Greetings from Berlin! I am currently on a small mini break to celebrate my husbands 40th birthday and along the way I have stumbled across, and sought out, a few stationery shops which have surprised and excited me, therefore I felt that they were worthy of a blog post.
This gem I found through All Things Stationerys wonderful world map of physical stationery goodness. RSVP is split into two halves, one store focuses on items such as notebooks, pens, pencils, scissors and utensils, and then you hop over the street where the second store is more craft related with wrapping paper, tapes, twine and cards. Both are really nicely laid out and entice you in to explore the delights they have on offer.
RSVPs shelves are laid out with minimal product and cute name tags allowing you to browse and appreciate the items on offer. This isn't a groundbreaking store layout or style, but its great to see a stationery store using this to promote the joys of the analogue world.
My husband and I both purchased a few items from RSVP, however I will save the details for an upcoming blog post.
Type and Hype
Type and Hype is a coffee shop and typography appreciation shop. You can grab a coffee and pastry whilst at the same time looking through a selection of notebooks, posters and crockery branded with different typographical lettering. The store includes an old letterpress but unfortunately is not in use and used more for decoration. Type and Hype source all their stationery items from within Berlin and Germany itself, which is quite a nice selling point. This shop is quite cool but it is limited to notebooks and a few pencils. I desperately wanted something more from the letterpress theme such as classes or an old workshop hidden in the back of the shop, but sadly this is not the case. I was not tempted into buying anything from Type and Hype and what's more the coffee was just ok by Berlin standards. I like the concept of this store but there is definitely something lacking there for me.
This stationery store was an absolute gem and the only unplanned store I found during my visit. Luiban can be found on the same road as Type and Hype and holds a wide range of fantastic stationery.
The store is laid out really well presenting the different stationery items simply and clearly - kind of like an Apple store but for stationery products. Luiban stocks envelopes and cards alongside traditional stationery such as notebooks, pencils, pens, stamps and accessories. The wall shown in the photo below was full to the brim of small stationery items that can sometimes be forgotten and are far rarer to see in a physical shop front. (I spent quite some time staring at this wall.)
The table below is visible as soon as you walk through the store. Midori travellers notebooks, including the new Pan Am edition, leather cases, notebooks and a pen and pencil testing section are all covered in this area. It works as a great entrance into the store showing the broad array of products available. The shelving space visible in the below photo sits on the back wall stacked with lots of different paper and notebooks including Midori, Paper Supply and Lechtturm1917 to name a few.
What struck me with Luiban is the really fantastic range of products they hold. I was able to look, play, test and ask numerous questions. As I paid for my items (yes there were quite a few), the store owner was kind enough to point out which paper was better suited to fountain pens or pencils and some tidbits of information about where they were produced. It really was an enjoyable experience and everything you should get from this type of store. Luiban were by far the most knowledgable of the three stores I visited in Berlin.
One final element of Luiban I loved was the sneaky view of the back office area you see whilst paying. (My husband managed to get a photo which I am very grateful for.) It made me want to wander in and have a poke around, rummage through the draws and find any hidden treasures.
A stationery haven?
Berlin has been a wonderful trip where I have been left surprised and delighted by the amount of physical stationery stores I have been able to find in a short space of time. The selection on hand is wonderful and for a stationery nut like me its really nice to see a major city embrace this, and seem to do well from it. Perhaps calling Berlin a stationery haven is a step too far, but to see multiple physical stores entice people in is an exciting prospect for our analogue world.