Whether doodling or taking notes at school or in a meeting handwriting still matters these days.
The increased interest in writing is having an impact on paper retail trends across Europe.
Handwriting is one thing we learn at school that we never forget. It is important for mental and physical development, not just when we are children, but throughout our lives. We use it to take notes, communicate ideas, create stories and to remind ourselves of things we need to do. But writing needs a medium, and that medium is mostly paper.
Digital learning environments and devices may be taking more room in school curricula, but the sacred union of pen and paper remains strong inside and outside the classroom. Perhaps surprisingly, people have increasingly rediscovered the benefits of handwriting - and it is also shown in consumer trends. Bullet journals, notebooks, Post-It notes, and other paper products do not simply help us manage our lives better, but they boost our memory, creativity and even mental health as well.
School and handwriting - a match!
At schools around Europe, handwriting, paper notepads and exercise books still play a crucial and visible role. For example, Austrian paper product company FormatWerk sells most of its products to schools.
'Sixty to sixty-five per cent of our sales go to schools or stores that service schools,' says Thomas Riemer, co-owner of Formatwerk.
He points out that even in Finland, where education has moved towards a more digital school environment, people continue to buy as many school notebooks as they have always done.
'A child cannot learn how to write or do maths via an iPad. It simply doesn't work the same way,' he emphasises.
In Belgium too, the demand for paper products from schools, true wholesalers, has remained steady. 'Belgian schools supply exercise books to pupils so demand in education is driven by demographics,' says Michel Avonds, Aurora's Marketing Manager. He explains that they use scholastics paper from Stora Enso in a range of diaries, notepads, exercise books and other products.
In Germany, where the parents buy school exercise books for their children, there's a growing demand for high-quality paper products. 'Parents want to buy the best for their children,' points out Marc Bornschier, who is responsible for paper buying at Baier & Schneider in Germany.
Paper notebooks rule
One would think that you would need fewer notebooks for people in meetings, as minutes are recorded digitally. But that's not the case.
'Everyone wants to write down the bits they need to remember; we have never sold so many notebooks as we do today,' Thomas Riemer confirms from Austria.
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