urban + pristine: How a Paperworld trend feeds into the retail sector

Each year, the Frankfurt-based stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano is commissioned by Paperworld to present the trends of the season at the fair. This year, the stilbüro prepared and impressively showcased the Office trend tinted + flexible as well as the Stationery trends graphic + particular and urban + pristine. But these trend presentations are far more than simply elaborate trade fair installations. Any retailer can tailor the colours and textures of the year to their own store. Using the example of the urban + pristine trend at the Idee.Creativmarkt flagship store in Berlin, bora.herke.palmisano demonstrated how this can simply be achieved. And this is just one way in which the Paperworld trends can significantly enhance the value of any retail store.

The display window of Idee.Creativmarkt's flagship store shows tropically themed paper creations.


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Dark and natural

“The urban + pristine trend consists of various themes that we have identified this season,” explains Frankfurt designer Claudia Herke who has been responsible for the trend installations at Paperworld for a number of years together with her two partners. “This trend is very much about balanced and natural colour ranges with subdued tones: fir, slate, graphite and a beautiful jeans blue.” The urban + pristine trend also focuses on high-strength kraft paper and natural papers – in fact, anything that has an irregular surface and an unusual structure. “The urban + pristine trend is very Scandinavian and Japanese, with its focus on simplicity and natural materials.” Recycling and environmental protection are themes in the centre of attention. They are expressed through carefully selected materials with an impressive look and feel.

Stationery items on display at the Idee.Creativmarkt flagship store in Berlin
Urban + Pristine product pictures

Implementation in Berlin

What the trend researchers aim to convey with their installations at Paperworld is that, although the trend presentation at the fair may be quite elaborate, any retailer can draw inspiration from it for their own store. In order to illustrate precisely this point, Messe Frankfurt organises a prize draw each year for a shop window design created by stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano based on one of the current Paperworld trends. This year, a chain of stores won for the first time and bora.herke.palmisano translated the urban + pristine trend to the Idee.Creativmarkt store in Berlin.

Trends as inspiration

“I really like the passion for the product here. The products are carefully selected and it's easy to see here what – among other things – the Paperworld range actually has to offer,” emphasises the style expert. “We took a close look at this flagship store and then revisited the concept.” The Paperworld trends are not meant to be a strict guide. “The installation displayed at Paperworld does not have to be implemented exactly in order to be effective. It should rather offer a source of inspiration,” continues Herke. She uses the example of the Idee.Creativmarkt store to explain the flexibility behind this concept: “Actually, the colour palette in urban + pristine contains fairly subdued tones. But that's not exactly suitable for the summer months.” The idea therefore was to exploit the colour scheme of the trend to a greater extent. “We were determined to use the petals of the blue flower wall. It is very attractive and was created by hand over a number of weeks,” says Herke.

Eye-catching display

She then contrasted this calm blue with a bright colour, and the Idee.Creativmarkt store in Berlin now radiates in luminous yellow. This not only offers a great contrast to the blue wall of flowers and the natural colours of the decoration but is also strikingly eye-catching: “The store is located in Kantstrasse, at the corner of Joachimsthalerstrasse. It’s a busy spot with lots of cars and buses and people notice the colourfully decorated Idee.Creativmarkt store as they pass by. That's why an attention-grabbing colour was chosen,” explains the trend expert. This example again demonstrates that the colour palette of the Paperworld urban + pristine trend does not have to be followed to the letter in order to capture the effect. “The implementation of the trend at the Idee.Creativmarkt store works on several levels. We mounted the flower wall on columns in a successful collaboration with Ellen Jacoby, Partner and Creative Director of Idee.Creativmarkt, placed foil over the windows and added text to walls and windows. The modular system has the great advantage that Idee.Creativmarkt can reuse or replace individual parts of the window dressing in the future.” Ellen Jacoby, though, has much more planned: “There's no reason why we shouldn’t send the installation to other branches. Customers love the decoration.” In fact, many of them wanted to buy parts of it. “It's impressive simply to see how much work has gone into the artistic implementation,” says Jacoby. The urban + pristine trend was tailored flexibly to the Idee.Creativmarkt store in terms of location, season and taste of the store owners.

A lively day on Joachimsthaler Straße, Berlin, where Idee.Creativmarkt's flagship store is located

Trend implementation made easy

And any retailer can do the same for their business: “Anyone can take the trend cards and colour cards home with them from the fair. This gives retailers a guide and they can think about how to implement the Paperworld trends in their particular shop.” The experience of stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano has shown that the Paperworld trends can be implemented simply or more elaborately no matter what the product assortment or location. “We want to convey a flexible approach to the fundamentals and demonstrated this in 2019 with the installation at the Idee.Creativmarkt store.” The aim of the trend presentation at the fair was to help retailers keep up-to-date. A trend reflects people’s needs and it is not just industry and big corporations that should pay attention here: In their product mix and store design, retailers, too, can address the wishes of end consumers as visualised by the stilbüro in the Paperworld trends.

Anyone can take the trend cards with them from the fair. They give retailers a guide to think about how to implement the Paperworld trends in their particular shop.

Claudia Herke

stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano

Claudia Herke founded stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano together with Cem Bora and Annetta Palmisano in 1990. She regularly travels abroad searching for new trends. She also designs and creates showrooms and trend brochures for trade fairs, including Paperworld, Christmasworld and Ambiente.