Tips and Advice

Top Drawer S/S18 – catch up on what you missed

Couldn’t make it to Top Drawer S/S18 this weekend? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This year we had our very own stand, showcasing our Business Booster Competition winners (Ted & Kip and the Completist), and our brand ambassador (The Curious Department) – but alongside showing off our customers and our top notch print products, we also made it our mission to get out into the fray and learn as much as possible, so we could share it with you!

We uncovered key print trends, a fair dose of exhibition inspo, and top business advice, so grab yourself a cuppa, down tools and take a read…

Key trends for 2018

top drawer S/S18 paper awards S/18 winner engaging print winner the curious department

Dark Lux

Bold, dark, moody colours look like they’re set to take centre stage this year, combined with striking metallic accents. Rose gold is still staying strong (a finish you can replicate in your print using our copper foil) and gold and silver tones offset the depth of the dark.

How to use it for print?

Create striking designs using dark backgrounds and accents of foil. Bring your artwork out of the dark with glimmering hints that emphasise and catch all the right attention – just like these gorgeous prints from The Curious Department.

Top Drawer S/S18 pink, the completist red and black cards with hello message in different languages

Pattern Clash

Patterns are always a hit in summer, and this year it’s about mix n match, a trend that our Business Booster winner The Completist has nailed. Create vivid striking patterns that dance across the page in an array of contrasting and complimenting colours to be bang on trend this year. The great thing about patterns is that they can tell a unique story. Pineapples and puppies your thing? Create a pattern with them! How about mixing up a simple Aztec design with some clean grid lines? Go wild! You truly can’t go wrong with this bold trend.

How to use it for print?

Why not create patterned business cards with opposing designs on each side? Or bring the pattern craze into stationery design and create a suite of products that feature clashing patterns. You’re guaranteed to be remembered!

Top Drawer S/S18: Ted & Kip cards with colourful fantastic animal


Geometrics have been here for a while and they show no signs of easing up when it comes to popularity. The striking simplicity of geometric design makes it an ideal trend to carry through into print and stationery. We love the subtle way that Ted & Kip carry the trend through their entire range – everything from Greeting Cards to prints and even Pin Badges!

How to use it for print?

We love geometric branding – why not refresh your look with mathematic precision and discover a brand identity that’s power lies in simplicity? Geometric design is also perfect for edgy, contemporary Wedding Stationery suites too!

Ultra Violet

In case you missed it – Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. Described as ‘inventive and imaginative’, ‘complex and contemplative’ and ‘enigmatic and intriguing’, this colour looks set to take the print word by storm. Often associated with mindfulness, energy and inspiration, why not experiment with Ultra Violet in your next print project?

Top Drawer S/S18: pantone ultraviolet pictures, lavanda, thunderstorm and a tunnel

Exhibition trends

Self-Adhesive Vinyl

Self-Adhesive Vinyl is ideal for exhibitions and expos. Choose a repositionable vinyl to make it super easy to apply, move and remove after the show, without losing any impact. Go floor to ceiling with high impact imagery, choose a bold block colour, or simply liven up your backdrop a little with a subtle pattern to draw in the eye.

Top Drawer S/S18: wall with artwork from different brands like the complestist, the curious department and tad & kip

Promo materials

No stall is complete without a stash of marketing giveaways – and we saw everything from Postcards to Perfect Bound and Saddle Stitched Brochures on display this year. While these are all standard exhibition print, we noticed the upcoming trends creeping into these marketing tools (like Ultra Violet, Geometrics and Pattern Clash).

Top Drawer S/S18: ted & kip and the completist artwork and book

And, when it comes to the full print package, check out these gorgeous boxes by Milly Inspired – featuring Postcards, packaging Stickers and beautiful jewellery packaging, created using our Bespoke service.

Top Drawer S/S18 Milly Inspired artwork with jewelry boxes, gift boxes

Display Boards

Display Boards are the easiest way to catch attention at your next exhibition. Choose a lightweight core and attach yours using Velcro for minimal damage. display board at Top Drawer S/S18 and the completist and ted & kip logo

Top Drawer returns to Olympia from 9-11 September for their A/W edition – don’t miss it!

Did you visit Top Drawer this year? Let us know in the comments! Or let us know what you think about the upcoming design trends – are you already using them? How do you think they’ll influence your artwork, we’d love to know! Comment below or Tweet @printed_com, check us out on Instagram printedcom, or let us know on our Facebook page.

Oh and don’t forget, if you’ve got an exhibition coming up, you can save 20% on high impact print right now at Head here to find out more.

About the author

Bex is our Senior Content Manager and lover of all things community. When she's not glued to her phone you can find her out cycling in the Chiltern Hills or braving the London commute on her Brompton.

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