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Spolight Trends On Male Cards
With the popularity of the man bun now ‘winding down’ - the buzz-cut waiting in the wings - and a 1980s nostalgic wave bidding sayonara to the full beard and welcoming the return in 2018 of the tache (with a clean shaven chin) - think Magnum PI-era with Tom Selleck - it looks like the traditional barbershop, quality razors, shaving paraphernalia and aftershave balm will continue to rise in popularity in the male grooming market… and of course, male greeting card illustrations are reflecting the tools found in the male grooming armoury, as well as some classic gent attire such as bow-ties and brogues. PG talks to some sharp-eyed publishers cutting into this masculine trend. There’s a revival of a predominantly male space in town. A cosy place of luxurious pampering with comfy vintage armchairs and a hint of Victorian side show - it's the tattoo parlor and barbershop combo. Helped by the rise of the boho hipster culture, the traditional barbershop follicle experts have joined forces with talented tattoo artists to create social hubs that fuse male grooming with craft beer, artisan coffee, music and retail. “There has been a general and increasing interest in and awareness of men’s grooming, particularly on social media - from facial and body products, hair, moustache and especially beard products… soaps, lotions, scrubs, gels, concealers and so on,” explains Jan Taylor, creative director for Mint Publishing. “The statement beard has 36
PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE
Right: A new Debonair design from Rosanna Rossi. Below: The complete set of grooming tools on a card from UKG. Below left: The ‘Man Salon’ design from Mint Publishing. Below right: An ‘Adventures in Type’ design from Card Nest.
been a big trend for men for the last couple of years. There has also been a big resurgence in men’s hair and grooming salons, where a man can go for more of a ‘pamper experience’, such as a hot/wet shave, haircut, beard wash and trim, a nail trim, a facial, and, while he’s there, a drink if he wishes,” she adds. From face fur oils to hair shampoos, styling putty and pomades, research from Mintel reveals that by 2020 the men’s haircare market is forecast to grow 11% to reach £94 million, and the whole male grooming market is predicted to be worth approximately £45 billion, according to Euromonitor. Men are spending more time and money on their appearance and hair than ever before, thanks to social media, blogs and a plethora of dedicated grooming brands, and greeting card designers are picking up on this dapper drive. “We were aiming to create a range of cards in high street which would include a strong male appeal as this is a notoriously thorny area. We homed in on popular and topical male pursuits and interests, thus of course including a strongly designed and coloured ‘Man Salon’ design encompassing classic grooming elements and signage, with wide age appeal,” explains Jan. Dedicated followers of fashion, and that includes following male fashion and trends very closely, Nicci Gower, creative director for Hammond Gower, has noticed how “men are really starting to adopt their own tastes and uniqueness to how they look, shop and present themselves in general.” For example, with the prominence of bearded men so Nicci has reflected that within the publisher’s ranges when depicting a male design.