Page 1

Independently audited, ABC circulation of 6,086

The impartial voice of the greetings card industry March 2016 Issue 6 Volume 17

Make a date with Danilo’s best range ever!




Award Winning Licensed Calendars, Diaries, Greetings Cards and Wrap Danilo Promotions Ltd | Waltham Abbey | EN9 1AS | 01992 702 900 |



THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF © Love Productions Ltd. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All rights reserved. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and all related characters and elements © & ™ DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. CAPTAIN AMERICA, CIVIL WAR © MARVEL DESPICABLE ME, MINION MADE and all related marks and characters are trademarks and copyrights of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved. JUSTIN BIEBER © 2016 Bieber Time Merchandise, LLC. Under license to Bravado Merchandising. All rights reserved. STAR WARS © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. DOCTOR WHO BBC logo Doctor Who logo © 2009 and TM BBC. Licensed by BBC WW Ltd.

Danilo Promotions Ltd | Waltham Abbey | EN9 1AS | 01992 702 900 | HAPPY AP JACK APP ACKSON SON © HJD H De Desi esig iiggn Ltd. 20 20 6. 201 6 | QUEEN UEEN © Quee Queen. n | PE PEP E PA PIG © Astley stley l Baker B Davies Davies Limite Limit d / Entert Enter ainme nment nt One One UKK Limit Lim edd 20 Li 2003 003. 3 | PAW PATROOL © 200166 SSpin pin Maste Mast asteer PA aster PAW A Produ Production ctionss Inc I . AAll Rig Righ g ts Reeserve gh rveedd.. PAW PAW Pat P rol and and al a l related title itles, s logos and characters are trademarkss oof Spin Master Ltd. Nickelodeon and all related tit titles les and a logos are tradema m rks of Viacom International Inc. | THE BIGG BA ma BANG NG THEORY THEORY and all related characters and nd elemen ents ts are are trademar trade rkss of o andd © Warne Warner Bros. Enterta tainm n ent Inc. | ZOOTROPOLISS © Disneey. | MARVE VELL COMICS COMICS CS © M Marv arv rvel. el. | THE HOBBIT HOBBI BBI B T © Warner arrne Bros Bros. s. En Entertai e ainment ert nment Inc. I All rightss reserved reserved.. | ARSENA ARSENA RSENALL TM M & © 2016 The The Arsenal Arsenaal Foot oot otbbal all Club plc. c Al All Rights Reserved. | ANGRY GRY BIRDS BIRDS TM © 2009009-2016 Rovio Entertainment Ltd. | SHERLOCK © HHartswo rtsw od Films Ltd 2016. Licensed by BBC Worldwide widee Ltd. Ltd Sher Sherlock iss produced produced by Hartsw arts ood Films Ltd | THE Ltd. H ROLL R ING STONES ON S © 20 2 16 MUSIDOR M R BV. Under er lice license nse to Bravado Merchandis ndising. i All Rights hts Reseerved. rved | OLLLY MURS MURSS © 201 016 Olly Murs rs. s PPub s. Publ b ished ed by Glloba lob obbball M Merchand nddi dising n SServi rvices Ltd. Ltd. | HALOO © 220166 Miccroso roso oso sofft Coorp soft rpo rpor rpora ppoo tion. on. n | GGHOST OSTBBUSTERS S TM & © 2016 Columbia Picture ures Indu nd striees, Inc. In All Rights t Reserved. | HARRY POTTER characters, s namess and related indicia are © & ™ Warnerr Bros. Bros. Enter Entertain tainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing ng RRights ht © JKR. | MANCHE MANCHESSTER UNNITE TEDD © MU Ltd. Ltd | WINNIE THE POOH OH © Disney. ney. Based ed on the Winnie the Pooh works ed w s byy A. A AA.Mi A.A.Mil . lne and and E.H. E.H Sheepard. | AASSASSI ASSI SSINS NSS CREED CREED EEEED © 2015 Ubi Ubis issoftft EEnntertainm tert ertainme ainment nt.t. All RRiights nnt ght gh h Reser eserved. ved. Assas Assaassin sin’s innn’ n’ss Creed, Cree reeedd, Ubisoft re Ubisoftft,t, and a d the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubis Ubisoft oft Entert Entertainm ainmentt in the h U.S. and/or other countries.| STAR TREK TM & © 20115 CBS St Studios os Inc. © 2015 Parramoun am t Pictures Pict Corp. STAR TREK and related marks and nd logos go are ar trademarks of CBBSS Studios d In Inc. All Rig Righhts Reserved ved.. | TUBE HEROES OES TM and and its logo are re tra trademark markss off Jaz Jazw Jazwa a wares, es, LLC. © 201 016 Jaz azzw wares ares, LLC LLLC.. All Al A l Righ Rights ttss Reserv serve rved. | KE KELLY LLY LYY BBROO ROOK © Kelly Kell Brook rook oo LT ook LTD. D 2016 2016.. All RRigh ghhtss Re Reserve erveedd.. | DOC OCTOORR STRANGE © M Marvel. | CLIFF RICHARD © Voxx Rock Roc Limited. | VOLKSWA VOLKSWA KS GEN © Volk Volkswagen 201 2016. 6 | DISNEY PRINCESS © Disney. | 5 SECONDS OF SUMM MER © 20 2016 5 Seconds S of Summer | FROZEN © Disney. ey. | FINDI DING NG DDORY © Disney/ y/Pix P ar. | KKYLI Pi Pix LIE © Dareno arenote te Ltd 20116. | STAR TAR AARR WARS © & TM TM LLu Lucasfilm lm Ltd. Lt | TH T UND NDER DEEERBIR DER BIRDSS AREE GO © ITV Stud udioos Lim Limited itted / Puk ite P eko ekkoo PPiiictur ctures LP 20 2016, All All copy copyr opy p right py ght in the the origina nal Thuunderb derbirds™ irds™ seri ser er es is owne er ownedd by b IT ITC Entert n ainment Group Limite imite m d. | FRIENDS TM & © Warne a r Bros. Entertainmen me t Inc. men Inc. | CHE CHELSEA FC Badge & Imagery © 2016 Chelseaa Foot oottbal b Club ball Cl Limited. | TERRARIA TERRA © 2016 | THE BEANO The Beano no ® © and and associated ate character ct s ™ © DDC Thoms msonn & Co.. LLttd 2016. 6. | ED SHEERAN SHEERAN AN © 2016 2016 Ed Shee Sheeren ren Pu Published hed edd by by Glo G bal Merchandisi disinng Se Servi rvice cees Ltd LLtd.. | TROLLS ROLL © 20 201166 DreamWo eamWorks rkss Anim nimat nimat matio iionn LLLC. All Rights Ri hts Res Reserved. ed. | THE THE H GREAAT BRITISH BRITTISHH BAKE BAAKE KEE OOFF FF © Love Productions Ltd.| CHERYL HERYL ERY © 2016 CC Entertainments Limited Under der licen censing sing to Global Merchandising ng SServices Ltd. | RACHAEL ELL HHALE © Dissero Brands Brands Limited (New Zealand) 2016. All worldwidde rights rights h reserved. | MOANA © Disne sn y | LITTLE sne LE M MIX © 2016 2016 Eternal Eternal Dance nce Medi diaa Limited. | ELVIS IS 2016 2016 16 © EPE, E RReg. EPE eg. U.S. Pat & TM T Off. | ADVEN ADVENTURE ENTUR N E TIME TIM IME ™ & Cart Cartoon oonn Networ twor work. wo wor kk.. | THEE SECRET RET ETT LIFE LLIFE OF PETS PETS is is a tradem rademark ark and an co copyrig pyright ht oof Univ Universal erssal Studios. Stu Licensed by Universal Stud Studios Licensing LLC. All rights rese res rved. d. | AA AARDMAN RD RDMAN © aand TM Aardman an Animati Animations ons Ltd Ltd (2015). (20 All Rights Reserved. | DC COM MIC ICS TM & © dc comics.wb wbb shield shield hiel i : TM & © warner warne arner bros. entertainment ent inc. incc. c. | M MRRSS. BROWN’S BOYS TM & © 2015 2015 All righ ghts ts reserve serve serv erv er erv r d to BOC Produ P oducctions Limited Limited. Licen Li ic sedd by Rocket Rocket Licens icensing ingg Ltd td. | M MYY LITTLE LITTLE PONY © 20 22016 16 Haasbro sbro. bro br ro Alll Righ Rightss Res Rig Right R erved erve . | LLIVERP IVERPOO OOLL FC FC TTM & © 2016 2016 16 Liverp verp er ooo ool FC Ltd. | TOP OP GEAR © BBC 2005 © BBC 1996. | THE BEATLES © 2016 2016 Apple App CCorps Limite it d. All rights reserved. d | THE T SIMPS MPSOONS © 2016 Bongo Entertainment, Inc. & Matt Groe roeni ening ngg Product oductions, ion ons, s, In I Thee Simps Inc. Simpsons onss © & TM Twentiet ntiethh Ce Cen enntury tur ury uur r Fox Film Corpor ry poration ation.. All Rights Righ Reserve rvedd

Award Winning Licensed Calendars, Diaries, Greetings Cards and Wrap

follow us on facebook and twitter /danilocalendarsuk


The London Stationery Show makes stationery buying a pleasure with hundreds of great brands and thousands of products from around the world, all in one place. Beautiful pens… wonderful wrap… stunning notebooks and diaries… gorgeous gift and social stationery… stylish storage… this is where fashion meets function! Be part of it.

Register now at for free entry

Follow us @StationeryBytes




How being board stiff at Spring Fair paid off – and a Golf Day reminder .


Meet The Newbies Windles Group have a fresh perspective in this focus on industry newcomers.


On The Shop Front Philip Downer from Calliope Gifts makes his debut as a new columnist.


Greetings and Hallmark Christmas roadshows.


Talk Of The Town



Cover Story

Making a date with Danilo is a great place for 2017 licensed calendars.


Calendars Warwick Rowers stole the show at the National Calendar Awards.


Company Profile Happily ensconced in their new home, Blue Eyed Sun look back on their moving story.


Wedding & Anniversary Cards Do something different for the big day.


John Ryan John speaks the language of love.


It’s All About Sales Agents Alina and Neil talk about commission rates and how a cuppa can help business.


Vox Pop Publishers are at the heart of the industry, hear their views on current issues.


Spotlight & Gifts Spotlight A selection of this month’s latest releases.

Greetings retailers tell it like it is from the UK


Retail Advice What’s new is the question on every retailers’ lips, as Henri Davis reveals.

News People, Exhibition, Licensing, Supplier and General, it’s all here and there’s more online at


the team


Male & Father’s Day Cards Bringing men to the fore.


Spring Fair Review There’s lots to see in our pictorial round-up of the big show of the season.


Trade Show Reviews

Editor Tracey Bearton Advertisement Manager Gareth Liddiatt 01442 289940 (direct)

Group Editor Mirella Anstey Group Advertisement Manager Ryan Horwood Publisher Mark Naish Production Director Paul Naish Managing Director Malcolm Naish Circulation Manager Robert Thomas

Keep in touch - follow us:

Around the shows at Paperworld and Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring.



Your Shout greetingstodaymag

C&T Matrix trouble-shoot that very important part of greetings cards – a clean fold.

Go to our website – – for all the up-to-date news where you can also read our extensive archive of online features. This month we expand on Wedding & Anniversary Cards and Male & Father’s Day Cards


NEW ranges abound but there are many long-standing collections that are always hitting the hotspot and deserve recognition. In this Hotspot section Greetings Today features some of these each issue. Debbie Wild runs Wilds of Hyde in Cheshire where Jonny Javelin’s top-selling Velvet collection is one of her most successful ranges. “I’ve sold them pretty much since I reopened the shop in 2011, that’s almost five years. They are absolutely awesome – everything about them, the designs, the board and the price. That £1.99 is just a magic figure. Everything about the product is brilliant. Sometimes I’ll suggest captions that would work for me – granddaughter and grandson are great captions for me, and daughter and son are also particularly successful.” @greetingstoday


Lema Publishing Ltd 1 Church Gates, Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2UB

Telephone: 01442 289930

At the heart of retail Greetings Today is independently audited with an ABC circulation of 6,086 (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) Subscription per annum: UK £60 (free for people in the greetings industry), Europe £80, ROTW £100 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation 5

The LARGEST COLLECTION of Greeting Card Publishers IN THE WORLD “It is the best greeting card show in the UK, and as a buyer you feel really looked after. The timing is pretty perfect as well!� Claire Castle, senior buyer, WHSmith.

Don’t Miss Out! PG Live 2016 is proud to present thousands of original designs, exciting UDQJHVDQGH[FOXVLYHVKRZRÎ?HUVIURPWKHWRSSXEOLVKHUVDUWLVWVDQGGHVLJQHUVIURP around the globe. Tickets to the largest global gathering of the greeting card industry can now be booked online at

PG Live 2016 Tuesday 10 - Wednesday 11 May Business Design Centre, London

Book Your Ticket Now! +44 (0) 1635 297070 @PGLiveLondon

leader Editor Tracey Bearton

NEVER thought I’d say this but, I was board stiff at Spring Fair! Don’t worry, I’ve not lost the plot or my dictionary, I really do mean board not bored because we’re talking stationery and notebooks here. A huge part of the greetings industry, there are so many different and gorgeous notebooks around, they make great gifts and are a simple way for publishers to extend their offer. I could fill this whole magazine talking about the delightful and amusing notepads to be found at Spring Fair – Flame Tree Publishing, Museums & Galleries, Two Little Boys, The Art File, Emma Ball, Buddy Fernandez, are just a few – but the one that captured my heart was probably the plainest there. Having wanted to be a journalist since forever, I started learning shorthand at school back in 1976 – so long ago that it was still Pitman 2000 being taught, way before Teeline became the norm, and I can still show you the shortform for “yours sincerely” even though I’ve never had to use that in battle because it’s from the secretarial arsenal. I eventually scraped through the 100 words a minute test and went on to use shorthand almost daily as a local newspaper reporter before moving on to subbing and page design where it wasn’t a particularly useful skill. When I joined Greetings Today I tried recording a few interviews – spectacularly unsuccessful when the blasted machine revealed only static following a two-hour chat with a top licensing director – but soon realised it was time to dust off the old shorthand notebook and pen, especially for trade shows. I’d always used the cheap and cheerful reporters’ spiralbound pads with a floppy card back until the lovely Tracy Schotness at Leuchtturm1917 insisted on giving me one of her hardback products so I discovered a taste for quality and how much easier it is to hold the book and write when it’s not flopping around because the cover is too thin – but…. The problem, as I’ve bored Tracy and many a stationery supplier with over the past three years, is that taking notes in

● Cartoons by James Whitworth T: 07872 013943 –


shorthand is so much easier when the pad is hinged at the top, not the left side. The only way to use normal notebooks is to turn them sideways but then it has to be plain paper because the lines are going the wrong way, but you need lines to be able to write – and more importantly read back – the version of shorthand I use. Well, dear reader, my dilemma has been solved! I was having a natter with the team on the Enveco stand on the opening Sunday where Paul Collins showed me their bespoke stationery range and I began my usual moan – particularly appropriate as I had an especially rubbish non-Leuchtturm pad that day. Paul pointed out their reporters’ notebooks and new larger shorthand pad, both spiralbound at the top but with thin card backs. After a short discussion he told me to go back to the stand the following lunchtime – then only went into their Milton Keynes factory the next morning and made me the perfect version of the larger shorthand pad with a heavy board back before driving back up to Birmingham with it, talk about service! Enveco even kept one of them as a sample to show clients so maybe it’ll catch on and prove wrong all those naysayers who told me there’s no call for the product. I’m certainly going to put in an order. It really does show that innovation and service are at the heart of the greetings industry. On a completely different subject, Malcolm Naish, MD of Greetings Today’s parent company Lema Publishing, is after reminding the golfers out there about the 12th annual event. The 2016 Greetings Today Golf Classic is on Tuesday, June 14, at the new venue of Puckrup Hall, just a few minutes from Tewksbury, and easily reached from the M5. It’s a Hilton Hotel course with the hotel just a few yards from the first tee with the 19th hole in very easy reach. To join in please email

Send your views and submissions for the magazine to: Tel: 01442 289930

Want to appear in ? APRIL FEATURES: British Craft Trade Fair Preview (April 10-12) London Stationery Show Preview (April 26-27) Giftwrap, Bags & Accessories Retro, Vintage & Nostalgia Cards APRIL COPY DATE – MARCH 10


PG Live Preview (May 10-11) Pulse Preview (May 15-17 Cute Cards


JUNE FEATURES: Humour Cards Gifts For Card Shops Children’s Cards & Wrap JUNE COPY DATE – MAY 18

WINDOW ON THE WORLD THREE years of hard work have seen Kevin Taylor go from redundancy to success at his shop, Taylor’s Cards in Loughton, Essex. The former Clintons store manager took over the shop when it was closed after the greetings chain went into administration in 2012 and has definitely put his own stamp on the place. With 230 foot of cards, Kevin is a Cardgains member and also deals with Carte Blanche, choosing Tatty Teddy and Me To You as a large part of the recent Valentine’s window displays. “Qualatex balloons are a big part of the business now for us,” Kevin said, “the whole of our juvenile range is licensed and Frozen has been huge, plus Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, My Little Pony and Minions – we can’t get enough of Minions! “We have Five Dollar Shake, the Text Speak range from Second Nature has been flying out and is a really good modern range, and our bestselling card was a sister card from Nigel Quiney that had a chinchilla on. @greetingstoday

“I do need the captions though, it’s a huge thing in Essex. I’ve built a reputation for having the caption they can’t find anywhere else and I’ve now got the equipment – Space Hippo – so customers can do their own captions.” T: 020 8508 9432 7

in the news news in brief Write for the Queen

YOURS Magazine are running a competition in conjunction with National Stationery Week for children to create a card for the Queen’s 90th birthday on April 21. All entries in the three age categories – seven and under, eight to 11 and 12 to15 – will be forwarded to Buckingham Palace. There will be a £200 bundle of prizes from NSW sponsors Bic, Maped Helix, Nu Notebooks, Sheaffer and Staedtler for each section winner and £25 for each runner-up. Entries must be submitted before March 14 with the winning cards to be featured in Yours issue 243, available from April 12.

Simon’s still going strong

AROUND 250million cards, £500m worth of product, and paying tens of millions in tax are just some of the figures Original Poster Company have stacked up over the past 25 years. Simon Warren-Gash incorporated OPC on February 7, 1991, and has seen his baby evolve from niche card publishers with a couple of ranges on a 30-pocket spinner into leading worldwide distributors and franchisors with a variety of display solutions.

On course for 50 stores res SMIGGLE are making their Scottish debut at Silverburn, choosing Glasgow’s dominant retail, dining and leisure hub as the next step in their bid to open up to 250 UK stores within the next five years. Having arrived in Britain in 2014, the Smiggle brand of colourful, fun, fashion-forward stationery has proved popular with 48 stores currently in operation here, in addition to 135 in their home country of Australia, 23 in New Zealand and 17 in Singapore. Silverburn’s owners Hammerson have signed Smiggle for a 960sq ft store that is due to open in March and will be located alongside Next and Zara. Smiggle have already beaten the plans announced last May where they hoped to have 33 stores in the UK by Christmas 2015, putting them well on course for their ambitions to hit 250 here by 2021 – their first Welsh store opened in Cardiff’s St David’s in August. The company started in Australia in 2003 and became part of the Just Group four years later, going

Wendy’s a TV star

SPRING Fair preparation all done nice and early meant Wendy Jones-Blackett had time to chat with the Made In Leeds TV crew for a Valentine’s Day feature. Wendy was filmed at her Chapel Allerton base with presenter Beth Krysta, having previously been captured showing her how to make cards. Wendy said: “I had great fun waffling on about Valentine’s cards then making a few with Beth.”

Read all about Rose

APPEARING in a national newspaper isn’t always good but it was perfect timing for Rose Hill as being featured in The Sunday Times Business section coincided with the opening day of Spring Fair on February 7. And not only did the story about the pop art illustrator, designer and greetings publisher warrant more than half a page in the quality broadsheet, but she was also pictured on the cover.

Sleepy Dilly is a winner

ELUSIVE photographer Village Jim may find it hard to stay anonymous as his famous pic of Dilly the Labrador has been named as Press Photograph Of The Year by SWNS Press, the largest press agency in the UK. The delightful snap of his pet sleeping in an armchair went viral last year after a story claimed the dog belonged to an American Marine who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. As well as selling his own greetings cards and calendars, Jim is now signed up with the Great British Card Company for a card range.

Consistent growth

ANOTHER year of consistent strong growth and strategy execution has been announced by Card Factory in their latest trading update. The key highlights show like-for-like sales growth of 2.8 per cent with total sales increasing by 8.1 per cent, and 50 new stores opened in the 11 months to December 31, 2015, taking the total estate to 814.


A penny for them

Catch the post

WORK has begun on London’s newest heritage attraction The Postal Museum, which will celebrate five centuries of Britain’s remarkable communications history including the Mail Rail through miniature tunnels under London. The ground-breaking ceremony was hosted by historian and TV presenter Dan Snow, who struck the first blow with a sledgehammer, and marked the public unveiling of the new brand, with the buildings due to open early in 2017.

international in 2008 with their first store in New Zealand, followed by Singapore in 2011 and Britain in 2014 stating: “It’s all part of the grand plan to become the world’s most exciting and famous stationery brand.” Kate Orwin, head of portfolio leasing at Hammerson, said: “This new signing is a great start to 2016 at Silverburn and we are looking forward to welcoming Smiggle to the centre. “An exciting international stationery brand, providing a unique range of accessories is the perfect fit for our shoppers at Silverburn and we are confident it will be a very popular addition to the centre.”

Ling Design buy Velvet Olive DESIGN-led publishers Velvet Olive – known for their strapline “endeavouring to never offend your eyes” – have been acquired by Ling Design. Founder Kathryn Fletcher, pictured with Ling MD Ian Bant at Spring Fair, moved with her company and has taken control of the design at sister brand Penny Kennedy. She said: “I’ve very much enjoyed the last 11 years as an independent publisher but I really think the time is right to work with a larger organisation which can help me fulfil the potential not only of Velvet Olive but also for myself personally within an industry I love. “As soon as I met the Ling team I knew it was a good fit and I am beyond excited about the opportunity of working on the iconic Penny Kennedy brand and also seeing Velvet Olive designs in gift packaging too.” Ian added: “Velvet Olive is a fantastic addition to our Ling Design, Penny Kennedy, and Talking Pictures offer. “The fact that Kathryn is joining us to continue to run Velvet Olive and take control of the design of Penny Kennedy as well as work with us on our contemporary brands such as Max and Sid brings a new dimension and expertise to our successful team.” David Byk, Group CEO of Ling’s owners Swan Mill, commented: ‘When we said at the time of the Ling purchase that we could become a greetings card incubator we never thought the next acquisition would come along so quickly. However, Velvet Olive is such a fantastic brand and has so much potential plus Kathryn is a great fit with Ling/PK that we had to grab the opportunity. “The Ling acquisition has gone amazingly well and Velvet Olive will help us achieve our goals plus Kathryn is a natural choice to curate Penny Kennedy.”

STAMP prices are going up with a penny being added to the price of both first and second class mail from March 29. The February 19 Royal Mail announcement said: “We believe these changes are necessary to help ensure the sustainability of the Universal Postal Service.” First class stamps will rise to 64p with second class going up to 55p – equating to 39 per cent and 53 per cent increases respectively since April 2011 – and large letter stamps will also rise by 1p. The Royal Mail have a legal obligation to provide a universal postal service for certain products to all addresses in the UK at an affordable and standard price once a day, six days a week. Their statement added: “We have carefully considered the impact on our customers and our own business before deciding to apply the smallest possible increase. Royal Mail’s stamp prices are among the best value in Europe. The European average for first class letters up to 100g is 78p. for second class, is 64p.. The UK also has the highest quality specification of any major European country.”

Puzzling it out BUSY bee Emma Ball is adding prize provider to her packed CV of running her greetings and gift company as well as being a renowned artist. Emma has been brought in by games and puzzles company Gibsons to help fulfil their competition celebrating National Puzzle Day and 30 years since they added jigsaws to their collection. Well-known for her watercolours, Gibsons recently launched their Emma Ball Gift Puzzle Range of 11 jigsaws of British counties. The contest calls for people to submit their favourite landscape photo and Emma’s painting of the winning pic will be turned into a new jigsaw puzzle. March 12 is the deadline for entries to the competition via the Daily Express website, with the winner to be announced on April 3. @greetingstoday

licensing news Getting in step FOUR new licensees have been announced for hit tween series The Next Step with Danilo to develop calendars as the show’s international touring productions is about to hit the UK. The reality-style drama follows the lives of a group of dancers and is one of the highest-rated shows on CBBC, receiving record ratings for season three as well as the award for Favourite Children’s Television Show at last week’s BAFTA ceremony. Produced by Temple Street, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, the deals by licensing agents Brands With Influence precede the arrival of The Next Step Wild Rhythm Tour, which hits Britain in the spring. As well as Danilo, who will develop calendars using show and talent imagery, Sainsbury have commissioned a new collection of clothes for spring summer including dance and leisurewear, Igloo Books are to produce novels, annuals and specialty books. and Signature Publishing will publish a special Girls Love The Next Step magazine.

Love it or hate it!

T: 01992 702900

THE LATEST die-cut calendar from Carousel sees them partnering with Unilever UK for a real Marmite product – shaped like the classic jar of yeast extract spread. But the Exeter-based calendar printers and publishers are hoping the Marmite version, with a toast-themed backboard design, will win over anyone who hasn’t yet learned to love it. Marmite, the iconic British brand from Unilever UK, has successfully cemented its place in British culture with its award winning Love It, Hate It marketing campaign and continues to be Britain’s best-selling spread, with more than 12 million jars sold annually.

T: 01392 826482

Starting with iconic brand

THE unique photography of Rachael Hale featuring “the world’s most loveable animals” is now being offered to the UK market by award-winning licensing agency Start Licensing. They have been appointed by Dissero Brands to represent the Rachael Hale brand, taking over from Richard Horton who has successfully managed it for a number of years, including bringing Danilo on board for the calendar licence, but is now retiring.

T: 020 8337 7958

Colour in botanics

THE ROYAL Horticultural Society have licensed Carousel Calendars and independent publishers Michael O’Mara Books to produce a range of RHS items. Carousel will produce a 2017 range of calendars, organisers and pocket diaries using RHS photographic material and illustrations from the RHA Lindley Library. As well as the beautiful imagery, the range will offer space for gardening tips, suggestions and notes, Michael O’Mara Books’ plans include a colouring book, postcard book, notebook and diary, also making use of illustrations from the Lindley Library, acknowledged as the world’s finest collection of botanic art


people news Changes for Danilo’s Trevor and Anna A NEW member is joining the licensing team at Danilo following the confirmation of the semi-retirement of long-serving Licensing Director Trevor Jones. Danilo Founder and Chairman Laurence Prince said Trevor will step down at the end of February after 18 years at the company, although he will continue as a director on the board for the foreseeable future, while Dan Grant will start as Senior Licensing Manager on March 21 to work alongside him. The move comes following another successful year which saw Danilo increase sales and win many accolades – including success at the LIMA Licensing Awards, the Henries Award for Best Licensed Cards and four National Calendar Awards. Trevor, who will continue working exclusively for Danilo and is pictured with Laurence at Spring Fair, said: “I have loved every minute of my time as part of the Danilo family but now is the time to take a step back. The licensing industry is a fantastic place to work and I have been extremely lucky to work with so many talented people during my 40-year career.” Laurence added: “Trevor’s contribution and hard work for Danilo over the years has been significant and

the team will miss his ebullient character in the office. I take this opportunity to thank him for his sterling work and Danilo look forward to his ongoing support. “Dan brings a wealth of licensing and brand management experience to strengthen the Danilo team having had senior roles at Coca Cola, IG, Tigerprint and Hallmark. “Trevor will be working with Dan over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and to make sure Danilo remain the first choice for licensors and retailers of licensed calendars, cards and wrap.” Meanwhile Anna Brown has been promoted to National Account Manager where she will now be directly responsible for sales and profitability with retail groups that include HMV, Next, Primark, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, as well as managing major clients in Ireland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Amy Rowley joined Danilo on February 23 to replace Anna as Sales Office Manager.

T: 01992 702900

exhibition news

John Lewis buyer joins judges TOP industry buyers have been lined up as judges for the 2016 Stationery Awards with Lisa Rutherford from John Lewis among the first to join the team. The annual awards are in their sixth year and open to all exhibitors at the London Stationery Show, which runs over Tuesday and Wednesday, April 26-27, at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Suzanne Hack, procurement and category manager at London Graphic Centre and Quill London owner Lucy Edmonds will also be joining Jo Barber, owner of The Stationery & Gift Boutique, Ampthill, who was a judge for the first time last year, as part of the judging panel. The judging will again be chaired by Greetings Today columnist Henri Davis, an independent retail advisor, head of buying and merchandising for Scribbler, and also vice-chairman of The Giftware Association. “The awards entries and their central display as visitors enter the London Stationery Show are a vital element of the show and an important reason to visit and exhibit,” explained exhibition director Chris Leonard-Morgan. The judges assess all the entries on the first

morning of the show, with the results announced at the end of the first day at the after-show party and the entrance display is then updated overnight to highlight the winning products. This year a new Desk Accessories category has been added taking the total to nine sections with Diaries, Organisers & Calendars; Everyday Writing Instruments; Writing Instruments over £25 RRP; Novelty Stationery; Social Stationery (writing paper, envelopes, notecards, invitations); Notebooks & Journals; Licensed Stationery and Filing & Storage. All entries must have been launched to trade since May 1, 2015, and the judging panel will be assessing them based on design, packaging, functionality, value for money and saleability. The show takes place during National Stationery Week, which runs from April 25-May 1, and the second World Stationery Day is being held on the second day, Wednesday, April 27.

T: 020 8462 0721

Preparing for sold-out show MORE than 97 per cent of the stand space at PG Live has already been sold with almost three months still to go to the specialist greetings trade fair. Organisers Max Exhibitions have reported a surge in exhibitor numbers for the two-day event that runs over May 10-11 at the Business Design Centre in London. Registration is now open for the show where they expect 250 publishers, artists and designers from around the globe with a number of high-profile names exclusive to the show for its eighth outing in 2016. “We're delighted with the support which has been shown to PG Live 2016,” said joint show director Warren Lomax, “the line-up of publishers for this year’s

show is incredibly impressive, from the best-loved brands down to the wealth of brand-new start-ups.” The show attracts greetings card buyers from more than 50 countries, alongside major UK retailers and leading independents, looking to source fresh product and find exciting new publishers and artists. Tickets can be booked on the brand-new website that has been created to reflect the exhibition's fresh, modern approach to trade shows, which includes free refreshments and sit-down lunch both days.

T: 01635 297070 @greetingstoday

people news The generation game APRIL 1 sees the family line strengthened at Widdop And Co when James Illingworth officially joins the company as Business Information Manager. As the son of Operations & Finance Director Chris, James is the third member of the fifth generation of the Illingworth family at the firm, with his post described as “a critical role in the future development of the business”. He joins his dad, uncle Andrew, and cousins Stephen and Daniel, who have already made their mark driving forward innovative, cutting edge projects. James got a taste of life with the leading giftware suppliers at the Spring Fair launch of the new Widdop And Co branding.

Gray’s a new ruler

MAPED Helix’s incoming managing director believes he is joining the upwardly-mobile stationery manufacturers at the perfect time. Gray Richmond, former MD of Jumbo Games, has already identified a number of opportunities for both the Maped and Helix brands: “I’ve got a really positive first impression of the business and feel there is a lot of great work to build on.”

Pushing the envelope

BLAKE have appointed Gary Rowan as Head of Sales as the envelope and postal packaging company looks forward to a dynamic and positive 2016. After 13 years as Sales Director at Office Depot, Gary has joined Blake to support, develop and deliver strategic multi-channel business growth. He said: “As the envelope market is challenged by different pressures the need for innovation and creative thinking in the postal packaging market as a whole is paramount.”

supplier news Cutting edge range A NEW and comprehensive range of cutting plates, ejection rubbers and accessories for die makers, box makers and print finishers has been put together by C&T Channel Matrix. One of the world’s leading manufacturers of creasing matrix, the backbone of the collection is their new steel cutting plates available in a full range of sizes that are suitable for Bobst, or similar machines. A full portfolio of plastic parts used by die makers, include, ‘Carrots’, Centre Line Blocks and Edge Protectors have also

been added into stock. The newly extended range includes ejector rubber profiles for solid boards and corrugated boards plus Open Cell and Vulkollan rubber sheets in a range of heights and shore hardness. C&T Channel Matrix also have the engineering ability in the UK to produce exact prototype rubber profiles within one week for customer specific requests, and they have been appointed a distributor of the Vossen patch-up tape range. MD Simon Shenton said: “For

the first time, C&T Channel’s extended portfolio enables customer to purchase everything required for successful cutting and creasing from one leading manufacturer and stockist.”

T: 01933 273444

Signing up for help with payments THE SHOP & Display Equipment Association have announced a new partnership with global payments network URICA that’s part-funded by the UK Government. The network provides early payments between a business and their suppliers by handling the responsibility and risk of late payments and SDEA members can use URICA to invoice clients and help pay sub-contractors. Underpinned by credit insurance firm Euler Hermes, the credit worthiness of clients is confirmed to allow them to join the platform where URICA takes on all the cash flow risk in each transaction without the supplier having to put up any assets as collateral, or go into debt.

SDEA Director Lawrence Cutler said: “I’ve been on a mission to help members with late payment since our research revealed late last year that members’ clients were getting slower to pay and this was adversely affecting their cash flow. “I approached URICA who estimate that approximately £135million is currently owed to SDEA members in outstanding invoice payments. If the network can advance just 50 per cent of these payments, it could inject £67m into members’ supply chains overnight.”

T: 01883 348911



* @greetingstoday 11

meet the newbies A tribute to much-loved nanny and grandad HAVING only launched her Maurice & Maude brand in January at Top Drawer, Creative Director Alice-Jane Hutton is already enjoying life in the greetings industry. Firmly established in Norfolk where fashion graduate AliceJane has lived all her life, stitching, sticking and cutting out, nostalgia and time-honoured quality craftsmanship with a modern twist lie at the heart of her art. Inspired by her grandfather Maurice, who styled and designed 1950s cars for Ford, she showcased her collections at London Fashion Week then embraced and absorbed the capital’s worldrenowned creative culture in a variety of jobs before taking the experience back to Norfolk to make her own design studio a reality. Named in tribute to her much-loved grandad and knitting granny, Maurice & Maude’s designs are simple silhouettes with a preference for a soft colour palette reminiscent of the vintage era. Alice-Jane, whose illustrations are digitally printed then enhanced by a local craftsman using a traditional Heidelberg

Platen printing press, said: “Everyone has to start somewhere and I’m so happy to be a newbie and being accepted so soon into this wonderful creative and enormous greetings card sector of the stationery industry. “We only launched the Maurice & Maude brand in January at Top Drawer and, with such a tremendous response, we now have a broad base of national stockists which is growing almost daily. “So may we say a big thank you to all our new customers who have committed orders and been so complimentary of the Maurice & Maude greeting card designs.”

Bold moves by Sian BOLD colours and patterns are the key to the cards created by Welsh publishers Sian Elin, reflecting the unique illustration style of the founder and head designer. The publishers were recently set up by Sian Elin Thomas, coming out of her online home interiors boutique where she offers products such as cushions, tea towels and wallpaper in her own bold, vibrant and contemporary patterns. Helped initially by grants from the Arts Council of Wales and free business courses from the Welsh Government, Sian switched from a career as a children’s book illustrator at a major publishing company to set up her company. Drawing on her publishing experience and creative talents, Sian’s wide range of cards are all hand drawn to create her signature colourful patterns and fun sentiments. She will be releasing a new 150x150mm occasions 16 range at PG Live, which come individually cello-wrapped with kraft envelopes. With much of the work on her cards and textiles carried out near her Cardiff base, Sian said: “South Wales valleys used to be home to thriving textile manufacturing but, in recent times, the skills have been outsourced further afield. “Employing local skills means we support our local economy and workforce. We don’t want to see those skills die, we want them to live on in Wales and in Britain.” T: 020 3287 0577

Paperclips prove artistic potential ESTABLISHED just last year by Jess Neal, Paperclip Penguin is a new and exciting brand inspired by an everyday paperclip. It was while working in the City and feeling frustrated at the lack of creativity in her life that Jess noticed the artistic potential of the office stationery: “I entertained myself at work by creating stories using a paperclip as the penguin’s body and a pen to draw in an eye, beak, feet and any amusing props.” Last spring, Jess decided to leave her office job and pursue a more creative, penguin-filled path starting out designing babygrows but then settled on a range of greetings cards. These cards feature simple hand-drawn designs with rich block-colour backgrounds and are proving popular online as well as being sold in a small number of shops in the UK. The full Paperclip Penguin greetings card range will be officially launched at PG Live in May and Jess is working on a couple of smaller ranges which will also be available at the show. T. 07858 097879


NEW MEMBERS THE latest publishers to join the Greeting Card Association include: Hoppy Bunnies Lucy Player 07720 372869 Jolly Awesome 217e Latchmere Road, London, SW11 2LA Katie Littlewood 07904 383876 Stripey Cats Jonathan Crosby 07866 713826 Box Room Press Anna O’Neill 078453 86058 Manic Minotaur Scott Nellis 07595 383292 THE latest companies to join the GCA as associate members include: My Pack Company Fallbank Industrial Estate, Dodworth, Barnsley, Yorkshire, S75 3LS Alex Miller 01226 206116 @greetingstoday


Time to draw breath Philip Downer and Andy Adamson moved from the corporate world of Borders where they were CEO and Merchandise & Supply Chain Manager respectively into the world of independent retail by opening Calliope Gifts where they have already expanded to three stores in three years. Philip joins Greetings Today to share his views from the shop front.

● Retail partners – Philip (right) with Andy and their three stores


HREE years ago we opened our first Calliope Gifts store in Dorking, a handsome market town that sits below Box Hill in Surrey.

Since then, we have launched second and third stores in Alton and Haywards Heath, and have a busy online store on the side – time to draw breath, and reflect on what we’ve learned so far at Calliope. We run gift and homewares shops with greetings cards as a key category – they account for 50 per cent of our unit sales and are positioned at the rear of the unit, drawing customers past as much of the rest of the range as possible. Since we opened, the UK economy has improved, but value retailers are growing faster than any other sector – think Aldi, Lidl, Poundland, Primark and, of course, Card Factory. How do we compete with a retailer just a few dozen yards away, offering a similar product for a fraction of the price? Well, I admire Card Factory as a retail operation, but I don’t see them as a direct competitor. After all, we can’t beat them on price per card, so I won’t lose sleep about there being a cheaper operator in town. Better to focus on the qualities that differentiate

us from the bargain boys and, indeed, from the mid-market chains – and I think what drives the bottom line for any independent is the quality of the experience we give each of our customers. Consumers are contradictory. While they avidly seek out retail bargains, they are happier than ever to spend more on ‘experiences’ – whether it’s the once-in-a-lifetime trip to South America, or the now-weekly visit to the new casual dining restaurant that’s just opened. And make no mistake, this is a thriving market. Fully one-third of all Harvester restaurants have seen a competitor open up nearby in the past 12 months. You only live once, consumers seem to be thinking, and you might as well enjoy it. So we want to ensure that every customer enjoys the experience of their visit to Calliope and, fundamentally, this is driven by their interaction with the great people we employ in our three shops. There’s a fine balance to this. On the one hand, we’ll instruct staff to always say this or that, emphasise these features and those benefits; on the other hand, we know that what customers really appreciate is personality, humour, efficiency and empathy – rather than a script. Away from the till, our discussions with

It’s the quality of personal interaction that they’ll rememberr

Philip Downer Is MD of Calliope Gifts, owner of Front Of Store retail consultancy, an experienced public speaker and the former CEO of Borders bookstores. T: 01306 889914


customers aren’t structured, but need to be spontaneous sales-floor interactions that will make customers want to come back for more. Everything else that we do on the shop floor can be analysed and measured – the determination of margins, the selection of ranges and individual products, and the creation of shop layout and displays. These elements come together to deliver that desirable combination of “I found exactly what I was looking for” with “I found something I had no idea I was looking for”! Customers will largely appreciate these elements subliminally – but it’s the quality of personal interaction that they’ll remember. To put it another way, great service is the most important way to create a memorable experience – one that customers will want to repeat. And that, I hope, is what secures our place in our communities. * * * * * MEANWHILE, in Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that he wishes to fix the date for Easter, which currently falls – of course – on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. The archbishop notes the matter has been debated since the 10th century but, with Rome already signed up, it’s just a question of agreeing an approach with the Coptic and Orthodox churches. The archbishop has set a target of five to 10 years to agree a date, so don’t hold your breath – and there are profound matters of theology and personal belief at stake here. But what a boon it would be if Easter – and therefore Mothering Sunday – always took place on the same weekend! @greetingstoday

Now’s the time to freshen up the racks. Put a sparkling new face on displays. To grab the attention of new customers, surprise your existing

the added dded bonus of ordering exclusively through

ones, and keep them all coming back for more!

your local specialist wholesaler. Putting you in

And it couldn’t be simpler! Our 2016 Spring

charge of what you buy‌ when you buy it‌

Everyday Collection offers you outstanding new

and how much you buy.

designs, superb styles, fabulous finishes and top

Now, isn’t that a nice surprise?

quality production standards. Designed to put real Simon Elvin value-for-money into your store. Delivering great margins for you, and real bargains for your customers. Covering all major sending occasions, there’s something for everyone. While, for you, there’s

6,021(/9,1/7'‡63(&,$/,67&$5'38%/,6+(5 :RREXUQ,QGXVWULDO3DUN‡:RREXUQ*UHHQ‡%XFNLQJKDPVKLUH‡+33( 7  ‡)  ‡:ZZZVLPRQHOYLQFRP


Who you gonna call... …for exciting ranges? Calendars make great gifts and pick-up items and, with licences from Ghostbusters to Star Wars, Danilo are the people you need on speed dial!


REPARING for their best year yet, Danilo have been at the forefront of new and upcoming trends since they started back in 1978.

They’re always looking at new markets while sticking with the bestsellers they’ve created – such as the National Calendar Awards best new title winner Star Wars Episode VII and Minions. Following their NCA, Henries and Licensing awards success with the loveable yellow perils, Danilo will be publishing a New Minions 2017 calendar and diary range – and fans can see them in the new 10-minute Mower Madness short that’s to be shown in cinemas later this year with The Secret Life Of Pets. Danilo are also introducing a new type of product for 2017 in the shape of the Colouring In Calendar, linking to the incredibly popular adult craze – one of the first will be an Official Doctor Who Calendar design where fans can colour in the intricate images for each month. This year they have a whole host of new and exciting titles for 2017 including: ● Ghostbusters – The remake of the classic film is being released this year and Danilo are set to publish the 2017 calendar as well as cards in the new movie style. ● The Secret Life Of Pets – From the humans who bought you Despicable Me, The Secret Life Of Pets is set to be one of the big films this summer. It follows the life of Max, a pet dog whose life gets turned upside down when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. But they must put their quarrels aside when an adorable white bunny builds an army of abandoned pets determined to take revenge on all happy pets and their owners. ● Finding Dory – Coming to cinemas in July, Finding Dory is another great film the whole family is sure to enjoy. The sequel to Finding Nemo, the film follows Dory the forgetful fish who, with the help of her pals Nemo and Marlin, embarks on a quest to reunite with her mother and father. ● The Beano – This classic comic, featuring renowned characters such as Dennis The Menace and Gnasher, has entertained children of all ages since the 1930s and proves to be just as popular today as it was over 75 years ago. ● Captain America: Civil War – The next instalment in the Avengers Movie franchise is Captain America: Civil War, coming to UK cinemas this April. With an ensemble cast, Civil War details how the Avengers become fractured into two sides, one led by Captain America, the other by Iron Man. ● Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice – Released in UK cinemas in March and coming to DVD this autumn, Batman Vs Superman is intended to be the follow-up to 2013’s Man Of Steel and the second instalment in the DC extended universe. Including a wide array of renowned actors such as Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Jesse Eisenberg, Batman Vs Superman will also see the introduction of well-known character Wonder Woman. ● Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them – Set for a November release, this eagerly-awaited film is the prequel to the popular Harry Potter books. It describes the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry reads his book at Hogwarts. ● Star Wars: Rogue One – Coming to cinemas in December, Rogue One will be the first film in the Star Wars Anthology series, a collection of standalone stories set in the Star Wars universe. Set shortly before the events

24 @greetingstoday

COVERSTORY WITH all the fantastic licences around, Danilo have a particularly good selection of cards suitable for both the male market and Father’s Day – here are just a few of their offer.


of the original movie, the story will centre on a group of rebel spies on a mission to steal the plans for the Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star. ● Moana – Also in cinemas in December is Moana, the new Disney computer-animated film. The main character is sea-voyaging enthusiast Moana Waialiki, the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators, who sets off on an epic journey to help her family. The tale includes demigods and spirits taken from real mythology. ● Trolls – DreamWorks present the new 3D animated film Trolls, out in cinemas this October. Featuring voices by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani and James Corden among many others, Trolls is based on the popular toys and sees Princess Poppy and Branch venture “far beyond the only world they have ever known” as their quest tests their strength and reveals their true colours. ● The Angry Birds Movie – Following on from the huge success of the video game series, Angry Birds are coming to the big screen this summer. In this 3D animated comedy, the world will finally find out why the birds are so angry. ● Halo – Expanding on Danilo’s current game selection, Halo joins their 2017 calendar portfolio. Set in the 26th century, players battle various aliens as they attempt to uncover the secrets of the eponymous Halo, a ring-shaped artificial world. First released in 2001, the franchise has grown significantly and has been praised as one of the best video games of all time. ● Suicide Squad – Based on the DC Comics’ anti-heroes and the third instalment in the DC extended universe, Suicide Squad is to be released in August. The secret A.R.G.U.S government agency run by Amanda Waller, creates a Suicide Squad task force of super villains who execute dangerous tasks in exchange for shorter prison sentences. In addition, Danilo will be focusing on popular existing licences for the coming year, including Five Seconds Of Summer, Happy Jackson, The Great British Bake Off – back for its seventh series in August – Justin Bieber, hot collectable toy Shopkins, top pre-school brand Paw Patrol, My Little Pony, Sherlock, football teams and many more. T: 01992 702900 @greetingstoday 17

Tight squeeze


● Hello boys – NCA organiser Pat Batley and Stationers' Company Master Helen Esmonde meet the rowers

The usually naked boys in Lycra took four trophies home to Warwick from the National Calendar Awards, matching industry stalwarts Danilo’s haul at this year’s ceremony.

Eamonn was musing on trunks and size

’ ● Surprise – Dilu Mukadam presented Eamonn with a oneoff calendar from his talk


T WAS all about the Lycra at the National Calendar Awards ceremony as the boys more usually known for being naked turned up in their extremely tight-fitting rowing kit to scoop no less than four trophies.

● Reds fan – Danilo's Laurence Prince hands Eamonn his personalised Manchester Utd calendar

18 www.greetingstoday www

The dozen lads from Warwick Rowers, whose annual naked calendar raises money for the university boat club and the Sport Allies charity, helping young people challenged by bullying or homophobia, were definitely the stars of the show held at London’s Stationers’ Hall for the seventh year running. With TV presenter Eamonn Holmes making a very convivial and amusing host for the event on January 28 just a couple of weeks before his double hip replacement operation, the rowers matched calendar stalwarts Danilo and Allan & Bertram in the number of awards they picked up, while Rose Calendars were only one behind on three. The boys’ classy mainly black and white product, organised and photographed by Angus Malcolm, scooped the Cause-Related category for the second time, having won it back in 2014, plus Excellence In Design and The Elephant Award – which had Eamonn musing on trunks and size but is actually given to the best retail product.

They also collected the People’s Choice Award, again for the second time, though the sheer number of rowers squeezed in to the hall may have helped with this win as the trophy is voted for on the night. The evening was opened by Avonside Publishing MD David Higgins who recalled sitting in the Red Lion in Lacock 20 years ago with two newly-qualified business admin pals chatting about how he was considering getting involved in the calendar industry. “They expressed most clearly that I was about to get involved with a product that had no future,” David said, “and which would be made redundant by technology imminently or in the forthcoming months and years – well, what gurus, what soothsayers they turned out to be! “Twenty years later we know there are over 16million calendars sold annually in the UK alone – that’s enough for one in every family home.” Helen Esmonde, the first female Master of the Stationers’ Company in their 612-year history, welcomed Eamonn in her speech where she spoke of the event as an occasion that celebrates dates. “To everything there is a season,” Helen added, “and for every season there is a beautiful calendar page. First it was The Apprentice and now even The Archers have brought calendars centrestage, although it may be hard to imagine the beauty of all the pages in




18-Month 2017 Official Calendar





Goats in Trees 18-MONTH CALENDAR




Johanna Basford


FREE DogDays™ App!


DOG sel





cat sel


2 0 1 7 Wa l l CALENDAR S



NATIONAL CALENDAR AWARDS 2016 WINNERS Best Corporate Bespoke Calendars: Looking Forward To The Past, Eight Days A Week Corporate Stock Calendars, Animals & Natural World: Endangered Species, Rose Calendars Corporate Stock Calendars, Contemporary/Innovative: Nightscape, Allan & Bertram Corporate Stock Calendars, Scenic/Landscape: Countryside Walks, Rose Calendars Corporate Stock Calendars, Special Interest/Humour/ Transport: Vintage Story, Allan & Bertram Free-Standing Format Calendars: Colpan Week To View, Collins Debden Slimline Format Calendars: Lily & Val Cocktails, Portico Designs Illustrated, Desk & Pocket Diaries: Minions, Danilo Retail Calendar, Animals: Hedgehogs, Carousel Calendars Retail Calendar, Scenic/ Landscape: Astronomy, Flame Tree Retail Calendar, Humour/ Characters: Marvel Comics, Danilo Retail Calendar, Media/ Glamour/Celebrities: Leeds United, Danilo Retail Calendar, Classical & Contemporary Art: Eric Ravilious, Flame Tree Retail Calendar, Transport: Royal Navy On The Front Line, Eight Days A Week Retail Calendar, Illustration: The Secret Garden, Andrews McMeel, BrownTrout Special Mention: The Light Of Christ, Louise Taylor, Eight Days A Week Cause-Related: Warwick Rowers, Warwick University

Boat Club, Sport Allies Excellence In Production: Pirelli Calendar 2016 Excellence In Photography: Nightscape, Allan & Bertram Excellence In Design: Warwick Rowers, Warwick University Boat Club, Sport Allies Excellence In Digital Calendar: The Master Millers, Rose Calendars F5 Excellence In Illustration: The Secret Garden, Andrews McMeel, BrownTrout Publishers Special Mention: The Light Of Christ, Louise Taylor, Eight Days A Week F6 Best New Title Winner: Star Wars, Danilo Promotions The Elephant Award: Warwick Rowers, Warwick University Boat Club, Sport Allies The Fred Kendrick Award: Nightscape, Allan & Bertram Designs The People’s Choice 2015: Warwick Rowers, Warwick University Boat Club, Sport Allies Wynkyn de Worde Student Awards: The World At Your Fingertips, Leah Woodland, Blackpool & The Fylde College Highly Commended: Dementia Awareness Calendar, Lucy Porter, Blackpool & The Fylde College; Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Katie Reilly, York College Certificate Of Merit: The Student Lads’ Survival Calendar, Christian Cornell, Blackpool & The Fylde College; The Rockers’ Calendar, Conner Dodd, Blackpool & The Fylde College. Premier Rose Special Award: The Student Lads’ Survival Calendar, Christian Cornell, Blackpool & The Fylde College

● Special student – Christian Cornell with Michael Rose (left) and David Jones (right)

their version of the WI Calendar Girls – certainly not as beautiful as the rowers from Warwick!” Having praised the excellence and variety of this year’s more than 400 submissions, Helen also applauded the student category where “entries demonstrate an innovative approach to calendar design”. And this was carried forward into the ceremony where David Jones of Premier Paper and Rose Calendars' Michael Rose gave the inaugural Special Student Award of a £250 cash prize plus manufacture of the student’s calendar with the best commercial potential. The first recipient was Christian Cornell, from Blackpool & The Fylde College, for his The Student Lads’ Survival Calendar, and David said: “We want to encourage new blood into the industry. “We helped Louise Taylor with her Light Of Christ Calendar last year after she was the first student to bring a project back as a commercial idea, the idea is to help launch them by producing a number of calendars they can sell to see if it can be taken forward.” As a devoted Manchester Utd fan Eamonn struggled when he discovered the Leeds Utd licensed calendar had won an award so made the announcement through gritted teeth. After rounding off the evening with a very funny presentation of his own version of a calendar involving wife and fellow TV star Ruth Langsford, he was delighted to be presented with a personalised Man U product – and absolutely gobsmacked to receive one with all his presentation images that had been completely designed, produced and printed within 24 hours by Dilu Mukadam and her team at Online Calendar Shop and All Trade Printers. There are many more photos from the event on the Greetings Today Facebook page.

Very reliable suppliers AVONSIDE Publishing have been supplying calendars to retail and wholesale markets for 16 years and pride on the high quality of product produced, but also with the reliability of service. MD David Higgins said: “Customers know when dealing with us that they will receive the goods they have ordered, at the time specified, together with the support required for a positive result. “In support of our claim, we have just been voted Supplier Of The Year by Calendar Club UK for the third consecutive year –


which is a first for any supplier. “Considering Calendar Club have more than 150 suppliers, this is a true accolade.” Avonside are a sponsor of the National Calendar Awards and very pleased to announce that their 2017 square wall calendars will be printed in the UK. Their range has more than 200 titles, including over 120 individual dog breed titles.

T: 01225 704060 @greetingstoday


Greetings Cards & Gift Stationery Coasting along THE Emma Ball 2017 Coastal Calendar will be ready for print over Easter as usual. “We always bring it out the same time of the year,” said Emma, who has been designing the calendar now for nine years, “and sell approximately half by the end of the summer – most years it’s a sell out!” Measuring 300x400mm and printed on super-quality matte board with each page having plenty of room to write on and a spot for notes, it’s easy to see why. And there’s no better recommendation than your peers with Emma having to post one to fellow publisher Wendy Jones-Blackett each year to keep her up to date.

T: 0115 985 8081

NEW – Available exclusively from

London Stationery Show, Stand M448 (Apr 26–27) @greetingstoday 21


Scouting out the bestsellers TENEUES 2017 calendar range includes award-winning bestsellers such as the Gruffalo Family Planner, A Cat’s Life and Jack Vettriano, New titles include the cartoons of Tim Whyatt, Celebrating The British Isles by Kelly Hall and Scout Tests – Scouting Skills For Everyday Life based on the celebratory edition of the 1914 official manual used by Scouts. For 2017, TeNeues Calendars & Stationery have introduced a new range of slim calendars, with a Gruffalo Activity Calendar, Tula Moon’s London, Potted Garden by Julie Dodsworth and A Cat’s Life featuring the hilarious designs of Gemma Correll.

T: 020 3542 8997

Ink evangelist’s idea expands JOHANNA Bas Basford’s bestseller Secret Garden fuelled tthe adult colouring craze, selling an unpr unprecedented eight million copies. self-described ink It was born out of the self-des hand-drawn line and evangelist’s passion for the hand its inherent sense of energy, which is impossible to duplicate via computer-generated graphics. Her initial bestseller has quickly been followed by two more, Enchanted Forest and Lost Ocean, as her fan base and the colouring phenomenon grew. Along the way she’s lent her art to such corporate clients as Starbucks, Absolut Vodka, and Chipotle. No matter where it’s encountered, her art evokes fancy in the viewer, inviting closer inspection of its hidden intricacies.


With the Secret Garden colouring calendar already in their portfolio, BrownTrout have added two further Johanna Basford products for 2017 with the Enchanted Forest Wall Calendar and Page-A-Day Keepsake Box. Enchanted Forest, Johanna’s follow up to her best-selling Secret Garden, forms the basis for the spiral-bound wall calendar that soothes and inspires. With the Keepsake Box each page contains an amazing and intricate piece of art from one of Johanna’s best-selling books. The keepsake box displays the current day’s page and provides a place to store the pages once they’re coloured or to save them for later.

T: 0117 317 1880 @greetingstoday


Publishing Ltd Choose from our range of over 285 Titles. Animals, Artists, Birds, Cars, Dogs, Flowers, Puppies, Travel,Wildlife & Many More. Dogs, Puppies & Birds Calendars

Generic Calendars

2017 Calendars

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 704060 Fax: +44 (0) 1225 707012 Cars & Bikes Calendars

Slim Sli Sl S i Calendars C l d

Your one stop shop for calendars & diaries... Stock and exclusive ranges, managed programmes, displays, advice and sales support from om the in industry experts. For all categories of calendars, see our brochure – The Great Big Calendar Collection. Telesales enquiries – Cheryl Castleton National account – Andy Bissell

01603 677 315 07980 767 783


Hitting the generic spot ALONGSIDE their range of high-profile, bestselling licensed titles, Carousel Calendars also provide a huge selection of generic products. With titles featuring everything from sport, travel, pets, wildlife, regionals and landscapes, and available as family planners, slims, walls, diaries and more, there is something for every need and taste. Top-selling calendars from across the formats include the Mum’s Fabric & Buttons Household Planner, selling more than 28,000 units; the Amazing Planet 12x12 which offers fascinating facts about places around the world, and the Wacky World of His ’N’Hers, and His Hers ’N’ Theirs which sold 80,000 units across just two titles. Animal titles prove themselves to be consistently popular, too, with Cute Cats 12x12 as the second strongest generic, and the Horses slim showing a strong performance. The regional calendars offered by Carousel Calendars cover a wonderfully diverse selection of more than 160 titles featuring many major cities and most English counties, and are full of stunning photography of landscapes,

landmarks and notable buildings. There are also broader titles available, such as Scottish Lochs & Mountains, Lake District and Coastlines Of Britain, that are particularly attractive to customers. For transport enthusiasts, Carousel Calendars offer titles for every interest – for car lovers there are Minis, LandRovers, Dream Cars and Classic British; for train fans there is Romance Of Steam and Country Railways; there’s even something for tractor devotees, with both Tractors and Irish Vintage Tractors titles. In order to provide the most accessible range possible, Carousel Calendars create and produce new titles to fill the niches. New upcoming 2017-dated titles include running and cycling calendars, designed to appeal to people who fit their sport around their busy, every day lives, and will provide tips and information to help improve technique and enjoyment.

T: 01603 677315

Developing along date lines THIS year sees an exciting development into dated product from Museums & Galleries, building on the success of the company’s longrunning Year Planner pocket notebook format which expanded with a new collection of six V&A designs. The move to fully dated product, with stunning imagery already in the collection which was perfect for the format, was a logical step. MGL have launched a total of eight new 2017 calendars, spread across two classic sizes – Large Square (300x300mm) and Spiralbound Slim (155x420mm). Four best-selling themes form the basis of the offering: Alice In Wonderland licensed from the British Library, the iconic and much-collected British artist Eric Ravilious, a delightful set of Animal Portraits from leading printmakers Kay McDonagh and Sonia Rollo, and a collection of colourful prints from contemporary artist Richard Spare. Cover designs vary to suit the two formats, but each pair of calendars uses the same collection of beautiful imagery for internal pages and all include notable dates for 2017. Each calendar is sold in units of three with a card stiffener, cellobag and wiro/euro-hook for retail display with Square Calendars trade price £4.16, SRP £9.99, Slim Calendars trade at £2.91, SRP £6.99 A small and perfectly formed initial offering, the four themes and eight calendars offer a compelling mix of proven, on-trend imagery for 2017. Make a note in your MGL Year Planner to see them for yourself!

T: 0116 230 4197

24 @greetingstoday

British Craft Trade Fair

British Craft Trade Fair 10th - 12th April 2016 Great Yorkshire Showground Harrogate, HG2 8QZ, UK

Featuring 500 of the best British designer-makers creating unique, handmade greetings cards, stationery, gifts and homeware. If you haven’t already registered, go to... Tel: 01444 246 446 Email:

British by design... British by design... British by design... British



Talk of

RETAILERS from around the country enjoyed visiting the seven UK Greetings Christmas roadshows held recently where a new layout allowed a different viewpoint of their new collections. Tony Roberts, UKG’s Director Of Independent Sales (pictured), said: “It was a fantastic set of shows this year. Bristol and Southampton were the biggest two shows, the sales there were incredible. and we also did Norwich, Elstree, Leicester, Gatwick, and Ashford. “We saw some founder Cardgains members and, by popular demand, we will be doing more next year as they said they really missed our shows around the country as we’d cut back this year. “We showed all the different sub-brands at the show, it was really a different format this time, it looked really good and was well received.”

Debbie & Jerry Brown First Class Greetings, Hadleigh, Norfolk

I liked it very much this year at the UKG show. We certainly made an order! We do a lot with UKG so it’s always nice that we have the chance to see everything because they have a good cross-section of product. I was very impressed with all their new offer. For Christmas we find it tends to be the bigger special individual cards that sell, the large cards. They do sell well for us and they have new ones for this year that we’ll be taking. We buy them in a plan, a certain footage, and then I add in extras if I think I need more of something, for instance if the plan has four son and daughter-in-law designs and I think I need six, I’ll add in two extra, and then I add in open ranges with art and photographic and humour that are extra to the footage that we’ve ordered. We’ve been at the shop eight years and I think it was only the first year that we didn’t go to the UKG shows. It’s great because we can see everything there. We definitely go to Spring Fair but UKG are only on the Cardgains Village so there’s not room to show their whole collection. You need the whole day to do UKG because it’s so massive – the show is an hour’s travel from us and we stop for lunch. There’s a lot to get through and I wouldn’t like to try to look at it all at Spring Fair.


Suzie Abel Jarrold, Nowich

The local UKG Christmas Show is always a favourite of mine as it enables me to see their new designs for the coming festive season laid out in racks, which makes the buying so much easier. The fact that it’s a short drive away is also a bonus. The atmosphere is relaxed and the team always make you feel very welcome. I’ve known Tony Roberts, Tracy McMinn and Andy at UKG for a very long time and they have given Jarrold consistently professional and reliable service throughout. @greetingstoday

the town


The voice of the people who matter, greetings retailers tell it like it is.

● On the starting grid — area sales managers Mike Dutchak, Kim Egege, Ryan Wainwright and Andrew Stirk (standing), along with (kneeling) Chloe Sharpe, head office product marketing team, Jessica Livesey from the marketing team and divisional sales manager Tracy Sutton

THE FORCE was definitely with Hallmark and their customers on their Christmas Roadshow tour as Darth Vader and his Itty Bitties pals were along for the ride. Nineteen venues hosted the Make Your Mark roadshows this year, from Bath to Aberdeen, and Cork to Belfast via Southampton and Weybridge giving all sorts of interesting days out for the retailers who attended, including spas, the RAF Museum and a visit to Old Trafford. And at Silverstone, Darth made sure he had the best seat in the house as the jumbo Itty Bittie went on the tour around the Northamptonshire site that hosts the British Formula One race, as the snaps below show. “Every Gold Crown store gets a big Darth Vader for their display,” Jessica Livesey, from the Hallmark marketing team, said, “and to run a competition for their customers to win it, The jumbo ones aren’t available in the UK to buy and it’s worth about £150. “We have a jumbo Darth who usually sits on the sofa in the office but he’s gone missing a few times already! “We have the Itty Bitties Collectors’ Club , Gold Crown stores are automatically entered and independents can choose to take part. They get the new stock first as it comes as priority allocation and we’ve also got collectors cards where they get the seventh free, social media marketing support and a free downloadable collectors; checklist. “We currently have 13 to collect plus Star Wars, so that’s 21 now with more in the next two weeks for Gold Crown stores, and others to follow this year, plus Batman and Superman Biggys in April, with the independents able to have them all from April and they are pre-ordering.”

Anne Lodge Forget-Me-Not, Sherburn-in-Elment, Leeds

I’m favourably impressed with what I’ve seen here – we’re racing enthusiasts so it’s brought myself and my husband Robert down from Yorkshire because it’s at Silverstone. Last year we went to the roadshow at the Titanic Museum in Belfast because I’d always wanted to go there so we turned it into a miniholiday. We’re going on the tour this afternoon in a minibus around the track. We have the Tour de Yorkshire coming past the shop in April so will be looking for lots of cycling cards and bunting. I’m not a Gold Crown store, I’ve resisted as I prefer to choose what I sell in the shop – but I’ve been dealing with Hallmark for about 28 years so I do know their product and like it. I’ve been running the store for all that time, we did build up to five shops but in the last recession we lost the others. This one has stood the test of time though and is the original. It’s a traditional store, and we’re Cardgains members. Hallmark are among our best sellers and at Christmas we did so well with Sugared Almonds

I didn’t have a single one left in the shop so I intend to add this to my order again this year. Gus is good too. Because Card Factory are printing out all the captions for everyone as they do it themselves I find more and more people coming in asking for more niche captions which we don’t carry because there’s no point in trying to compete, especially on price. I’m liking the new boxed cards with the new front and double fold for Christmas, they’re easier to open. I’m generally favourably impressed with the cards, more so than last year. Hall & Co is a quality product and I shall be buying all the large cards for Christmas. We’re going to Spring Fair and we do Harrogate but don’t do Autumn Fair or PG Live. We go down to Birmingham for Sunday to Wednesday and do as much as we can, looking for anything new from the suppliers we use already and also make contact with suppliers that we have that don’t carry samples with them because I like to see and touch, then I at least know what things are like. @greetingstoday 27


Kevin Taylor Taylor’s Cards, Loughton, Essex

We’ve been open 3½ years now since I got made redundant from Clintons and took on the shop myself. We missed the roadshow in London and decided this was probably the next one that we could try to make. But we’re not going on the Silverstone tour. We’re Cardgains members and also deal with Hallmark because it’s a brand that people know. It’s a particularly strong brand – if you were to say to someone on the High Street to name a brand of cards it would most likely be Hallmark so, for me, dealing with Hallmark is a no-brainer. Some of the new Christmas designs have really caught my eye, especially Handpicked and Just Add Colour, which is like the adult colouring books. We love Hall & Co but we might have to be picky about which customers we sell it to. If you go to buy trainers then because they’re Nike people will buy it for £100 because it’s a brand but they won’t do that with cards – £2.50 for a nice card isn’t too much for someone on the High Street, I don’t get any price resistance around £2.50 to £3.50 but to go above that the quality really has to be good or people will think they’re being ripped off. We had a look around before Christmas and found there was a Card Factory Finest range, they were beautiful and the board quality was good and they were still around £1.19 so the other publishers need to be looking at providing better quality around the same price to compete, not put bling and glitter on and raise prices. There’s a lot of good product out there this year and Hallmark have had this refresh which is good. I do need the captions, it’s a huge thing in Essex — I’ve got a card for ordination, a card from the tooth fairy, everything. I’ve built a reputation for having the caption they can’t find anywhere else and I’ve now got the equipment — Space Hippo — so customers can do their own captions. We have President’s Day which is to do with golfing, and Lady Captain’s Day. If you’re an independent you have to go down the caption route. I get at least five compliments a day from customers who say they feel they’re getting really good quality, good service and we’ve got such a vast range of cards and captions. We have people travelling from all over because we’ve built up that reputation. One of the mums from the nursery up the road came in and asked for the tooth fairy card as she wanted one for her son so we asked

Moggies & More to make them up for us, and we even have them do Thank You For Looking After The Cat, that sort of thing. I’ve also been working with Frillybee, they do a lot of bespoke for us as well. We’ve had a really good look today— Michael is our new Hallmark rep who knows the store because he used to work for Carte Blanche and come to us for them so he knows what works for us and will come down to the shop when we’ll line-buy for Christmas and also look at their everyday, so we really feel we can take it forward with Hallmark. We’ve thought about doing our big window display with Handpicked and Hallmark will support that. We’re doing four days at Spring Fair to buy for Christmas for gifts and n look at new product for the new year to stay ahead of the competition you have got to see what everyone else is doing and see where the market is going with new captions.

Chris Cant Oundle News, Oundle, Northants

We’re a little bit lazy with the cards because we’re such a big newsagents. We rely on Hallmark and UKG because they know what they’re doing and you see some newsagents with dog-eared cards sitting there sadly, but they come along and change things that aren’t selling. We do toys too including Lego, but try to keep it under £20 although sometimes we go to £30 — people won’t pick up rubbish for a birthday present but we are a newsagents so they don’t come to us for the big purchases. It was a great venue — if they’d taken me to the local garden centre it might have suited some people who like flowers but that wouldn’t have been for me. I loved it at Silverstone, it was well worth the day out and the tour was great. Everything was displayed nicely and everyone was very hospitable, it was very good. They’ve done a good job this year, especially on the Christmas cards. There were one or two corny Santa ones but, on the whole, it was good. “We ended up buying quite an amount so that must say something.

26 @greetingstoday



NYONE who’s been exhibiting at a show in the last eight weeks would like a pound for every time they’ve been asked that headline question because, by now, they’d have enough to go online to book a holiday!

Yes, it’s that time of year again, the time that all us retailers get out to the shows with our hardearned cash from Christmas ready to greet new products to help us grow our sales at the beginning of a brand-new year. Having been to Top Drawer, Scotland’s Spring Fair and Spring Fair I’d say there are plenty of great new card ranges to get excited about whatever genre is popular with your customers. And initial feedback from exhibitors is that the shows have been brilliant – there may not have been more visitors but those who did go were definitely spending so that bodes well for retail customers who want exciting new designs to buy. Stocking cards that are locally relevant seems to be getting increasingly popular, many retailers will have had designs by local artists and photographers for years but there are more national companies getting in on the act be it Star Editions with images inspired by the golden age of travel poster art (left) or Bluebell 33 reassuring you you’re the Best Mum In Bath plus there are ranges of regional dialect cards with local words or phrases from your area too. It was really good to see so many entrants for the Gift Of The Year competition in January this year and Really Good’s Showtime range was this year’s winner (left) with their fabulous LED light-up cards. At £5.99 they are slightly more expensive than most ranges but very eye-catching and original. There were some great new ranges for men too including Paper Salad’s eyecatching range Kaleidoscope which uses great colours and patterns to create strong geometric backgrounds so the captions really pop (right).

What have you got that’s new? It’s that time of year when retailers are looking for the next big thing. Henri Davis has been making notes of what’s hot around the start of the year shows. I was very pleased to see that Special Impressions, manufacturers of the beautifully finished flat wrap, have now started offering cards too which are as thoughtfully printed. They have some really eyecatching cards for men just in time for Father’s Day such as this one where the icons are embossed and spot varnished (right). In terms of design and finish 2016 seems to be the year of foil with the most wonderful colours and tones being used, including copper which has real warmth and depth, and soft pastels which are very pretty and delicate. Publishers I hadn’t seen before were Raspberry Blossom who were using pretty pastel foils very effectively as shown here with their Canvas Creations range (right). Another publishers who caught my eye were Pocket Typewriter whose ranges go from strength to strength. They often print on kraft-coloured board with bright neon colours and the result is fun, vibrant and strong but what caught my eye this time was the wonderfully bright-lined envelopes. I think this card from their Good Life range is fantastic (right). Humour is still really strong and it comes in all

Initial feedback from exhibitors is that the shows have been brilliant

Henri Davis is an independent retail advisor to businesses in the cards, gifts, stationery and heritage industries, combining 30 years of retail experience with her knowledge of trends and consumer motivation to analyse markets and identify new opportunities. Having worked at Habitat, Next, WH Smith and the National Trust, she now works with many small and medium-sized businesses, including multi-site retailers, national and international manufacturers and suppliers and is currently vice-chairman of the Giftware Association, the first woman to hold the post. @greetingstoday

guises from Wrendale’s cute and cuddly animals through to the more in-your-face text-based humour from someone like Dean Morris. I was pleased to see that Susan O’Hanlon had added to her hugely popular portfolio with the Illustrated range (below) which really made me smile. Last year Lagom launched several very successful ranges of smaller mini-cards to sell at below £2 and I did wonder whether other publishers would be following suit this year but there weren’t many other small card ranges that I saw. Fortunately some things don’t change and, talking to publishers about cost and retail pricing, it seems most ranges will be able to sell between £2.50 and £3 for good-quality, well-finished square cards which is great news for retailers as crossing that £3 threshold on every day designs is a big step – I remember when we crossed £1! And finally, I’m always amazed at how problems have a way of turning out all right in the end. I’d heard about the difficulties Sue Morrish at Glebe Cottage had when Tullis Russell closed so they could no longer supply the eco-friendly stock that was fundamental to her range proposition. But, after lots of anxiety and research, Sue is now proudly using a 100 per cent recycled paper stock which has stronger environmental credentials and prints beautifully. I think 2016 has got off to a great start and look forward to the opportunity to buy lots more new cards. 29


In love with Y Asda OU’VE got to hand it to the folks at Asda, they speak the language of love, or at least they did in 2012 when they pulled off something of a coup by offering a Smart Price Valentine’s card for 7p.

How did shoppers and lovers know it was a cut-price token of affection? Simple – the utilitarian, brown-coloured card had a white heart in its middle with the words “ASDA Smart price” sensitively picked out in green and white. Others were doing the same thing – there have, in fact, been Tesco Value greetings cards for more than a decade and those buying them or the Asda offering did so in a spirit of rebellion against the event in question. And, as always, there is profile and loyalty to be won by bucking the norm. This line of thinking has put vast amounts of money into the pockets of those who, for some years, have been touting the “Keep calm and carry on” cards, mugs, balloons, T-shirts, you name it. But for most High Street card retailers Valentine’s Day still seems to be about large or very large red hearts set against a pink background accompanied by pictures of a pair of red lips or maybe a glass of champers from which cartoon bubbles pop. There is, in fact, a predictability about the way in which major card-shifting events are treated by the sector and it’s actually quite hard not to stifle a yawn as hearts are replaced by bunnies and chickens as Easter hoves once more into view. There’s a lot to be said, then,, for mulling over the way in which any recurring celebratory y event is marked, rather than just reaching for last year’s bunting and hoping for the best. When it comes to avoiding seasonal clichés, there are relatively few who are brave enough to do this, think Scribbler, Paperchase and a handful of independents, but they tend to be the ones that are rewarded by continued custom from the public along with buoyant sales. At this point it’s hard not to wonder, given

Speaking the language of love is what Valentine’s Day is all about but these and any seasons are a good time to find that spark to light up your store’s attraction to customers, as John Ryan explains.

there’s a card retailer on almost every High Street in the UK, why a multi-category retail behemoth such as Asda should be able to steal the headlines with a 7p card. Well, think of it this way – it’s a stunt. The retailers made no money on this line, but they did build a degree of loyalty by almost cutting the feet from under their own brand. Offering a cheap card uunder a value label was ttantamount to saying ‘we kknow Smart Price is a bit rubbish, so have a laugh’ – Asda understood that if you want to make a mark then, as well as selling

When it comes W to avoiding seasonal clichés, there are few brave enough

John Ryan is Stores Editor at Retail Week where he’s worked for more than a decade covering store design, visual merchandising and what makes things sell in-store. In a previous life he was a retail buyer. T: 07710 429926 twitter: @newstores


the standard stuff, you need to be prepared to stick your neck out and do something that will get people talking. Their entire 7p stock sold out, everywhere. This may be more straightforward when you happen to have a large marketing department backed by an agile press office, but it doesn’t mean that smaller outfits can’t behave in a similar manner. Giving people reasons to head into your shop is what this is all about and it’s a trait that can be put into action whatever the nature of your business. While Valentine’s Day 2016 is now a saccharine-coated memory, at least in card shops, and everything associated with it will now be stowed away until next time round, it’s worth thinking about what you might do that would equate to the 7p card. Building the brand that is your store is every bit as important as having the right stock at the right time and, if you’re not prepared to take the risk of doing something like this then you’ll be up against about those who might – and will steal a march on you. We might be four years on from Asda’s lovestruck coup but, if you looked hard enough, you’d have been able to bag a 7p card in 2016 too. @greetingstoday

Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available



T 01206 396209 E

A moving story


Back in 2000, Greetings Today featured a newcomer to the industry in the shape of Jo Corner and her handmade glass enamel cards. Three premises moves later, Blue Eyed Sun’s recent expansion into significantly larger offices and warehousing shows how they’re still growing strongly. ● Work-life balance – Jeremy and Jo Corner


OVING into the cloud is this year’s ambition for Blue Eyed Sun MD Jeremy Corner as he’s determined to keep the publishers one step ahead as they look to the future. The Blue Eyed Sun team have just moved physically, taking up residence in their lovely new factory at 56 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, just up the road from their old industrial units in Hove. And now Jeremy is aiming to move everything digitally too: “My goal is to get digital on most of our paperwork and do the full shift over to the cloud. Paperwork takes up space and most of it I only ever look at when I’m trying to clear out the office! “In preparation for the move, we’ve done a lot of clearing, sorting and so on. It’s my least favourite job in the whole world. I get sidetracked with the detail of it and then despondent that I can’t get through it all fast enough. “Despite the distractions I got most of it done when we were moving and I’ve photographed or scanned the paperwork I want to keep and recycled the rest. “I kept discovering interesting old bits of paperwork. Like our very first order, our original brochure and a load of rejection letters from top retailers that now stock us. The letters were a good reminder that persistence is one of the things that has really kept us growing all these years.” The Blue Eyed Sun story started back in 1999 when Jo Kirby, as she was then, specialised in glass enamel greetings cards that she hand-fired on to small pieces of hand-sanded copper in her childhood hobby kiln at 900°C. The glass pieces were then mounted on to GF Smith boards which Jo sold through her own small shop in York where they were one of her best-sellers. When she moved to Brighton, Jo decided to make the cards her new business and sold them into leading retailers such as Paperchase, Harrods and Fenwick as well as design-led independent gift and card shops and galleries. “It was a different time back then,” Jo said, “handmade was really taking off and those with something different to offer really started to do well.”

My goal is to get digital on paperwork and do the full shift over to the cloud

32 www. www.greetingstoday @greetingstoday

COMPANYPROFILE COMPANY PROFILE ● Plenty of room – Blue Eyed Sun’s new home

Our new premises feel a long way from our tiny bedsit in Brighton where I started

Despite making a small profit on her first year’s sales of £10,000, Jo considered giving it all up to become a web designer as the internet was growing rapidly and she wasn’t making enough to live off. She added: “It was difficult to generate enough sales. When I could get in front of retailers, most wanted to buy the cards. I just couldn’t see enough customers on my own and I had no sales agents. “I decided to focus on getting sales agents at Home & Gift in 2001. I was approached by 15 at the show, went with six – and overnight the business blossomed.” Soon after, Blue Eyed Sun were shortlisted for a Henries Award in the Best Art Cards category, agents’ sales were booming and the business started to grow rapidly. Another year later and their hand-painted Suncatcher cards won a Gift Of The Year award for Best Cards For Design-Led Shops and, with Jo’s partner Jeremy now on board, they moved the company into their first rented premises. Having also got married, the couple soon found they were taking business home with them. “Balance was a big challenge for us,” Jo added, “as the business grew rapidly, doubling in size each year for several years, we found ourselves being all consumed with it. “Even with taking on staff to help and finding bigger premises it was very difficult for us as life partners to prevent it taking over our lives.” In 2004 things came to a head when a family friend asked Jo how the business was going and she and Jeremy both realised they weren’t happy with things. Luckily the friend was an experienced business coach and managed to help them work through a personal development exercise that helped them find the work-life balance they were after. Jeremy said: “Understanding why you are in business, what you want from it and what your goals are has been so important for us. This is something we have to assess regularly to make sure we are still on track and that the business is suiting our needs.” Now with 15 in-house staff and a host of home-based craftworkers, agents across the UK and distributors in more than 15 countries worldwide, BES were recently shortlisted for a Queen’s Award For Enterprise for their export success, have been nominated 11 times in the Henries Awards and been finalists in several small business awards. “We’ve been very lucky to have had such success in this wonderful industry,” added Jeremy, “my real passion is helping others. Our blog, social media and speaking at events have all been a big part of this for me.” Since 2004 he has been a keynote speaker at the annual Ladder Club @greetingstoday

seminars for new publishers organised by fellow publisher and retailer Lynn Tait in Leigh-on-Sea. Jeremy is also an active member and current treasurer of the Greeting Card Association council and has also served for several years on the Giftware Association’s national committee where he starts his two-year term as vice-chairman in April before moving on to replace Greetings Today columnist Henri Davis in the top job. His blog at helps retailers and other publishers to improve their businesses and understanding of social media. He also regularly talks at industry events on subjects like export, trends, digital marketing and personal development. While licensing with other companies for gift products and card ideas that don’t fit the BES look, an important part of the company’s success has been their strong focus on handmade and hand-finished greetings cards. Jo added: “If there’s one word I like to think of to sum up Blue Eyed Sun’s work it’s ‘crafted.’ I love crafts like enamelling, painting, sewing, knitting and crochet. “As our product range develops this theme will remain at the core of what we do. I’m excited about the potential we have going forward.” Having bought their 4,000 sq ft Hove premises in 2006, one of their biggest challenges recently has been finding space to expand. They decided to take the plunge with the acquisition of the new building that’s more than four times the size at 17,000 sq ft instead of outsourcing to a third party warehousing company. “Our new premises feel a long way from our tiny bedsit in Brighton where I started our business all those years ago,” Jo said. “It’s a wonderful new environment for our team and is well lit with a good amount of space to grow – plus it has sections that we can rent out in the short term and then expand into when we’re ready. “There are so many new product ideas that we’ve wanted to pursue and just not had the space. It’s exciting now that we’ve finally got it.” As Jeremy summed up: “Despite the ups and downs of our journey I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s amazing to create products that are shared at such important occasions in people’s lives. “It’s also a privilege to work with our wonderful team of staff, many of whom have been with us for years and have helped the company to grow. It feels incredible to have a business that now contributes to paying several mortgages rather than just our own.” T: 01273 823003 33


Different strokes Something different is usually the aim behind new greetings card designs so, with the vast selection available, finding one to match some of these weddings with a difference is probably not that difficult – mind you, matching it for the following anniversaries may prove more interesting!


HE aim of the game with wedding and anniversary cards is to commemorate the occasion while, generally, also offering something different – and that’s just what some couples want to do with their big day.

They made it official by bungeejumping over the side

cage as sand sharks, c nurse sharks, eels and n a giant grouper circled around. They wore scuba gear and mikes that broadcasted their words to each other, as well as to friends and family. They said their “I dos” over a radio transmitter with an officiant who did not get in the tank. In Russia, a pair of cyclists decided to tie the knot in a very unusual but healthy way – by riding bicycles all over the city accompanied, of course, by their cycling guests. The Guinness World Record for the longest wedding dress train is now 2,599 metres (8,526ft 9in) and was measured in Xiamen, Fujian, China, in August 2015. There is also a Guinness World Record for the most bridesmaids at a wedding where Tina Ackles had 168 attendants at her nuptials in Florida, USA, on April 18, 2015. The previous record was held by Ohio dance school owner Jill Stapleton who had all 110 of her students as bridesmaids in June 2010.

Saying it with flowers FLOWERS appear in almost all of the Rosanna Rossi collections – they are simply the most beautiful element to design with, the uplifting and sentimental aspects of flowers inspire them to create artistic and vibrant designs. The 150x150mm Flora Pop collection is based on designer Anna’s love of flowers and how wonderful they make you feel, which she has lovingly translated through the range. Each card is enhanced with colourful foil, emboss detail and presented with a complementing soft lavender envelope. And there are more flowers to enhance the typography that’s a feature of the Retro Flair range.

T: 07900 698522

34 @greetingstoday

● Images from

Since the Marriage Act 1994 changed the law to allow weddings to take place in approved premises other than churches and register offices, people can now get married in all sorts of places from castles and caves to submarines, windmills and an Edwardian swimming pool. And around the world, couples sticking to the different strokes for different folks philosophy have gone to extremes to ensure their big day really is something to remember. Ellie Barton and Phil Hendicott spent their 2009 wedding in their birthday suits after winning a Brisbane radio competition to get married in the nude. The Aussies exchanged vows in front of 250 guests with the bride wearing just a long white veil with a bouquet of strategically-placed roses while her new husband had only a black top hat to cover his manhood. There’s also a nudist beach resort in Jamaica that offers naked weddings where the largest nude ceremony was held in 2003 when 29 couples married at the same time. Jeroen and Sandra Kippers of Brussels, Belgium, were lifted on a platform by crane up 160 feet in the air for their wedding ceremony where they were joined by the officiant and about 20 guests and another platform held the musicians. After the vows, they made it official by bungee-jumping over the side! The company behind the nutty nuptials – Marriage

In The Sky – also offer a floating reception where the guests enjoy a three-course wedding breakfast while strapped into the dining chairs. Explaining that TJ Maxx is her “happy place”, bride Lisa Satayut decided to combine the joy she got from nabbing a bargain with her excitement over bagging her beau. The bride wore a strapless white chiffon gown, with long black gloves and bright green gladiator-style sandals to wed Drew Ellis in the size eight shoe aisle of a TJ Maxx store in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. A widened aisle, vine-covered arch and white chairs with red bows highlighted the traditional ceremony that included string music, display-dodging cameramen – and curious shoppers who stopped bargain hunting long enough to watch. Groom Xiao Wang spent a year’s salary on buying 99,999 red roses for his bride Xiao Liu, for their wedding in Chongqing, China, where the number 999 is considered to be a good luck omen. The couple needed 30 cars to take the flowers to the service so advertised on the internet for car owners to join them, and for helpers to stick the flowers on the vehicles. When April Pignataro and Michael Curry of New York City wed in June 2010 she wore a white wetsuit while his was a traditional black version as they climbed inside a 120,000 gallon shark tank to take their vows at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, New York. Both are experienced divers and were protected by a

For more details of our beautiful

Please contact our Customer Service Team or contact your local representative.

GRASS ROOTS INTERNATIONAL E-mail: Web: Tel: 0151 541 0448


Tis the season to be wed THE wedding season has arrived once more and at Grass Roots, they are looking forward to unveiling their new collection for 2016! Following on from the huge success of their 2015 collection, they have for this year kept to a winning formula of beautiful textured board, printed in lovely soft pastel wedding shades, and complemented by soft delicate foiling and pretty sparkling flitters. The titles are very open, ensuring maximum sales opportunities, with a number of the titles and verses being open enough to work for same-sex marriages as well as traditional weddings. The verses are of varying lengths to suit a variety of tastes and customers, and they also have a catalogue of wedding titles for the customer who requires a wider choice or more specific personalised title such as “To my daughter and her husband on your wedding day”. Why not give the Grass Roots customer service team a call and they can furnish you with a catalogue and some samples so you can judge for yourself – or they have a brand-new website to help make your 2016 wedding season the best yet.

T: 0151 541 0448

Anniversary sales grow SIMON Elvin produce a comprehensive range of designs covering weddings, anniversaries and all the specialists captions involved. New anniversary designs are included in the publishers’ five fresh releases each year and a comprehensive range of wedding titles is also available on stock control. “Our sales of anniversary cards seem to have grown significantly over the past year” said Simon Elvin, “and we have also noticed market growth in special occasions such as diamond anniversary.”

T: 01628 526711

For that special day

It takes allsorts DEAN Morris has some lovely wedding cards in his Allsorts collection for boys and girls, for boys and boys and also for girls and girls. And with their typographic designs, they’re all done in the best possible taste.

T: 01902 560247


YOUR wedding day is such a special day that’s shared with friends and family, a day that deserves a very special card. Nigel Quiney Publications have produced a highly-finished Wedding collection to mark this special occasion with a range of 22 beautiful cards themed with contemporary images and finished with die cutting, flute foiling, pearling and gold and silver flitter. Must-have titles include Daughter and Son-in-law, Both Of You, Acceptance and Regret with price codes from C40 to C125 so offering great value.

T: 01799 520200 @greetingstoday


Blissful sentiments and personalisation

Busy with new ranges BLUE Eyed Sun have been very busy with three new ranges which all contain wedding and anniversary designs. There are 36 stitched Vintage Too cards in this fresh, contemporary revamp of their best-selling Vintage range that’s based on original embroidered artworks by textile artist Jo Corner. These beautiful cards are litho-printed and embossed to give a realistic look and feel and are all blank inside and all come cello-wrapped with a 165x165mm envelope. The 18 cards in the Tahiti range are all lovingly hand-finished with jewels in the UK and hot on the latest tropical trend with three open birthday captions and 15 relations and occasions designs. Based on original artworks by designer Jo, all Tahiti cards are blank inside and come

cello-wrapped with a coloured 165x165mm envelope. Fleur is the third range from Jo’s original artworks, with 30 embossed cards handfinished with jewels in the UK. The sophisticated designs currently include 17 open birthday captions and 13 occasions cards which are blank inside and come cellowrapped with a silver 130x130mm envelope. All board used is responsibly sourced from sustained and managed forests by FSCaccredited suppliers with cards sold in sixes and available to order through agents, by brochure, at shows or on the Blue Eyed Sun website.

IT’S TIME for Words ’n’ Wishes annual release of cards that celebrate engagement, wedding and anniversaries, with the full collection designed to make everyone blissfully happy. From the joys of planning a life together to wedding bells chiming and through to acknowledging every anniversary you share together, Words ’n’ Wishes offer a premium collection of highly-finished designs, incorporating heartfelt sentiment, with luxury foiling and embossing finishes. The depth of design has both modern and traditional styles represented at competitive price points, including their highly successful Treasured Moments range through to their newly-launched Personalised concept of multi-captions per design.

T: 01942 233201

T: 01273 823003


Ourr la O latest es ba batch ch of o code 60 Velvet lvet comprise of 11 open male mal Birthday cards. From fishing to cooking, from drumming to walking, we’ve covered a whole new bunch of hobbies and activities to keep your customers happy! Tel: 01423 563740 @greetingstoday 37


Spoilt for choice ANYONE requiring wedding and anniversary cards for their retail outlet would be spoilt for choice when looking at Tracey Russell’s range of designs, including Coffee & Crème, Lots Of Love, With You In Mind, Loud & Clear, Just Married, Georgie and Kaleidoscope. From general best wishes to many specific titles, combined with a choice of sizes, finishes and price points you’re guaranteed to find what you are looking for.

T: 0191 3732497

Effortlessly elegant THE effortless elegance of the Piccadilly range from Cinnamon Aitch makes it a perfect choice for that special wedding or anniversary card. Exquisite hand-drawn illustrations in black and white are combined with a hint of colour from photographic detail for a stunningly fresh and contemporary look. Finishing touches for the 130x130mm cards include delicate black bows, embossed silver foiled text and, of course, a sprinkling of shimmering gems – and they come individually cello-wrapped with silver-coloured envelopes. New additions have increased the anniversary offering to also include first, silver, pearl, ruby, golden and diamond years as well as husband, wife and general anniversary and wedding titles.

T: 0121 773 6833

The complete package ABACUS have recently launched their Wedding Package for 2016 – consisting of 40 cards, made up of nine brand-new designs and 31 bestsellers, the captions cover wedding, engagement and anniversary titles. The package also contains wedding acceptance and regret cards plus money wallets. Offering a good mix of designs, card sizes and price points, the complete 240-card package is an excellent way to cover all customers’ needs for the coming wedding season.

T: 01638 569050


Bumper new collection CHERRY Orchard have launched 42 new designs in their bumper new Wedding and Anniversary Collection for 2016, including a diverse range of contemporary and traditional designs, spread over price codes 40-100. With captions for engagement, weddings, anniversaries and special anniversaries, this stunning collection includes a wide range of styles and price codes, ranging from traditional images of bouquets and champagne, with scrolls and foils, to cute owls and text-based designs. New styles for 2016 also include striking contemporary monochrome designs in black and red or black and gold with images of elegant boutique-styled dresses and accessories.

T: 01684 295500 @greetingstoday

Flittering hearts abound HEARTS abound on many designs from Wendy Jones-Blackett which tie in beautifully with the wedding and anniversary genre. Wendy has a number of ranges, including Quicksilver and Paper Diamonds, with captions including husband anniversary, To The Happy Couple, and Wedding Day, with plenty of foil and flitter featured to make the designs stand out.

T: 0113 288 8468

Something to treasure IN UK GREETINGS’ wedding and anniversary refresh, expect to find beautifully handcrafted product that’s more than just a card, traditional illustrative designs that radiate timeless elegance, and photography designs that perfectly capture those meaningful moments in life. “This refresh sees some new innovation combined with beautiful handcrafted qualities – perfect for that special occasion,” said Leigha Wilkinson, Product Manager at UKG. “For example, we have a code 125 wedding card in the line complete with gift wrap and tag, which dresses the card beautifully.” Traditional illustrative designs have been freshened up, with newly updated Vicky Ball cards, including a Mum & Dad on Your Anniversary and an open Happy Anniversary caption, which have mass-market appeal. “Of course, we want to appeal to trend-seekers too, so we have added some trend-led photographics to the line which perfectly capture the essence of these special occasions,” Leigha added. From a sunset beach scene in anniversary that evokes romantic nostalgia, to classic couple imagery in wedding with luxurious sparkle pearl varnish, these cards are something to treasure.

(e) (t) 01223 207 080 (f) 01536 401 031

T: 01924 465200 @greetingstoday 39


Delicately detailed designs Bows boost to portfolio THERE are some new anniversary cards at Jonny Javelin boosting their bestselling portfolio which has plenty of wedding cards among the selection. One is part of a new range Ribbons And Bows which is based on their Baubles And Bows Christmas collection which was a very successful part of the Jonny Javelin Christmas 2015 package. Priced at £1.99 retail with all the usual JJ finishes, there are also a few new Velvet Anniversary titles.

T: 01423 563740

WEDDINGS and anniversaries are truly special occasions, making the card market hugely interesting, diverse and competitive too. Real & Exciting Designs provide a varied collection of gorgeous greeting cards, with an assortment of fashionable and on-trend styles and titles including engagement, wedding, anniversary, and husband and wife anniversaries. The new Panache range, launched at Top Drawer, has exquisite, stylish cards featuring luxurious diamond jewel designs enhanced with gleaming foil highlights and detailed embossing, wrapped with a pearlescent gold or silver envelope.. The boutique Bijou features elegant, contemporary illustration in striking monochrome and soft pinks, printed on a beautiful pearlescent board and finished with eye-catching flitter with each card wrapped with a bespoke black and white striped envelope.

Wedding and Anniversary titles are also covered in the delicately-illustrated Woodland Wonderland where the detailed drawings have a contemporary botanical look, combined with subtle pastel shades and romantic imagery. Each card is finished with shimmering gold flitter and printed on a unique corrugated board, wrapped with a gold envelope. With each card in a different style, there is something for everyone in Papier D’or, from simple and modern, to glitzy and flamboyant and featuring a comprehensive selection of titles, with special anniversaries such as first, silver and golden anniversaries. Each design is finished with foil and embossing, with some also featuring sparkling flitter.

T: 01223 207080

Try something fresh and different Unique way to t show love SUITABLE for weddings and anniversaries are the Love and Heart cards from The range is just one of unique collections from the London-based publishers, which come cello-wrapped with instructions on how to assemble them into the four-sided greetings.

T: 07803 501983


IF YOU’RE looking for something fresh and different in wedding and anniversary cards, Mint are the suppliers for you – with more 50 designs covering engagement, wedding and anniversary titles, and 21 of those are new for 2016, there’s sure to be a card you’ll love. Knitted Ditties is a brand-new range this year, with sweet verses perfect for these lovey-dovey occasions, while the quirky knitted character photography and glossy UV varnish makes these cards a little bit different. Liquorice is also new and the large 9x6” contemporary designs feature bold chalkboard-style artwork combined with bright pops of colour and a stunning

copper-toned foil plus detailed embossing. The adorable Sweet Tweets range has been refreshed with a lovely collection of new designs in a more grown-up and contemporary look. Featuring detailed paper collage, subtle palettes, sparkling coordinating flitter and embossing combined with kraft, these sweet designs make for a charming love send. Titles include Wedding, Wife, Husband and Our Anniversary, as well as the extra special silver, ruby and golden anniversaries.

T: 0116 230 4197

SEE MORE ONLINE AT @greetingstoday Bluebell 33, Card Connection, Caroline Doyle, Cockadoodle, Hallmark, Hotchpotch, Playful Indian, Roisin Cafferty, Rush Design , The Typecast Gallery



HEN the going gets tough, the tough make coffee – despite all the tales of tough times and difficult trading conditions, some of my retailers are actually expanding their empires. People that have got it right just seem to go from strength to strength and one of the areas where I’m seeing more growth is with the addition of a coffee shop to their card and gift store. As a country we seem to enjoy a good coffee and a bit of down time as a way of taking a break from the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives. You only have to take a look at most High Streets and you’re bound to find at least one, if not a few different cafes and coffee shops. A number of my retail customers have tapped into this market by adding their own coffee shop to sit alongside their card and gift offer with some offering homemade cakes, sandwiches, toasties etc, too. This gives their customers a place to relax and grab a drink and bite to eat before or after having a browse round their shop, which also increases the average spend per customer. From a sales point of view, if a customer has had a quick look round the shop and then goes for a coffee, it gives them time to contemplate making that purchase they were considering, which they may then buy on the way out. Also, the clever placement of items within the cafe that are available to purchase in the store means there’s a captive audience to which you can promote the latest special offer or new product lines. Even as an agent I’ve often grabbed a cuppa or sarnie once I’ve finished my appointment, as I’d

Tough it out

● Sup up – coffee and cake is helping sales at Macmillans in Penwortham

rather give my business to one of my retailers and support them than hand my money to one of the larger chains. I’ve also seen it work the other way where someone has walked in with the intention of just enjoying a restorative drink but then decided to have a browse while walking through to the coffee shop and then gone on to make a purchase.

Seeing sense W

ELL, I made it to the NEC and back. Sounds obvious really but, being seven months’ pregnant, I did wonder how I was going to get on.

I was slightly anxious about the whole thing with all sorts of probably irrational thoughts beforehand – what if I can’t do it? What if I go into labour at the show? Thankfully I didn’t and all was fine so, with just being sensible, sitting down when and where I could and finishing at 3.30 every day, it went as well as could be hoped and at least I feel I did my bit for both my principals and retail customers. While waddling around the show I got talking to some new card publishers who did ask me some thought-provoking questions, dismissing all fears of baby brain kicking in. One such company asked, ‘does the commission rate make a difference to what an agent brings out the bag first?’ This got me thinking as various answers flew through my mind. Eventually I replied: “Yes – but actually, not

completely, no!” I then had to explain that, granted, commission makes a big difference but there are other factors which come into it. A range could earn me 20 per cent commission but if it doesn’t suit the customer in terms of style, their location or price it would be irresponsible to push it on them. You might get one order but then you’d never step into the customer’s shop again when none of it sells and it’s still sitting on their shelves six months later. An agent needs to consider where the gaps are in the store too – what titles are missing or what style is in desperate need of filling in such a shop. It’s up to the agent to sum up a shop and their type of customers quickly and make the appropriate choice for the retailer, as to what we take out of the bag first. The retailer also might have become tired of previous ranges and want to know what’s new – so you would show them the newest product first irrespective of commission because you have to offer them what they need. So back to the question of does the commission

Having a coffee shop on hand when you go to an appointment is also a big plus for an agent as it provides a relaxed place to sit and do the orders instead of being perched on the end of a counter trying not to get in customers’ way. Mind you, this really isn’t helping my waistline as I can never resist a piece of cake with my cuppa! :-) – Neil Anthony

● Made it – Alina and her bump successfully negotiated Spring Fair

rate influence what you show and when; yes, it can be what drives an agent as a range has to be financially viable and compete with other companies they have in the bag but, putting my sensible head back on, 20 per of something is better than 50 per cent of nothing! – Alina Clark

Neil Anthony (Reil (Reil Agencies, T: 07766 736254) and Alina Clark (T: 07906 792420) are experienced independent greetings industry sales agents in the North West and North East of England respectively. Each month they share their experiences of life on the road. @greetingstoday 41

● Wen

dy Jon


Date for dads es-Bla


Father’s Day is a chance for children to honour their dads, but it’s also one of those good business occasions for greetings card publishers, who are always keen for ways to extend and expand the opportunities. ● Mint ● Cinnamon Aitch ● Hallmar k


● Dean Morris

ROUND the world, many countries celebrate dads and Father’s Day – although it’s not on the same date everywhere.

In fact, not that many countries have a specified date – in Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Italy they follow the Roman Catholic tradition and celebrate fathers on St Joseph’s Day, March 19, while Denmark’s Father’s Day and Constitution Day coincide on June 5. Indonesia chose November 12, United Arab Emirates and Sudan use Midsummer’s Day on June 21, Poland are two days later, while South Korea have Parents’ Day on May 8. Israel celebrate on May 1 together with Workers’ Day. Taiwan stick to August 8, and Thailand use the birthday of their reigning king so it’s currently December 5, while Russia continue the Soviet Union’s tradition of celebrating Defender Of The Fatherland on February 23 instead of Father’s Day. In most other places, Father’s Day is a moveable feast – American Samoa use the second Sunday in August, Lithuania the first Sunday in June, Sweden and Finland have the second Sunday in November, while Latvia are the second Sunday in September and Ukraine the third, and Haiti the last Sunday in June. Out of the 27 states in the European Union, Romania was the only one without an official Father’s Day before a

law passed in 2009 made the second Sunday in May the officially recognised celebration. Here in the UK, and also in the US, Costa Rica, Macau, Hungary, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, India, the Netherlands, Venezuela, Malaysia, Kenya, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, the Phillipines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and quite a few other countries, it’s the third Sunday in June. Most countries celebrate in much the same fashion, with children giving their dads small gifts and treats such as breakfast in bed or a nice lunch out. In Germany, Father’s Day is known as Vatertag – regionally, it’s also called men’s day, Männertag, or gentlemen’s day, Herrentag. and is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. It is always celebrated on Ascension Day which is the Thursday 40 days after Easter and is a federal holiday with many people taking the next day off at work too, and some schools are closed on that Friday as well so there’s a long weekend. It’s traditional for groups of males both young and old but usually excluding pre-teen boys to do a hiking

tour with one or more smaller wagons known as bollerwagen, pulled by manpower, which carry wine or beer according to region and traditional regional food, Hausmannskost. These traditions are probably rooted in Christianity where Ascension Day saw processions to the farmlands, which has been celebrated since the 18th century. Men would be seated in a wooden cart and carried to the village’s plaza, and the mayor would award a prize to the father who had the most children, usually a big piece of ham. In the late 19th century the religious component was progressively lost, especially in urban areas such as Berlin, and groups of men organised walking excursions with beer and ham. By the 20th century, alcohol consumption had become a major part of the tradition. For UK greetings publishers these different dates mean that with a little bit of planning and by getting into the export market they could extend the life of this one occasion way beyond this year’s British celebration of June 19.

IIt’s traditional for groups of males to do a hiking tourr

Two sizes of Simplicity SIMPLICITY is Tracey Russell’s new range for January 2016 with 100 cards in the collection covering an amazing amount of occasions focussing in particular on relations. These cheerful cards are available in two sizes, 130x130mm and 155x155mm, with each being individually hand finished and they come with a matt grey envelope.

T: 0191 3732497

42 @greetingstoday


Doing the man thing BERNI Parker’s Men Who Love Life card range has its own recognisable colourful and earthy style. There is always an element of subtle humour with chaps in all the archetypal male situations and very often doing a Man Thing – it’s all non-offensive but true to life. The cards lend themselves perfectly to celebrate a typical Father’s Day message that most would associate with their parent, and there are plenty of male themes for all other occasions too.

T: 01299 406098

Blue is the colour BLUE is the colour and it’s lovely vibrant version in many on the male designs from Wendy Jones-Blackett. With a number of suitable titles in the Fresco range, from Son and Dad birthday captions to Happy Father’s Day, the WJB collection has plenty going for it.

T: 0113 288 8468

Bubbling over beautifully HERE are the Father’s Day cards from Kali Stileman – formerly the Square Card Company – for 2016 complete with a bubble for the child to write their own personal message to their dad. The designs from the Bubble range say Best Dad and they look absolutely beautiful with children’s writing on!

T: 01305 848899


Cheeky fart jokes DEAN Morris Cards have more than 30 designs for that special man in your life – no, not Donald Trump – but your dad. They’re all a bit cheeky as we know dads love a good laugh and there’s a few available that are a little bit ruder for those chaps you know can take the joke. Obviously the token fart gags are included too.

T: 01902 560247 @greetingstoday


Covering all hobbies WHILE Jonny Javelin don’t go heavily into Father’s Day, this year they have released four titles as part of their spring package with two designs from Velvet and two are from their Cheese ’n’ Crackers humour range. On the male front, they have just released a batch of 11 brand-new Velvet code 60 open birthday titles. Beer and darts, fishing and walking – these new additions bring the JJ total of Velvet male open birthday designs to 28. MD Jonny Spears said: “We have a further six designs in progress and then hopefully there won’t be any other male hobbies out there that we haven’t covered!”

T: 01423 563740

Making fun faces HAVING fun is what dads are all about and what better way to celebrate both birthdays and Father’s Day than with Bluebell 33’s Fun Faces range. With fabulous faces, expressions, animals, characters, people, hearts and gestures, there’s something for everyone in this bright collection. And to add to the fun, there are matching mugs, coasters, stationery and journals.

T: 01932 506406 @greetingstoday

(t) 0116 230 4197 (f) 01536 401 031 (w) 45


Delivering the male CHERRY Orchard have launched a new 28-strong collection of code 55 square open cards with male designs in a range of styles to cover all ages. With images covering everything from computer games and gadgets, through tools for DIY enthusiasts, musical instruments and gardening tools, to sporting images and traditional pictures of fine wine and food, the cards cater for all ages, interests and hobbies with a masculine theme. The collection has been well received with retailers commenting that their customers are enjoying the designs as this type of card can be hard to find. All cards are foiled and inserted with contemporary square dimensions and are supplied with high-quality coordinating coloured envelopes.

T: 01684 295500

To the power of three WITH Father’s Day falling on Sunday, June 19, Blue Eyed Sun have some gorgeous designs available with three new ranges In The Frame, Cheers! and Knit Wit. The 160x160mm In The Frame cards are litho-printed on beautiful board and embossed, while Knit Wit – also available in Valentine’s and Mother’s Day – are taken from original hand-knitted artworks and turned into 125x174mm designs.

Last but not least is the 160x160mm Cheers! range printed on gorgeous art board and hand-finished with jewels. Sold in sixes to trade buyers only, all Blue Eyed Sun’s Father’s Day cards are blank inside, printed on lovely thick board from sustainable sources, barcoded and cello-wrapped with an envelope.

T: 01273 823003

First of its kind MUSEUMS & Galleries’ new aged male birthdays range is their first range of this kind and was warmly received at Spring Fair. The images are a stylish contemporary blend of retro vintage male celebratory icons in a virtually photographic solarised graphic style on matt textured board, picked out subtly with silver foil and presented on tonally on-trend colour-blocked backgrounds. This hand-crafted look is a contemporary classic for the nine 5x7 cards, addressing ages 18 to 90 with a £2.40 SRP.

T: 0116 230 4197


With men in mind FOLLOWING on from their Henries Award for Best Male Range with Platinum and award-winning Paloma collection, Belly Button have designed something specifically with men in mind. Big adventures are characterised by bold accents of blue to create a colour pop of freshness and deliver a vibrant new-look. 20 maleinspired designs that are foil embossed. Driven by trend Belly Button have made their mark with inspired fresh collections pushing printing technique boundaries and adding ranges to give plenty of choice and difference among designs for their 2016 Father’s Day collection,. Be a hit with strong geometric patterns, playful typography and illustrative stories as they cover something suitable for everyone in Platinum, quirky Quill or the hub-inspired spin-offs Darling Denim and Copperfield. All Belly Button cards are printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC certified board and are designed and made in the UK.

T: 0161 902 0200


April Rose, Cockadoodle, Hallmark, Roisin Cafferty, Twizler


Perfectly suited MINT have a growing collection of birthday and Father’s Day cards designed for the men in your life, with images that are generic as well as interest-specific, there’s sure to be something that’s perfectly suited. Jackpot has a bold, graphic style with muted colour palette and, new for 2016, four designs have been added with a new style and brighter, bolder colours, with masculine imagery and hand-drawn typography. Also new are the special titles of Son 18th and 21st Birthday, in a new larger size suited to the special occasion. All designs feature embossing, gleaming gold foil and UV varnish for a striking effect. Also new for 2016 are the quirky photographic designs in Foto Fun where Mint have added five male relations to this collection, featuring sporting scenes combined with bold captions, with popular subjects such as golf, football and fishing included. Finished with spot UV varnish, these cards have great impact in any display. In addition Mint have a vibrant collection of Father’s Day cards in an assortment of styles. Five ranges are represented, with Jackpot, Foto Fun and Ha Pea Times ranges new for 2016. With 50 designs to choose from, the perfect Father’s Day card is waiting from Mint.

T: 0116 230 4197

THERE are two fabulous Father’s Day ranges available from Cinnamon Aitch this year. Inspired by the splendidly vintage male range Mustard, illustrator Nicole Tan offers six designs with a contemporary take on a retro theme, perfect for all those discerning dads. These stylish cards are all embossed and printed on to 300g fine quality board with a mustard-coloured inside. The fun and cheeky little critters of Hello Sunshine provide the inspiration for a further six Father’s Day designs. Colourful and patterned, all hand-finished with a combination of die-cuts, sparkly stars and an abundance of googly eyes, these cheery designs send a cuddly, cute message to all those daddies and young-at-heart dads out there.

T: 0121 773 6833

Enjoy a bit of banter

Blend of traditional and contemporary NIGEL Quiney Publications’ Father’s Day range has always been a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, the former element has beautifully painted coastal scenes and male past-times, while the latter designs are a combination of holographic text and fun images with honeycomb and googly eye attachments. All have a strong male colour palette and are enhanced with flute foil and emboss. The range has 28 designs, with prices from C40 up to C90, and includes the titles Daddy, Grandad, Husband and Like A Dad – a comprehensive offer for Father’s Day!

T: 01799 520200

Cheery, colourful, contemporary

Tradition sells well MALE cards have always formed a very significant proportion of Simon Elvin’s cards and sales of traditional designs, in particular, seem to be growing. Simon Elvin explained: “Possibly there are so many male humour cards and contemporary designs that the public is left short of the more traditional design approach. “We still find that subjects incorporating scenes and traditional male symbols, such as wine, prove very good sellers.”

HUMOUR is the key to Hotchpotch’s three new male ranges with their latest trendy collection incorporating bright colours with hand-drawn lettering and cheeky captions These 154x154mm bold and stylish designs have a UV finish to intensify the strong colours. Banter Pants is a new humour range by illustrator Miss Pea, featuring designs for proper lads as she loves to illustrate naughty characters, cheesy puns and animals enjoying a bit of banter. Each design is 120 x 170mm with eye-popping neon orange envelopes – oh, and watch out for a naughty word or two! Frank incorporates trendy neon inks and hand-drawn typography making these attentiongrabbing 120x170mm cards the perfect cheeky send, complete with coordinating neon envelopes.

T: 01243 792600

T: 01628 526711 @greetingstoday 47


● Delicious doughnut treats with Davora, Alljoy, Licorice, Lucy Monkman & Olivia Goddard

● Facematt fun from Brainbox Candy’s Ben Hickman

● Lesser Spotted Images’ Dom Greyer really fell for the show

On a winner Plenty of people had winning streaks at Spring Fair, with competitions, offers and, of course, all the orders that were made at the NEC and those that will come through in the follow up to the i2i Events-organised show which ran from February 7-11. See if you’re in the picture in Greetings Today’s round-up of the big show – and there are many more on our Facebook page. Cardgains: A £20,000 cheque is enough to make the rigours of a 25-mile hike fade as Cardgains’ Withering Thighs 2015 charity challengers gathered at Spring Fair to hand over the money to the Calvert Trust towards a mini-bus to help deliver outdoor holidays for people with disabilities. The cheque was presented to fund-raising officer Jennifer Scott by the buying group’s joint MD Chris Dyson. Cardgains have also launched this year’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow challenge which is still shrouded in mystery but people were keen to sign up – although Greetings Today editor Tracey Bearton, pictured second right, is already admitting defeat if the rumoured swim section is included! Thursday, June 23, is the big day when challengers will be raising money for the Rainbow Trust children’s charity, and anyone interested in taking part should email

Fiona Robinson Wishes Of Cockermouth “Feet hurt, shoulders ache, brains exhausted, can only mean one thing – a successful trip to Spring Fair! Lots of great cards and gifts ordered to come and fill our new shop.”

Jackie & Chris Oliver, The Fair Trader, Westbourne, Dorset “We’re looking for stationery as we have a newsagents where we do greetings cards and we’re opening another shop in the town where we’ll do stationery and gifts – The Letter Box which will be opening on February 27! There’s a few of our suppliers here, Noel Tatt and Deluxebase. This is the first time we’ve ever been to Spring Fair, we came today (Sunday) because we’re independents and work the rest of the week.”

Dave Hockridge Present Surprise, Chichester “It was a good day one. I found the two suppliers I was looking for and left very happy. Mind you if they don’t get in touch, I won’t be!”

Colleen Roberts & Joy Newson West Barn Interiors, Harrogate “We loved the show. We found all our current suppliers and a new one which we’re excited about. Being an online-only retailer some suppliers are hesitant to supply, however, we’ve managed to get Art Marketing on board to supply us – they liked our website – so we are very pleased. All the stands were easy to find and there were plenty of facilities. We both had a good day.”


Karen Braithwaite & Yvonne Iamette Aberlour Pharmacy, Aberlour, Moray “We met some suppliers that we’ve already dealt with online so it was nice to see the product in the flesh and up close. We’ve made quite a few new contacts with suppliers. We were very good and didn’t order on the day, we’ve come back to think about it – we planned to do that but weren’t sure if it would work but it did. It was the first time I’ve been, Karen has been before, and it was a very good experience. It was all new to me and I was wide eyed at everything. We made a lot of new contacts and it was nice to see the people we deal with already. It was a very productive day and we’ve already had a few of them contact us since and we’ve contacted some with a view to placing orders.”



● Wes Venn from Buddy Fernandez was being a silly billy ● Dean Morris proved his agility with a headstand and offered trolley rides later

● Nige l Quine y MD Bu glamortterworth is Alison ous wit s h a Factill ematt

● Tatty Teddy copped it with this police presence

● The Porch Fairies

Cherry Orchard: The seven-month competition to find Cherry Orchard’s Shop Of The Year came to an end with Rathbones of Chingford being drawn out as the overall winners on the first day of Spring Fair. The prize of £1,000 worth of stock was collected by company director Claire Richardson, while the six runners-up – Wishes Of Cudworth, Julia Keeling, Cudworth, Barnsley; Gem Cards, Diana Scott, Strood, Kent; Emotions Cards & Gifts, Debra Godden, Chatham, Kent; Cool Cards & Gifts, Skipton, North Yorkshire; Card Gallery, Andy & Marilyn Bean, Wimborne, Dorset; Cherry Cards, Debbie Davies, Upminster, Essex – each received a voucher for £100 worth of Cherry Orchard stock. Joint founder and MD Jackie Collins ran the contest as part of their 21st birthday celebrations and to help promote independent retailers. Claire is pictured with Jackie and Miss Worcestershire Laura-Beth Morgan in the dress she made out of Cherry Orchard cards after winning her beauty title with a dress made from 250 recycled Christmas cards for the eco round to go through to the Miss England heats.

Enveco: The classic red post box on Enveco’s stand drew plenty of admiring glances and also served a very useful purpose as the special envelope entries for their draw were posted there. On the penultimate afternoon, GCA CEO Sharon Little and President Ged Mace were on hand to draw the winners with Fay’s Studio taking the top prize of £500 worth of stock envelopes or bespoke notebooks, with the two £100 runners-up prizes going to Charlie Foxtrot and Nancy & Betty Studio.

Abacus Cards: Nick Davison, new Portfolio Director for Spring Fair organisers i2i Events, picked the winners for Abacus’ draw open to everyone who placed a show order. Nick is pictured with Abacus’ Nick Carey and Neil Harradine drawing Midland Card & Party Shop out for the Smeg 50s-style mixer, Spots Southwold won the Nespresso Coffee Machine, and The Windmill Shop, Heckington, Sleaford, won the 8GB Amazon Fire 7 tablet.

Thorntons: It’ll be chocolate all round at Glick as their Key Accounts Manager Michelle Airth managed to guess the exact number of gold coins in the globe on the Thorntons stand, 14,556. “It was quite scary,” said Thorntons’ Han van Reen, pictured with Michelle, “not only did Michelle guess the exact number, but 14-5-56 is a significant date for her as it’s her dad’s birthday.”

Gift Of The Year A really good time was had by all at the GOTY Awards – especially by Really Good who scooped the title in the Card & Wrap category with their Showtime cards while Wrendale Designs took the Stationery prize for their Letter Writing Set. The presentations were made as the first day came to an end, with iconic British designer Cath Kidson taking the stage as the new ambassador for GOTY organisers The Giftware Association. Cath is pictured, above left, with GA chairman Michael Pepe and Really Good – also in a team shot, top, of Harriet Greet, Lynn Briody, Richard Freeman, Lisa Marcuccio & Kate Falshaw – and with GA vice-chairman and Greetings Today columnist Henri Davis, left, and Wrendale’s Hannah and Jack Dale. Apart from having the highest-yet number of entries, the contest won plaudits from Cath for the innovative products shortlisted in the 20 categories.

Debbie & Alan Williams. Museums & Galleries The most colourful prizes on offer were at M&G where their new Matthew Williamson cards and stationery licence saw the designer hand over a scarf and necklace for their giveaway. Visitors put their business cards in the box from which Threads of Harpenden were drawn out for the £210 scarf, while Maureen Cerri from the Art Centre at Bedford won the £60 necklace. 49


Sue Morrish, Glebe Cottage “This is the first time we’ve had two stands and it’s nice because there are two distinct halves to Glebe e Cottage, photography and art and the stands are opposite so we can show it all off. One of the strengths of our company is that our collection is so diverse and works very well for the independent retailer. They can get a really nice variety from one publisher and, of course, we’re eco friendly and we’ve made that branding more prominent.”

Rob Jane, Melissa Robert & David Higgins Avonside Publishing “We’re in this new hall and like this position because we see lots of people and lots of movement. Where we are is seeing a lot of traffic.The people we always see we’ve seen and the show seems to be well attended ed d today (Sunday).”

an, Chris Bryre eynolds, ● Paul R est, Second Natu Tim W

● Fern Plackett, Dymond & Steve Carousel C alendars

Leckie Presley with youngest exhibitor 11-week-old Kitty, Pocket Typewriter “We’ve “We We’ve We ’ve ve b been going four years now. It’s me and my brother Jack Carter, with nanny and gramps helping out with Kitty – she’s been a big draw to the stand. We’re launching the CDUs in the shape of a typewriter and they’ve been flying out, going crazy. We’ve been very busy and had lots of Japanese interest so it’s been generally a good show.”

● Joel Mercer, Seedlings Cards & Gifts

● Rod B ro Words ’nwn, ’ Wishes

● Trevor Jo Laurence nes & Danilo Pro Prince, motions

● Jone Wendy s-Bla ckett

wn, ● Rod Bro ’ Words ’n Wishes

e Bells

● The Littl

● Steve Baker, Pigment Productions

● Jack Dominiq Parker & ue Lanther Miranda Black

● Kali Stileman & Lucy Tolson Kali Stileman (The Square Card Co)

Mace & ● James erwood, Matt Ish rt File The A

Rachel Hare Belly Button & Belly Button Bubble “Someone came on the stand because they saw the advert in GT and the new company Belly Button Bubble has gone down really well. It’s opening the door in shops where they’ve been unable to take our stock because someone nearby already has it. We had someone on the stand at 9am yesterday saying they had to order it before another shop did. We probably had our best day yet at any fair on Sunday.”

50 50 ti t d k

● Frances Bodiam, Flame Tree Publishing & Emma Ball

● Becky Dobson, Glick

Rick Ruffner, Chip Owen, Nick Adsett & Peter Reichwald Avanti & Great British Card Co Peter: “Avanti are a joy to work with and we have taken them to areas where they haven’t been before – square cards and occasions and relations so we’ve put our British twist on Avanti. We think it’s a marriage made in heaven!” Chip: “In the US square cards cost extra to post so we’ve never done them, but GBCC have put on captions and flitter, and our European partners are taking the British designs as their lead.”


● Lorrain Rush, Rush Design

Paul Woodmansterne & artist Matt Sewell Woodmansterne “We were packed out on Sunday morning and again on Monday morning. We have eight tables and they were completely full – we have this little promotion to get people going but there was a problem on the motorway so everyone came in a rush. We’re anticipating doing more here than last year, every year it’s grown for the last six years so, can I complain? No.” www. ww w.fa w. face fa cebo ce book bo ok..c ok .c / i d @greetingstoday @ i d


Memories are made of this M

ORE than 1,000 visitors cast their votes at Paperworld in Frankfurt, leading to Simon Scherer’s Memories design taking first place in the Cards Awards at the German exhibition. The top 10 entries nominated by the jury from the 700-plus received for the annual AVG, German greetings card association, competition were displayed in the exhibition area of the Greetings Card Centre of Excellence at the Messe Frankfurt showgrounds. The Greetings Cards Centre of Excellence was launched at this year’s Paperworld with 11 AVG exhibitors, the Café Card with a varied and interesting programme revolving around the subject of greetings cards and the Card Award exhibition. The show, organised by Messe Frankfurt, ran alongside Creativeworld and Christmasworld with the triple fairs racking up 2,878 exhibitors from 67 countries and around 83,000 visitors over the five days, January 29-February 2. Detlef Braun, Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt, said: “In addition to increasing the number of exhibitors, we also succeeded in attracting more new international buyers to Frankfurt and were thus able to further improve our exhibitors’ sales chances. “Spurred by the positive economic indicators, the many visitors were more than willing to place orders. “The Who’s Who of the consumer-goods sector got together here in Frankfurt over the five days and thus emphatically underscored the leading international position of the three fairs for their sector.”

At Paperworld there was a positive mood among the 1,600-plus exhibitors, and a further increase in the proportion of international trade visitors to 69 per cent ensured a host of satisfied exhibitors who rated the event as having been even better than in 2015 in all respects: visitor quality, new contacts made, orders taken during the fair and target groups reached, all of which led to a further increase in target achievement during the fair. Trade visitors cast their votes at the show to pick the top three winners in the Cards Awards which were announced on the final day. Simon (pictured), a student at the Art University of Kassel, took the top prize of €1,500 (£1,152) with his card that’s also an envelope in which a photo can be placed with the word “memories” overlapping the image and room for a greeting on the back. The design can also be framed with the word removed. AVG chairman Werner Lippels said: “We are delighted with the great cards that, for good reason, came out top in the end. The winners can be proud of their work because a large proportion of the trade visitors who voted came here to Hall 5.1 as they have a particular interest in greetings cards. Therefore, the results are highly differentiated because they come from people who are experts on the subject.”

Spring in their step ●

son Scott & Rob


● Pink Pig with Louise from The Dragonfly

● Pigment Productions

ITH a welcome spring in visitors’ steps, the mood at Scotland’s Trade Fair was warm and pleasantly positive despite the lashing rain outside Glasgow’s SECC.

As the three-day event closed on January 26 there was an 8.4 per cent growth in attendance figures and a huge 15 per cent growth in exhibitors, making it one of the most successful spring shows in recent times. Springboard Events, who organise the fair on behalf of Clarion Events, reported that throughout the hall, which encompasses Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, there was a good buzz as orders were placed, new suppliers found, innovative ranges launched and a general positive feeling abounded. Pink Pig’s Mabel Forsyth said: “Sunday was amazing – really busy and we had our best trading day then. Our new Scottish range Havers went down a storm, which was fab! “We had our most successful show to date and it was great to have so many new @greetingstoday

● Jenny from Top Drawer, St Andrews, on the Pink Pig stand

● Perkins & Morley

● Margaret from The Gift Shop, Ed on the Abacuinburgh s stand

customers on board, looking forward to selling Pink Pig cards.” Abacus were among the publishers exhibiting, as were Pigment Productions where Sales Director Steve Baker and Scottish Area Manager Sandy Rae said they had a “great show”, which was the exact sentiment from Janet Morley of Perkins & Morley. Greetings did very well in the Best Product Awards with Poppydaisy’s money wallets being highly commended in the Home & Giftware category, and in the Launch Gallery, the 3D cards from Pop Up Designs came out winners while recent Ladder Club graduate Jo Scott was delighted that her Scott & Robson Designs’ Today I Will Be… range earned highly commended. “I’m still grinning from ear to ear about the award,” Jo said, “it was my first time there and I even managed to sneak in my dog Thomasina for a little while – she’s the inspiration behind a lot of my work.” There are more pictures from the show on the Greetings Today Facebook page. T: 01877 385772 51

Publishers are right at the heart of the greetings industry, designing and supplying cards for everyone to enjoy. Greetings Today chats to a few to hear their opinions on issues of the day.

Matt Genower, joint founder & owner, Five Dollar Shake

‘ Creased up

T: 01424 434062

How would you sum up the attitude in the greetings card industry at the moment? Cautiously optimistic. Is there any occasion or category that is currently seeing growth? For us – large cards. There is a much greater appetite to find THE most special card for a really special occasion these days. Our large card designs seem to do this beautifully!

A very neat fold is an important part of the design of most greetings cards and to achieve this mechanisation is often the best way. C&T Matrix are leading suppliers of such creasing matrices and here they talk trouble-shooting for some of the most commonly-asked questions about the machines.

Q. Why does the crease crack in the centre of the fold? A. Creasing rule is likely set too high, so we recommend you lower the rule height. Q. Why does the crease crack at the edge of the fold? A. It’s possible the creasing rule is not in correct alignment with the centre of matrix. We would suggest replacing matrix, if making ready by hand then trim the edges. Q. The crease cracks at two edges of fold, how can I remedy this? A. It sounds like the channel width is too narrow, therefore we recommend you use a wider channel. Q. The definition of the crease is not as good as I had hoped. A. It sounds as though the creasing rule to be too low or the channel is too wide, in which case we would recommend increasing height of rule with C&T Shim tape or using a narrower channel. Q. Why does the bead collapse at the back of the crease? A. It sounds as though the creasing rule may be set too low, so again increase height of rule using shim tape. Q. I get a poor crease definition when I use a low-grade board – how can I improve results? A. This is a common problem, it is likely that the channel depth may be too shallow. Try using a deeper matrix. Q. I have trouble fitting the locator on to the creasing rule, what is your solution? A. Either you have i) the incorrect locator size (eg a 2pt locator on to a 4pt creasing rule) or ii) the creasing rules are damaged or rusty. We would recommend the following course of action: i) use a wider locator or ii) either replace the damaged rules or, if rusty, lubricate with oil or wax – a candle works perfectly! Q. The creasing matrix doesn’t stick properly to the cutting plate, what should we do? A. It’s likely the cutting surface is dirty or oily, therefore we would recommend cleaning the surface thoroughly to remove the contamination. Q. There’s frequently bruising at the edges of the creases, how do I overcome this? A. It sounds as though there’s too much pressure being applied, the best solution to maintain the crease definition would be to rub down the matrix with sandpaper or chamfer the ends of the matrix. T: 01933 273444

● All opinions expressed in Your Shout are the personal views of the named writer. We can’t promise to print everything we receive – especially not if it could land anyone in a libel court! – but we will read through everything submitted for consideration. If you have something to say please email your thoughts to


With the current economic turbulence in China, can you see this having any effect on the UK card industry? No. China is more often than not going to be a more economic way of making stuff for this industry. We manufacture everything in the UK and more publishers would if this and previous Governments had recognised the importance of making stuff in the UK – not just greetings cards but everything! What’s currently trending or of interest in the Calendars, Wedding & Anniversary Cards and/or Male & Father’s Day categories? Our Personalised Card business has its very busiest time of year over the summer months. Wedding and anniversary captions dominate the orders coming in. Again, it’s the quest of finding THE most special card. Describe Five Dollar Shake in three words. Never stands still.

Ian Bant, Managing Director, Ling Design T: 01892 838574

How would you sum up the attitude in the greetings card industry at the moment? It continues to be very positive and retailers are still looking for the next new and exciting products from us all the time, which keeps up the enthusiasm levels within the publishers to deliver. Here at Ling Design it’s a very exciting time for us, no one day is the same!! Is there any occasion or category that is currently seeing growth? A new caption we introduced last year, Baby Shower, is doing well for us. Also we’ve seen resurgence in the call for more sentiment-based designs within the relation category, but with a modern twist towards inspirational quotes rather than the verse style sentiments from a few years ago. With the current economic turbulence in China, can you see this having any effect on the UK card industry? As everything manufactured in the Far East is affected by the changing dollar rate, then we publishers who get our products manufactured there will certainly experience deterioration in margins. Describe Ling Design in three words Evolving, creative, experienced. @greetingstoday

If you are an artist/cartoonist/illustrator/verse writer or image library and would like to be part of this feature contact the Gareth Liddiatt on 01442 289930 / for more details @greetingstoday

Artists’ directory 53

Product & services directory greetings card publishers & Party product suppliers To advertise call Gareth Liddiatt on 01442 289940


A selection of this month’s latest releases

Make every occasion count with greeting cards from Abacus Cards Limited, The Studio, Oaks Drive, Newmarket, Suffolk,CB8 7SX t: 01638 569050 f: 01638 569051 e: w:

● WATERMARK is a range of 27 subtle watercolour illustrations from A Made Hand that are feminine, pretty and full of beauty. Available now, the 150x150mm designs cover all main occasions, are hand-finished with diamante and come with a silver envelope.

T: 01756 748972 ● FOLLOWING the success of the Tired Ted range, Cherry Orchard have launched 10 new Tired Ted designs to mark those all-important first birthdays. The new cards have captions to mark the special day for son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great-grandson, greatgranddaughter, niece, nephew, godson and goddaughter. With images of the lovable bear, the designs are Price Code 75 and are die-cut and embossed.

T: 01684 295500


Paying top rates of commission promptly plus BONUS!

Good Sales Agents required

to sell a fresh new greetings card concept ideal for Independent Greeting Card Shops offering a simple one-stop service for great new designs. Card designs can be viewed our website:

Apply by email to: or telephone 01394 271668 Please note our new address: 3 Manning Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 2AS AS


● STRAWBERRIES & Cream is one of the irresistible new cards in the Richard Partis Collection from Clanna Cards, which now includes more than 90 designs covering themes including transport, animals and the countryside. Richard is also expanding his Music range to cover classical, jazz and popular musical instruments, all painted in his distinctive style. All the 7x5” cards are printed on high-quality textured FSC board and available either as Happy Birthday or blank and have colour-coordinated FSC envelopes. The blank designs are also available in notecard packs of six cards with envelopes and coordinating fabric products including tea towels and aprons are being launched by Samuel Lamont & Sons while Dunoon Ceramics have expanded their selection of Richard’s fine china mugs.

T: 01242 575574 @greetingstoday

A selection of this month’s latest releases


● ANGELS is a unique range of 11 greetings card designs from the Flicker Wings collection designed by watercolour artist Sue Coleman who handcrafts them to include delicate flick-out wings and glitter. The 150x150mm Angels range specialises in themes of religion and sympathy and each card comes with a matchin matching coloured envelope and cello wrap.

T: : 01226 728616

● CHILDREN’S cards remain a high priority for James Ellis who continue to use both existing artists for continuity of style and new artists t to inject a spark of originality. Red Balloon is a beautiful new children’s birthday range by newly enlisted artist Ekaterina Trukhan who was born in Russia and now lives and works in London. From bus-driving animals to a mouse ballerina the 120x167mm illustrations are wonderfully childlike with gold foil detailing and the cards come individually cello-wrapped with pink or blue envelopes and are blank inside.

T: 0117 927 7667 ● JUDY is the new artist at Pearl & Black, with a passion for vintage textiles and sewing which she has combined with her talent for design to produce this new collection of cards. The cards have a printed base which is then stitched with herringbone or cross stitch and embellished with original pieces of vintage textiles.

T: 020 7432 3352 @greetingstoday 55



● THE new Retro-Graphics range from the wonderful world of There’s A Star Behind You! is inspired by their love of 1930s and 1950s graphics. The designs continue their work of combining vintage images with original artwork or photos then adding their own text – a playful, gentle technique that produces modern cards that still retain a vintage feel with a dash of charm from a bygone era.

T: 07557 223 667

INDEPENDENTLY AUDITED & LARGEST CIRCULATION To find out how Greetings Today can help you just call 01442 289930


Designs that will get your customers coming back for more!

Life quotes to make them laugh out loud

All our designs are tried and tested in an award winning store

● DITSY Daisy is a pretty range of 14 handmade occasion cards from Laura Sherratt Designs inspired by Laura’s love of fabrics and which all feature her hand-drawn style embellished by hand with delicate paper flower. Festive Fabrics is Laura’s range of 41 new Christmas cards featuring her line-drawn illustrations and a collage of fabrics, hand-finished with shiny red and white sequins and red bows. Both 150x150mm ranges are individually cello-wrapped with a jolly red envelope for the Christmas designs and colour-coordinating ones for Ditsy Daisy.

T: 01538 384566 @greetingstoday

gifts spotlight A selection of the latest gift releases and deals

● THREE new fragrance collections have been released by Yankee Candle – Warm Summer Nights, Harvest Time and Holiday Party. To embody the characteristics of a season filled with sunshine, colour and warmth, Warm Summer Nights has Flowers In The Sun, Passion Fruit Martini, Dreamy Summer Nights and Sunset Breeze. The range includes a new Jam Jar Lantern set and the classic five votive set with accessories which combine luminance and glowing patterns, dark metals and colourful glass. Bringing Harvest Time to life with fragrances featuring invigorating outdoor elements of the season, there’s Honey Clementine, Rhubarb Crumble, Autumn Night and Ebony & Oak complemented by accessories featuring frosted glass, copper and wood. The sophisticated and stylish Holiday Party collection promises to bring shimmer and sparkle to enhance the 2016 Christmas season with names including All Is Bright, Festive Cocktail, Macaron Treats and Star Anise & Orange. Ranging from classic Christmas red tones to a luxurious touch of gold, the collection boasts glittering gift sets including a 10 tea light compact set, luxury Large Jar Candle set and brand-new Advent Calendar.

T: 0117 316 1200



CIRCULATION 6,086 July 1, 2014June 20, 2015

display services

● DKL HAVE more than 50 new products available from Scentco Scented Stationery including Scented Paper Clips, Scented Gel Crayons and new licences Disney Princess, Tsum Tsum and Finding Dory. The Scentco range boasts eco-friendly products with scents which last for two years while DKL also have Scentco FSDUs, available as generic or with licensed Disney Frozen lines.

T: 01604 678780 ● KNOWN for her quintessentially British designs, Sophie Allport has launched a new Horses collection of giftwrap, kitchen textiles, tinware, oilcloth products, bags, stationery and fine bone china Featuring trotting and jumping horses on a pale stone background, the neutral tones should complement most interiors and will hopefully appeal to equestrian fans.

T: 01778 560256 @greetingstoday

Saunders Displays Point of sales display stands for every retail environment. Tel: 0208 594 7221 57




BAGS from

Wrapid Producers of high clarity, high quality bags for over 30 years direct to the greeting card and stationery trade 01274 220 220






01228 560526

58 @greetingstoday

gift manufacturers


Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists


Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E print services

print services

export management

paper & board supplies @greetingstoday 59

Award Winning Calendars, Diaries & Stationery INTRODUCING OUR NEW 2017 CALENDAR RANGE Celebrating the BRITISH ISLES 2017

Scout Tests 2017


ti ity d Activ A rs an Stickkeeers down Dropp ck PPoockeett

by Kelly Hall




Family Planner


Me Me


Cartoons 2017 by Tim Whyatt

Art 2017

Matisse 2017


C lend Cale Ca lele nddar 2017 ar 20 1 Tedddy TTe dy

Jack Vettriano 2017

Picasso 2017

Chagall 2017

Mondrian 2017

Matisse 2017



Impressionism Masterpieces 2017

Monet 2017

Rothko 2017

Van Gogh 2017

Toilets Around the World 2017

London 2017


Alex Holland

Hopper 2017

DalĂ? 2017

CĂŠzanne 2017

kandinsky 2017

English Country Gardens 2017

London 2017 Captured through the John Hinde lens

Clive Nichols




dar Calen 7



“If music be the food of love, play on.� William Shakespeare Geogra by Barrett

Geogra by Paul




“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.� Mark Twain


Photograph by

Roy Toft/National


Sunday Sonntag Dimanche Domenica

Sunday Sonntag Dimanche Domenica

Photograph by


by Nicole

by Tom



by Roy


by Winfried


Birgitt Wil

Wisniewski/Minde Geogra National


Photograph by Michael

and Patricia N



Photograph by


P Taylor Kennedy/Sitka National Geograp


Sunday Sonntag Dimanche Domenica

FUNNY ANIMALS 201 2017 17

For details of our full programme please contact Claire Trigger, Sales Manager UK; teNeues Calendars & Stationery GmbH & Co. KG Mobile: +44 (0)771 520 8507; Tel: +44 (0)203 542 8997; e-mail:

Activity Activ ct vity ity Calenda aleendarr


ar alend 2017 C t AoÝ ust ‡ Aug u t‡ gus Aug






Di Ma

1 Tu Mi Me 2 We Do Je 3 Th Ve 4 Fr Fr Sa 5 Sa Sa Di h ith r wit 6 Su So yourr yeaglorious, Mo Lu n you ten 7 Mo V i hte igh h’s JQV Brrig B Di Ma OGHVL ds ort Oà dsw 8 Tu XOà RUD IXO UIX Juliiee Do\FK Jul Ju HUI HHU Mi Me KHH O\FFFKH WO\ 9 We QWO DQW HUDQ EHUD EHU XE Do Je H[X H[X H[ 10 Th Ve Fr Fr 11 Sa Sa 12 Sa Di So 13 Su Mo Lu 14 Mo Di Ma 15 Tu Mi Me 16 We Je Do 17 Th Fr Ve 18 Fr Sa Sa 19 Sa So Di 20 Su Mo Lu 21 Mo Di Ma 22 Tu Me Mi 23 We Je Do 24 Th Fr Ve 25 Fr Sa Sa 26 Sa

With Wit ith thh 12 pagess of of seek and findd activities activit ac ties featuring ng all off ng your favourite avour vourite vourite ourite tee characters. cter ct ers.s.

















K017_ 14,5x4 2_Tula

Moon_ 78789.


18.11.15 12:58






Profile for Lema Publishing

Greetings Today  

MARCH 2016 is the start of meteorological spring so a perfect time to shine the spotlight on some of those upcoming occasions. And that’s ex...

Greetings Today  

MARCH 2016 is the start of meteorological spring so a perfect time to shine the spotlight on some of those upcoming occasions. And that’s ex...