Right now, we’re living in an unmistakably digital age; inseparably wedded to our tablets, laptops and phones throughout the working day. Yet despite this (or perhaps because of it), the pull of authentic, lovingly designed stationery, from notebooks to pencils and pens, seems greater than ever.
And the good thing is, you don’t have to trek into town to fulfil your craving. There are many great sources of stunning stationery online, and we select the best ones here, to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Inchiostro and Paper prides itself on being “inspirational, ethical, minimal”, and who wouldn’t want all of that from your stationery? Its notebooks, journals and planners are also rather beautiful, not to mention efficient and organised. Founded in 2017, this boutique store is based in Italy (the name is Italian for ‘ink’) but shipping is free on its products worldwide.
This store, founded in 2012 and based in Covent Garden, London, sells a fabulous array of stationery products, as well as decorative paper, art materials and office supplies. You’ll find an astonishing selection of rare and exquisite stationery here; items chosen with love for both their utility and beauty. Choosing Keeping will ship worldwide for orders of £10 and over.
Named by Tatler as one of the best stationery shops in the UK, Oh Squirrel was founded in London by product designer Katie Wagstaff in 2012. It’s filled with unique, handmade stationery, homeware and party supplies inspired by vintage photos, typography, botanical imagery and retro fabrics. Bear in mind your order will take between one and five days to be made, with shipping time on top of that.
Based in Covent Garden, London Graphic Centre has been serving the UK’s design and arts communities since 1973. They are dedicated to making exploring, discovering and buying the best creative supplies and design-led stationery easy for graphic designers, architects, artists, fashionistas, enthusiasts and students. The online store mirrors the retail space and can deliver same-day to London, next-day across the UK and to most overseas locations.
Founded in 2002, Hay is primarily a furniture company but does a lovely range of stationery and office supplies. We’re particularly struck by their gorgeous yet professional-looking notebooks, and even their £3 wooden pencil sharpeners are a design delight.
Established in 2000 in East London’s market district, Labour and Wait now has four locations in London and one in Tokyo. Both its stores and its website offer an evolving range of timeless, functional products for everyday life, including stationery, books and homeware. These are sourced from specialist makers from around the world, many of whom manufacture their goods in the traditional way and to their original designs.
First launched online in 2014 by pencil collector Caroline Weaver, the success of CW Pencil was quickly followed by the launch of a physical store in New York. Today, the brand sells everything a pencil enthusiast might want or need, from sharpeners and erasers to refills and replacements.
Based in Cheshire, The Green Gables has been on a mission since 2010 to provide “green and gorgeous gifts and stationery to spread a little joy”. From affirmation, intention and mantra cards to the year-long daily gratitude journal, these products are all carefully designed to encourage positive thoughts and deeds, as well as being environmentally friendly in their production.
Sparrow + Wolf is a Birmingham-based stationery and home furnishing studio that designs its own quirky, colourful and fun, yet high-quality products including notebooks, cards and gift wrap. We particularly love its weather-themed notebooks, which take a design approach we’ve not seen before (and that we’d love to see more of).
Based in Florida and founded in 2009, Rifle Paper Co. is an international stationery and lifestyle brand founded by husband-wife team Anna and Nathan Bond. Its notepads, address books, pencils and pens are to die for and check out their selection of art prints too.
Another store founded by graphic designers, Papersmiths sells beautifully curated stationery, books and magazines, greetings and gifts, online and from its two physical stores in Brighton, Bristol and London (Chelsea, King’s Cross and Shoreditch). Expect brands such as Hay, Ola and Midori.
Founded in 2008 by Céline Leterme and Jon Dowling, Counter-Print started life as a seller of vintage design books but has since extended its products to include some fabulous stationery, from notebooks and organisers to erasers and staplers.
Present & Correct was founded online in 2008 by two graphic designers as, in their own words: “A place for our designs, things we love by other designers from around the world & vintage items which we discover on trips and foraging expeditions.” They go on sourcing trips four times a year, and their evident passion for stationery shines through their collections of unique and quirky products, from 18 different countries.
Founded in 2015 by designer Amy Cooper-Wright in London, Mark+Fold designs and makes stationery products that are minimal, understated, and extremely good quality. Here you’ll find all manner of modern notebooks and cards, notable for their special papers and bindings.
Founded in 2004, UK site The Journal Shop was born out of “a personal passion for cool stationery and good living” and describes itself as “a veritable garden of stationery delights if you will”. A glance at their site, and it’s clear they have a passion for curating the most eye-catching and alluring paper, pens and desk accessories around, including a lot of cool Japanese stuff, from notebooks to tape dispensers.
Nook is a “design & life store” in London and online that carefully curates items across the UK, Europe and beyond, including some very moreish stationery. Founded in 2012 by friends Gemma, Jack and Kate, their shared passion for design shines through every single product on show here, from notebooks to pencil cases.
From pretty diaries to animal-themed Washi tapes, as well as weekly planners, monthly planners, journals, notebooks and cute pens, this UK stationery store, founded in 2013, brings together quirky and well-designed stationery from across the world. Head here if you’re seeking paper goods and craft items, curated by those who love brilliant design.
Launched in 2006, Milligram is a physical store based in Melbourne that also claims to be Australia’s “largest online store for boutique and designer stationery”. It does a fine range of notebooks, pens and pencil, fine paper and diaries, with brands including Moleskine, Rhodia, LAMY, Kaweco, and O-Check Design.
Both a physical store and an online shop, Smug is the brainchild of Islington designer Lizzie Evans, who is a big fan of “cluttered minimalism”. You’ll find her bespoke designs for prints, cards, accessories, homeware and stationery here, the latter including pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks, staplers and more.
Founded in 2014, Tom Pigeon is a creative studio by Pete and Kirsty Thomas, where they design and sells their own prints, jewellery, homeware and stationery. Head here for a stylish, distinctive and playful range of pocketbooks, greeting cards, notepads and play cards.
i-you-all is a design brand and retail concept from London-based practice iya studio. It offers an inspired collection of homeware, accessories, stationery and curios, all beautifully packaged with simplicity, quality and functionality running through their core. Products come from both local and international designers and makers, with an eye for design.
Based in Manchester, UK, and helping people make things since 1886, Fred Aldous sells a huge range of arts and crafts products, both in its physical store and online. This includes pens, pencils, sketchpads, sticky notes and clips… but too many to mention here, as they stock more than 25,000 items in total!
Has this resource piece inspired you to get creative again? Find out more about a creative career at one of our Info Sessions. Or delve into our archives for similar articles such as; 20 Must Have Gadgets for Designers or Top 10 Co-working Spaces.