National Stationery Week 2016

National Stationery Week was launched in 2013 and is a celebration of the written word and all things stationery. The aim is to get more people putting pen to paper and writing by hand more often. This year National Stationery Week is running from 25 April – 1 May and we want to involve as many people as possible.

The truth is, technology has merely distracted us from the joy and importance of writing, it hasn’t replaced it. There is still something special about stationery and receiving a handwritten letter or card. According to YouGov research commissioned by National Stationery Week, 92% of adults think that writing by hand is important and 97% think it is important for children to be taught to write.

For 2016 at The Pen Shop we will be running an exclusive #PenAmnesty both online and in all our stores. Details for this exciting new venture will be launched first thing on Monday morning!

Last year in 2015 we ran an art competition with a theme of “Talking is for now, writing is forever” and asked for pen and paper interpretations of it. The diversity of ideas was astounding and it was amazing to see the creativity and thought given to each entry.

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For a bit of fun we also ran a poetry competition on Twitter. We asked our Twitter followers to help us write a poem by coming up with a next line each day. Expectations were high, but undoubtedly exceeded; we never knew that the resulting poem would be so good! It was especially nice that so many of the entries were handwritten.

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For National Stationery Week 2014 we had an amazing response to our Doodle Competition. The competition was to unleash your inner doodler to show how George managed to capture the dragon. We were absolutely blown away by the amazing variety of doodles and ideas.

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To celebrate the launch National Stationery Week in 2013 we invited people of all ages to indulge their creative streak by writing a short story. You can still view our winning entries by clicking the links below.

Winners Age 8 – 12 Category >

Winners Age 13-18 Category >

Winners Age 18+ Category >

Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about our 2016 #PenAmnesty

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Brand History: Montblanc

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Thinking about leading creators of luxury writing instruments, the brand Montblanc immediately comes to mind. At The Pen Shop, we are proud to promote our status as a Montblanc Authorised retailer and are stockists of a wide selection of Montblanc writing instruments and refills, notebooks and other accessories.

As a global leader in luxury accessories, Montblanc have been operating for nearly a century, having diversified into other areas of the luxury goods market over those years. The unique White Star logo on the tip of each piece and accessory, ensures the Montblanc name is strongly identifiable.

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The name Montblanc was registered in 1910, and was said to have been based on an analogy between the great writing instrument and the highest peak in the Alps, the Mont Blanc. The shape of the logo itself represents the snow-covered peak of Mont Blanc.

Montblanc expanded quickly, and by the end of the 1920’s, the company was already operating in over 60 countries. Their attention to some striking advertising campaigns at that time, ensured they caught worldwide attention.

The consideration given to the detail in Montblanc products is evident in all of the products they produce. But especially in the early production of their iconic Meisterstück fountain pen in 1929, they inscribed ‘4810’ in the nib. Representing the height of the Mont Blanc mountain, this is a traditional detail that continues to this day. Meisterstück remain one of the most popular lines that we sell today at The Pen Shop, with the range covering fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens as well as mechanical pencils, all available in a range of colours, sizes and finishes.

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Following the success of the Meisterstück, Montblanc went on to develop other exciting new ranges with more more designs. From the ‘60 Line’ range in 1955, up to the current New Editions of today, Montblanc remain at the forefront of design and technology in the world of writing.

1986 was the year that Montblanc would create their famous phrase “Montblanc – The Art of Writing’, as well as being a time for the company to engage in many art and cultural collaborations, strengthening their support of the world of the arts. Developing a range of Limited Edition writing pieces, Montblanc continue to celebrate the great renowned artists and writers of previous generations.

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Montblanc expanded its empire into the Asian market in 1990, the beginning of their openings of Montblanc stand-alone Boutiques. The success continued with more boutiques opening in Paris and London, a number today which now stands at over 350 boutiques in over 70 countries.

The Boutiques stock a range of Montblanc pieces including the writing instruments the brand are most known for, as well as watches, leather goods, accessories, jewellery, eyewear and fragrance. In the various Pen Shop concessions and stand-alone stores around the UK, we stock some of the most popular Montblanc Collections and products; a perfect gift for loved ones or yourself, to be cherished for years and generations to come.

Contactless Card – Safety Wallets

There has been a lot of mention in the press lately about contactless card fraud. Contactless cards are now wildly popular, and used in one in seven sales. The contactless cards can be used for purchases under £30 and do not require automatic authorisation from banks. It is sadly too easy for thieves to steal card details using widely available Point of Sale (POS) devices. There has recently been a widely shared Facebook post of this happening on the London Underground. All the thieves have to do is key in a price less than £30 on the POS device and then touch the device on the pocket that contains the victims wallet/card and the payment goes through.

Until people check their bank statements they may not notice these small transactions at first however the thieves will continue to use the card at will until stopped. It is then up to the victim to report the theft and try and claim a refund. A member of our team at The Pen Shop head office sadly had their card details stolen this way and a significant amount of money was taken from their account. Fortunately they did eventually receive the money back but it involved a great deal of hassle and stress.

This has raised serious issues about card protection but a number of brands including our own Pen Shop brand Kingsley have already taken steps to try and combat this problem. Our Kingsley and Secrid RFID blocker wallets protect your money and cards from electromagnetic radiation, illegal RFID-scanning and other outside influences.

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The Cardprotector is the core of the Secrid product line. The aluminium Cardprotector protects your six most important cards, both against bending and breaking and against your RFID cards being scanned if you don’t want them to be (such as the transportation pass, ID card, the latest credit cards and business cards).

What does RFID Blocker technology do?

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that can be embedded into a range of items including bank cards and passports to allow the wireless transmission of information (such as contactless pay points).

Information can be extracted from RFID equipped items without your knowledge with hand-held devices (known as skimmers).

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RFID blocker technology impairs the extraction of data from any RFID item enclosed within the product. Protection is provided by a special material enclosed within the leather and does not effect the normal use of RFID item.

With the growing popularity of contactless cards then crime against them will also continue to rise. To combat this we would advise people to invest in wallets with RFID blocker technology to make sure their cards are safe.

Mother’s Day Sunday 6th March

Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is early this year on Sunday 6th March. If you are struggling for inspiration then our hand-picked collection of beautiful and indulgent gifts will ensure that you find the right present. So let her know she’s loved this Mother’s Day with the perfect gift from The Pen Shop.

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Cross Botanica is a chic collection with floral designs, beautiful colours and metallic highlights. No lady should be without one. Eye-catching colours are used to artfully illustrate the floral design making them boldly original.

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This beautiful Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen and Ball Pen set is an elegant & sophisticated slim set for every day & every occasion. Using a variety of materials, colours, designs and styles, Waterman remains more than ever the epitome of individual French elegance.

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We have a large collection of Calligraphy pens which are perfect for elegant handwriting including writing sets from Coles Calligraphy. This set comprises of an oversized wooden pen, 5 differently sized nibs and a bottle of ink where the top is made of pewter.

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We have three lovely new designs from Filofax called Butterflies, Denim Dots and Geometric. These new organisers feature striking and stylish patterns as well as all the paper inserts and accessories you can expect from a traditional Filofax.

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Caroline Gardner is best known as one of the UK’s leading and most prolific stationery and gift designers. Her distinctive designs now stretch across various product categories, including paper, accessories and lifestyle, all linked by her design hand print of quirky use of colour and placement.

View more gift ideas for Mother’s Day HERE

 

New In: Chopard Gifts & Accessories

Here at The Pen Shop we’re always keen to work with new brands, and those that are rich in history (a bit like ourselves) especially peak our interest! So it is with great pleasure that we are launching a great selection of accessories and gifts from luxury brand Chopard this week, both online and in selected stores.

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Chopard have built up a tremendous reputation since 1860 in the fields of watch and jewellery making and remain an independent family firm to this day. They have developed and maintained their family spirit over the many years the company has been in existence, training their personnel to ensure the highest quality in their products.

The Pen Shop will stock a selection of Chopard pens, in Ballpoint, Rollerball and Fountain Pen styles. As well as a selection of small leather goods such as wallets, passport and card holders, iPad cases, belts and briefcases. Chopard clocks are also being presented for both the home and travel, as well as cufflinks and key rings for the perfect Christmas gift. Treat your loved ones to something special!

Shop the full range of Chopard HERE.

New Concession Opening in Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle upon Tyne’s prestigious department store Fenwick, is the latest collaboration with Europe’s largest instrument writing specialist, The Pen Shop. Fenwick, situated on Newcastle upon Tyne’s most popular high street Northumberland Street, was the first store to open in the Fenwick group in 1882. Since then, many of these luxury department stores have opened around the UK.

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On display at our new Fenwick concession will be a magnificent range of luxury and premium pens, including Montblanc, Caran d’Ache, Graf von Faber Castell, Kingsley, Cross, Lamy, Sheaffer, Parker and Waterman, together with an extensive range of gifts and leather accessories.

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The Pen Shop opened originally in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1858 and it is with great pride that our new concession is now settled on the ground floor of Fenwick in the city. We still have our original store in Newcastle upon Tyne’s Eldon Gardens, so you now have a choice on where you would like to pay us a visit.

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Opening Hours
Mon-Sat: 9.00am – 8.00pm
Sun: 10.30am-5.00pm

Contact Information
T: 0191 4979730
E: Newcastle.fenwick@penshop.co.uk

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our new home – comment below or follow us on Twitter and Facebook and leave us a message!

 

The Pen Shop Gift Guide: For Her

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When it comes to spoiling the special lady in your life on Christmas day, we at The Pen Shop think we’ve got some must have items that will make 2015 one of wonder.

We come up with our top 5 items that we think every woman should wake up to on Christmas Day – and you can just sit back and relax knowing she’ll love it.

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Trust in the perfect partnership between pen and paper. This gorgeous buffalo leather Filofax organiser1 is the perfect handbag size for the modern on-the-go lady. Pair it with an elegant, sophisticated and timeless, chrome trimmed, fountain pen and ball Waterman pen set2 in its own luxury gift box.

Want something a bit more distinctive that adds instant glamour? Check out the Ted Baker rose gold set3 – with a hidden secret, the twist-ball pen features a stylus nibbed end so your lovely lady can write or tap till her hearts content.

One for a woman who always wants to look her best. Maranda Ti is  one our favourite brands and her compact mirror & lipstick case4 is an essential for ‘little extra’ this Christmas.

Still a bit stuck? A classic with a twist never goes amiss. Treat your beloved to a chic, floral affect Cross Botanica5 fountain pen with subtle metallic tones and 23ct Gold Pale trims.

The Pen Shop Gift Guide: For Him

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Men can traditionally be very difficult to buy for, they seem to own everything already! So to save you the hard work we’ve come up with a selection of gifts. You’re bound to find something among them for the man in your life.

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If your man likes the designer high end pieces in his life, why not invest in a very special Montblanc pen1? He will love you forever!

Or if you’re looking for a writing instrument a little lower down in the price scale, but no less luxurious, opt for a Ferrari Fountain pen2.

What to give the man who has everything? A hip flask and cufflink set3 of course! The minimal and sleek design will appeal to everyone from your brother to your grandad.

Perfect for travelling as well as a stylish home accessory, the Grants of Dalvey Cavesson Clock4 is the perfect timepiece for the man who likes to keep one eye on the time.

For the man who likes gadgets, this is one wallet with a difference, the Secrid Miniwallet5 will safely secure all of your cards and cash in a compact size.

The Pen Shop Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers

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Now we have Halloween and Bonfire Night behind us, it’s Christmas all the way from this point on! If you’re not wanting to get completely underway with your Christmas shopping just yet, why not start gently with some inexpensive Stocking Fillers? We have a fantastic selection of small gifts for your family and friends, all under £20 and some as low as £1.50!

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Our best selling Flip notes(from £6) are a cute little mini notebook with matching pen, so handy to carry around in a ladies handbag or breast pocket for the gents.

These mini Torches2 (from £5) are another perfect accessory for any handbag. Available in a selection of stylish fashion designs, they’re a must have for helping you find your keys on these dark winter nights. Keep your keys in one safe place with a selection of multi-functional key-rings(from £8), some of them double up as a trolley token, stylus and a torch.

For thoughts and notes on the go, why not buy friends or colleagues a rainbow coloured notebook4 (from £3) in either A5 or A6 style. And for the doodlers in your life, celebrate Cool Britannia with a Union Jack pencil(£1.50) or choose from our fantastic selection of pens6 (from £10), available in an array of styles and colours – you can never have too many pens in your life!

Personalise Your Gifts

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Whether you are in the market to buy some writing instruments and gifts for loved ones or even just as a treat to yourself, why not make your Pen Shop delights a little more special with our Embossing & Engraving service. Introduced just in time for the Christmas season, initials or short messages can be imprinted onto various products, depending upon their size.

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Embossing can be carried out on to selected products, where you can choose from three print options of blind deboss, gold foil and silver foil. Using the elegant Times Roman font, the embossing gives a personal finish to a special gift.

We will also be offering an engraving service, so that your writing instrument can truly become your own. Engraving up to 20 characters will be on the cap of the pen, in either a Helvetica and Rollerscript lettering.

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Both the Embossing & Pen Engraving services will carry a small £7.50 standard charge per item. Pen Box engraving carries a standard charge of £5 per box with 50 characters allowed on the box.

There is also the option of a laser engraving service which offers the option of a longer message to be engraved along the top face of some of the gift boxes at a charge of £5.

To shop our new range of personalised products, shop our Embossed Leather Gifts, Engravable Pens collection or our Engravable Gifts Boxes collection today.