The Stationers' Company
The City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content Industries
DMG Roundtable 2023: 'Is there a place for handwriting in a digital age?' - 23 Oct

DMG Roundtable 2023: 'Is there a place for handwriting in a digital age?' - 23 Oct

Monday, 23 October 2023
Digital Media

In association with Manuscript

Writing by hand faces as big a threat today from new media and technology as manuscript writers did over 500 years ago when William Caxton introduced printing to England.

The world is full of stationery lovers and users, but some commentators claim that ‘no one writes by hand any more’, and that letter writing and card sending are in serious decline. World population and literacy levels are rising but so are postage costs, and steeply in the UK, while delivery times and service levels are falling. All this is happening at a time of ever increasing
digital communication.

It is an emotive subject with major implications for many including schools and teachers, printers and publishers, and retailers and suppliers of greeting cards, writing and paper products.

What are the facts?
What are the trends, and the threats?
What does the future hold?
Does being able to write by hand matter anymore?

A panel of industry leaders will share their knowledge and views at this important event which will take place at the magnificent 350 years old Stationers’ Hall. It will also be live

It will separate the myths from the facts, and provide attendees with valuable insights and pointers to the way ahead.

The debate will be chaired by Past Master Helen Esmonde.  Helen was The Stationers’ Company’s First Lady Master.  With an editorial background in educational publishing, Helen ran her own successful publishing and stationery business for over 30 years, producing stationery for the UK’s major retailers including John Lewis, WHSmith, Paperchase, Waterstones and Liberty.

Speakers include:

Graham Craik - Sales Director, Pentel and Chairman, Writing Instruments Association. 

Graham started his career selling writing instruments back in 1982, managing several stationery retailers in West London.  Over the last 30 years he has worked for a number of major pen brands including Tipp-Ex, Bic, Staedtler, Maped/Helix and, for the last 10 years, Pentel.

Graham has worked with all sectors of the market throughout his career, in B2B and B2C - firstly in sales and then in senior management, both in the UK domestic market and internationally.

For the last six years Graham has represented the writing instruments industry as Chairman of the Writing Instruments Association (WIA) and is involved in several Special Interest forums as part of the BOSS Federation  (Office Products) trade association

Graham is passionate about handwriting, with particular emphasis on its place in education and the benefits of using colour in writing and drawing.

Fun Fact:  Graham has calculated that during his career so far, he has been responsible for the sale of roughly seven billion pens and pencils – one per head of the global population.

Amanda Fergusson - CEO, Greeting Card Association/Thinking Of You Week. 

Amanda is CEO of the Greeting Card Association, the independent trade body for the UK card community, an industry she is passionate about. She has worked in the industry for over 30 years, latterly as Sales and Marketing Director at Caroline Gardner, a design-led card and gift company. Previously she held senior roles at Hallmark Cards, and The Andrew Brownsword Collection.

In the early part of her career Amanda had her own business importing and distributing products, and latterly as a business consultant and mentor. She has served as a non-executive in both public sector and private sector roles.

Dr Mellissa Prunty - Chair, National Handwriting Association, Reader in Occupational Therapy, Brunel University London. 

Mellissa joined the National Handwriting Association in 2010, has been a committee member since December 2013, and became chair in 2018. She is a member of the editorial team for the National Handwriting Association journal, Handwriting Today

She is a Reader in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University in London. She is a children’s occupational therapist and her background prior to occupational therapy was in human movement science. She was awarded her PhD in 2023 on handwriting difficulties in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which she undertook at Oxford Brookes University. She has worked in a variety of children’s services including independent practice since qualifying as an OT and specialises in working with children with coordination difficulties. She is particularly interested in working with children who have difficulties with handwriting. Mellissa joined Brunel University London as a Lecturer in October 2013 and has established a research clinic for children with handwriting difficulties and DCD.

6.30 PM     Drinks and Networking
7.00 PM     Presentations and discussions
8.30 PM     Buffet, Drinks and networking
9.30 PM     Event Ends
£30 Stationers' Company Members

£35 Non Members

£10 Virtual

Dress code:

Relaxed Business Attire