Are stationery designers the ‘blue collar’ workers of the design industry or are they the underrated gems?

I was reading a blog the other day and saw that a design firm had spotlighted a designer who specialized in stationery designs. This was a ‘top designer’ in his field for a specific crowdsourcing company. The blog article received a few comments most of them derogatory pertaining to the notion that stationery designs were easy to create and low on competition, hence there really could be no ‘top designer’.

The bias apparent within those comments got me thinking are stationery designers less creative or are they simply passed over in terms of creativity? My answer?

The majority of stationery designers are mediocre because the business environment restricts their inherent creativity. Unlike logo designs and website designs stationery designs are overlooked in the business world. Corporations come to designers and request logo and website designs that are ‘unique’, ‘creative’ and ‘eye-catching’. However, when it’s time for the stationery design they are willing to work from templates and choose blindly.

Every stationery designs looks the same-NOT

To validate my own thoughts I did what every twenty first century writer would do-I Googled.

I began to search for stationery designers that created the mediocre and hoped to find designers that would blow me away with the thought, “Now why didn’t I ask for a business card or letterhead that looks like that?”

The fact is in a digital business environment every business needs to be able to have a brand identity that stands out not in terms of ‘whether it be through a logo, web-design or marketing material’ but consistently through all the various mediums from logo to website design and stationery to traditional marketing media.

My Hand Picked Top 5 Business Card Design (ers):


They created a unique pop-up style business card for Microsoft UK especially for their conference marketing. The cards had a pop-up photo of the individual partners with a brief description of their expertise. According to Microsoft UK, "These cards went down REALLY, REALLY well, our partners and customers loved them."



For all those Lego fans out there between the ages 10 and 90 ever imagine passing out Lego figurines as business cards?


Vitor Bonates:

Work in the music industry or not this Vinyl style business card design is worth every penny.

Vitor Bonates

Mei Yen:

For those of you with a sweet tooth try Mei Yen’s business cards as a way of calorie reduction.

Mei Yen

Richard Evans:

A business card by any other name would become a chair?

Richard Evans

It’s not Stationery Designs it’s actually Brand Identity

I’ll be honest when I began the search for letterhead and envelope designs I could understand where the derogatory comments about the creativity of stationery designers was coming from. I mean a lot of the designs are mediocre or in other words common:


However, I was soon made to eat humble pie as will those graphic designers who suggested stationery designers lacked creativity. The way to look at stationery designs is not individually rather as a brand package. When seen collectively stationery designs become a company’s identity that over times works to create an impact-especially if the clients have all the marketing material that is offered by the company.

The images below will clarify these words:

SmashingNico by Nico Lopez

Nico Lopez

Multiple Designers:

As the images sourced from by the multiple designer’s projects stationery design has become more than just the creation of letterhead or business card… it has become the creation of a brand identity.