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March 2020 Issue 5 Volume 21

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www.danilo.com published by


NEW 2021 www.danilo.com DESIGNS FROM published by www.danilo.com






















published by


www.danilo.com /danilocalendarsuk @CalendarsUK

DANILO PROMOTIONS LTD | WALTHAM ABBEY | EN9 1AS | 01992 702 900 | SALES@DANILO.COM Designs are subject to change and licensor approval.

contents March 2020

the team

Editor Rachel King rachel@lemapublishing.co.uk

Advertisement Manager Simon Davis simon@lemapublishing.co.uk 01442 289940 (direct)

Managing Director Mark Naish mark@lemapublishing.co.uk





Time marches on as we preview new trade fairs.

8 News

Read this month’s industry news.

12 Spotlight

See what new releases are set to launch.

14 Ward’s Words

Sarah Ward looks at some critical business trends.

Production Director Paul Naish paul@lemapublishing.co.uk Chairman Malcolm Naish malcolm@lemapublishing.co.uk

32 Shop Talk

Get to know retailers from across the country and hear what’s happening in their stores.

Circulation Manager Robert Thomas robert@lemapublishing.co.uk

34 Retail Advice

Henri Davis looks at the trends and changes this new year and decade will bring.

44 On The Shop Front

Oliver Guise-Smith from Cards & Gifts Sheffield discusses security and small businesses.

Keep in touch - follow us: @greetingstoday

58 Step Back In Time

30 John Ryan

John Ryan considers the time and space allocated to some occasions.

Chairman Malcolm Naish delves into the archives to see what happened in years gone by.

https://www.facebook.com/ greetingstodaymag greetingstoday

FEATURES 16 British Craft Trade Fair Preview 36 Humour, Rude & Banter Feature Discover the best of British craftmanship at the British Craft Trade Fair.

18 Cover Story

Streaming is changing entertainment consumption and Danilo’s offerings for 2021 reflect the big names across the platforms.

20 Calendars & Dated Products See what’s new for calendars, diaries and other dated products for 2021.

31 Top Drawer Review

Catch up on what happened at Top Drawer S/S2020.


Funny cards are consistently popular, see what’s new and how rude some publishers are willing to go.

46 Paperworld Review

Check out the highlights of Frankfurt’s Paperworld trade fair.

47 Wedding & Anniversary Cards Weddings and anniversaries are special events worth celebrating, no matter your style there is a card to help commemorate the occasion.

54 Spring Fair Review

See what happened at this year’s Spring Fair.

Go to our website – www.greetingstoday.co.uk – for all the up-to-date news and new product information plus our Facebook and Instagram pages carry more photos from shows and events.


Lema Media Ltd

1 Church Gates, Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 2UB

Telephone: 01442 289930 www.greetingstoday.co.uk

At the heart of retail Greetings Today has a circulation of 6,076 Subscription per annum: UK £60 (free for people in the greetings industry), Europe £80, ROTW £100

London Stationery Show 21 -22 April 2020 Business Design Centre


Discover the largest selection of writing and paper products from around the world in one place. Register now at stationeryshow.co.uk

leader Editor Rachel King


Ling Designs

ime marches on so they say and as we head into March we can hope that Spring is in the air and the weather is starting to improve. The recent rains, snow, floods and strong winds have caused problems for some, and have impacted footfall on many high streets, so fingers crossed things improve soon. Despite the inclement weather it has been a busy start to the year, with Top Drawer, Paperworld and Spring Fair now all done and dusted. Check out our reviews on what happened, the trends we’ve spotted and who has walked away winners. I was lucky enough to attend some of these shows for the first time and I was in awe of the creativity and variety of the greeting card and stationery industry. There really is something for everyone. We’re also previewing the British Craft Trade Fair which will be on in Harrogate in early April. There’s plenty of talented craftspeople who will exhibiting their wares, see the greeting card and stationery exhibitors on page 16. We’ve got three big features to inspire you. First off, it’s our annual Calendar and Dated Products feature on page 20. There’s plenty to discover from publishers such as Carousel Calendars, Pomegranate, TeNeues and more. Plus, in their cover story (p18), Danilo explains how the rise of streaming platforms and the hit shows, performing artists and movies that have come from these channels has inspired some of their new calendar products for 2021. If you love a giggle (and who doesn’t) then check out what’s on offer in our Humour, Rude & Banter cards feature on page 36. Comedy has inspired many a design and text on cards for years but the category is opening up to include a lot more banter and rude content, leaving us to question how rude do you dare to go? Dean Morris may be regular fodder for the likes of the Daily Mail, but his cheeky and naughty sense of humour is positively tame compared to some publishers out there who are brave enough to push the boundaries of comedy. Finally, we have a Wedding & Anniversary card feature (p48). These special events are a popular cardgiving occasion and people’s taste in what they want to give varies from the sentimental to the humorous. It’s quite apt that this category is being featured this

Nigel Quiney

month as it’s my own anniversary at the end of the month, but despite my research I’ve yet to find the right ‘wood’ gift for my husband to mark the occasion. I’m not sure a wooden chopping board will cut it for his 5th anniversary gift, so any ideas are welcome. Oliver Guise-Smith from Cards & Gifts Sheffield discusses the issues of security and staff safety in his On The Shop Front column on page 46. Worryingly the store and the team have been the victims of not only shoplifting and theft (which is sadly probably all too commonplace in retail), but also more recently assault. This has led him to question what steps he and other businesses need to take to protect themselves. Shop Talk is back with four more retailers from the length and breadth of the country sharing their thoughts on the industry (p32). Plus, our regular columnists share their wisdom on buying trends, business operating trends, visual merchandising and marketing and so much more. I hope you manage to stay dry and enjoy reading it all.

Send your views and submissions for the magazine to: rachel@lemapublishing.co.uk Tel: 01442 289930

Comedy has inspired many a design and text on cards for years but the category is opening up to include a lot more banter and rude content, leaving us to question how rude do you dare to go?

The Grey Earl

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www.greetingstoday.co.uk 7

newsinbrief news inbrief

inthenews GCA USA Returns to Book Expo

Christmas Trading Down For Most Bira has reported that sales were up for books and toys; music; computer and telecoms; and health store retailers between October and December 2019, but all other sectors have seen a drop. The overall picture from the British Independent Retailers Association’s (Bira) Quarterly Sales Monitor (QSM) for the fourth quarter of 2019 is one of disappointment, with the majority of figures showing a decline when compared to the previous quarter and Q4 2018. Only two out of the 12 sectors surveyed reported a positive performance during the quarter, with almost half (5 sectors) showing a decline when compared to Q4 2018. Overall, only 39.57% of respondents reported a higher performance for Q4, which is down significantly from Q3 2019 (42.33%%) and Q4 2018 (46.34%). The overall performance average for the quarter shows a fall of -2.82% for retailers, compared to the same period last year. Sales of books, toys, music, computers and telecoms products were higher for the fourth quarter of the year, with the sector seeing a +3.16% higher performance against Q4 last year. This represents a big improvement for the sector on Q3 (+1.42%) and Q4 2018 (-3.13%). The worst performing sector was café and eateries which was -14.3% down. Other struggling sectors include clothing and footwear retailers who were down -4.80% at the end of the year. Cards, stationery, crafts and hobbies retailers also struggled this quarter with an average performance of -4.64%. Wales was the best performing region with retailers reporting a performance of +2.88%. Retailers in Northern Ireland were the only other region to report on a positive quarter with an average performance of +0.46%. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO said: “The figures from the final QSM of 2019 reflect a difficult quarter for independent retail businesses at the busiest time of the year. Although 2019 started in a more positive manner, only 39.57% have reported a positive performance. Furthermore, to see an overall drop of 2.82% is worrying and reflective of the challenging times retailers are facing. We predicted last quarter that an election before Christmas would impact businesses and this has clearly been the case. To have more political instability just before the festive season hampered consumer confidence and subsequently hurt businesses. However, with a majority Government in place I believe we can look forward to the year with some optimism.”

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The American Greeting Card Association has announced plans to expand opportunities for creative “makers” at smaller and emerging greeting card and stationery companies, and to collaborate for the second year with Reed Exhibitions, producer of Book Expo™. Reed will offer the popular “GCA Village” all-in exhibit option to GCA publisher members at UnBound at BookExpo and BookCon, the consumer-facing portion of the event. UnBound, a “show within a show” features a curated mix of lifestyle “bookish” merchandise. GCA members also have the option to exhibit independently in their own booth space at preferred rates for GCA members. The GCA’s integration of new trade show exhibition opportunities into the association’s membership offerings is an ongoing initiative, which also includes Noted: The Greeting Card Expo™ (returning to San Francisco, CA May 1 – 3, 2020) and partnerships with the Dallas Market Center and NY NOW/National Stationery Show®. “The GCA’s growing membership continues to design products that appeal to today’s engaged shoppers. And of course, the availability of new and diverse product in stores

will benefit consumers and our retail partners,” said Peter Doherty, GCA Executive Director. “The recent growth in greeting card sales has mirrored growth in the bookstore industry,” said George White, president of the GCA. “As Millennials’ preference for paper cards and paper books continues to be expressed in the market, our industries are ideal partners. The UnBound show at Book Expo thus provides an excellent opportunity for our members to showcase their cards to an ideal retailer base.” Reed launched “UnBound” at Book Expo™ last year, as a curated space with an assortment of diverse non-book and lifestyle suppliers and service providers. Products include journals, greeting cards, games and specialty toys, puzzles, writing instruments, calendars, candles, and much more. UnBound will be home to the GCA Village, and access to UnBound is included with every Book Expo™ registration. UnBound at BookExpo takes place May 28-29. UnBound at BookCon takes place immediately following, May 30-31 at the Jacob Javits Center in downtown New York, NY. For more information or to apply for a space in the GCA Village, please contact Patti Stracher-Lee at palee@reedexpo.com.

UKG Wins Supplier Award John Lewis & Partners awarded UK Greetings the “Small Supplier of the Year Award” at their recent Supplier of the Year Awards night. Having reviewed the performance of over 2500 suppliers, JLP shortlisted 20 suppliers and invited them to attend the event at Woughton House MGallery hotel, in Milton Keynes. The purpose of the event was to recognise working Partnerships and ongoing collaboration. UK Greetings we’re delighted when they were announced as the winners of the “Small Supplier of the Year Award” due to achieving 100% compliance. Jonathan Glover, Business Unit Director, 3D and Special Editions said, “We were thrilled to be recognised for the outstanding success of our 3D product within their retail stores. This award acknowledges our creative talent, the huge improvement in compliance and the dedication and commitment from across the wider UKG team. Huge thanks to everyone involved in this account we should all be very proud!”

A Write Card Reopens Greeting card company, A Write Card, went into liquidation in January with the closure of 15 stores and the loss of 120 jobs. When the business collapsed on January 7, a statement said it could no longer trade “by reason of its liabilities.” Since that time, owners have set up a new company and have reopened a number of stores including shops in Redditch, Walsall, Bromsgrove, Burton upon Trent, Great Cornbow and Halesowen. The company plans to reopen 10 stores in total. John-Paul Banbury from A Write Card said, “We look forward to welcoming customers from the local community back into our store.”

Jo Scott Returns Artist Jo Scott is returning to the trade side of the industry again, launching a new collection of dog-themed birthday and general occasion cards. Jo’s earlier designs are still available via Natural Partners Art but after spending the past two years selling direct to the public via Crufts, Thortful and Discover Dogs, she has decided to launch her best-selling dog themed cards in their own right. She has also launched a new online shop with low minimum orders. All of her cards come in biodegradable cello bags.

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inthenews Stationery Awards

National Stationery Week News Plans for National Stationery Week are going up a notch as more campaigns are launched targeting different aspects of the industry. The event runs from April 20-26 but preparations are well underway to get more children, stores and stationery enthusiasts involved.

The 2020 Stationery Awards is open for entries with new Regional Retailer Awards. Hosted by London Stationery Show, the awards aim to recognise and benchmark good practice and innovation in the retail stationery sector, recognising manufacturers, retailers and rising talent. The Retailer Awards are open to all retailers who sell stationery as part of their product offering. The categories are designed to reward independent retailers across the country with awards for the Best Independent Retailer in the South, Midlands and North. Plus, there’s an award for the Best High Street Retailer. Retailers can enter themselves or be nominated by agents, account managers or suppliers. The Product Awards are open to all suppliers, not just London Stationery Show exhibitors. The categories include Art & Crafts, Diaries & Calendars, Writing Instruments, Novelty Stationery, Children’s Stationery, Social Stationery, Notebooks, Organisers & Journals, Licensed Stationery, Filing & Storage, Desk Accessories, Eco & Sustainable Stationery, Gift Packaging & Wrap and the Good Design Award. All shortlisted products will be showcased at the front of London Stationery Show from April 21-22 at the Business Design Centre. The new Rising Star Award is an opportunity to reward someone for their work in the stationery industry. From

Retail Improves in January

Creative Writing Competition The annual children’s creative writing competition has opened, with the opportunity for the winning child to take home a huge stationery bundle for themselves and their classmates, with prizes coming from all seven National Stationery Week sponsors – Cross Pens, Derwent, Manuscript, Marple Stationery Supplies, Moleskine, Staples and uni-ball – and its two partners, Premier Stationery and VENT for Change. Children simply need to write a creative piece, no longer than 300 words, around the theme of Pens on an adventure and submit them to the National Stationery Week team no later than April 1, 2020. A shortlist of 50 entries from across the UK will be displayed at the London Stationery Show before the winner and four runners up are chosen.

Stationery Shop Saturday Sarah Laker of Stationery Supplies, Marple is once again spearheading the #stationeryshopsaturday initiative, which aims to get independent stationery stockists to encourage people to visit their shops, to shout about how great they are, their passion for stationery, their product knowledge and breadth of products. It’s a day for people to treat themselves to a beautiful new notebook and pen, to buy a card, write a letter and to celebrate wonderful stationery and the act of writing, and to share their local stationery shop with the world via social media. If you sell stationery, whether you are a stationery specialist, an art shop, or a greeting card and gift shop then join in with National Stationery Week 2020, take part in #stationeryshopsaturday and share the stationery love.

10 www.greetingstoday.co.uk

entrepreneurs to dedicated team workers, anyone who demonstrates their passion for their business and shows creativity, innovation and commitment can be entered. Entrants can nominate themselves or be nominated by a colleague. Also in the Rising Talent category, the Stationery Designer of the Year Award, is an opportunity for a budding stationery designer to work with an experienced production and sales team and see their ideas taken into production and delivered to retailers throughout the UK. Enter now to see your designs brought to life! “Now is the time to reward your team and get noticed – don’t miss out!” says London Stationery Show event manager Hazel Fieldwick. The awards will be judged by a panel of leading members of the industry with a shortlist announced prior to the show. All the winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on the first evening of the London Stationery Show on April 21. All entries can be completed online at www.stationeryawards. co.uk. The entry deadline is March 11.

Autumn Fair Changes In the wake of Spring Fair, Hyve Group have announced plans to expand its sourcing proposition to create an updated show sector, Design and Source for Autumn Fair 2020. The new sector is to provide additional selling opportunities for exhibitors and will incorporate a host of fresh and on-trend exhibitors in the consumer electronics, tableware, lighting, textiles, surface pattern design, ceiling moulding and flooring sectors. Hyve Group also has plans to attract new buying and influencing groups from the specifier and interior design space, as well as professionals from hospitality and destination retail – all of which have been growing visitor segments for previous shows. Julie Driscoll, Hyve Group Regional Director for Spring & Autumn Fair commented, “The retail sector is ever-evolving, and as a voice and representative of our industry, we vow to never become complacent with our events. Instead, we’re continuously listening to suppliers and buyers alike, and we’re revamping plans for the year ahead to provide bold and inspiring show sectors and at-show initiatives that truly reflect what they want to see. Autumn Fair will take place on September 6-9, 2020 at the NEC, Birmingham.

ONS data shows January retail sales growth by value and volume. After a difficult end to 2019, retail sales in the UK have rebounded with an increase of 0.9% in volumes and 1.2% growth in value for January. Year-on-year, the retail sales figures grew in value and volume by 2.1% and 0.8% respectively. The positive consumer sentiment is being attributed to the so-called “Boris-Bounce” after the General Election returned Prime Minister Boris Johnson to office with a strong majority, ending the political deadlock over Brexit. However, figures fell slightly during the 3-month period to January, with retail sales by value decreasing by 0.5% and volume dropped by 0.8%.

Picture Perfect After winning the Beverley Fisher artwork in Cherry Orchard’s Spring Fair raffle, Sandra Handley of Madhouse Cards in Nottingham has received her prize. Thrilled about her win Sandra said of her new artwork, “It’s lovely, absolutely beautiful. It’s going in the hallway so I can see it all the time when I go in and out of the house.” Cherry Orchard raised an impressive £680 for the WWF Bushfire Emergency Appeal in Australia, a cause Sandra was more than willing to help. “I’m animal mad,” she said. “I hadn’t even looked at the picture. But anything to help the koalas.” After getting the call about her win on her birthday, Sandra was keen to receive her prize but had to wait for it to be hand delivered by her rep Andy Turner, Cherry Orchard’s Area Sales Manager for the Midlands. And now that she has it, “I’m just over the moon,” she said.

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5th - 7th April 2020 The original fair for authentic British design-led greeting cards Register as a buyer www.bctf.co.uk Stand enquiries info@bctf.co.uk


A selection of the latest greetings, gift and industry services releases

Enveco Enveco have launched their new range of envelopes for this year, which includes a vast coloured and pearlescent selection along with five stock recycled options. They have also added a bespoke recycled paper collection which includes 44 different recycled papers available for bespoke makings. If you are interested in recycled envelopes contact Enveco to discuss your options further For a new swatch pack email info@enveco.co.uk and they will send one out to you.

T: 01908 378866 www.enveco.co.uk

Flame Tree Publishing Following the success of their Artisan Notebook range, Flame Tree are delighted to introduce a series of Artisan Diaries (A5 and A6 sizes) which will come in a range of hues to suit the mood and the moment. With week to a page views and opposite ruled pages for notes, they’re hand crafted with decorated edges overflowing with petals and teasing vines. And, with flexible, soft touch faux leather covers, they’re easy to slip into your bag and a pleasure to use. Their foiled pocket diary range is also growing, with designs by Angela Harding, Bodleian Libraries, Anne Stokes, Moomin and many more! As the range keeps growing, they also have counter packs and counter spinners to help showcase these beautifully foiled and embossed diaries.

Laura Sherratt Designs Fine Foils are a 120mm card collection from Laura Sherratt Designs. The new foiled cards are printed onto a high quality textured board and are embellished with a sparkly heart. Currently there are twenty cards in the collection with many different titles including New baby, New home, and many love related titles. Cards come complete with a colour coordinating envelope.  

T: 01538 384 566 www.laurasherrattdesigns.co.uk

T: 02077 519 650 maria@flametreepublishing.com www.flametreepublishing.com

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The Grey Earl Ask Donald is a new collection of cards from The Grey Earl, inspired by none other than Mr. President, Donald J. Trump. With 10 designs in the collection, some of Donald’s most memorable moments and insightful quotes have been put to good use in these humorous designs. From great cakes to flatulence jokes, Ask Donald has all the bases covered. The cards are printed in the UK, on 350gsm recycled board and supplied in a 100% recycled envelope. These cards can be supplied naked or cello wrapped in a biodegradable sleeve. More ethical manufacturing than Donald knew existed. “The Grey Earl’s designs have a distinct sense of humour and illustrative style, that appeal to both children and adults alike.”

T: 07973 850 321 jon@thegreyearl.com www.thegreyearl.com

Nigel Quiney Nigel Quiney have released the new Mulberry range. A collection of 12 contemporary designs with bright floral patterns and strong modern colours. The cards are finished with gold foil and printed on Veltique Ice, a bright white semi coat board which will highlight the bold colours. The designs have full colour reverses, are 160mm x 160mm square and come with high quality white envelopes. They are price code 50. If you are looking for a range that catches the eye look no further!

T: 01799 520 200 info@nigelquiney.com www.nigelquiney.com

Ling Design February has seen a huge expansion to the Curious Inksmith range with 34 new open cards and 10 new relations. The beautiful contemporary range combines intricate designs with gold foil and a pastel colour palette. Many of the designs take inspiration from the natural world and florals, plants and wildlife are recurring motifs. All cards are sized at R, unwrapped and joined to their kraft envelope with a card clasp.

T: 01892 838 574 www.lingdesign.co.uk enquires@lingdesign.co.uk

www.greetingstoday.co.uk 13



2020 Trends The Giftware Association always strives to keep abreast of all the latest trends to pass on to their members, but not all of them are product led. Sarah Ward, CEO of the Giftware Association, looks at what trends to look out for in business, tech and design.


t the Giftware Association, we endeavour to uncover the latest trends to advise our members so they can meet and even predict their customers wants. We have covered a lot in our seminars from Social Media trends, to how to maximise your stand at a trade shows and other useful trends, but not all trends are product led, and others will have more of an impact on the inner workings of your business. Have a look at the ideas below to stay on top of the trends that may impact different aspects of your business, so you can stay fit for the future.

eco-friendly. Companies can pursue a broader set of business goals with the understanding that profit is essential to longevity but can be more balanced in other areas of the business, investing in people, and the environment. There are a comprehensive range of success metrics that a business can aim for these days which will force companies and their workforces to work differently, more creatively and increasingly demand environmental, social and corporate governance in everything they do. Has your business set growth metrics in areas other than sales?

GOALS – There are many faces of growth within a business especially now that companies look to becoming more sustainable or more

MONEY – Our relationship with money will also change in the future, as it very much is already changing across the world. The general consensus is that cash is not king as once was thought. In a recent survey conducted by Fjord Trends, over 30% of the US citizens questioned stated that they no longer use cash in a standard way and tended to pay for everything by card or even swifter contactless. People’s perception towards cash has changed over time and as our data becomes more embedded in money, it will enable for seamless payment experiences. Businesses can take advantage of this by utilising almost invisible payment experiences and use this as a point of differentiation to their competition. There will need to be robust privacy and security measures to ensure that any potential customers concerns are addressed.

DATA – Data has always been talked about as more important than oil, and that couldn’t be more true as we enter an age where the amount of data that you hold on a customer determines what kind of experience that you can offer them. Brands will use data to their advantage and design new products and services that are more personalised than ever. Hyper targeted customer experiences will become the norm in physical environments. Individual data segmentation will help a business grow and maintain a loyal database, and in an age when keeping customers is key, having correct and up-to-date data will help you grow.

Have you set growth metrics in areas other than sales?

LIQUID PEOPLE – The way people think, act and consume has changed over time and organisations need to support individual customers and employees. As people look towards sustainability, mental health and wellness, brands that will be successful will be the ones that listen and react to these changes, whether that is internally or externally. Liquid People essentially means that people can be fluid and have different needs, there is no one size fits all approach anymore. Businesses need to look after staff as well as those staff looking after their potential customers and it all needs to be done with a more fluid approach.

Sarah Ward is Chief Executive of the Giftware Association which is at the heart of the gift industry supporting members by offering invaluable advice and assistance. Coming originally from a retail background she then worked at Penny Kennedy gaining extensive knowledge in the card, wrap and stationery sector, and now utilises these skills across a broader environment. T: 0121 236 2657 www.ga-uk.org

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Greetings & Stationery Exhibitors

Nimanoma – 120 Biology-influenced artwork with a microscopic perspective for cards, prints and jewellery.

Rosimorosi – P27 Cards, stationery and homewares featuring designs inspired by nature interwoven with abstract elements. Sarah Hill Art – P7 Fresh, loose and atmospheric watercolour landscape designs for cards and prints.

Fasanian Artistry – 107 Cards featuring illustrated puns and word plays with animals, food and drink.

Jessica Hogarth – 162 Illustrative and colourful designs for cards, homewares and coastal products.

Not At All Jack – N29

Faye Stevens – 35 Pop-up greeting cards and paper sculptures to make each card a gift too.

Jill Ray Landscapes – 28 Woodland and landscape inspired designs for cards and art.

Perkins & Morley – 169 Cards, gifts and homeware inspired by the UK’s beautiful scenery.

Sky Siouki – 105 Digitally printed homewares, mixed media art, greeting cards and gifts inspired by wildlife and modern art.

Araminta Fogden – P33 Designs inspired wildlife for cards, artwork, homewares and gifts.

Glass by Wendy – N18 Nature-inspired hand-painted glass art for cards, homewares, gifts and art.

Joy Jen Studio – P16a Digitised watercolour designs for luxury greeting cards and stationery.

Purple Pomegranate Press – 184 Traditional fairy tales and stories are greeting cards and gifts in one.

Snapdragon Designs – 19 Laser-cut skyline cards, homewares and gifts.

Beamers Designs – 130 Hand-cut wooden fretwork items including greeting cards.

ItsBalderston – P9

Karolinka Designs – N54 Hand-painted prints and cards inspired by the outdoors and adventure.

Rachel M Scott – N20 Stipple illustrations beautifully presented on cards, prints and notelets.

Soodle Street – N12 Architectural illustrations featuring collages of unwanted paper for greeting cards and postcards.

Kerry Jane – P25 Wildlife themed designs for cards, prints and homewares.

Rachel Meehan Pictures and Words – P37 Intricate floral and bird illustrations for cards, wrapping paper and homewares.

The Littlest Falcon – N32 Linocut prints and greeting cards inspired by the furry and feathered.

Algan Arts – 177 Handstitched collages, linen prints and greeting cards. Anita Parkhill – P39 Artist inspired by wildlife in its natural setting.

Citrus Bunn – P30 Quirky and fun hand-painted watercolour greeting cards.

Hand-drawn comical illustrations on greeting cards, prints and homewares. JACK Illustration and Design – P1a Nature-inspired greeting cards for all occasions.

Quirky and humorous greeting cards and giclee prints.

Rayford Art – 118 Vibrant and quirky city and landmark designs for cards, gifts and prints.

Elaine Theliar Art – 159 Botanical-style pen and ink designs for everyday products.

Jack-in-the-Green Gallery – P42 Eco-friendly cards, gifts and homeware featuring whimsical illustrations.

Knightingale Crafts – 21 Highland cattle greeting cards and prints plus laser-cut wood wall art.

Eleanor Tomlinson Art – P3 Countryside inspired designs for cards, stationery, prints and homeware.

Jamie Poole Artist – P13 Textured artwork inspired by landscapes, seascapes and wildlife for cards, prints and tableware.

Lauren’s Cows – 174 Vibrant, characterful artworks, cards and homewares with charismatic cows.

Robert James Hull Art – 127 Modern watercolour designs of our four-legged friends for cards.

The Reversible Robin – 163 Handmade paper, perspex and sterling silver are the basis of the natural forms used in reversible jewellery, laser-cut cards and mini frames.

Emily Stracey – 133 Amusing, colourful ceramics, textiles and illustrations mostly involving animals.

Jane Crick – 123 Sustainable gift wrap, cards and art inspired by nature, wildlife and the sea.

Leigh Shepherd Designs – 49 Nature-inspired upcycled cards, jewellery and mixed media pieces.

Rogers Ink – 172

Thrift Design – 264 Unwanted materials are used to create nature-inspired art for cards, gifts and more.

Jenny Ulyatt – 151 Vibrant and lively contemporary watercolour paintings for cards and prints.

Little Hotch – P15

May I Design – N46

Fanny’s Your Aunt – N39 Bright colours, bold prints and empowering messages for functional gifts, cards, fans and more.

Contemporary mixed media illustrations for cards, prints and homewares.

Hand-cut collage cards capturing the moods and seasons of Yorkshire.

The Paper Creative – P38 Hand-drawn nature-inspired illustrated greeting cards.

Umbellifer – N23 Free motion machine embroidered designs for cards, stationery and homewares.

Prints and greeting cards showcasing the beauty found in everyday garden plants.


Britain’s Best Craftspeople from all over the UK will descend on Harrogate from April 5-7 to showcase their amazing British made wares, providing the perfect opportunity for retail buyers to discover truly unique local products.


never participated in a trade or over 45 years, The British Craft Trade Fair show before and are as fresh as (BCTF) has been promoting British handit gets for those in search of made giftware and products. Showcasing genuinely new and unseen some of the best arts and crafts creatives products. They join a strong from all over the British Isles, the fair is a must-see for base of established suppliers buyers looking for something special. and regular exhibitors, many of whom are also Held at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, exhibiting exclusively at BCTF in 2020. the show will be open to retail buyers from April 5-7. Every exhibitor at BCTF joins With the venue boasting plenty of free the mentoring programme onsite parking and great catering from the outset and even the facilities, it couldn’t be easier for most fledgling designers who visitors to attend and enjoy participate understand how themselves. supplying trade customers Consumers are becoming more works. Which hopefully in turn interested in knowing where products means deals can be made are made and shipped from, as they efficiently so that the gorgeous increase their knowledge on new products are on the manufacturing’s impact on the shelves when you need them. environment and the carbon footprint For 2020, organisers have we all generate. This has led to a launched a new website and distinct upsurge in popularity for handmade British crafts. Buyer new online catalogue to make behaviour is reflecting this trend, with it easier for buyers to view and BCTF organisers reporting a 22% purchase articles from exhibitors before, during and after the event. The increase in buyer attendance at last year’s event. Show organiser, Margeret Bunn, said, “Research has catalogue includes full profiles of exhibitors with photographs featuring examples of their work plus shown that the consumer appetite for authentic links to their websites and other contact information. British products is running at an all-time high, as Prices for products on display vary from just a few people look to support more local, sustainable pounds to higher-end items businesses and seek beautifully designed for larger budgets designed products which they know and many exhibitors can work are of sound provenance. This research on commission ranges for is backed up by strong anecdotal specific themed exhibitions feedback we are receiving from retailers and promotional events if visiting the show and followers on our requested. social media sites. If ever there was a time to support our heritage industries Yorkshire Event and designer-makers, then this is it!” Centre, Great Buyers won’t be disappointed with what is on offer for 2020, with all the Yorkshire Showround, exhibitors carefully curated by fair Harrogate organisers, who have over 35 years’ experience in the industry. BCTF April 5-7 showcases several diverse product categories including giftware, interior accessories, recycled products, toys, textiles and more. There are over 40 Greeting Cards and Stationery exhibitors at this year’s event featuring a wide selection of paper products, including 2019 award winner, Citrus Bunn. Every item on display at the trade fair is guaranteed to be of sound provenance and have strong heritage values, with each item made in Britain with thoughtfulness and care using artisan manufacturing techniques. The are no mass market or imported goods on display at BCTF, only authentic items from exhibitors who are guaranteed to be working from Great Britain or Ireland. This year’s show will once again include a large contingent of newcomers to the industry, who have

The consumer appetite for authentic British products is running at an all-time high

Greetings Today will once again sponsor the greeting card awards, where a Winner, Highly Commended and Commended exhibitor will be selected, plus a Just Because, well just because! A panel of judges from the industry, along with Greetings Today Editor Rachel King will create a shortlist of contenders prior to show, before final judging is done during the fair. The winners will be announced at the BCTF Awards evening. “I’m really excited to be judging the Greeting Cards Awards at BCTF this year,” said Rachel King. “There are some wonderfully creative designers and makers who are coming to the show, so I’m not expecting it to be an easy decision for us to pick the winners. But it is going to be fun trying.” For more information visit: www.bctf.co.uk

British Craft Trade Fair

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Streaming ahead into 2020 A

s we head further into the new year and a new decade, one key trend on the up-and-up is digital streaming. With central platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Spotify consisting of millions of subscribers, streaming is fast becoming one of the most used technologies of the 21st century, with music and video services dominating the online landscape. As a prominent publisher of the hottest licenses for calendars, cards, wrap and diaries, Danilo has seen the huge impact streaming’s easy accessibility and exclusive content strategy has had on the nation’s viewing habits and choices. The popularity of exclusive TV series such as Stranger Things, YouTube content such as Baby Shark and even exclusive football matches on Amazon Prime all demonstrate how these streaming platforms are leading the way for showcasing the successful brands of the future. With this in mind, Danilo are including these popular new titles into their 2020 calendar and diary portfolio…


Music acts such as Billie Eilish first gained media attention in 2016 when she uploaded the song “Ocean Eyes” to SoundCloud, which was subsequently picked up by a record company. Publishing her first official calendar for 2021, Billie is the youngest person and first woman to win the four main Grammy categories in the same year. Max and Harvey also rose to prominence after posting singing videos on social media. Last year, they competed in The X Factor: Celebrity, and finished in second place, gaining them a substantial number of online fans. 2021 will see their second official calendar published by Danilo. Hugely successful bands such as K-POP group BTS have further extended their worldwide reach through online streaming of their concerts, which allow fans who couldn’t afford tickets to still view the show. With their previous calendar performing very well at retail, the boys will be back this year with an official 2021 calendar.

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TV Entertainment

Exclusively shown on Netflix, Stranger Things has become a cult hit, receiving numerous awards and securing its status as one of the channel’s most streamed programmes. Taking the second spot on the official calendar chart last year, the new Stranger Things 2021 calendar will be available later this year. It’s now been more than 14 years since the show’s last air date, but Friends is making a huge comeback, appealing to the new Generation Z via Netflix. Named as the most popular TV programme for young people in the UK, Friends is one of the most streamed shows on Netflix and will have a whole range of calendar and diary formats available for 2021. Other TV classics such as Only Fools and Horses are also seeing a revival thanks to all 4 seasons being available on Netflix. This popular British comedy will have an official calendar for 2021. The award-winning Peaky Blinders gang can now also be watched on Netflix, as well as BBC iPlayer. Gaining ninth place in the calendar chart, the Shelby family will be back for another official calendar later this year.


Disney is hoping to repeat the success of Netflix when it launches its new TV streaming service Disney+ in the UK this March. There will be a variety of titles available including Star Wars Mandalorian, which is the first live action series in the Star Wars franchise. Set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, it follows a Mandalorian bounty hunter and his exploits beyond the reaches of the New Republic. This is a new title for Danilo and will sit alongside the classic Star Wars 2021 calendar and diary range.

As well as DC’s Harley Quinn Birds of Prey and Marvel film Black Widow being released the new Wonder Woman 1984 movie is out this summer, making this a great year for strong women superheroes. We see the return of those loveable yellow minions in July, with the new movie Minions 2: The Rise of Gru.


Last year saw Amazon Prime streaming the Premier League and it plans to show another 20 games per season in 2020/21 and 2021/22. Danilo will continue publishing the official calendars and diaries for the league’s top clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal. 2020 will also play host to the UEFA European Championships for the Men’s FA team. For the second year in a row, there will be an official Men’s FA calendar and a Women’s Lioness calendar for 2021. Following on from the World Cup success last year, Danilo are proud to publish the official England Cricket Team’s 2021 calendar. Alongside the cricket, there will also be a 2021 calendar for the England Rugby Team.

Please note that all designs are subject to change and licensor approval. www.greetingstoday.co.uk 19




It’s A Date? There are 365 days in most years and everyone knows when Christmas falls, but what happens when the government changes the date of a bank holiday long after the planning for calendars has been finalised? Carousel Calendars


ince the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the dates and months of the years have remained constant in the UK and they match up with most other countries around the world. This standardised system enables calendar and diary publishers to plan their products in advance and allow for more attention to be placed on artwork, design, manufacturing and more recently, environmental friendliness. But what happens when the government decides to move a bank holiday from its expected date? In June 2019 there was a collective uproar from calendar and diary publishers across the UK when the government announced they were moving the May bank holiday from the expected Monday the 4th to


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other dated products to Friday the 8th in 2020. The move was be amended. With this to coincide with the 75th anniversary precedent having already of VE day, an event most people were occurred in fairly recent happy to recognise, but the industry memory, it can be easily was annoyed by the timing of the understood why there was announcement. Planning, design, so much anger this time printing and shipping were well around. As Andrew Bennett, underway by the June declaration, MD of Allan & Bertram, said meaning publishers had in effect at the time, “We’re total in millions of stock items in transit agreement with changing and even on shelves that were now the date incorrect. – just not So how was What happens changing this massive change handled? when the government it with 11 months’ Publishers are an decides to move a notice, innovative bunch bank holiday from its when you’ve had 74 and a number years to prepare for of options were expected date? this event.” implemented. Governments around the globe Some reprinted pages and inserted release the dates for bank holiday, them (at significant expense). Stickers public holidays, school holidays, were used to cover the dates and religious events and other important change it to the right information. dates several years in advance for Packaging was amended to reflect the most part. A quick google will the incorrect date. And finally, those tell you when the various holidays that could edit their designs before are in the UK for 2020 and 2021, that printing made the necessary changes. can stretch to 2022 for Australia or Ultimately though, there was never the USA or anywhere else you might going to be an easy, simple or cheap need to look up. Of course, it is at the solution to fix the problem, no matter government’s discretion if and when how many units were involved. The problem was one that could any dates are changed – and therein lies the problem. have been avoided though Easter moving around each year had the government made impacts the school terms in some announcement earlier. countries. Regional events may mean The early May bank the closure of some businesses but holiday was moved in this may not be adopted everywhere 1995 to mark the or by everyone. If a holiday falls on 50th anniversary, a weekend then some places may but the change make the Monday a day off, other was announced countries will just chalk it up to being in 1993 when too bad for that year. Changes can there was still be made long in advance, or at the time for calendars and

spur of the moment depending on the situation – if you’ve ever done business with Malaysia you may well have come across their frequent holidays that can occur for all manner of reasons. Creating calendars and diaries are a minefield of organisation and planning, which is why many publishers include the disclaimer that all dates are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change. Things get more complex when products are shipped across multiple countries, where holidays vary beyond the usual Christmas and New Year celebrations. Niche regional printers may have the flexibility to make last minute changes, but this isn’t the case for most of the industry. Let’s hope the government undertakes more consultation with the industry the next time they want to move any bank holidays around.

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Flame Tree Publishing Flame Tree are excited to introduce many new calendars to their already extensive list for 2021, with some new licenses and the return of their bestsellers. They are delighted to be introducing a calendar in partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for the first time, with 12 beautiful botanical drawings from a volume of illustrations believed to be by Charlotte Cowan Pearson. While very little is known of her life, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and this calendar celebrate her outstanding talent as an artist. In addition to their best-selling Royal Ballet calendar, they will also publish a Royal Opera House wall calendar, celebrating some of the outstanding performances recently staged, including La Traviata, The Magic Flute and Semiramide. Also, for the first time they will publish the Historic Photographer of the Year calendar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; featuring stunning photography from around the world. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s calendar includes photographs of Mont Saint-Michel, Red Sands Sea Forts and St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lastingham, providing breath-taking compositions and awe-inspiring history lessons. Flame Treeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fantasy art list continues to expand, with the captivating Fairy Tales by Patricia MacCarthy. Patricia MacCarthy is a childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book and greetings card illustrator. In this new calendar MacCarthy has created 12 exquisite illustrations of much-loved characters from classic fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan. T: 02077 519 650 www.flametreepublishing.com


E: sales@mgml.co.uk


T: 01373 462165


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Danilo Danilo are very proud to announce their license partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, which will see the launch of the 2021 Officially Licensed Calendar & Diary range this year. Founded in 1804, The Royal Horticultural Society is the world’s leading gardening charity, whose vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. The stunning 2021 Calendar & Diary range will feature beautiful photographic images of the RHS gardens and The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, alongside images selected from the RHS Lindley Collections, the world’s finest collection of botanical art. The range will feature a number of standard product formats including a square and slim wall calendar, family organiser, desk easel calendar, A5 & slim diary, alongside some new gifting formats such as the Deluxe Calendar and Collectors Gift Box Set. A selection of these products will launch at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2020, with the full range set to launch at retail in September 2020. T: 01992 702 900 www.danilo.com

Eco-friendly Card Company Glebe Cottage, The Eco-friendly Card Company is pleased to launch their 2021 calendar for the Wildlife Trusts. This title has been nominated three times for Best Charity calendar at the calendar awards. The 2021 title features images of wildlife from across the UK and includes interesting information about the species depicted on each month. The 13-month calendar is printed on 50% recycled paper, printed with vegetable-based inks on presses powered by Green Energy. They come packed in a compostable bag. The team also publish high-quality bespoke wall calendars, one of which, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, was nominated in the best-bespoke category at the Calies awards. T: 01626 369 269 www.eco-friendly.cards www.glebe-cottage.co.uk

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Carousel Calendars is committed to reducing the use of plastic







Pomegranate Pomegranate is back with a brand-new look. The art and gift publisher updated their branding, including a new logo and tagline. However, their core values remain the same, along with their long-standing goals of publishing highquality calendars with contemporary artists and institutions like the British Library, British Museum, and National Galleries of Scotland. “Pomegranate’s new brand launch reflects a unifying framework for our product lines and our visual identity, designed to deepen our connection with customers, spotlight the importance of art in our everyday lives and support our business for the coming decades,” said Darius Burke, Chief Executive Officer. “Pomegranate selected ‘Art. Ideas. Community.’ as our leading brand message because it supports our vision of enhancing the human experience through art.” Their 2021 calendar line includes over 120 titles, from well-known themes such as antique maps and impressionism to contemporary favourites like Deborah Phillips’ Scottish landscapes and Rosalind Wise’s wild gardens. With a commitment to strengthening people’s connection to art within the community, each year’s returning titles present a new selection of images. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed in the industry with Pomegranate’s England by Rail wall calendar named Best Transport Calendar in The Calies UK Calendar Awards in both 2017 and 2018 and received a nomination in 2019. The Paintings of Eric Wert wall calendar was nominated for

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Best Art, Illustration or Design Calendar in the 2019 Calies as well. With their wide offering of products including books, calendars, puzzles, stationery, cards, colouring books and games, Pomegranate collaborates with museums, artists and writers to make

“For over 50 years, Pomegranate has published art that enriches the human spirit” their work more accessible. The result is content-driven products that are illuminating and offer new experiences to art lovers, travel enthusiasts and avid learners everywhere. “For over 50 years, Pomegranate has published art that enriches the human spirit,” said Publisher Zoe Katherine Burke. “We believe that everyone should have access to art and education. Our products communicate ideas from freethinkers of the past and present, featuring artists in the known canon and contemporary artists from around the globe.” T: 02476 214 461 www.pomegranate.com

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Introducing our 2021 Range of Calendars & Diaries For full programme details contact Claire Trigger at ctrigger@teneues-calendars.com



Museums & Galleries Museums & Galleries Ltd has redesigned its popular pocket year planner diaries for 2021, to eliminate the use of plastics. Each planner now has a tri-fold cover acting as a page-marker and includes a full year-view calendar. Each spread features a month-to-view, with notable dates at the front. There are eight designs in the range, with four from the V&A and one from the British Museum. Monet, Van Gogh and Dee Hardwicke form the remaining three. Suggested retail is £3.99. Joining the main range of M&G square calendars for 2021 is a bright and cheerful Miffy calendar featuring the classic character by Dick Bruna. Imagery from the V&A includes Art Deco fashion plates and Cats of the V&A. Japanese Woodblock Prints is a popular choice from the British Museum; the London Transport Museum showcases their classic transport posters; and the British Library features imagery from the celestial heavens. M&G’s perennially popular Eric Ravilious calendar is also available for 2021. Three of M&G’s signed artists have stand-alone calendars this year. Following the phenomenal success of her Coast & Country card range, Lucy Grossmith has her own 2021 Calendar showcasing her detailed and colourful paintings of native British landscapes, animals and birds. Annie Soudain’s striking and stylish linocuts are collected together in their own calendar, and M&G premieres the intricate yet boldly colourful work of textile designer Dee Hardwicke in her own calendar for the first time. All calendars have a suggested retail price of £10.99. Other notable additions to M&G’s dated product portfolio this Spring are weekly planner mouse pads, weekly desk planners, ring-bound organizers, and perpetual planner diaries and travel journals. T: 01373 462 165 www.museumsgalleries.co.uk sales@mgml.co.uk

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Emma Ball Carousel Calendars Carousel Calendars has launched ambitious plans to reduce their environmental impact. As one of the largest calendar publishers and distributors in the UK, they are introducing new measures to significantly reduce their environmental impact. In conjunction with sister companies Otter House and Calendar Club, the Exeter-based publisher has tasked a team of employees in key strategic roles with measuring current levels of impact, identifying opportunities for improvement and setting ambitious targets. The team is chaired by Managing Director of Carousel Calendars, Steve Plackett, who said, “It’s only too easy to carry on regardless and do nothing, but we all have a responsibility to look after our planet. We have set challenging targets to hit which will require a lot of dedicated and detailed work by all our staff, and I’m proud to say that we have a committed team that is passionate about improving our environmental performance.” The key targets embraced by each company within the Group are: • Calendar Club, Carousel Calendars and Otter House will each become a carbon neutral company from July 2021 for their direct emissions. • Each company, and the Group overall, will reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2024. • 100% of calendars published by Carousel will be printed on FSC-certified paper by 2022. • 95% of the calendars sold by Calendar Club and distributed by Otter House will be printed on FSC-certified paper by 2022. • 50% of calendar product published by Carousel and sold by Calendar Club and Otter House will come in plastic-free packaging by 2022 The initial scope of the project is broad-ranging and encompasses all aspects of the business, from the manufacture and sourcing of products, through to the processing of waste materials at the end of the selling period. The team are in the process of mapping and reviewing all waste streams within the Group and further targets will be set when this work is complete. The team have already seen success in a number of areas. Notably, a number of suppliers have already committed to switching their calendar and diary production to FSC- certified paper for their 2021 dated lines. As manufacturers of calendars and gift products, Carousel and Otter House have been honing their product design and packaging for several years. They have shared some of their plastic-free packaging specifications with other publishers and have been encouraged by the positive response, and the similar work already being undertaken by some of their major partners. By setting clear targets on the proportion of calendars sold with plastic-free packaging, Calendar Club plans to reinforce this initiative within the wider calendar publishing sector. By taking a panoramic view of these issues and leading others in the industry in doing the same, Carousel plan to reduce both their direct and indirect impact on the environment.

New from Emma Ball for 2020 are three beautiful soft bound perpetual diaries, coming in a handy size of 12cm x 16cm. These diaries are perfect for starting all year around, they have 160 printed pages, and are printed on 100gsm wood-free paper. Each month starts with a two page planner, which is ideal for planning ahead and overview the months coming up. Following this, are five double pages to plan each day of your week in detail, with a “things to do” and “notes” column on the side of each page. There is also additional space at the back of the diary to make in depth important notes to remember. The inside cover of the books are illustrated, coming with a matching coloured ribbon making the perfect addition to your stationery collection. T: 0115 985 8081 www.emmaball.co.uk

T: 01392 826 482 www.carouselcalendars.com

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TeNeues For 2021, teNeues is excited to introduce new collaborations (amongst others) with Walker Books, based on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A World of Citiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by James Brown and with The British Library, with whom they have produced two stunning Alice in Wonderland Diaries. Calies Finalist â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Rocket 68â&#x20AC;&#x2122;, whose retro/nostalgic London images feature in London Calling, returns for 2021, alongside fellow finalist â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Stick Man Family Plannerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Naturally, Calies Winner Haynes Manuals with Haynes Classic â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Collection of Automotive Icons can also be found in the new range! With the environment at the forefront of consumers decisions, the GreenLine range will be a popular choice. This includes a beautiful selection of calendars and diaries (along with a new stationery range later this year), tied with decorative cord as opposed to shrinkwrap, all printed on FSC certified paper with soy-based inks. Choose from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Floralâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Green Vibesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Happy Fruitsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jungleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The diaries from teNeues have been given a bit of a makeover with new internal grids and dot note pages in the Midi Flexi ranges, plus on trend Thistle and Sage colouring and Marble designs that make the range a must have. High design endpapers feature in their Magneto ranges. They are also launching a new line of diaries, Art Line, which includes the likes of Hokusai, Klimt, Monet and Van Gogh, available in a 16cm x 22cm format, for ÂŁ11.99. A coordinating stationery range will follow in the Spring. T: 02035 428 997 www.teneues-calendars.com ctrigger@teneues-calendars.com

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Post-holiday push Cometh the day, cometh the Valentine’s Day card. In the first few months of the year, hearts and flowers are to greetings card retailers what chocolate eggs are to supermarkets and convenience stores: gap fillers. John Ryan looks at why we should rethink the space and time dedicated to occasions such as Valentine’s Day.


alk past any card shop immediately post-Christmas and pink heartshaped decals, usually in the windows, alert you to the fact not that Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day etc are just around the corner, but that the ‘Holiday’ season is now done and dusted and there’s available space. It’s the same if your business is selling food. Chocolate ‘mini-eggs’ appear from about the end of the first week of January and will be on the shelves until sometime after the Easter bunny has done his stuff in mid-April. But think about this for a moment. You can eat mini-eggs from early January (and your correspondent does just this) until way beyond April without batting an eyelid, although you may need to recondition your belt. The truth is that Easter, in this instance, is just an excuse for heaving bite-sized chocolate goodies onto the shelves months before the event and watching as blood sugar levels rise dangerously. The fact that it’s Easter is almost immaterial. The same is not true of Valentine’s Day. This is a one-hit wonder and even if there may be more than one object of your ‘love and kisses’, there is still a single date on which a card marking the day can be delivered. Yet this does not stop retailers from excluding many other card types from their displays as the cloyingly loving and frequently bawdy dominate. And they do so from at least mid-January, if not earlier. Now consider the point at which a Valentine’s Day card is likely to be bought. Typically, this will be a week, two at most, ahead of the big day and it will probably be an impulse thing. The call to action will almost certainly be the aforementioned pink hearts

and a purchase may well follow. This sounds like a fairly short life-cycle and it is. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are similar in that the hype and marketing collateral often disproportionally outweigh the forward planning of many customers. While some people may spend weeks deciding on what to buy their own parents, or their children’s mum or dad, many will not. Why are the things in stores so early therefore? The answer may be in card retailers’ belief in the importance of occasion as a provocation to dig deep. The theory is that the road to buying a Valentine’s Day card is a slow burn and constant reminders in the form of hearts-ahead-of-time is the way of ensuring that you will get your share of the available market. Maybe so, but human nature tends to be pretty ephemeral in this respect and a whim of the just around the corner moment will mean that attention is not paid to the hearts until February. All of which means that valuable selling space has been sacrificed for something that won’t shift quickly. There is, naturally, always the argument that nobody sells anything in January anyway, so where’s the harm and this may have some foundation. But even so, Valentine’s Day card hoarders are going to be a pretty select group of shoppers.

Think about the amount of space you are devoting to occasion cards and how much space they really merit

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Here’s a plea therefore and one that may actually mean more money in the till. Don’t put out your Valentine’s Day cards until February, give something else a chance. The ones who are pushing you to buy the stock are generally suppliers, not shoppers, and they have a somewhat different agenda from the one you are operating to. Equally, while Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and even Halloween may be important for some, they are not overwhelming for most. Think carefully about the amount of space you are devoting to ‘occasion’ cards and try to work out how much space they really merit. You will almost definitely have given the occasion merchandise a wholly disproportionate share of the floor and other areas will suffer in consequence. And if this all sounds like common sense, it is. But it’s always surprising how little of this there is about.

John Ryan is Stores Editor of Retail Week, a position he has held for more than two decades, and managing director of Newstores, a daily information service on what’s new in retail across the world. @newstores / www.newstores.co.uk +44 7710 429926


Top Notch Top Drawer kicked off the year with an inspirational S/S20 edition. Showcasing 1,500 brands from across the lifestyle spectrum, visitors were spoilt for choice with a diverse offering that suited every need and style.


n January, Top Drawer started the new buying season in style with a hand-picked collection of 1,500 brands across 10 sectors. Buyers from major players such as Selfridges, Paperchase, Oliver Bonas, Debenhams, Harrods, Fenwick and Fortnum & Mason mixed with international visitors from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, USA, Canada, UAE and South Africa to see what was on offer from the high-calibre exhibitors. The design-led trade show featured greeting card and stationery suppliers both big and small. Crispin Finn, Paperwhale, The Art File, Kali Stileman Publishing, Belly Button Designs, Graphic Factory, Noel Tatt, Pepper & Corn and VENT for Change were just a few of the publishers on hand.

Top Drawer was also the perfect place to discover new talent with the SPOTTED | PULSE area dedicated to providing a first look at new, retail-ready names. Plus, in collaboration with ual, eight students and alumni showcased their work. The RetailFest and Design Talk seminars provided a wealth of insight, advice and inspiration across a range of topics. Expert advice and the latest product solutions were also accessible to visitors at The Retail Clinics. Global cultural strategy agency, Flamingo, partnered with Top Drawer to provide insight on developing trends for the coming year, helping visitors to know what the next big thing is and to plan accordingly. Four key design trends were brought to life with displays curated by leading retailers. Galeries Lafayette tackled Serene Warmth, a natural theme with touches of glamour. Heal’s looked at new Type and Story interpretations of traditional materials and techniques that are emerging for the new decade. Urbanic had the floral and earthy trend of Rare Bloom, while The Hambledon went bold, bright and modern with the Playful Chromatics trend. Top Drawer will return to Olympia London with its Autumn/Winter edition from September 13-15, where more inspiration is sure to be found.

“The design-led trade show featured greeting card and stationery suppliers both big and small.”

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PaperAwards Winners

Raspberry Blossom

Top Drawer S/S20 saw the 8th edition of the prestigious PaperAwards with the very best in the greeting card and stationery industry vying for the top prize across four categories. The winners in each of the categories will receive a prize worth over £1,000 and all of the finalists had their work showcased in the Greetings & Stationery area at the show. The PaperAwards are sponsored by G.F. Smith and are voted on by a panel of experts from across the industry.

Emotive Design Winner – Raspberry Blossom Runner Up – Sadler Jones Runner Up – Dicky Bird Exciting Use of Colour Winner – Raspberry Blossom Runner Up – Type and Story Runner Up – Lagom Design Engaging Print Winner – Type and Story Runner Up – Sadler Jones Runner Up – Hotchpotch Best Stationery Design Winner – Sleepy Bee Studio Runner Up – The Completist Runner Up – Ola

Sleepy Bee Studio

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Shop talk Greetings retailers tell it how it is....

Jo Williams

How did you get into the greeting card industry or retail?

What are the best & worst thing about working in retail? The best part is helping customers to find the perfect gift or home accessory for their own homes. Making people smile gives me a sense of achievement. The worst is the incredibly long hours. I have been working 7 days per week for a number of years and it’s only recently that I’ve managed to reduce that to 6. Some people think that those working in shops don’t have a brain and that shop work is easy, whereas it is anything but easy. You could deal with a friendly person, followed by someone incredibly rude, but you have to remain professional in order to deal with the next customer. What is in your window at the moment? We currently have a wide mix of products in the window. We are gearing up for Mother’s day with gift ideas. From mugs and keyrings, to vases and lamps for those who are looking to spend that little bit more. Fragrance products are a big seller for us at this time of year and so we have candles, incense, reed diffusers, aroma diffusers and fragrance lamps adorning the window. What cards are selling well in your store at the moment? We sell a lot of cards with animals on them at the moment. We have range from Wrendale, Lola Design and Icon which have proved popular. What is your favourite item in store? At the moment one of our biggest sellers are salt lamps. We’ve sold

Kennedys Gifts Kirkcudbright, Scotland

How did you get into the greeting card industry? In 2006 there was a shop for sale locally that sold greeting cards and as we were looking to re-locate our gift shop we thought cards and gifts were a good combination.   What are the best & worst thing about working in retail? The best thing about working in retail is the variety of roles that we all have. It’s a family run business and with sourcing exciting new products, merchandising, advertising and customer relations it makes it really diverse and enjoyable. There is no worst thing apart from never having enough retail space to display all the lovely products we would like to buy.   What is in your window at the moment?

Joco Gifts Nuneaton, Warwickshire

It was something I have wanted to do for many years. I have always had an eye for something unusual. I started the shop in April 2015 and it has grown steadily over that time to where we are today.

Kathleen Swift

them for many years and I believe in the healing properties of them. Not only are they pleasing to the eye but they create a relaxed atmosphere within the shop. What card range or category do you always ensure you keep in stock because of its popularity? We have always found Wrendale to be a popular brand. Due to the availability of the products, not only the cards, but also the ceramics, soft furnishings and cutlery. What is the most surprising thing a customer has said or done? Recently I was nominated by some customers to win a mini break. I was totally overwhelmed by it, as I didn’t feel that I had done anything to deserve it. Sadly I would have been unable to attend the trip, so I asked the lady who was giving it away to remove me from the nominations and pick someone who I felt deserved the break more than me. Have you had any unusual requests for something on a card and did you have the stock to meet the customer’s needs? I’ve been asked for Divorce cards. As yet I haven’t found any with my current suppliers, but that doesn’t mean I won’t stop looking. I like to have unusual things in the shop and that certainly would be something a little different. If you could send anyone a card from the past or present, who would it be and why? I would send my Grandma a card. She passed away 12 years ago, but she always encouraged me to follow my dreams. Whenever I had a problem, I knew that I could talk to her and she would give the most amazing advice. My card would be to say “Thank you for believing in me and for giving me the most amazing childhood. It has allowed me to grow into the person I am today and I am forever thankful for that”

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At the moment we have a range of the best new products from last year, to showcase our highlights as we move into the new year. This includes Wild and Wolf, Powder UK, Storm Watches and Snow Paw to name a few. What cards are selling well in your store at the moment?  Our most popular card lines are Pigment, Alex Clark, Five Dollar Shake, Jonny Javelin, Noel Tatt, ICG and Woodmansterne.   What is your favourite item in store? Our favourite item in store would have to be any of the handbags, and there are too many to pick just one, but we have Ness, Harris Tweed, Red Cuckoo, Snow Paw and many more, and they’re all gorgeous.   What card range or category do you always ensure you keep in stock because of its popularity? For our shop titled and age cards are our most popular and we make it our mission to stock as many unusual titles as possible to suit all family relations and occasions. We do the same at Christmas and had “from the Bump”, “Carer”, “Son & Son-in-law” and “from the Cat” to name a few.   What is the most surprising thing a customer has done? One customer came into our shop to show us a tattoo of an owl on her thigh from Noel Tatts Henna range, as she thought it was stunning. Another took a reed diffuser tester bottle and proceeded to dab it on her neck, whilst enquiring about which other perfumes we stocked! Some of our loyal customers are very thoughtful with gifts of home-made jam, wine and cakes given, especially at Christmas which is very much appreciated.   Have you had any strange/unusual/unique requests for something on a card? We often get asked for cards with obscure animals, be it an unusual dog breed or things like chameleons. We once got asked for a suitable card for a granddaughter who had recently transgendered – that was a tricky one.     If you could send anyone a card from the past or present, who would it be and why? There would be a few and unfortunately none of them are with us now.   How do trade magazines like Greetings Today help you? We like to read trade magazines to keep us up-to-date with new ranges from our existing suppliers as well as perhaps finding new suppliers so that we can provide our customers with the best and newest cards available.

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Liz Hanley

Magpies Nest Stalybridge, Greater Manchester How did you get into retail? I had worked in sales since leaving school, and I had just been made redundant when my dad who had been terminally ill passed away. This created a real turning point in my career and life as I decided I wanted to do something for me, rather than for other people. I’d been selling jewellery as a side-line and decided that I would take the plunge and open my own shop in my local town of Stalybridge. That was in March 2013, since then the business has grown and developed, bringing many more products into our offering. We only started selling greetings cards in the last three years as one of the sales agents we dealt with for another brand talked us into giving them a try and I haven’t looked back since!   What are the best & worst thing about working in retail? The customers! We have a great customer base that really support our shop and appreciate the hard work that goes into running it. Many have been shopping with us since we opened, with a few becoming friends

that have been to my wedding and others where we have seen their children growing up and start school or getting their first jobs. It’s an element of running a business that I didn’t expect, and it’s definitely a high point, but it can also be a low point. We’ve had some really, really rude customers but luckily these are few and far between.  What is in your window at the moment? Our current windows have all just been changed over, the main one is focusing on Mother’s Day with leaves hanging down from the ceiling and grass on the floor. I always like to do a flowery themed window for Mother’s Day its always refreshing after the winter. Our other window is featuring the women who have brands we stock like Katie Loxton, Radley, Powder Designs, Janie Wilson and Crumble & Core. I have a selection of their products and information about who these ladies are and the journey they have been on to grow their brands. This is linking into International Women’s Day in March. Our smallest window is St David’s Day themed and has a selection of Welsh made products.   What cards are selling well in your store at the moment?  Janie Wilson is doing incredibly well for us, alongside James Ellis and English Graphics. What is your favourite item in store? This changes on a weekly basis!! This week I’m loving

the Wrendale scarves, I have a weakness for scarves anyway but the new designs for spring are lovely. What card range or category do you always ensure you keep in stock because of its popularity? Janie Wilson’s range of Paper Kisses and Copper Leaf cards sell really well. A recent addition is Crumble & Core and they’re selling very well also, so I make sure I’m never out of stock of these. If you could send anyone a card from the past or present, who would it be and why? My grandparents, they were such a wonderful people, who gave me some of the happiest memories being with them. They taught me such a lot about life, core values and gave me unconditional love and a real passion for cheese!!   How do trade magazines like Greetings Today help you? I like reading trade publications as its good to know what’s going on, what other people are experiencing as it provides a reassurance. I like to find out about new products are launching and read reviews about shows or products as it always helps to make a decision when I’m looking for new lines.

Chris Beards Mantons Cards Port Erin, Isle of Man

How did you get into the greeting card industry? I’d sold my internet business at the start of 2008 and a couple of months later Mantons was in danger of closing. As the store was much loved locally I decided to buy the business and the property as I am passionate about saving High Street retail and I have always wanted to be involved in the greeting card industry. What are the best & worst thing about working in retail?

features pictures of all the team with their Mums, so at the moment the photo of me with my mum is the favourite. What card range or category do you always ensure you keep in stock because of its popularity?

I love pretty much everything about retail except the ever rising costs. Working with a fantastic team, having amazing customers and winning so many important awards (including British Independent Retailer of the Year) are some of the highlights. What is in your window at the moment?

We stock cards for almost every occasion and we keep stock for them all.

We have three windows and the main one has just changed to Mother’s Day. What cards are selling well in your store at the moment? 

An elderly lady came in and asked if we still had any of the cards she bought last week. I hadn’t served her so asked what card it was. Covering her sons ears (who also looked old enough to have retired) she replied, “the one about blow jobs!” If you could send anyone a card from the past or present, who would it be and why? 

Mother’s Day cards have just started to sell, but we have just had our record sale of Valentine’s Cards, unlike most other card retailers we have spoken to who seem to have been down this Valentine’s Day.  

What is your favourite item in store? Our Mother’s Day window

What is the most surprising thing a customer has said or done? I was once asked if we sold razor blades to put in a card! Have you had any unusual requests for something on a card?

My Grandma. The first card I ever sent was to her and she treasured it for years. She died before I took over Mantons but I’m sure she would have loved that I work in greeting cards.   How do trade magazines like Greetings Today help you? Greetings Today is fantastic for seeing what is going on in the industry and reading other people’s opinions on different issues affecting the card trade. 


Bubblegum Stuff VENT for Change


What to buy?

It’s a new decade, but what trends and changes will this year (and decade) bring. Henri Davis looks at what will we want to buy in 2020?


Hello Day

s we enter a new decade, we know that there are fewer people out on our high streets and many of those that are there are spending less, so as retailers we have to ensure that we have products that excite them and that they want to buy. Understanding the social and economic trends that will influence purchasing helps us to stock the right things. So, what are the opportunities 2020 can bring us? One of the biggest economic changes over the last few years has been the decrease in the value of sterling. Imported products are more expensive and if this has been passed on to customers it may have made some items too expensive for them. But it has also made holidaying in the UK cheaper for foreign tourists, benefiting many businesses across the country. Plus, there has also been an increased focus on British Made and Locally Made products by foreign visitors and patriotic Brits. We are becoming more thoughtful about food and this will influence what non-food retailers are selling this year? For example, those selling confectionery need to think about products that can be eaten by those on plant-based diets or with food intolerances.

Protection of the environment is right to the top of most of our agendas and the REMOVE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE or COMPOST message is all about how to minimise our impact on the environment by not using resources and materials unnecessarily and reusing them as often as is practical. There are some great examples of this including Talking Tables new partyware lines where they are changing product specifications and removing packaging and wrapping paper alternatives made from recycled bottles from WragWrap. As awareness of mental health issues and personal well-being increase, products are being launched on to the market to support changes in lifestyle and offer help and advice too. There are apps, books and journals helping purchasers to plan a healthier work/ life balance, increase self-awareness and set personal goals like the Hello Day Planner. During periods of uncertainty we want to ‘feel connected’ and tend to make more regular contact with family and friends and celebrate occasions. And this is not just a text or Whatsapp message, even millennials and Generation Z are valuing human contact more and sending cards. People will often choose to spend time together doing things that don’t cost money, and if they buy products, they enhance whatever it is they are doing. Games and jigsaws are seeing a significant increase in sales with new products being launched to appeal to younger consumers who would not have bought these previously, Bubblegum Stuff have a great selection. There is a real focus on being kinder to the environment and to one another with more donations being made to charities when products are bought. Consumers want to support others either involved in the production of the product or through direct support links. This has happened in the Christmas card industry for years but there are all sorts of links being established; the stationery from VENT for Change is a good example of this.

Understanding the social and economic trends that will influence purchasing helps us to stock the right things

Wrag Wrap

Many of us don’t have a lot of money to spend, so gifts are tending to be functional, useful and relevant to the recipient. Personalisation shows that you have gone to the effort of getting something specific for the recipient and makes them feel very special. We know that keeping pets can be very calming they give great companionship and more businesses are letting their staff have pets at work. Gifts and cards for pets are growing in popularity on the back of this. But whatever is happening most of us like having fun and humour is a continual best seller – the content and execution might change however! The thing that matters is that retailers understand what their customers want to buy and that everyone feels welcome when they come into contact with their businesses, be that in the shops, on the phone or visiting online. If customers like what you are offering, they are likely to spend with you and then everyone is happy!! Talking Tables

Henri Davis is an independent retail advisor to businesses in the cards, gifts, stationery and heritage industries, with 35 years of retail experience. She has worked for Habitat, Next, WHSmith and the National Trust and now advises small and medium-sized businesses, including retailers, visitor attractions, manufacturers and suppliers. She is the first retailer deputy chairman of the Giftware Association and the recipient of this year’s Greats Honorary Achievement Award. For more information visit www.henridavis.co.uk.

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Pick out a gift for your loved one


How Rude! Rude jokes are becoming increasingly popular as people become a bit blunter, a little less sensitive and much more open, but are you brave enough to stock them on the shelves of your store?

“What one person finds hilarious might offend the next, it can be a fine line to get it right.”



umour comes in many guises from sarcastic to witty, puns to banter and everything in between. But while there has always been cards that poke fun at the recipient or play on words, publishers are getting more confident in creating rude cards that push the boundaries of comedy. But what constitutes rude in this day and age? My headline might reference a 1980s American sitcom catchphrase (Full House if anyone remembers), but how rude can you go today? What one person finds hilarious might offend the next, so it can be a fine line to get it right. Sometimes it’s

the graphics and artwork that can be construed as rude, whether it anatomical, nudity or a couple of characters in a precarious situation. At other times it’s the language that’s used, swearing (with or without letters replaced with symbols), curse words and other expletives are becoming more prolific as we become more tolerant of using profanity. Then there are various nicknames and derogatory terms that might be used for friends or family (only in jest of course). And finally various colloquial terms for body parts which we might readily use for all sorts of things. Almost anything goes it seems, it just varies by publisher how far they are willing to push the envelope (no pun intended!). Humour has typically been the domain for male-centric cards, and a popular solution for many a dad, brother or best mate’s birthday.

What the retailers say... Andy Ross, Suttles of Malden, Greater London

“Humour always works well for us, specifically Rosie Made A Thing and Pigment with their Etched and Rock of Ages ranges.” Sandra Handley, Madhouse Cards, Nottingham

“UKG’s Giggles range is one of the best humour ones for me. I can’t do anything too risky due to our shop’s location and the kids that are around.” 36 www.greetingstoday.co.uk

However ladies are getting in on the action as they get more honest with their girlfriends, partners and even kids. Honesty can be construed as rude depending on your sensibilities, but that’s when it’s wise to consider the recipient and not just your own sense of humour. So how do retailers display their rude cards? Should they be tucked away in a corner or up high so young kids can’t see them? Does the shelving display help or hinder to attract attention and ultimately tickle a customer’s funny bone? Or do you keep the really rude ones out of sight Paperlink waiting for customers to ask if you have it in stock? The answer is that each store is different, each shopkeeper is different and all of your customers are different, so do what works for you and your customers. Of course, what rude cards, or indeed any humorous card, is successful can vary greatly from location to location and it may not even be the demographics that determine the outcome. The sweet old ladies who frequent your store might have the most wicked sense of humour of all and laugh out loud at a Dean Morris, Buddy Fernandez or Cheeky Chops card. Other times they might prefer Bernie Parker’s style or an Art File. It helps to have some variety, as no two people’s sense of humour is going to be identical, so different cards – rude or not – will be needed to get them giggling. But it helps to remember that

The Art File

everyone still has a line of what they don’t find funny. Sexism, racism and discrimination of any kind are no longer acceptable whether it was intended to be funny or not. But other customers will draw the line elsewhere depending on their tastes. Hopefully not too many customers are offended by what you might choose to stock, but it never hurts to be prepared to guide them to other displays and other cards just in case they are. Rude cards can be found for almost any occasion or reason and for just as many different recipients. So, whether it’s an uncle’s birthday, sister’s graduation, a friend’s wedding, or even a milestone anniversary, picking up a rude card might just be the stand out gift your customers could be looking for.

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The Art File The Art File have a huge range of funny cards on offer in their greeting card collections. They have some hilariously half-hearted sentiments in Snap To Grid, and plenty of questionable motivational quotations can be found in Sassy Pants. They love jumping on the popular culture bandwagon as much as the next person, so you can bet they’ve got a Valentine’s Day card stating, ‘I love you more than vegan sausage rolls!’ Snap to Grid is a bright collection of fresh humour by Heather Flynn. They’re often alarmingly blunt, so if you want to tell your mate ‘I’m certain we’ll be friends forever… cos we don’t go out anymore and I don’t really like anyone at work’, then this is the collection for you. They’re also extremely down-to-earth, which is refreshing in a sea of heart-felt, gushing sentiments you often find in the greeting card aisle. Sometimes you just don’t want to spend a few paragraphs telling your friend how amazing they are, and in that case a birthday card saying ‘I’m so glad you were born’ does just the trick. The Lion range, created by brothers Hugo and Leo Bennett, cleverly merges quirky hand-painted designs with funny little stories to go with them. We’re talking a ladybird being disappointed its ladybird date didn’t have the spots it promised on their dating profile, and a horse being reassured by a tattoo artist that he’s not the first horse to have asked for zebra stripes. The Art File’s in-house designers have created Squeeze the Day, a collection full of colour and fun designed to put a smile on your face. Food is close to everyone’s heart, and the theme of food is ripe with clever puns if you know how to find them (you can bet there’s a ‘24 carrot gold’ joke in there)! Squeeze The Day also has Christmas variations, and apologises in advance if you can’t get this tune out of your head for the rest of the day… ‘Christmas time, camembert and wine!’ For the full effect, you really need to see them for yourself! Follow The Art File on social media or login to the trade area on their website for more. T: 01158 507 490 www.theartfile.com

View and order the new Venn Worlds Collide range and much more at our updated website:


0116 230 4197


Dean Morris

Dean Morris is adding to my his ever-popular Fabulous and Bubbles ranges this year. These ranges have both been making people laugh with often naughty humour for over 10 years and he will be adding around 50 new cards to these evergreen collections.   Of course, keep an eye out for a cheeky random new range if inspiration strikes, but these often pop into Dean’s head at last minute so you will have to wait and see.  Dean’s humour is quite broad in both its style and variety. He may be known for his rude cards but his humour goes from completely clean to the very naughty – and always with an edge. The news, memes and everyday occurrences provide the inspiration for Dean’s designs and he has been creating laughter-inducing cards for over twenty years, so he must be doing something right. He still enjoys the creativity of developing new ranges and additions, so there will be a few more years of inappropriate giggles to come. T: 01902 560 247 www.deanmorriscards.co.uk

Holy Mackerel

Holy Mackerel’s [vinegar & brown paper] range of cards are multiplying, with a host of new designs launched at Spring Fair this year. Witty and resonant, they are based on the artisan glass-etchings of Andy Poplar, whose story in a nutshell is: Advertising creative gets burnt out by the industry and quits. Becomes stay at home dad. Has an idea about etching words onto glass. Sets out to mend his head, with [vinegar & brown paper]. Andy has spent the last 8 years taking iconic items of glassware and bringing them to life with the tools of typography, wit, wordplay and a slightly askew way of looking at the world. It never fails to amaze him that you can now find pieces of [vinegar & brown paper] on bookshelves everywhere, from York to New York. And of course you can now find them on Holy Mackerel cards. There’s lots of sharp humour in the range, and Andy’s vintage props give them a beautiful retro look, making them a great men’s range, but above all they manage to do sentiment without sentimentality. From the “Keep your spirits level” card to the “Everyone has a little wobble now and then” and “You do not have to do things their way” designs, they are a great way to remind friends and family that someone out there is thinking of them. T: 01395 578 571 www.holy-mackerel.co.uk sales@holy-mackerel.co.uk

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M!NT is back! With a rebranded look launched at Spring Fair signposting a return to family-friendly, quirky humour, M!NT showcased its new direction with two ‘Refreshingly Different’ new ranges: Modern Life Illustrated and Venn Worlds Collide. The M!NT creative team went back to basics with these new ranges in search of fresh captions and original humour — and had a lot of laughs whilst creating them! Venn Worlds Collide riffs on the classic Venn diagram format with a deceptively simple design and attractive colour palette. Each design rewards closer reading with funny, clever captions and (mostly) positive attitude, offering a mix of general humour sends with some strong occasion/relation designs, and Christmas designs. Modern Life Illustrated is a tongue-in-cheek primer on life’s modern trends, tastes and important social and special occasions. These cards are presented in the style of an ‘easy-to-use flashcard’ with eye-catching captions and friendly illustrations supported by a humorous and ‘real world’ explanation underneath. The range has a strong occasion/relation mix alongside general Everyday and Christmas sends. M!NT is staking a real claim to all those poor performing or tired old pockets in retailers’ displays with something genuinely refreshing and engaging. All new designs are available to view on their website at www. mint-publishing.co.uk So treat yourself to a laugh and something fresh and take a look! T: 01162 304 197 www.mint-publishing.co.uk

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Cheeky Chops Classic vintage photos with an extra cheeky twist. Cheeky Chops Cards have teamed up with Honovi to create a range of cards to spark nostalgia and make you chuckle all at once. There are 24 new cards covering a little bit of humour for everyone. The cards come with a bright neon orange envelope and are sold in packs of six – SRP £2.49 all available to buy from the cheeky chops trade website www.cheekychopstrade.co.uk. T: 01480 412 956 www.cheekychopstrade. co.uk sales@cheekychopscards.co.uk

s, Buddy Fernakenddoffe20z20 with a few wee-inducing new range pper

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Cath Tate Cards New for 2020, Cath Tate Cards has added to the popular The Hurrah for Gin range. The range is a teaming up of Cath Tate Cards and popular mum blogger Katy Kirby. Katie started her award-winning blog Hurrah for Gin when she was struggling with the reality of having two small children. Finding the humour in the everyday dramas of motherhood was cathartic for her, and really touched a nerve with many other mothers. So much so, that a few years down the line she has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and three best-selling books under her belt. Cath Tate Cards jumped at the chance to work with a witty woman such as Katie, not least because so many of us in the office also have small children and were already fans of her blog. Not all the designs in the Hurrah for Gin greeting card range are mum-based but they all follow the same theme: the pitfalls of being an adult and being human. New designs in the range include new Mother’s Day, Valentines, Father’s Day and every day and birthday designs. T: 02086 712 166 www.trade.cathtatecards.com

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ArtEco Designs ArtEco Designs have joined forces with US artist Brooke Barker, licensing a selection of her best cartoons, known as Sad Animal Facts, for the UK greeting card market. Brooke pairs some of the Animal Kingdom’s more unfortunate truths with hilarious thoughts and reactions from the creatures themselves. Sweet, sometimes sad, and surprisingly informative, Brooke’s quirky hand-drawn illustrations first featured on her hugely popular Instagram account – reaching 327K followers. Her melancholic menagerie delighted a wider audience in a New York Times bestselling book which has now been translated into eight languages. With praise and attention from the One Show, New York Times, Cannes, FWA Site of the Day, Creativity Online, Rachel Ray, and the Guardian, Brooke has continued to build up an impressive following. Her adorable creations also feature on Threadless t-shirts, prints and calendars. And now – for the first time in the UK – Sad Animal Facts will be available on greeting cards. Perfect for animal lovers, these designs will have you crying with laughter. There are 24 designs in the range and they are 160mm x 160mm and printed in the UK. T: 01209 315 685 www.artecodesigns.com www.theheartofagarden.com sales@artecodesigns.com

There is often a fine line between making someone laugh and causing offence. That line becomes even finer if the humour is risqué, or cheekily poking fun at someone in some way. A card that looks hilarious on the shelves and has people giggling out loud in the shop may not seem so funny if taken personally or opened in front of other more easily offended people by the recipient. One of Paperlink’s best-selling ‘Just Saying’ cards has a drawing of a willy and the word knob on it...it works because it is just so childish and silly. The double entendre has been with us since the dawn of time (think ‘Carry On’ films) and along with childish schoolboy stuff is a pretty safe bet. You hint at the rude word but you don’t say the rude word. A lady on one of their Wrinklies cards is misheard when she says she has `acute angina` and a gent on one of the Rhubarb cards can be seen ‘fiddling with his dicky’ (it’s his tie, you saucy lot). Replacing animals with humans softens the blow visually too. Take a look at the Life Goals ‘full Brazilian’ card, it conjures up an image, rather than graphically showing it. Times change, rules change and language changes. It is very important to remain politically current. This is also true when it comes to banter as it should be harmless fun with a little warmth for good measure. No-one wants to feel bullied so empathy is key. You may tease someone about how much they love chocolate, but you wouldn’t say Happy Birthday Fatso. Another of the ‘Just Saying’ cards is ‘fake astonished’ that the recipient has stopped gaming for a minute to view it. The goal is friendly banter rather than insulting. Whether it is saucy or cheeky, it has to be well thought out, clever and crafted to take into account the feelings of the recipient. T: 02075 828 244 www.paperlink.co.uk


Cops, Shopkeepers and Robbers... Thefts from the high street are nothing new but has the attitude of the people doing the thieving changed? Oliver Guise-Smith looks at the problem.


n biblical times people were fearful of stealing from a market stall. It didn’t stop them, though most shopkeepers would say losing a hand was slightly more fitting a punishment than the penalties handed out by the courts today. Personally I believe any theft, or any crime for that matter, should result in full prosecution. I’ve had my runins with the fuzz in my youth. So does this give me a right to speak out or enforce, or even write this, I’ll let you be the judge. When I opened my latest business within the first few days we’d had a few items pinched. I quickly installed CCTV cameras and since then, 17 thieves have been caught on camera, many more in the act. Seems like a lot of effort to catch a thief but therein lies the problem. Is it too much effort? You apprehend someone and they play innocent or they laugh and say, “next time”, or there are those that threaten retribution because you’ve stopped them from stealing from you. Now consider the attitude of the business and the shopkeeper. The high street is on the downturn, margins ever narrower. Can you afford security? Are staff willing to confront thieves? Are they paid enough to care? All questions you have to ask in business, especially retail. The answer, who knows? In an environment where

not only are the police force overstretched but even additional services such as street wardens, scarcely ever available. In Sheffield there is one additional weapon in a retailers arsenal, we have the city centre wide radio system. Shopkeepers can subscribe and are issued with a radio which allows the city centre CCTV, ambassadors, police and retailers to stay in contact. This comes with access to online databases of known criminals. With the radios we’re able to warn other shops about suspect people, call for help and even ask for someone to take items we know have been stolen, off the shoplifter. This system can’t stop a criminal if they want to steal but the biggest worry now is knife crime. Thieves carry knives and does anyone want to risk serious injury over a material item? Sadly this summer tragedy struck for us. In walks a young lad with a thick jacket and his hood up on a hot day. Immediately alarm bells and on second look I knew him, he is prolific for getting into staff/stock rooms to steal personal possessions. I immediately ejected him though he continued to stand in front of the doors. Our staff tried to move him on and next thing this person shoves my staff, a punch is thrown, and all hell breaks loose. The alarm on our radio is

The high street is on the downturn, margins ever narrower. Can you afford security? Are staff willing to confront theives? Are they paid enough to care?

Each month an independent retailer takes up their pen (or taps away at their keyboard) as a guest columnist for Greetings Today. This month we hear from Oliver Guise-Smith who runs Cards and Gifts Sheffield with Carl Dunne, visit them at www.cardsgiftssheffield.co.uk

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activated and the world came running! M&S and Boots security were first to arrive followed by Poundland and then moments later Police. I came away bitten and punched so hard in the ribs that it left me unable to breath. 17-years-old, a kid basically, and he’s out stealing to buy drugs. Violent and adamant to get away we found out why when he was found to have three laptops that had been reported stolen earlier in the day from the university. Alas the story doesn’t end there. Days later the same person, who we’d hoped would have been remanded, stabbed a bus driver six times. Only then did I realise our lucky escape in detaining him. I never even thought at the time “he might have a knife”. So is there anymore we can do to curb the amount of retailer crime? It turns out for me, Yes! I was approached by the probation and rehabilitation service regarding a shoplifter that we’d caught and had prosecuted. They asked if I’d accept a letter of apology as part of the restitution for his crimes. I refused and said “No, if he wants to say it face to face then I’ll agree to that.” Cut forward and I do meet this reformed person. He apologises and demonstrates a rare case, someone turning their life around! He paid his debt to society, paid restitution physically and where possible through gestures of apology and has made something of his life now off drugs and away from criminality. I’ve been asked to continue to help the service in speaking to others that have been found guilty of shoplifting to demonstrate to them the actual cost and affect it can have to small businesses like me. In the end maybe it’s my attitude that’s changed? Alas one thing is certain, theft from retailers will never stop so all we can do is try our best to catch the criminals while remembering above all else in this day and age, your own personal safety!




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Good to be global The trio of Frankfurt consumer good fairs attracted 84,000 visitors from around the world, who were inspired by new products and ideas from exhibitors from 74 countries opening up opportunities for all.


he concurrent trade fairs of Paperworld, Christmasworld and Creativeworld welcomed over 84,000 visitors from 163 countries, who were presented with new products for paper, stationery, office supplies, decoration, festive décor, arts and crafts supplies and more. While visitor numbers were down slightly on last year, organisers believe the downturn was due to retail consolidation as well as the timing of the event overlapping with Chinese New Year.

“It is the high level of internationality and the outstanding visitor quality that make the trade fair trio an indispensable platform for industry and trade. Our trade fairs bring the global players in the sectors together under one roof. In the digital age, this personal contact is the key to success for the entire consumer goods sector,” said Detlef Braun, Member of the Management Board of Messe Frankfurt. The fairs’ complementary programme and trends provided plenty of practical and feasible ideas, in addition to the

Exhibitor comments

“It’s our first show and it’s hard to gauge how it’s going but there has been lots of international interest,” Ana Piferrer, Noodoll “It’s all about the potential. If you don’t come you can miss out but if you do then there’s the potential for good deals. This show is good for meeting people from new markets.” Trevor Schrager, Second Nature “We’ve got a few things in our locker which will be coming out later this year. Today has been good and if I do as well tomorrow then it’s been a good show,” Terry Taylor, East West “Stationery should be fun I think. You use it every single day, so have fun with it.” Alex Garcia, Pukka Group “It’s been a good show. Our bags have been very popular and our range of paper and boxes featuring elephants is doing well,” Peter, Artebene “This is our first show to test the European market. Dream journaling is a big thing back home in New Zealand, but it is great to see what everyone else is doing.” Sarah Webb, Raywin

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Retailer Views

“There are certain stands you can interact with and others just want to sell you stuff,” Andy Ross, Suttles of Malden “It’s important to see the trends. My head is buzzing with ideas,” Sarah Laker, Stationery Supplies, Marple “Love It! I like some things more than others for us and our business, but it’s great,” Stampin Up USA “We’ve looked at a new pen company. They’ve got really nice pens, slightly industrial looking. We’ve been seeing a lot of new products from existing companies which is nice,” Denise Ross, Suttles of Malden concept areas “Retail BLVD”, “Future Office,” and “Future Learning” along with “Urban Art Lab: Education” which inspired many. These innovative zones and exhibitors attract top visitors from all over the world, besides Germany, the most popular visitor nations include Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the USA, France and Russia but other countries are still represented. A Filipino retailer and distributor returned after not visiting for a few years and commented, “It feels a bit smaller than previous years but it’s good.” It’s not just the internationality that is impressive but also the visitor structure, with 76% of visitors being from top management. “Above all else, the good mood among retailers and the high level of internationality and visitor quality make us optimistic for the new business year,” said Dr. Rüdiger Kress, owner of Artebene. Sustainability continued to be a

theme across the fairs with many suppliers featuring natural materials, recycled products or a reference to resource-saving production. “We’ve been working on reducing plastic and have introduced adhesive clasps as well as paper wraps that cover the corners and back,” said Kim Spanjersberg from Netherlands based TMS. Tailor-Made Studios International B.V. This theme was of particular interest to some retail visitors including Sarah Laker from Stationery Supplies, Marple who said, “We’re on the sustainability trail. That’s a trend that is continuing.” The consumer goods fairs will take place again next year at the end of January. Christmasworld: January 29 – February 2, 2021 Paperworld and Creativeworld: January 30 – February 2, 2021

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Gifts Galore Your wedding day is one of the most important and special days of most people’s lives and the subsequent anniversaries are a reason to celebrate, but the gifts and cards we give have a surprising history. The Artfile

W Janice Daughters

hy do guests give presents at weddings you may ask? Historically the origins are the price that was paid by the groom’s family for the bride’s hand in marriage. It may have been animals, land or other items of value. This concept developed into dowries (which still exist in some cultures) and then wedding chests or hope chests, where the young woman would collect the linen and homeware items needed for the marital home. Gift registries are a more modern evolution. They are thought to have originated in America in the 1920s by one of the major department stores as a way to help wedding guests to choose a gift the happy couple might actually want or need. Again, these things were to help the couple in their new lives together, as for most people it was their first time living in their own home and being responsible for themselves. In the 21st century, gift registries have evolved into all manner of registries whether it’s for a honeymoon, experience, house deposit, charity or some other big-ticket item the couple would like help to pay for. Wishing wells in all shapes and sizes can be found at many a wedding these days, and cards with cash are

Nigel Quiney

potentially more commonly given than silverware, a dinner set or the ever-popular toaster. So, if the wedding gifts have changed, where did the idea of traditional anniversary presents come from? It’s thought silver and golden anniversaries originated in Europe during medieval Anniversary times, wives were 1870s, while Emily Post’s given silver wreaths cards are more book of etiquette in 1922 to commemorate listed eight traditional prevalent for 25 years of marriage anniversaries and their and a gold one if they the five-year related symbols. While she reached 50 years listed the 1st, 5th, 10th, increments, together. Historians 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th and and as the believe these gifts 75th anniversaries as being population were to recognise particularly significant, she the hard work that a ages the need also said each of the first 15 harmonious marriage years had a symbolic gift. requires – especially for longer The greeting card, over 25 or 50 years! anniversaries is jewellery and gifts More comprehensive industries got in on the increasing. lists to mark other action in the 1920s and anniversaries came 1930s as they worked to about in the 1800s as the exchange of formalise the lists and improve their gifts became more prevalent, and as sales through the marketing of the people and shopkeepers looked for concept. It’s during this time that ways to celebrate other anniversaries. more precious stones were included The lists started off with items in the lists to mark milestones, as why that not only increased in value but should jewellers have to wait decades were symbols that reflected the to celebrate golden or diamond strengthening of the relationship anniversaries? over time. Wood was designated as Modern lists incorporate items the appropriate symbol and gift of beyond the traditional paper (1st), the fifth anniversary in around the cotton (2nd), wool (7th), tin (10th) and

30 www. www.facebook.com/greetingstodaymag www.greetingstoday greetingstoday..co.uk @greetingstoday

crystal (15th). Electrical appliances (4th), desk sets (7th), watches (15th) and furniture (17th) are just some of the modern additions although some variations exist between the US and the UK and other regions globally. Flowers, gemstones, colours and gifts can all be attributed to one anniversary or another, it’s up to the couple involved whether they want to use these ideas as the basis of their cards and gifts or not. Anniversary cards are more prevalent for the five-year increments, and as the population ages the need for longer anniversaries is increasing. On the flip side, many couples aren’t getting married as young as they once did, if they get married at all, so it’s possible new kinds of anniversary cards and gifts will be developed in years to come as some other way to celebrate the milestones that are achieved. Either way marriage and relationships take work and should be celebrated.

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Nigel Quiney Your wedding day is a special day shared with friends and family, a day that deserves a very special card. Nigel Quiney Publications have produced a fantastic varied Wedding collection to mark this special occasion, with a stunning array of beautifully finished designs. The collection includes Married in 2020, Engagement, Wedding Acceptance and Wedding Regret designs, along with wedding money wallets, the perfect item for that special day! T: 01799 520 200 info@nigelquiney.com www.nigelquiney.com

Words ‘n’ Wishes Words ’n’ Wishes are excited to launch a gorgeous new collection of Wedding, Anniversary and Engagement cards for 2020 following on from the success of their everyday ranges, Halcyon Days, Moments In Time, Thoughts of You, Blossom and Piñata. All the designs take inspiration from the everyday ranges, from a clever use of fluted foil on Halcyon Days to the beautifully painted watercolour artworks on Moments In Time and Thoughts of You. All created from their talented in house studio, the designs fit in perfectly with their everyday cousins. The designs taken from the ranges dominate the collection and there are a few stand-alone designs added to the mix. There are 35 designs in total covering price codes 50 to 125 and are printed on FSC board and supplied with white envelopes. T: 01942 233 201 www.words-n-wishes.co.uk

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Jonny Javelin Jonny Javelin are bringing out a total of nine new Anniversary titles within their Signature range and these will be available in the coming weeks. The cards have a coloured fluted foil finish along with coloured flitter and embossing. The leaf insert has a short poem and these 9 x 6 cards are priced to retail at £1.99. The Signature range is growing steadily and these new additions have been especially requested for the increased Spring and Summer anniversary season. T: 01423 563 740 www.jonnyjavelin.co.uk

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The Art File Did you know there are approximately 250,000 weddings each year in the UK alone? And if there are that many weddings, we can only begin to image how many anniversaries there are each year. The Art File want to help maximise your sales in this category by ensuring you have the right mix of cards in your display. When it comes to Wedding and Anniversary Cards, The Art File have a comprehensive collection. As well as extending some of their existing ranges such as Rock On, Imagine, and Crème de la Crème to create Anniversary and Wedding Cards, they also have a significant amount of cards created exclusively for this special occasion. Mulberry & Olive brings sophistication and class to the category, whilst the Snap To Grid Anniversary Card brings things back down to earth by stating ‘recent polls revealed you guys are now official national treasures’. A firm customer favourite, one of their best-selling licenses Sara Miller London, has created a number of beautiful Wedding and Anniversary Cards with her usual brilliant balance of colour, print, texture and pattern. They have also got specific Silver, Pearl, Ruby, and Gold Anniversary

Cards, each with the lovely extra touch of matching gems. They even have you covered for an extra special ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ card. The Art File have won a number of industry awards for their male cards and they have proudly released Vertigo this year, their newest male range. Anniversary and Wedding Cards can be very female-targeted, so they have added a stunning Vertigo card to the ‘Happy Anniversary’ options for the men in your lives! Their Wedding Card collection boasts a variety of exciting formats. The Twist Out Wedding Card by Paul Jackson twists out at right angles to create an amazing and unique gift card that people will love to display with pride. Additionally, one of the lead fold designers on the planet, Elod Beregszaszi, has created a beautiful hand-folded three-tier wedding cake Form card with The Art File, which is really special. They also have a variety of standard folded cards; from small and clean-cut, to large and expressive. Log in to the trade area of their website to see the full collection. T: 01158 507 490 www.theartfile.com

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Art By Janice In celebration of love and having a wonderful partner, Janice Daughters, of Art by Janice, has designed several cards that fit the bill. If you prefer subtle designs, take a look at the Crazy Cakes Collection for Wedding and Anniversaries, each card comes with a touch of foil for that extra sparkle and is accompanied with a silver envelope. The cards cover all the main milestone anniversaries from the very First Anniversary to Diamond, an incredible 60 years together! Included in the range are Silver, Ruby and Golden as well as general anniversary celebratory cards. Within the Inky Icon Collection there are some lovely cards for husband or partner with sentimental wording such as ‘You light up my life’, ‘You are my Tower of Strength’, and ‘You are my King of the Castle’. These are also embellished with foil. To complete the range there are a couple of cute designs featuring ducklings and chickens in the Inky Creatures Collection. More designs are constantly being added so keep an eye out on the website. T: 07860 633 490 www.artbyjanice.co.uk | janice@artbyjanice.co.uk

Ling Design Shimmer is the stunning new Talking Pictures range that is perfect for anyone who loves a bit of sparkle. The 10 cards in the range cover Engagement, Wedding Day, Anniversary and Congratulations, as well as specific birthday designs for Mum, Wife, Sister, Daughter and Granddaughter. The collection showcases a silver, black and gold colour palette and each design is hand-finished with intricate details including gems, bows and textured foil. All cards are H size, paired with a silver envelope and individually wrapped to protect detailing. T: 01892 838 574 www.lingdesign.co.uk enquires@lingdesign.co.uk

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Wedding & Anniversary

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Real & Exiting Designs

Sarah Curedale’s Real & Exciting Designs (RED) has quietly and surely established itself as the independents’ choice for unique, beautifully designed greetings cards with original sentiment. Known for her sophisticated, fashion-led designs, RED’s new range ‘Circus’ is perfect for weddings and anniversaries with delicately embossed and foiled cards that just shout love and originality! ‘Moonlight Under The Sea’ which launched last year is also proving popular with the romantics; its marine themed imagery combined with emotive wording is well suited to ‘Love’ captions and makes the perfect romantic send. For those looking for the ‘amour’ in glamour, look no further than Real & Exciting Design – you’ll quickly fall under the spell of this special publisher. T: 01223 207 080 | www.realandexcitingdesigns.co.uk

Cinnamon Aitch The new designs from Cinnamon Aitch’s Extra Large Piccadilly range are the right mix of elegance and romance, making them the perfect send for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions. This gorgeous range features black and white illustrations adorned with floral photographic details and hand finished with sparkling gems and luxurious embossed silver foiled text. Cards are a generous 165mm x 165mm square with a quality silver envelope. Sold in sixes, £1.45 each to trade, RRP £3.50. T: 01217 736 833 www.cinnamonaitch.co.uk hello@cinnamonaitch.co.uk

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Dandelion Stationery Across multiple collections, Dandelion Stationery has a large range of cards perfect for celebrating weddings and anniversaries. Choose from elegant botanical designs, contemporary humorous designs and designs featuring heart-warming words and sentiments. Featured images are a selection of the best-selling designs. Each card is printed onto luxe board, and are hand finished with subtle sparkles or feature metallic foil. Cards are supplied individually wrapped in cello wrappers or can be supplied naked with a card clasp. Card dimensions are 114mm x 162mm and have an RRP of £2.75. T: 01332 864 990 www.dandelionstationery.co.uk www.facebook.com/greetingstodaymag @greetingstoday

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Celebrate love with our fabulous new Wedding Season Collection A stunning array of traditional & contemporary designs combining beautiful artworks with high quality finishes across all key wedding season captions.

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Full of Surprises Spring Fair is the biggest show of the year for the greetings and gift industry but, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie to the event, there is plenty to see and do.


pring Fair 2020 had a new layout which by and large seemed to be a success, although the revamped floor plan did take some getting used to for regular visitors to the show. With 2,500 exhibitors across all the halls, there’s was no shortage of new products to be seen and inspiration to be found. Greeting Cards were relocated to Hall 2, with publishers keen to share their new ranges and extensions, plus a few milestones were celebrated among the aisles.

Seminars and keynote speakers provided a wide range of tips and advice for retailers and visitors. From trends to social media, sourcing to sustainability, negotiation to customer service, the topics covered all aspects of small business with industry experts providing insight into what works and how things can be done better. Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, explained why she thinks women will be leading the way as retail adopts a kinder attitude. It was a busy few days for all involved, check out some of the highlights.

With their prime corner position, The Art File, were getting plenty of people checking out their new ranges.

Wendy Jones-Blackett and her team were happy to strike a pose.

Dean Morris knows how to keep himself and visitors amused as he shows he can still do headstands!

It was another cake from Oliver GuiseSmith and Carl Dunne from Cards & Gifts, Sheffield to help Jackie Collins and the team celebrate Cherry Orchard’s 25th anniversary.

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Joanna Cooper from Cheeky Chops was all smiles with Iza and Martyn Allen from Honovi as they proudly showed off their new humorous cards collaboration.

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REVIEW | SPRING FAIR Balloons in every size, shape, colour and style for any occasion you can imagine at the Qualatex stand.

Highworth Emporium’s Aga Gabrysiak was feeling the love on Day 3 at Spring Fair as she celebrated her anniversary with Richard. “We met 13 years ago today, and our anniversary happens to be a buying trip ever since.”

Retailers Jo Williams from Joco Gifts, Sarah Laker from Stationery Supplies, Liz Hanley from Magpies Nest and Charlotte Khan from Moo Like A Monkey held a panel discussion with Former Cabinet Member, Graham Galpin to discuss how independent retailers can benefit from embedding themselves in the community. Charlotte’s top advice to other retailers

“Football doesn’t come to you; you have to go and get it.” What do you do when you have a blank wall next to your stand? Enveco invited other exhibitors to come and scribble, draw or simply leave an autograph to create a very colourful and artistic display.

What The Retailers Said Liz Hanley, Magpies Nest “I haven't been to Spring Fair for about three years as it means taking time out of the business and that has a cost. In previous years I found it to be full of the same faces, with nothing new or inspiring. This year I found the change in layout good - it made you walk through the different sections. I found some new suppliers and enjoyed the show as a whole. I did three days this year, which I found to be really good as I could take my time looking at products and thinking things through before committing.”

Having some fun on the Earlybird Designs stand were Sarah Laker, Stationery Supplies, Marple and Jane Rockett, Axminster Printing, Axminster. Jane was getting ideas for her first greeting card order.

Mary Singleton-Jones, Panda Cards “My husband and I drove up on the Saturday and stayed overnight. We went over to the show on Sunday morning armed with a list of all my suppliers that were attending and set about finding them. I placed a few orders and made a few appointments for the coming weeks. Most of my lovely people said that they had had an unusually busy morning on the first day.” Jane Rockett, Axminster Printing “I didn’t do too much planning before this Spring fair and probably spent too much time chatting rather than seeking too many new suppliers. That said, I went with the sole intention of placing a greetings card order, in particular my first one with Dandelion Stationery, which I did – and which has now safely arrived. Nothing really replaces the need to look at the quality of cards in person rather than in a catalogue or online. I saw several ranges I liked the look of and had the pleasure of also making contact with Earlybird and intend to place an order soon.” Eleni Kaliakmani, Head Buyer Paperbox Greece “I’m looking for greeting cards and gifts. I won’t be ordering at the show but will make contact afterwards. I really like Rosanna Rossi. I need publishers to be able to send samples and a catalogue so I can see the quality and workmanship before placing orders.”

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Wellies Win! The 2020 Gift of the Year awards were a huge success again this year, with some fantastic new products amazing the judges. The winners across the 20 categories were announced at a special event on the first night of Spring Fair, with children’s brand Squelch Wellies coming out on top to win the Judges Choice Prize. A relative newcomer to the industry, Squelch Wellies proved a popular choice, walking away with wins in the Children’s Gift and Fashion Accessory categories as well. Started by a mum whose kids got bored with their wellington boots, she came up with the idea for clear boots and a variety of brightly coloured socks so kids can change their style whenever they want. Wow! You’re…Birthday Books, From You to Me took out the Card & Wrap category. The mini books

by post are full of interesting and quirky facts that are designed to get kids even more excited about their birthday. The gifts can be easily posted and can stand proudly as a birthday card or on a bookshelf. Wild and Wolf walked away winners of the Stationery Prize. The Yes Studio Stationery Collection is a bright and bold collection that aims to encourage positivity. It features cheeky and fun wording that is certain to bring a smile to any recipient. Another newcomer to the greeting card and gift industry picked up the Festive and Occasional category. 1 Tree Cards won for their Tree Planting Cards – Tree Wishes Festive Box. Shocked by their win against some tough competition, co-founder Becky Kijima said, “We’re over the moon – not just for our little business but to know that eco and ethical products are finally going mainstream.”

The diversity of the giftware industry was evident by all of the finalists and shows that innovation and creativity is alive and well when it comes to gifts. Speaking at the awards, Sarah Ward, CEO of the Giftware Association said, “Gifts are a very special type of product, they only become gifts when we give them.” She explained that most people are willing to put more thought and effort into purchasing a gift than if the item was for personal use. “We are happy to buy something we aren’t sure about for ourselves, as we can change our mind when we get home. But we are less likely to want to disappoint with a gift,” Sarah said. I think most people would be happy to receive any of the GOTY winners or finalists.

Gift Of The Year 2020 Winners JUDGES CHOICE Winner - Squelch Wellies, Squelch Wellies Ltd

FASHION JEWELLERY Isla Jewellery Range, Billys Beach Hut

BEAUTY, BATH AND SPA Botanical Range, Fikkerts Limited

FESTIVE AND OCCASIONAL Tree Planting Cards – Tree Wishes Festive Box, 1 Tree Cards

BRANDED GIFT Beatrix Potter Baby Collection, Enesco Limited CARDS AND WRAP Wow! You’re…Birthday Books, From You to Me

FESTIVE AND OCCASIONAL Tree Planting Cards – Tree Wishes Festive Box, 1 Tree Cards

CHILDRENS GIFT Squelch Wellies, Squelch Wellies

James Ellis

COMMEMORATIVE AND COLLECTABLE Sherlock Holmes – The Case of the Priceless Coin, Professor Puzzle STATIONERY Yes Studio Stationery Collection, Wild and Wolf

CONTEMPORARY GIFT Host your own Escape Room, Talking Tables DESIGN AND CRAFT Baby Bunny Needle Felting Kit, The Crafty Kit Company ETHICAL GIFT Tikiri, Tikiri

CARDS AND WRAP Wow! You’re…Birthday Books, From You to Me

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FASHION ACCESSORY Squelch Wellies, Squelch Wellies

GARDEN AND OUTDOOR Wonderland Games Queen of Hearts Croquet, Professor Puzzle GIFT FOOD Veggie Roast Dinner Kit, Ross and Ross Gifts HOME ACCESSORY Orbital Candle Holder, Aery HOME FRAGRANCE Aromatherapy Collection, Aery HOT NOVELTY Resteazzz, Puckator KITCHEN AND DINING W&P Porter Seal Tight Containers, Stone PET GIFT Dog Lovers Gift Range, Apples to Pears STATIONERY Yes Studio Stationery Collection, Wild and Wolf UNDER £10 Mini Me, Sock Academy

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THE PACKAGE INCLUDES • Challenge Cup for Team Four-Ball • Coffee and bacon rolls on arrival • 9 hole morning Texas Scramble • Lunch (ham, egg and chips)

• 18 hole individual Stableford and team, longest drive and nearest the pin • Evening barbecue and presentation

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Meet the Newbies.indd 2

18/12/2019 15:37

Step back in time

Celebrating more than 25 years of publishing Greetings and Greetings Today, here we step back in time each issue to five, 10, 15, and 20 years ago in the greetings card industry – Malcolm Naish

March 2015

March 2005

• Smiggle, the Australian children’s stationery group, have now opened 19 stores across the U.K. This is in just a 12-month period and have recently opened in London’s Regent Street.

• Kingsley Cards are having problems finding suitable premises from which to print their cards in the Skipton area. Their latest attempt after 18 months of awaiting planning permission, is for the Council to finally tell them that they were planning on building a roundabout in the vicinity, so therefore couldn’t sell the land for re-development. Why it took them 18 months to come to this decision defies logic.

• All retailers will be able to offer click-andcollect services from mid-April. Retailers will no longer have to apply for planning permission nor pay the £195 fee. • Refreshingly, the folk of Crickhowell where local retailers reign supreme, are fighting a planning application to turn one of their local pubs into a grocery outlet. The Corn Exchange pub is loved by the locals and a petition of over 1,500 signatures is part of the fight to save it from the multiples. • International Greetings shares rose by 15% as a result of bullish figures up to 95.5. Annual revenue is forecast at £224m. giving pretax profits of £8.5m. • Two men have been jailed for breaking into U.K. Greetings H.Q. The pair of drug addicts escaped with £500 from two vending machines but were caught and jailed. • Cherry Orchard celebrated their 20th year in 2015, so I’m looking forward to an invite to celebrate their 25th in 2020, so life as the song goes is ‘Just a bowl of Cherries’.

• A web traffic analyst has found that online shoppers would rather spend money on their mothers rather than their girlfriends, with e-tailers of both flowers and gifts reporting having received 17% more visits in the run up to Mother’s Day compared to Valentine’s Day. Who said ‘Romance is dead’? • I particularly liked the Woodmansterne ‘English Country Garden’ range, paying tribute to the National Gardens Scheme. Said Paul Woodmansterne, “We see the cards as a way of raising awareness of the NGS scheme, most especially of the work that the garden owners do to raise funds for nursing and gardening charities through opening up their private gardens to the public.”

March 2000

March 2010 • Clinton’s profit is up by 26% on their six months to 31st December. Like-for-like sales rose 3% to £191m with their shares rising by 8.3% to close at 49p. • Images & Editions are now part of Otter House, who acquired the company’s assets from the administrator, thus saving the jobs of staff at I & E. • Tatty Teddy heads for the USA. In a new licensing deal with Robert Stone and their licensing arm. Carte Blanche are quite excited about the possibilities of this move. • Final bids are being considered for Card Factory. With 480 shops and a turnover last year of £215m, industry experts believe a bid of around £200m. was likely. • Always good news to learn of new card wholesalers, so Midlands Card & Party new operation to replace the gap left by the closure of Jervis looks like a good move. • Taylor Swift, the U.S. recording star, gets into greeting card publishing via UK Greetings. Were they a success? • The card industry was gearing up for the World Cup in South Africa in the Summer. If properly stocked and managed, the consensus was that it could work really well, depending of course on how far England get. As it turned out, now very far!

58 www.greetingstoday.co.uk

• I make no excuse for mentioning Clintons on a regular basis. Twenty years ago they had just announced their year-end trading figures that saw a year end profit of £17.6m. Turnover climbed by 21.5% to £297.3m. Not bad when you consider that Don Lewin began his commercial greeting card life with a market stall. • The internet is growing fast and we feature www. retailcards.com – a recently opened business website dedicated to the greeting card industry, enabling retailers to order their cards over the internet. When we spoke to eight retailers about ordering their cards online, five of the eight didn’t own a computer, which says something about the readiness of card retailers 20 years ago to embrace modern technology! • Back in 2000 we ran a spread on ethnic greeting card publisher Setu. They were not only publishers of Caribbean and African designs, but also very many festival card lines celebrating Jewish New Year, Diwali, Eid (Islamic festival after Ramadan) and the Chinese New Year. I wonder just how much this sector of the card industry has grown since 2000?

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Greetings Today March 2020  

Greetings Today March 2020