of Westhill Marketing, Eddie Douglas.

When are you at your most productive?
Probably in the morning. I sometimes wake up with a few good ideas so it’s good to put those into practise as quickly as possible before I forget about them.

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?
Bob Dylan. I’m a big fan and he doesn’t talk about himself much. It would be nice to be able to eke out some gems about his life.

What’s your favourite aspect of the promotional industry?
The creative side, really – just being able to develop something new and useful for clients and end users alike. It can provide some exciting new ideas for people to promote themselves.

Have you ever met anyone famous?
I once had tea with the Queen at the garden party at Holyrood but didn’t get a chance to speak with her.

Phil Clarke

Sixty second interview: Phil Clarke

PPD picks the brains of some of the promo industries most colourful characters.

Meet the co-founder of Calendar Lady Promotions, Phil Clarke.

What did you want to be growing up?
I really wanted to be a footballer; when I was 16 I signed for Bristol City. I also played for Portsmouth, then I played some semi-professional stuff in my late teens before I decided to go and get a proper job.

When are you at your most productive?
Definitely between 2 and 3pm! I do a lot of work on the telephone and early in the morning people just want to clear their inboxes and ask me to ‘phone back later’. But if I hit them between 2 and 3, nobody’s on lunch and nobody’s gone to do the school run. In that window you can make a lot of phone calls.

What’s the best thing about your job?
As a kid I was obsessed with quoting TV adverts, which my mum told me to stop doing. 20 years later and I’ve made a living out of it. Whether you’re trying to promote a company at an exhibition or whether you’re trying to promote a festival or a new brand, it’s all about marketing cleverly and effectively.

What’s the key to keeping on top of finances?
In short, to marry someone who is good with money! I work with my wife and she deals with all the money and all of the accounts. I can just focus all my energy on getting the sales in.

Alan Doyle (L) and Sion Jones (R)Alan Doyle (L) and Sion Jones (R)

Alan Doyle is Desktop’s new gadget man

Thame-based promotional tech supplier Desktop Ideas (DTI) announced that it is proud to welcome Alan Doyle to its team as account director.

Alan will be bringing his passion for tech and gadgets to bare in his new role, which will see him visit clients up and down the country. It’s the perfect role for him to utilise his strong background in sales and easy, likeable manner while delivering excellent service.

“I am very happy to be joining the team at DTI,” said Alan. “Since entering the promotional merchandise industry I have always admired the company’s image and, in particular, the items and range that can be offered to its clients.

“DTI is at the forefront of new and innovative products offering support solutions for its clients which I feel is vital in today’s industry. I am very excited to get started and meet both new and existing clients to showcase the Desktop Ideas story.”

“We welcome Alan to the team and were immediately drawn to his energy, business development skills and enthusiasm for delivering great client experience,” added co-founder Sion Jones. “He has already fitted into the business and conducted his first meetings after two days – an impressive start and we wish him well at this exciting stage of his career “

2018 promises to be a notable year for DTI as it celebrates 20 years in business, which has seen it grow to become the leading expert in promotional technology for the industry. With this extension to the external sales team it looks to widen its appeal to professional promotional distributors throughout the UK.

Jody Fletcher (by Fiona Baker)

Sixty second interview: Jody Fletcher

In our new regular feature, PPD picks the brains of some of the promo industries most colourful characters.

Meet the founder and managing director of Chilli Promotional Products, Jody Fletcher.

What did you want to be growing up?
An accountant. I was really good at maths and I loved the idea of it, but then I did work experience for an accountancy firm and realised I really wasn’t cut out for it. It’s a bit too quiet and methodical for my brain!

Are you an Apple or Samsung person?
Apple. I think because I had one first. I was given an iPod Touch as part of a promotion from a supplier back in 2009, I think. This was my first Apple product and I’ve been hooked ever since – I love how everything synchs up.

What’s the key to keeping on top of finances?
Not getting into a race to be the cheapest! Ensuring you charge a fair price to the client, which enables you to supply the best product and ensure excellent quality of service too. Of course keeping on top of making sure your invoices get paid is crucial too.

Anthony Jones (L) and Alan Jones (R) with reusable bottles

Sional champions metal bottles in a drive to ditch plastic

A campaign spearheaded by TV star Sir David Attenborough encouraging people to ditch plastic has led to a sharp spike in demand for a North Wales company’s refillable metal drinks bottles.

Promotional merchandising company Sional is helping reduce the number of discarded plastic bottles – with more than 800 of which are thrown away every minute in the UK.

Sional’s environmentally-friendly alternative bottles, made from aluminium and carrying the logo of a business or sports organisation, are proving popular with clients, who give them away at events to promote their own brand.

Schools are also interested, to encourage youngsters to switch from unhealthy bottles of fizzy, sugary soda and instead drink more water to keep them hydrated, in the classroom or sports field.

Llanfairfechan-based Sional is also lining up a re-usable coffee cup made from recycled bamboo, to add to its 60,000-strong range of products.

The drive to ditch the use of plastic has gathered pace after Attenborough’s hit BBC TV series Blue Planet II revealed the devastating impact plastic waste is having on marine life. It is estimated that around 12 million tonnes of plastic pollutes oceans every year with debris often discovered in fish, sea birds and marine mammals.


Sional, whose clients range from multinational companies, local authorities and health trusts to hotels, sports clubs and schools, wants to take the lead on helping to reduce the use of plastic and hopes to attract more customers to follow suit.

One of its biggest customers – a national manufacturer of building supplies – has decided to phase out its use of plastic bottles as a promotional giveaway, and will instead use the aluminium containers on a permanent basis.

Schools across North Wales are also interested in the metal bottles from Sional, said managing director Alan Jones: “It’s a win-win scenario for us because we’re reducing plastic whilst also promoting our brand.

“We’re trying to avoid plastic altogether by using aluminium water bottles and we’re also looking at a coffee cup made from recycled bamboo. It’s all about promoting the change in attitude and to encourage the use of reusable bottles and cups.

“A lot of companies are switching from handing out plastic water bottles with branded labels, such as at conferences and trade shows, to giving away refillable branded bottles. One of our biggest customers are doing this. We’ve supplied them with the refillable bottles so that they can avoid using plastic bottles. This will become part of their regular product list that they buy and they’ll phase out the single use plastic water bottles, which we supplied previously.”

He added: “Universities across the UK are giving their students refillable water bottles and refillable coffee cups, and offering discounts in their cafeterias if reusable mugs are used.

“As a company we want to be supplying these places with those cups and bottles. Councils and schools are also looking to switch to reusable bottles and cups. We have spoken to a few schools locally who are looking at supplying each child with a refillable bottle, including one in Bangor who are very interested in our product.”

According to the not-for-profit organisation City to Sea’s national Refill campaign, which has led to the creation of 1,600 tap water refill points across the UK, the average household uses 480 plastic bottles a year but just over half of that figure are actually recycled.

It means that more than 35 million plastic bottles are being used every day in the UK, but almost 16 million are not being put out for recycling. If just one in ten people refilled once a week, there would be an estimated 340 million less plastic bottles a year in circulation.

A survey by YouGov and Keep Britain Tidy last year revealed that 70% of individuals questioned agreed that tap water should be more freely available, while 59% said they would be more likely to reuse a water bottle if they could easily fill it in shops, parks and other locations.

Such stark figures and the increasing impact plastic waste is having on ocean life is precisely why Alan was so keen for Sional to play its part.

He said: “It’s so important that we cut down on the use of plastic bottles, and general plastic packaging for that matter. We all have a duty to play our part and that is why we decided to do this giveaway.

“We’ve had really good feedback from our clients and they can see that the benefits are massive. Not only does it help the environment but the bottles look good, are nicer to use as they can keep your drink chilled and in the long run are less expensive than having single-use plastic bottles.”

Yo Boki products are inspired by Japanese kawaii culture

LaunchPad London winners unveiled

It’s congratulations to the 12 worthy winners who have been selected in the LaunchPad London winners. Each has earned themselves a free exhibition stand at the London Stationery Show in April from which to introduce their product to the industry.

This year’s three judges with the unenviable task of selecting between the entrants were Sidonie Warren, founder of design-led stationery retailer Papersmiths, Daniel Mark Carr, global brand director of international art supplies company ColArt and award-winning textile and stationery designer Nikki Strange.

“It was incredibly difficult judging all the submissions for this year’s LaunchPad as the quality was absolutely top notch!” declared Daniel. “I was so pleased to see applicants from across the UK and from Croatia, Spain and Australia. I was also impressed at the variety of submissions; a clear sign of the exciting future that is in store for the UK stationery industry.”

The 12 winners, who were chosen from just over 50 entries, are:

Octàgon Design – a company based in Barcelona producing a range of planners and calendars featuring a pared back minimalist design style.

Back Pocket Notebooks – a premium quality range of pocket notebooks that are designed in Oxfordshire by Justin Avery to inspire and educate.  The niche design range so far covers Web, Space, Cricket, Guitars and will expand to cover the Solar System and Color Theory.

Clipmatic – A Bristol based company which has a patent pending for their minimalist organiser that works with any spiral bound notebook, regardless of size, which are ideal for individual use or easily customised for promotional or corporate use.

Regiftwrap™ – Currently available in six classic colours Regiftwrap is reusable gift wrap which maintains its good looks regardless of the number of times is it used. Each sheet is stored in its own reusuable gift tin, soft to handle, tear-resistant and handles sticky tape with ease!

Yo Boki – Inspired by Japanese kawaii culture, this first UK collection of Boki products will feature greeting cards, wrapping paper, notebooks, stickers, collector’s pin badges and its own activity pack and gift wrap set.  It’s time for the UK to claim its own kawaii character and Boki (a little pink heart) is set to start its own wave of positive vibes for children of all ages.

VAU – This premium range of desktop accessories designed in Croatia is refined, understated and made from solid metal. Each piece is designed in-house and combines both traditional and contemporary technologies, with a meticulous final touch from VAU’s craftsmen.

How Funny – This large range of greeting cards and prints are the work of Jez How, based in Brighton.  His unique style is bright, striking and eye-catching with every design accompanied with a funny caption and a great coloured envelope!

Type and Story – A ‘contemporary paper goods brand’ with a graphic design twist founded by London-based graphic designer Niccy Iseman.  Type and Story operates as a mini fashion house, creating two ‘stories’ every year (spring/summer and autumn/winter) that are always different but always use typography and storytelling.  The range includes notebooks, cards, notecards and wall prints.

Not Only Polka Dots – Fun prints and cute illustrations are used across notebooks, planners, calendars, clipboards, pencils, pencil cases and greeting cards. Designed in Huddersfield, many elements are currently handmade, so can be customised easily, but in all cases production can be scaled up to meet demand.

High Meadows Stationery – A range of beautiful pencil cases and desk accessories crafted to perfectly accompany other high-quality stationery pieces. Transparency regarding heritage, provenance and workmanship, along with the use of classic materials such as waxed cotton and vegetable-tanned leather, all sourced in the UK and designed in Bolton, make these items unique and desirable.

The Curious Department – A passion for under-appreciated aesthetics found in nature and the notion of transformation led the London-based Curious Department designers to create two great collections of stationery – Metamorphosis and Elemental.  By using the best paper stocks and digital foiling they produce a luxurious feel in an affordable price range.

BATCH.WORKS – HEX is a new modular system to arrange your workspace ensuring everything you need is always to hand.  Made from a combination of solid wood and 3D printed magnetic accessories, Hex can be customised with over 50 colours available to choose from.  Designed and made in East London.

All the winning companies will be exhibiting at the London Stationery Show on Tuesday and Wednesday, 24 & 25 April – stationery buyers are urged to come along and see the products, meet the designers behind them, give them feedback and advice and help them onto the next stage in their business – supplying great stationery products to the UK market.

RemaDays Kiev 2018

RemaDays Kiev trade fair has started

The 9th edition of the International Advertising and Printing Trade Fair, RemaDays Kiev, has started in the international IEC centre in Kiev.  For two days, visitors will have a chance to view and admire the latest ranges from exhibitors in three new trade fair sectors.

The event, held in the Ukranian capital, enjoys greater and greater popularity from year to year, both among exhibitors and visitors. This year, around 100 exhibitors are showcasing the very best in promotional products.

The inaugural day of RemaDays Kiev 2018 was the beginning of RemaCongress which accompanied the trade fair. Visitors could attend free lectures held in two conference rooms.

Wednesday is also the first day of exciting trade fair awards. At the Exhibitors’ Gala, the winners of the “Crown of Advertising 2018” contest were selected. The awards were presented in four new categories: Gifts, Sign&Visual, Tech and Print. A list of winners is presented below:

Gifts category
1st place: Integra Gifts
2nd place: E-Souvenir
3rd place: Kievskaja Rus

Sign&Visual category
1st place: Plastiks Ukraina
2nd place: Branaldi
3rd place: SHNUROK UA

Tech category
1st place: SPYOUTDOOR
2nd place: Shulce Poliform
3rd place: Technograf

Print category:
1st place:  CV Druk
2nd place: Gammagrafik Ltd.
3rd place: Pak Print

And as early as tomorrow, the winners in the contest for the best gadgets of the year – Gifts of the Year – will be selected based on the collected votes cast by the visitors.

As always, their is also the exiting “Raffle for Visitors”. This year’s prize is a home cinema system – Yamaha Kino System 383 Black. In order to take part in the raffle for the valuable prize, simply throw your business card into a special ballot box located at the participant registration desk and … wait for the announcement on Wednesday.

Michelle Wynne

BIC Graphic expands field sales team

BIC Graphic Europe is delighted to announce that Michelle Wynne has joined the UK field sales team.

Michelle is well-known within the industry and brings a wealth of sales experience from her time as a distributor with Sports Merchandise Global and Brand Addition.

Michelle joins at a time when BIC Graphic has refocused on its core business and is now looking to bring a new range of products and services to market. She said: “I’m very pleased to be part of the BIC Graphic team. It’s an exciting time to be joining the company, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work alongside our distributors with the new BIC offerings.”

Mark Tuttle, sales manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Michelle has joined us, and she will play an important role as we implement our new strategy for the UK and Irish markets. Her experience in the distributor channel will serve her and the company well, and she is a welcome addition to the group.”

For more information about BIC Graphic, visit

(L-R) Mr. Sriram .R – MD of Contemporary; John Thorp – Chairman of Contemporary; Mr. Umakanthan Rajagopalan – regional sales manager of BSI; Mr. Jayaraman – HR manager of Contemporary; Mr. Padmanabhan Subbaraman - Client manger of BSI

Contemporary awarded SA8000 certification

Contemporary Leather Private Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary of UK-based The Leather Business, has been awarded an SA8000 certificate. This social accountability audit is widely regarded as the most stringent of all the audits and covers in depth all social and employment issues.

At the same time, Contemporary has also successfully achieved SEDEX Pillar 4 and Smeta audits which cover environmental and business ethics.

Chairman John Thorp said: “I am delighted for our Indian MD Sriram R., and his team who have worked tirelessly for six months to ensure our success. Rather than just going for SEDEX, we decided to take on the challenge of SA8000 as well and the structure and disciplines that it has introduced will inevitably make us a better company in the future.

“The only way to drive out exploitation of labour and dire working conditions is for us to demand that we only work with audited companies. We have to accept, however, that there is a cost to the audited operation, not only for the actual audit but also for the measures that you inevitably have to introduce to reach the standard required.”

Rudi Bedy (L) and Stefan Eiche (R)

Kalfany Süße Werbung welcome two new directors

West German promotional confectionery giant, Kalfany Süße Werbung, has announced two new directors to join its dynamic team.

Rudi Bedy steps into the role of marketing director and is primarily responsible for online marketing and social media as well as running the marketing team. Rudi has previously worked for Romanian cybersecurity company Bitdefender as global social media manager, as well as for Villeroy & Boch and Testo as head of social media marketing.

In his new role, Rudi is now going to co-shape and push the imminent marketing changes for the brands Pulmoll, Kalfany, Cupper and Süße Werbung.

Meanwhile, Stefan Eiche has become assistant sales director, taking ownership of the export department excluding Austria and Switzerland. He will be working underneath, and gradually taking on the responsibilities of, current sales director Bernd Adler, ensuring a smooth transition of the role.

Stefan has earned himself a degree in Economics and an apprenticeship in the print and media sector. He has also worked for an internationally-operating consultancy firm as a consultant, interim manager and trainer for eight years, as well as working as a marketing and sales director in the print, media and machine construction industries for nine years.