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Evolution of stationery items over the years - Saleemi Book Depot

Evolution of stationery items over the years

Stationery has been an integral part of evolution and human civilization for centuries. The materials used, styles, and functions have changed throughout history, reflecting cultural, social, and technological advancements. Let's take a closer look at the history and evolution of stationery items, from simple paper to pens to modern day stationary items. Whether you're in search of unique stationery items, look no further than the convenience of an online books & stationery shop to kickstart your year.

Stationery items developmental history

By the 17th century, the word evolved further to become "stationery" as we know it today.

Stationery items in the Modern World: In the modern era, stationery has transcended its practical origins to become a symbol of everybody's personal style, luxury, and expression. This term now encompasses a wide array of products, including various types of paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, notepads, and other writing accessories. From elegant classic letterheads to intricately designed greeting cards, stationery has become an avenue for creativity and self-expression.

In today's digital world, the evolution of stationery items continues to hold its charm. While technology has revolutionized communication, the act of putting pen to paper remains a cherished and meaningful practice. Stationery represents a tangible connection to our past, a reminder of the artistry of handwritten communication, and a way to preserve traditions that might otherwise be lost.

The word "stationery" may have originated from the stationary workspaces of scribes who started this evolution back in history, but its significance has expanded far beyond its humble beginnings. It has evolved to represent a rich tapestry of writing materials and supplies that inspire creativity, foster connection, and preserve the beauty of handwritten communication. So, the next time you pick up a pen and a sheet of stationery, remember the fascinating journey this word has taken, and appreciate the traditions and heritage it carries with it.

Historical stationery changes

There are many types of stationery and they all have different origins that carry a history and purposes and display the process of evolution of stationery items. Learning about each one of them can help you appreciate them more.


Writing instruments are the storytellers of our thoughts. It began with simple sticks crafted to press wedge-shaped characters into soft wax or clay tablets. These humble beginnings paved the way for the evolution of sophisticated tools such as reed pens, quills, and, ultimately, the modern pens and pencils we know today.

In our contemporary world, the choices are varied. Ballpoint pens, with their convenience and ubiquity, have become staples in everyday life. Fountain pens, reminiscent of a bygone era, bring a touch of elegance to our writing experiences. Gel pens add a pop of color and smoothness to our notes, while mechanical pencils offer precision and reusability. And let’s not forget markers and highlighters, adding vibrant accents to our words and drawings.


Paper, the canvas for your creativity, has a rich history that spans continents and centuries. While ancient Egypt introduced the use of papyrus, it was in China during the Eastern period that the modern process of turning pulp into paper was born.

Today, the array of paper products caters to various needs and preferences.

Notebooks, ranging from sleek and professional to whimsically designed, serve as companions for note-taking and journaling. Notepads, with their convenient size, provide quick spaces for jotting down thoughts and reminders on the go. Envelopes, with their diverse sizes and styles, are the messengers that carry our handwritten sentiments to loved ones.

The evolution of paper has allowed it to transcend its initial purpose of writing and drawing. It now plays a vital role in printing books, creating legal documents, and serving as a versatile medium for artists and writers alike.


Desk accessories, a vital part of workspaces, contribute to organization and efficiency. While there isn’t a specific documented history of desk accessories, their evolution is evident in their adaptation to the changing needs of workspaces over time.

These accessories range from simple yet essential pencil holders to more intricate desk organizers like pens, paper clips, and sticky notes. File organizers keep important documents at our fingertips, while desk lamps illuminate our workspace, allowing creativity to thrive even in dimly lit corners.

The beauty of desk accessories lies in their ability to transform a cluttered space into an organized haven. They are the silent supporters that enhance productivity and make our workspaces really our own.

Paper evolution in stationery

Sometimes it is fascinating to know about the origin and the process of evolution of the most regular things that we use in our daily lives. Paper is one of those regular stationery items that we use everyday without paying much attention

Before the invention of paper as we know today, different civilizations used other mediums to write and communicate. Over centuries the clay tablets used as a surface for writing along with the skin and bones of animals eventually use papyrus leaves weaved together to make a sheet or a wax surface to scrape and write. All these surfaces have their advantages and disadvantages. The clay tablets are too heavy and not easily portable. 

Animal skins and bones are dependent on the slaughtering or death of the animal and at least two hundred skins are required to compile a medium size of book. Papyrus leaves sheets are labor intensive to produce and do not give a smooth parchment to write on. Disposable nature of wax was a negative point as a dependent surface to draw and write.

In the midst of these challenges, an Imperial Court member, Cai Lun of the Han Dynasty, invented the paper around 105 C.E. in China. He uses rags, bark, wheat stock and other materials to perfect a desired form of paper. It was economical, light in weight, easy to transport and smooth to write on surface sheet after experimenting with different materials.

The Chinese like to keep their inventions secret but in the beginning of 3rd century paper making spread to Korea and then to Japan through the Buddish Monks. After Muslims conquered Central Asia in the late seventh century, they began to use paper for record-keeping because it was relatively cheap, plentiful, and writing on it could not be erased without detection. Paper reaches Europe in the 12th century and America by 16th century and from there it spreads in the rest of the world.

  • Expansion of paper-making

Papermaking technology was a closely guarded secret in ancient China, but it eventually spread along the Silk Road. Papermaking had spread to Europe and the Islamic world by the eighth century AD. Paper was first brought to the West by the Arabs, who are largely responsible for its widespread use in writing, literature, and other written works.

In today’s advance world technological advancements have enabled the production of specialty papers, such as recycled paper, coated paper, and various finishes. Additionally, the paper industry has made strides toward sustainability by adopting eco-friendly practices all over the world, including recycling, responsible forestry management, and reduced water consumption.

The developmental process of paper is a testament to human adaptability and inventiveness. The paper has played an important role in shaping the journey of civilization, from ancient scrolls of papyrus to current reams of stationery. The invention of it started in China and eventually spread internationally changed the way information was recorded, exchanged, and kept alive

In a world where technology is evolving at a rapid pace, ProMate stands as a testament to paper's enduring history. Our passion is delivering brilliant paper items, including premium quality books, fine writing papers, and premium printing papers, which reflects both our dedication to quality and understanding of the timeless interest in real, and elegant materials.

Ink pen evolution

Beginning in ancient Egypt, the evolution of the pen is monumental to human history. People tend to forget how much pens have altered to become the perfect writing tools.

Before pens, cave paintings were the only form of written communication humans had. Often using paints made out of charcoal mixed with spit or red pigment from iron oxides.

Cheaper pens came about too, as with the World War meaning people required pens that were disposable but reliable and cheap. BIC pens are another brand that came about during this time, being a cheaper ballpoint pen brand that gave the people of the world exactly what they asked for, along with the happy slogan; “Writes The First Time, Every Time!”.

Fast forward to today and there are too many pen brands to count. Pens are created around the world not only as writing utensils but as accessories, as they become more expensive depending on the material they're made of, as well as the brand they associate with.

1. Quill Pens

The introduction of parchment led to the development of the quill pen; a writing instrument made from the feather of a bird. The feather was trimmed to create a pointed nib, which was then dipped in ink and used to write on parchment. Quill pens were widely used throughout the medieval period, but they were difficult to maintain and required frequent sharpening.

2. Fountain Pens

It has been said that the 18th century saw the introduction of the fountain pen, a basic writing instrument that used a nib to dispense ink from a reservoir of ink collection. This pen eliminated the need to dip the pen in ink and allowed for a more consistent flow of ink, making writing faster and more efficient. Fountain pens were initially very expensive and were used primarily by the wealthy or in important cases, but as production methods improved, they became more affordable and widely used.

3. Gel Pens

Gel pen was invented by Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro, who was frustrated with the illegal act of smudging and smearing fountain pens. Specifically, the ballpoint pen uses a tiny ball bearing to dispense ink, which dries quickly and does not smudge. Gel pens were initially used primarily by the military for specific purposes, but they quickly became popular among the general public due to their convenience and affordability and high quality writing display.


From the history and evolution of stationery items reflect the changing needs and priorities of human society. From the earliest forms of papyrus and parchment to the convenience of modern computers and printers, evolution of stationery items has played an important role in communication, organization, and creativity. As technology continues to advance, it will be an interesting process to see how stationery continues to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of society and people.


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