Staff Picks | Lauren Bunting

I’ve never been big on reinventing the wheel. Instead, I’ve always thought, why not just spruce the wheel up? Make it cooler! Paint flames on it!When other people started downloading Pokemon Go, I taught myself how to crochet. I got tired of standard blanket patterns, but rather than give up my new found hobby, I looked for more challenging and unique patterns to try. Did you know you can buy patterns for crocheting tiny toy versions of Star Wars characters?! Well, you certainly can, and I certainly did.

There are always going to be “new” products that come out, but my focus is more on items that are tried & true, high-quality products that someone wants to keep, and taking that product and pushing the design envelope.

Back to Basics:

Canvas Tote Bags

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love a canvas tote bag. In my personal life, I’ve recently adopted a no-plastic-bag rule whenever I’m shopping. This tends to get tricky when I forget to put one in my purse. My solution is - get a canvas tote bag with a fantastic print on it and it will soon replace your purse (or at least be top of mind whenever you head out to grab groceries)! Also, you can stick a canvas tote bag in the washing machine. They’re an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags, and cotton is a sustainable fabric that is also biodegradable!


Gel Pens

Think about how you feel when you use your favourite pen...wait, do you not have a favourite pen?! Might I suggest these soft touch gel pens? These little writing instruments come in a variety of colours and write like a dream. The gel ink isn’t the same dramatic sparkly ink you might remember from the mid-’90s, it’s a more grown-up version that writes smooth and clear. Also, did I mention that the ink can be black OR it can match the barrel colour of the pen?! They can be digitally printed in full colour on the barrel, which allows for some really fun design work. Why not create a series of pens in different colours with fun slogans printed on them? I love these pens because they have a simple, clean look, but also allow for a lot of fun and creativity.


Refillable Leather Notebooks

Notebooks are a no brainer. You’ve probably got some in your office, maybe they’re even branded with your company name. Why not up the ante? These refillable leather notebooks are undeniably slick. We did our very own Rightsleeve branded versions of these notebooks, and I use mine daily. Not only is there added value in having the reusable cover, but you get the bonus of swapping out the filler notebook! The notebooks allow for a full bleed, full colour, digital print. You can update the design of these filler notebooks regularly, customize them for events, even add full-colour tip-in pages! These notebooks are an item that keeps on giving - people will keep the cover, and will be excited about the prospect of picking a new filler.


Enamel Pins

Now hear me out on this one... I’m not talking about the cheesy patriotic pin a politician might wear on their lapel, I’m talking a pin with pizzazz, a pin with a wow factor, a pin that says: fashion. For starters, these aren't just for your lapel anymore, you can put them on your winter coat, your hat, your backpack…even your canvas tote bag! Enamel pins are die cut, meaning they can be almost any shape, so why stick with a rectangle with your logo inside of it? Why not dig deeper - what are these pins for? If they’re for an event, why not have them reflect the event location? Or do a series that reflects your values. When paired with a full-colour backer card, enamel pins suddenly go from a single stand-alone item to a retail piece that your staff or clients will feel honoured to receive.

(Our designer Kevin did these pins!)