Our National Stationery Week 2016 survey has revealed that handwriting and stationery are far from dead – in fact, there’s a resurgence, and they’re thriving more than ever before.

It was National Stationery Week at the end of April, and here at The Pen Company we decided that it was the perfect time to conduct a survey to find out what people think about stationery in this digital age; why they love it, what their favourite items are, what their favourite pens and brands are, and so on. The findings were fascinating, and I’ve gone into detail below, however the overall message is that stationery is very popular right now.

23.9% of those surveyed agreed with the statement ‘Stationery is my life’, and a further 46% agreed with the statement ‘I love stationery a little bit more than I should do, and often spend money on it’. This is certainly backed up by the figures surrounding buying frequency, with 17.2% saying they purchase new stationery at least once a week, 22.1% purchasing fortnightly, 34.4% purchasing monthly, and 22.7% purchasing every few months.

According to our survey, design trumps both quality and price when it comes to the deciding factor for making a purchase. The most popular stationery items are: Pens (loved by 83.4% of respondents), Notepads (loved by 75.5%), Diaries/Organisers (loved by 52.1%), and Paper (loved by 40.5%). When it comes to pens, the clear favourites were Fountain pens (loved by 58.9%), with Gel and Rollerball coming in second and third place, with 46.6% and 43.6% respectively. Only 36.8% of those asked said they would call Ballpoint pens a favourite.

Diaries are still more popular than their digital counterparts, with 58.3% of people using a paper diary regularly. A further 24.5% of respondents also own a paper diary, but don’t use it daily. More than half (in fact, 65%) of our respondents own and use a journal – some frequently, and some less so. ‘Snail Mail’ is also still alive and kicking in 2016, with 53.4% of people saying they send letters through the post, with 22.7% of those writing to pen pals. The biggest reason given for people not sending handwritten letters (at 33%) is having nobody to write to. 28.2% of people said they kept all personal mail they receive, whilst 66.9% said they keep the special ones. That totals 95.1% of respondents keeping at least some letters and cards, which only goes to show how wonderful handwritten notes are. In fact, 93.9% of participants said they’d rather receive a letter than an email from a loved one, with the overwhelming reasons being that it is more personal and someone has taken the time out of their busy life to write to you.

91.4% of participants send a card to loved ones on their birthdays, 74.7% send thank you cards, and 62.6% send cards on religious holidays such as Christmas.

Favourite memories relating to stationery featured: “Writing to Father Christmas”, “Stationery shopping for the new school year”, “Looking back at old letters & postcards received from my Dad when he was away with the Navy”, and “My first fountain pen in school”.

Finally, 96.3% of those surveyed believe that handwriting should continue to be taught in schools.


If you have any questions regarding our survey, the questions, or the results – including further details relevant to your specific industry or company- please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lucy Fletcher at [email protected]

Please click on the following images to view the full size.

Please feel free to use any of the below images in articles relating to the above survey.
Faber-Castell fountain pen Paperblanks journal Lamy fountain pen Paperblanks diary