Nothing brings us back to reality quite like the arrival of September. Gone are the Out of Office auto-replies and hot, hazy days; the ninth month ushers in with it an autumn chill, when lightweight layers and knitwear are needed — the change in temperature apparent when the leaves on the trees are suddenly bronzed in the golden afternoon light. But September heralds more than just a new season; with it comes an unshakeable back-to-school mentality that stems from our childhood.
Even as adults, the start of the academic year never really leaves us; September is when we resolve to knuckle down to hit those end-of-year targets. At school, the new term offered an opportunity to shop for new everyday essentials, from pencil cases and pens to notebooks and even umbrellas, for the forthcoming rainy days — and here at Trunk, we think smart stationery is just as important in the office as the classroom.
“By investing in some new desk merch, you can hopefully reduce some of the work-related stress that comes with the last four months of the year,” says Mats, of the benefits of feeling prepared, if even with pens and a well-equipped work bag. “It might also bring some joy — psychologically, I’m sure it gives us much more satisfaction to surround ourselves with beautiful things.” Stationery, argues Mats, can “give you extra focus” to hit the numbers or prepare for any business pitch.
Mats’ desk is furnished with neatly organised notebooks; his current favourite is a canary yellow A5 journal from Japanese label Stalogy — it also comes in sky blue, cherry red and black. “The colour has a good energy to it, and it makes me feel a tinge of happiness every time I pull it out of my work bag,” he says, of the space-saving 68-page notebook that is slim enough to store in a laptop case. Don’t let the understated design fool you — Stalogy’s quality pages are rigorously road-tested on all manner of writing equipment to prevent any ink bleeds.
But what to write with? A Kaweco pen, of course. The German brand has been crafting quality pencils and fountain pens since 1883; our new season favourites include the brass and polished aluminium rollerball pens, which are undoubtedly sleeker than a Biro. “Not only do these pens look good, but they have a really nice weight to them so they are very nice to write with,” says Mats. Keep it in the vintage-style tin it’s packaged in, or instead zip it up in our exclusive Ichizawa Hanpu for Trunk cotton canvas pencil case to ensure you can always locate your pens on the go; Mats suggests the tonal yellow version to match the notebook.
Most working days begin with an early morning coffee; upgrade the experience with reusable coffee cup from Japanese label Kinto. These super sleek tumblrs in hues of khaki and off-white have a matte, powder-coated finish, and are insulated to keep drinks hot — or cold — for up to six hours. (Bonus points for the fact they’re functional for the gym, too.) Kinto’s cups have become a permanent desk accessory at Trunk as we try to cut down on our plastic consumption.
But there are other benefits of a stationery splurge; our desktops reveal more about us than one might initially think. “Stationery is not traditionally considered an accessory, but it’s very much part of Trunk’s definition of an accessory,” says Mats. “There’s only so much a navy or a grey tie or a coloured sock can tell someone about your personality; a good pen or a notebook exude sophistication and shows colleagues or business partners you are prepared and pay attention to the finer details.”
A stationery overhaul might just be the new season shopping spree you never knew you needed.
Shop stationery here.