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Inspiration Board : Vintage Office Supplies

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I started this small collection of vintage office supplies about a year ago. I really love the muted, aged colors and simplicity of package design. It's so rare now to find similarly mass-produced products with the same, reserved aesthetic.


The UK-based company Present & Correct is helping keep the dream alive with their online shop. They have a great collection of vintage supplies (top row) - but also an equally great line of new items with a bit of old-fashioned flair (bottom).


I have always loved this shot from the scrap booking story in the January 2006 issue of Living. I think it might have been what inspired my collection, now that I think about it.


I have been dreaming about getting a copy of this book of vintage office supplies since I saw it posted on Designer's Library earlier this year. If I may judge a book by its cover, it looks amazing.


And not to dismiss the office super stores entirely, I should point out that they can surprise you. One of my office essentials is this make your own stamp kit I picked up at Staples a few years ago. The versatility of its sans serif font & do-it-yourself type-setting make it a welcome addition to even the most discerning desk set.

Comments (12)

  • sigh :)

  • I love your collection! I was just looking through my past issues this weekend trying to organize them and I loved that scrap booking story. The make your own stamp kit is such a great find, I would of never known about that!

  • Scrap book pages are decorated in such a wonderful manner why not make a post card decorated as nicely to send to someone through the Mail. save the post office send a vintage letter handwritten to a friend!!

  • What lovely vintage supplies! The Japanese really produce such beautiful publications on pretty much every subject. I can spend hours in Kinokuniya poring over the wonderful selection.

    That DIY stamp kit is terrific! I picked one up at Staples a couple of weeks ago and look forward to using it to create business cards, stationery, tags, and other personalized paper goods.

  • This post reminds me of a great store Cambridge, Massachusetts called The Museum of Useful Things. They sold regular office supplies in beautiful vintage styled packaging as well as more unique office and home items. Does anyone know if the store is still around?

  • Crafter Comment:

    I do know that store, Regan! It was one of my favorites when I lived in Boston. Looks like it's still there:

  • I am attracted to anything vintage. What a great collection, Thanks for sharing!

  • Wow! I just had a total moment of clarity upon spotting that "make your own stamp set".

    Ordering one RIGHT NOW!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • LOVE this post and the collection. It was a moment of "hello?! I've always wanted to collect these items but didn't know until TODAY!"

    I'm starting my own collection right now!

  • I just love the look of these vintage office supplies you've shown here.

    It's true, most of today's office supplies are rarely conducive to holding on to as keepsakes. Their design is more "mass produced" and we're apt to just throw them out when done and get a new one.

  • ohh I love the vintage office supplies! Very cool! I have an addiction to collecting things. My favorite pass time is auction hoping!

  • When I was a teen, I worked for two years and the U.S. Geological Survey, in their scientific library. The building itself fitted the aesthetic: chrome and blonde woods. The office supplies we used were ancient: stamps, old ink pens with caligraphy nibs, ancient canvas punchhole reinforcers, old paperclips in archaic shapes. I was in heaven!

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