These days, we spend so much time on our phones and laptops, it's a wonder our hands remember how to do anything other than type and swipe. But all that staring at screens can take a toll on our creativity. So it's no wonder that creative professionals tend to crave the physical, tangible, and tactile.
Buying some beautiful stationery can be one of the best ways to re-engage with the physical world and reboot your imagination. Plus, you don't even need to spend a lot of money to adorn your desk with gorgeous, designer-led products. Some of the world's most alluring bespoke stationery can be surprisingly affordable if you know where to look.
To help you out, we've scoured the web to find you the absolute best places to shop for boutique and bespoke stationery in 2022. These independent shops may fly largely under the radar, but they're passionate about their craft and tend to attract passionate, loyal audiences as a result.
So stop spending your money on boring basics sourced from uncaring tech giants. Check out these amazing stores, and start supporting your fellow creatives instead. As a happy bonus, you'll end up with lots of stunning stationery to die for, helping to reboot your mojo every time you sit down at your desk.
Founded in 2009 by two graphics designers on the go, Present & Correct is imbued with a long-term love for stationery. Their online shop features paper and office objects inspired by homework, the post office and school from more than 18 countries. The pair go on sourcing trips around four times a year with the hope of finding some vintage gems, so there's always something new to peruse.
2. Fred Aldous
Fred Aldous stocks 25,000 art, craft, photography and gift products online and in its Manchester and Leeds stores. They've been helping people make things they want since 1886. Stationery supplies range from pens and notebooks to washi tape, pattern papers and beyond.
Hato store was founded in March 2020. A concept and lifestyle store based in Coal Drops Yard, London, it forms part of the wider HATO family featuring lifestyle items, books, printed matter, clothing and objects taken from their practice as a design studio and printing press. When it comes to stationery, you can find notebooks, notepads, desktop accessories and plenty more.
Papersmiths specialises in stationery and paper goods and aims to be the shop of your stationery dreams. Alongside their own products, you'll find hand-picked favourites from designers and makers across the globe.
5. Tom Pigeon
Tom Pigeon is a creative studio founded by Pete and Kirsty Thomas in 2014. The pair design and make jewellery, prints, stationery and products, as well as taking on creative commissions and consultancy work. In their online shop, you'll find a particularly beautiful line in cards and year planners.
Before Breakfast is named in tribute to the quote from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll: "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Its founders aim to bring a new perspective to design and craft using sustainable materials and a responsible making process. The result is carefully crafted stationery that inspires everyday tasks and creativity in the workspace.
The passion project of a husband-and-wife duo, Jana and Marko, The Completist, features over 400 products, including cards, stationery, gift wrap, and homeware. With a focus on sustainable manufacturing and supporting small British manufacturers, its stationery offering includes planners, journals, notebooks, sketchbooks, calendars and more.
Founded by printmaker Katy Goutefangea in 2013, Ola's notebooks, cards and papers are produced with the kind of quality that only a love for traditional skills and craftsmanship can bring. Crafted in collaboration with partners who share their focus on sustainability, each item is a quiet celebration of pattern and simplicity.
The Journal Shop shares carefully curated stationery and paper goods inspired by the founders' trips to Japan. Its collections of designs for desk and home bring joy and comfort while sparking your curiosity and creativity.
Gemma and Jack opened Nook in Stoke Newington, London, in 2012. Their online store showcases accessible designs from the UK, Europe and beyond, focusing on products that are well designed and built to last. "Everything we sell we would have in our own home," they say. Stationery includes notebooks, planners, pens, pencils, tape dispensers, scissors and more.
11. Mark + Fold
Mark+Fold is a London-based stationery studio that prides itself in knowing where and how its products were made, the materials used, and whether they were sustainably sourced. Its notebooks and diaries open flat to 180 degrees, and the pages are made of exceptionally good paper, which is up to 30% thicker than other notebooks.
12. Colours May Vary
Colours May Vary is an independent shop based in Leeds stocking a range of beautiful, useful and inspirational wares. Their main focus is graphic art and design, typography, illustration and product design, and they stock a range of books, journals, prints, cards, wrapping paper, notebooks and planners.
Papergang is a stationery subscription series delivering exclusive products to your letterbox. Each month you'll receive a product selection that varies but includes the likes of greeting cards, notebooks, desk accessories and art prints.
14. The Stationer
The Stationer was born in 2014 out of Tessa Sowry-Osborne's love for pens, pencils, paper and everything else that lives on a desk. It's focused on combining classic design with great functionality: items that will make your desk look cool and help you be that little bit more organised.
15. Happy Dashery
Sarah Arkle and Carrie Wainer opened their Bedfordshire store in 2019 intending to be a bright and colourful beacon on our local high street. They look after their online shoppers, too. They can write personalised messages gift wrap and include a greetings card with your order on request. Stationery includes pens, pencils, card, sticky notes, journals and more.
16. Rifle Paper Co.
Rifle Paper Co was founded in 2009 by husband and wife Nathan and Anna Bond. Their site is full of bold colours, hand-painted florals and whimsical characters, and their goal is to create quality products that bring beauty to the everyday. Their stationery includes greeting cards, social stationery sets, card sets, postcards and photobooks.
17. Meticulous Ink
The good people of Meticulous proudly print stationery the old fashioned way, using beautiful papers, time, patience, and a deep-rooted passion for being meticulous. Two original 1960s Heidelberg printing presses are used to create their own greeting cards, stationery box sets, business cards, wedding invites, packaging and bookmarks.
Yoseka Stationery is the US branch of the much-loved Taiwanese store, bringing its beautiful stationery products to a global audience. These include planners, cards, erasers, fountain pens, inks, letter stationery, markers, notebooks, organisers, pens, pencils, refills, stamps and stickers.
Wrap celebrates the very best in contemporary creativity through its print magazine, the products they make, and the online content they publish. Its notebook collection has recently had a glow up and now boasts new styles with illustrated covers and gold foil detailing. Several classic designs from the Wrap archive have also been brought forward into the range.
Counterprint is one of our favourite book publishers, and they do a mean line in stationery products. These include everything from pencils, rulers and tape dispensers to art chalk, white vinyl glue and a screen printing kit.
Since 2015, Papier has been an emporium of eclectic designs, including bespoke stationery products that invite curiosity and contemplation. Alongside their in-house collections, they collaborate with bright, up-and-coming artists, iconic brands and exciting fashion labels.
22. Choosing Keeping
Choosing Keeping began in 2012 as a small shop on Columbia Road, a street in East London best known for its flower market and independent boutiques. They offer a fantastic range of stationery products, including writing paper, decorative paper, art tools, office accessories and wrapping paper.