Here’s What’s Trending: Translucents

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We’d estimate that every person reading this post has come in contact with or viewed a translucent product in the last 48 hours. Here, we’re taking a look at some major shifts in consumer products that helped kick-start the translucent trend that’s continuing to make quite the impact across industries, including promotional products, and what that trend means for one of the most popular branded items on the market: writing instruments.

A Lasting Impression

More than 20 years ago, Apple redesigned and redefined what a computer looked like—and product design was key. The company invited consumers to “think different” and incorporated colorful, translucent hardware elements into its computers. While we can’t say Apple kicked off the translucent trend, it’s safe to say that they did a great job at applying an extra-ordinary look to everyday products.

Today, the trend of clear and translucent products is still very much present—in fact, it’s a trend that appears to be growing in popularity.

Industry Demand, Customer Preference

Event planners and interior designers report a surge in “clear color schemes”; and retail stores are seeing more customer demand for brightly colored translucent glassware items like those pictured below.


On the design front, creatives say that signage is even taking on the translucent trend. Customers are requesting traditional posters to be designed for and printed on clear acrylic plexiglass, and invites are being printed on clear vinyl stock.

A Different Kind of Dramatic

There’s no doubt that translucents are making an impression on branded goods like drinkware, stationery, and now writing instruments. You may have read about our industrial product design inspiration that went into creating the Midnight Series—dark trims and gunmetal accents. Alternatively, the Translucent Series uses clear hues and accents, and frosted grips and clips to stand apart from the rest.

Vision Crystal ballpoint pen (item #CNF)

Paired with a 1-color or 4-color imprint, translucent and frosted accents offer an entirely different kind of dramatic visual experience: clean modern lines with added product differentiation. And in a competitive market, differentiation is always a good thing.

Goldstar translucent barrel pen
Elite Slim Ombre (item #PWH) ballpoint pen with translucent barrel.

Adding translucent pens to the mix is one way to provide a quick refresh to current promotional items, staying on-trend at an affordable price point.

To see the dramatic difference a translucent barrel can make on a customer’s brand, request a custom virtual mockup >

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