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Available from April 2021.

We are really excited to be able to support Andy’s Man Club within the Tesco card category. Mental health is an extremely important topic and one men should feel able to talk about, by introducing these cards into our range this gives our customers the chance to send encouragement and support to those that need it most.



To find your nearest group visit: www.andysmanclub.co.uk

Cards that Really Show You Care Introducing our brilliant NEW First Impressions range, featuring innovative moulded paper gems!


them smile. hallmarkuki HallmarkUKandIreland HallmarkUKI Call our customer service team on +44 (0) 800 9020900 to find out more.

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From The Editor

ON THE CARDS It was the day we had all been waiting for…and how glorious to see people, armed with their ‘lists’, very happily browsing the displays in their local specialist shops and going to the till with bundles of greeting cards. (Apologies to PG readers in Scotland and Northern Ireland as you have had to wait a bit longer, but the experience will no doubt be equally as sweet). “I was a bit nervous. It felt like the first day back at school, but as soon as the first customer came in minutes after we had re-opened and made a sizeable purchase, including a lot of greeting cards, I knew it would be OK,” Serge Sumerling, owner of Nor in West Norwood admitted to me on that hallowed Monday morning as I relished feasting my eyes on his super tidy, replenished selection as my first stop on my own ‘coming out retail tour’. I loved hearing of Deborah Tingay, owner of Southbourne Cards’ enthusiastic singing of the Pointer Sisters hit: “I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!” (Read her and other retailers’ reopening tales in Viewpoints on pages 21-23). Of course, we are not out of the woods yet and there is much to be done to ramp up trade to prepandemic levels, but at least we are back in with a chance. Well, most of us… I do feel for Rajesh and Rumit Shah, the co-owners of Cards Galore, who had

Left: An industry reunion lunch! (left-right) James Taylor (Cardzone), Jakki Brown (PG), Miles Robinson (House of Cards), Paul Taylor (Cardzone), Warren Lomax (PG) and Nigel Williamson (House of Cards).

to call in the administrators on their long-established chain of 60 shops due to the nigh on non-existent footfall in London’s City, where many of their stores are based. “It is sad, that after 30 years of coming to the rescue for millions of people wanting to buy greeting cards for their loved ones and friends that Cards Galore is now in administration,” said Rumit. I really hope that Rumit and Rajesh can find a way to remain in the trade after so many years. Warren and I had the good fortune to be able to mark PG’s own 30th anniversary with a very special lunch invite from our good retailer friends Miles Robinson and Nigel Williamson of House of Cards and Paul and James Taylor of Cardzone. I can’t tell you how giddy I felt arriving at the restaurant and then spent several wonderful hours with these fine fellows talking about the trade, reminiscing as well as pontificating as to what may pan out. Goodness it felt good to ‘get the band back together’, bouncing ideas off each other, sharing news and feeling very much part of a tribe. I could well have been singing along with Deb Tingay… “I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!”

8-15 News 16-17 David Robertson

A Life Well Lived 18-19 Cardsharp

Not All Quiet On The Retail Front 21-23 Viewpoints

Retailers’ Reopening Tales 24-24 Face to Face

Danilo’s Green Team 27-31 Innovations 32-33 Industry Issue

Educating Greeters 34-37 Focus on Male Cards

You’ve Got Male 39 Art Source

41-42 What’s Hot? Retailers share their bestselling ranges.

43-55 Sources of Supply

Tracey Arnaud

Jakki Brown

Warren Lomax

Ian Hyder

Editor/Joint Owner

Joint Owner

Joint Owner

Sales Manager





Copyright© 2021. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of publication, the publishers cannot accept legal liability for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for the standing of advertisers nor any organisation mentioned in the text. Views of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers.

PG is the official magazine for the Greeting Card Association GCA: Amanda Fergusson 020 7619 9266 Email: hello@gca.cards www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk





Inspirations and aspirations of artist Andrew Thornton.

Subscribe to Progressive Greetings from £60 (UK) to £90 (International). You can organise this quickly and easily online at our secure site: www.max-subscriptions.net For assistance, please email subscriptions@max-publishing.co.uk



Use your smartphone app to scan the QR code to visit our website.

Max Publishing Ltd, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP Tel: 020 7700 6740 Fax: 020 7607 6411 www.progressivegreetings.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. Andy’s Man Club is a peer-to-peer support group for men, with a mission to reduce the male suicide rate in the UK. Here and now, caring for our mental

customers. We have been so inspired by

health is more important than ever, and

the amazing work done by Andy’s Man Club

it’s a subject which is very close to our

over the last few years and we knew, in

hearts at Hallmark. In recent times we’ve

partnership with them, we had the chance

seen an increasing demand for support

to create something really special.

cards and we realised that there is a need for something specifically aimed at male


MISSION To encourage men to share their feelings, talk and reach out when they need emotional support, to create cards to help open up these conversations and, above all, to make a positive change.

hallmarkuki HallmarkUKandIreland HallmarkUKI Call our customer service team on +44 (0) 800 9020900 to find out more.

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21 16:26

We are delighted to be partnering with Hallmark as they release a range of mental health themed greeting cards. Andy’s Man Club are always on the lookout for innovative ways to reach men and we’d like to thank Hallmark for their initiative on this campaign. A greeting card sent to a man suffering from loneliness, depression, anxiety or any mental health related disorder could potentially be uplifting and could be the lifeline needed to support any man. Andrew Greenway, Andy’s Man Club Project Development Champion

KEY INFO: Authentic Conversational Writing Accessible, Relatable Messages Supportive and Encouraging Attitude Clever Use of Humour to Help Convey Hard to Express Emotions Versatile Sends for Modern Life




To find your nearest group visit: www.andysmanclub.co.uk These cards have been created in collaboration with Andy’s Man Club, Registered Charity in England and Wales (1179647). Hallmark has donated to help with their aim of reducing the male suicide rate in the UK and letting men know that it’s okay to talk.

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NEWS A Hamper of Happiness


Fabulous Welcome Back As Cardies Re-opened Pent-up demand for greeting cards They came…they saw…and they bought greeting cards. The much-anticipated grand reopening of greeting card retail stockists in England and Wales exceeded expectations as the public came out to satisfy their pentup desire to buy greeting cards. “Well, I remembered how to use the till, there were plenty of customers, and it was good to see money going into the bank that wasn't a government grant!” summed up Sean Austin of Austin & Co in Malvern who was up and trading from his newly relocated shop in the town. “I was a bit nervous. It felt like the first day back at school, but as soon as the first customer came in minutes after we had reopened and made a sizeable purchase, including a lot of greeting cards, I knew it would be OK,” Serge Sumerling, coowner of Nor in West Norwood told PG.

Echoing the experiences of others, The Indigo Tree in Crystal Palace and Streatham, saw a surge in occasion card sales right from the off. “We were delighted by the steady flow of very eager customers, with many saying that they felt the need the spend as they had made the effort to come out, which is fine by us!” said Milo de Wolff, assistant manager of the Crystal Palace store. “Our occasion cards have sold especially well.” In the Home Counties, House of Cards’ co-owner Miles Robinson was happy to report a “good and steady

Below: A joyful message in Scribbler’s Bath window. Below left: Austin & Co made the most of lockdown 3 to relocate to an impressive new shop. Below middle: Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business cutting the ribbon to declare Earlybird back open for business.

customer flow with few queues” with a very high “average transactional value”. Up in Rugeley, for greeting card retailing stalwart, Philip Nield, co-owner of Reflections, the reopening was an extra special day as it also marked the unveiling of the store’s new look and complete product selection revamp. “I have been so heartened by our customer reactions,” said Philip. “So many told us that they have been writing their card buying shopping lists, waiting for us to reopen. Trade has been very good indeed!” Nicky Stephenson, co-owner of The Tutbury Present Company in Tutbury said “trade has been brisk. We were so happy to see familiar faces returning and spending to support us. It was always slightly in the back of our minds that after such an extended period of closure, online habits could become the norm, but browsing and touchy feely retail it seems, still more than has its place in our industry!” Earlybird in Stoke Newington had an added bonus of Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully officially ‘cutting the ribbon’ to declare the shop open for business. “The high street is most definitely not dead, it's been reinvented. This is the time of the Independent Revolution!” believes Heidi Early, co-owner of Earlybird. (See Viewpoints pages 21-23 for more reopening tales).

Greeting card publishers have gone all out to champion the grand reopening by sending messages of support, instigating promotions and delivering unexpected treats for their retail customers. Hundreds of Five Dollar Shake’s independent customers received a Hamper of Happiness, filled with uplifting and thoughtful items and lovely messages to champion the grand reopening. ‘With 2020 (and a bit of 2021) now on the naughty step, the time has come to welcome a springtime like no other’ reads the colourful note on the box lid. ‘And remember, you proved more than ever in the last few months that…though you may be little, you are fierce’. As well as a Brazilian wish bracelet, a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ candle and a ‘holiday in a can’ (a tinned cocktail), the most striking item Top: The contents of the was a syringeHappiness Hamper from 5$. shaped biscuit iced Above: Some of the Five Dollar ‘Shot in the Arm’ with the date of biscuits. April 12. When it came to ‘the crunch’, Five Dollar Shake co-owner Matt Genower saw this as the perfect opportunity to show off his biscuit making skills with his wife (and 5$ creative supremo) doing the honours on the decorating front. A trained chef in a former life, Matt took to the kitchen to get baking the ‘shot in the arm’ biscuit base while Beth was at the ready with the edible glitter. “It’s Five Dollar Shake’s vaccine roll-out with a difference!” quipped Matt. Right: The Penny Pincher promotion poster from CBG. Below left: Balloons, Cards N All in Narborough is one of the CBG customers to have embraced the promotion.

Tatty’s back to business bonus Carte Blanche came up with a whole suite of Back in Business initiatives and support for its indie customers from additional discounts and specific POS to a Buy One Get One Free ‘Penny Pinchers’ Promotion for retailers to greet their customers with. The Penny Pinchers Promotion enables any consumer spending £15 on Me to You plush and gifts the opportunity to receive a Dress Up Tatty Teddy Fox for just a penny. Indies received a free pack of Dress Up Tatty Teddy Fox items for every pack of qualifying plush and gift items they order. As Grace Elphinstone, marketing manager of Carte Blanche commented: “Our focus on the independent channel has always been very high but we feel it is important to strengthen the support we provide through marketing initiatives and sales support. We will continue to do our bit in helping in the kick start and in ensuring there is a regular cycle of activity to encourage shopping with indies.”



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Cardzone Ramps Up Expansion Specialist multiple to open 22 new stores by end of June Cardzone is on course to be trading from 185 stores by the mid-year point, with plans to open one or two a week until the end of June. “We are going to be pretty busy!” admits James Taylor, trading director of Cardzone. “But there are opportunities out there and we still feel buoyant about the growth potential in our sector, as demonstrated by the encouraging customer footfall in local high streets and outlet centres since the reopening on April 12,” James added.

Continuing the strategy it has adopted in the last few years, the specialist multiple’s expansion is to come from both taking over existing greeting card businesses as well as opening brand new shops. Added to this is the joint venture partnership with Postmark (see separate story below). Cardzone reopened on April 12 with seven additional stores - four being acquisitions of existing independent card and gift shops, as well as three brand new shops.

Strengthening its presence in the South West, Cardzone has taken over the two Romantica stores in Bristol from owner Nik Gornall as well as Carolyn Bieda’s Cards, Gifts & Balloons stores in Shaftsbury and Blandford Forum. “Both Carolyn and Nik were a pleasure to deal with and we are very happy that their former staff are continuing as part of our team,” said James. While these new additions will continue to trade under their existing names, a brand new Cardzone shop has opened its doors in the south coast town of Seaford, in a former Clintons’ shop while the Lancashire coast town of Lytham saw the christening of a new Paper Kisses shop (Cardzone’s more upmarket concept) in stunning former bank building. Also new to the estate is a brand new Hallmark outlet store in the celebrated Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet complex. This latest addition sees Cardzone now trading from 23 ‘outlet’ shops under the Hallmark banner. “I found the reopening of our stores very emotional - after such a long and difficult lockdown,” Paul Taylor, managing director of Cardzone told PG. “We are just so grateful to be trading again. The early signs are good, especially in the ‘local’ stores, but it will take a bit of time for the footfall to really return in city centres and shopping malls.”

Above: The new Cardzone store in Seaford. Below left: The new Paper Kisses store in Lytham is located in a former bank building.

Bringing home the bacon Having ditched its piggy livery a few years ago, Moonpig has brought back the bacon, launching a sizeable consumer advertising campaign which puts a new animated pig character centre stage. “We have one of the most recognisable brand names in the UK with an iconic jingle, but somewhere along the way, we lost

another key brand asset that’s unique to us the pig. So we decided it was time to bring it back,” said Kristof Fahy, chief marketing officer of Moonpig. The first wave of the ad campaign - which includes TV and radio slots as well as posters - is running throughout April with more activity to follow. Above: The various guises of Moonpig’s new mascot. Below: Postmark’s East Dulwich shop. Below left: Postmark’s Mark and Leona JansonSmith at The Retas 2017 with one of their trophies.

Postmark forges a joint venture with Cardzone In a significant pairing of two leading greeting card retailing businesses, London-based mini group, Postmark has finalised a joint venture agreement with specialist greeting card multiple Cardzone with a mission to expand the former’s design-led retail concept. And they are not hanging around, with the confirmed opening of two new Postmark units in Blackheath (in south-east London) and Wimbledon Village (in south-west London) over the next two months with more to follow, in the capital and beyond. Cardzone (founded by Paul Taylor in 2005), has taken a 50% stake in Postmark’s future growth. Postmark’s co-owners, Mark and Leona Janson-Smith are to continue to head up the business day to day, both for their existing four London shops (in Balham, Chiswick, East Dulwich and Greenwich) as well as any new ones under the Postmark brand, in order to safeguard the personality and curated product selection of quality paper products. “Leona and I are very excited about this next step for Postmark. Paul has been a great supporter of ours over the years so when the opportunity arose to go into business together it felt like a natural move,” commented Mark Janson-Smith about the new business partnership with Cardzone. “Combining our passion for great paper products with the business acumen and systems of Cardzone means we can really push the Postmark brand forward. The last 18 months have been pretty dire for everyone in retail, but we are feeling confident about the future,” he added. From Cardzone’s perspective, already a successful specialist greeting card multiple, with some 170+ stores in its estate, the partnership with Postmark will take the company deeper into the premium side of the greeting card market. “Postmark is a strong brand and one we have admired for several years now,” commented Paul Taylor. “The greeting card sector has been through huge upheavals over the last year, but we feel that this partnership is a positive step forward.” Paul’s son, James Taylor (trading director of Cardzone) is also taking an equal share in the deal. As James summed up: “This partnership with Postmark is taking us into new retail territory. The combination of the Cardzone business model and Postmark’s vision and ideals is an exciting one.”



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NEWS Sainsbury’s new look card departments


Cards Galore Goes Into Administration

Below: Rajesh (left) and Rumit Shah outside one of their 60 branches.

Sainsbury’s is trialling a completely new contemporary look greeting card and wrap ‘department’ in 15 of its stores. Wooden flooring and striking blue overhead lighting combine with a new display approach, which results in more of the card designs being shown. “We have removed a minimum of three tiers of cards from each bay to allow greater depth in each pocket, to enable us to showcase more of the card to the customers,” explains Carly Pearson, senior buyer of cards and wrap for Sainsbury’s. “Also, the new wooden flooring divides the department from the rest of the supermarket, while the lighting really signposts the area to customers,” Carly adds. The new approach is being trialled in three different formats to see how it will work in small, medium and large stores.

The ‘Work from Home’ message killed the retail chain Long established specialist multiple Cards Galore has gone into administration, unable to ride the storm of the pandemic which has decimated footfall in city centres. Established over 30 years ago by Rajesh Shah (and has been run day to day by his nephew Rumit Shah), Cards Galore has been a beacon greeting card retailer in the financial City area of London as well as in prime West End sites and stations. Cards Galore was trading from 60 stores, but the effects of the coronavirus hit the chain early and hard. Having fought its corner behind the scenes, in the media and with politicians, it found itself with no option but to appoint administrators. “It is sad, that after 30 years of coming to the rescue for millions of people wanting to buy greeting cards for their loved ones and friends that Cards Galore is now in administration,” Rumit admitted to PG. “Our turnover dropped off a cliff from the beginning of March last year, even before the first lockdown, as people started working from home and they have never returned to their offices. The centre of London, where our shops are based, has become a ghost town”. Although never ones to usually court the limelight, Rumit and Rajesh made an impassioned plea on BBC News last July for customers to return. ‘Dear customers, I face ruin, please come back’ was the urgent message Rumit wrote in his open letter that was shared by the BBC. “Unfortunately, Covid-19 has brought us to our knees,” said Rumit on air. Last November Rumit spearheaded the Greeting Card Shops Are Essential

campaign during Lockdown 2, that was backed by so many in the greeting card community, which saw an official Govt petition gaining thousands of votes and a collective letter being sent to the then Business Secretary Alok Sharma from the GCA. While Cards Galore did take up the offer of the first wave of Government grants, it was not in a position to do so in the last round as the business was then not solvent. Insolvency and debt recovery specialists, Edge Recovery have been appointed as administrators with the company’s partners, Robert Kundy and Bijal Shah now running the business and exploring options. Rumit and Rajesh are thankful for all the support Cards Galore has received from its suppliers over the years. “Boris Johnson’s Work from Home message is what has killed our trade. The hybrid working pattern will change the fortunes of many more businesses than just Cards Galore. Just look at all the banks that are closing their high street branches. Footfall will come back, but when and by how much no one knows,” says Rumit. “There should have been more support from the Government for city centres.”

Slippery wit Well known for his wit and outspoken views, Prince Philip demonstrated this when he met Paul Woodmansterne, chairman of Woodmansterne Publications some 10 years ago at St James’s Palace, connected to a new music trust for Christ Church, Oxford, Paul’s alma mater. Prince Philip greeted Paul and asked: “What do you do now?” to which Paul responded: “I make greeting cards, Sir”. Struggling to hear and looking rather puzzled, the Duke turned to his aide who repeated Paul’s response. “Oh goodness, I thought he said was ‘greasing cars’,” said Prince Philip audibly.

Below: The new ‘store-within-a-store’ look.

Sympathy cards to the Queen Within hours of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death being announced, the British public turned up in their droves to pay their respects with sympathy cards containing messages of support for the Queen being placed alongside flowers outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle especially. As Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA summed up: “Greeting cards are there for all in the good times as well as in times of hardship as a way of showing you care. And the sending of a card to mark someone’s passing and to show your respects to their loved ones is especially poignant.” Appositely, the last official photograph released of Prince Philip with the Queen was last November to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary, with the greeting card that had been made for them by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children being the central focus of the picture. Above: The Queen and Prince Philip showing their delight at the anniversary card that had been made by three of their great-grandchildren. Left: The sympathy card, from Belly Button’s Elle range that the GCA sent to the Queen.

Above: Paul Woodmansterne is among those who experienced the Duke’s wit at first hand.



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Making It Real: PG Live, The Retas and Harrogate July looks set to be a great big get together month What with The Retas, PG Live and, now Harrogate Home & Gift confirmed to go ahead as real events, July looks set to be a big month of industry get togethers! “Wow, July is going to be some month!” exclaimed Sally Matson, owner of Red Card in Petworth. “I am so glad that it has now been confirmed that Harrogate Home and Gift is to go ahead, so that ticks off my gift buying and then we’ll have PG Live where I can concentrate on some serious greeting card buying. And with The Retas too… bring on July and let’s make things real again!" The return of physical trade shows has been warmly welcomed by retailers and publishers alike. PG Live has already gone live with its registrations (www.progressivegreetingslive.com) while Clarion is planning to open up registration for the Home and Gift show shortly. One retailer who is bursting with excitement at the prospect of real trade shows returning is Carl Dunne, owner of Cards & Gifts in Sheffield and Dronfield: “As for PG Live, Harrogate, Autumn Fair, Spring Fair… GET ME THERE

Designs on paper Leading design agency, Pentagram has created an impressive new brand identity for Fedrigoni, famed for its quality boards and papers used by many greeting card publishers. And publishers and retailers will have a chance to get up close to the new livery as Fedrigoni is among the sponsors for PG Live 2021 as well as The Henries 2021. Simon Pilkington, regional managing director of Fedrigoni said: "Greeting cards have been an important part of the Fedrigoni UK portfolio for many years. We enjoy watching and helping, where we can, the creativity of this market sector. It is a community in its own right and we greatly enjoy being involved, hence our support of PG Live and The Henries.” Above: The new branding for the Fedrigoni group.

NOW!” he enthused. “I so miss seeing everyone and everything physically so much. Trade shows are when I place my biggest orders. There’s so much to be said for the physical perception and view of something. I can’t and don’t get that online, I need to see it, touch it, feel it, caress it… I need the shows, I need to talk to my suppliers and see their new wares, discuss issues and negotiate on just how much discount they’re going to give me this

Above left: Harrogate Gift and Home will be welcoming people once again in July. Above right: Carl Dunne (at the back) with chums from the trade at The Retas 2019 event. Above: Sally Matson at the last PG Live with Redback

year! I love something catching my eye at a fair that brings me to a new supplier or range, you just don't get that from online. We can’t wait for PG Live in July!” Real dates for your diary…The Retas July 14; Harrogate Home and Gift July 18-21 and PG Live July 27-28.

Sainsbury’s spreads the love with Ohh Deer Sainsbury’s and Ohh Deer have joined forces on a design competition to spark some fresh new approaches from new designers for the supermarket’s Valentine’s Day selection for next year. The competition, which is being publicised by both Sainsbury’s and Ohh Deer (including via their social media channels), is open for entries (via Instagram #ohhdeersainsburys) until the end of April. The plan is that some 41 shortlisted designs will be displayed on a feature end in 230 Sainsbury’s stores while the overall winning design will go on sale in 520 stores. All designers will receive 10% of the profit of every sale from their respective cards from Ohh Deer. “I had seen and admired the competitions that Ohh Deer has done for their ‘design a sock’ and also ‘design a box’ for their delivery packaging and thought the calibre and quality of designs submitted were fantastic,” said Carly Pearson, senior buyer of cards and wrap for Sainsbury’s about what gave her the idea for the competition. “I felt that alongside the Ohh Deer team we could offer a fantastic platform to some of the really talented new designers in the market,” Carly added. “Valentine’s is the next event we are working on so it seemed like an opportune moment, but if successful this is something we would like to continue to do for other upcoming events and range refreshes,” she revealed. The rules as well as tips on entering the competition appear as a blog on the Ohh Deer website. Above: Some of the branding for the competition.

Ohh Deer’s seat of learning Ohh Deer has moved to some impressive new headquarters - the top two floors of The Old Art College in Loughborough which is to house its offices as well as its creative and content creation teams. Added to this, and to accommodate its continued growth, the company is moving its warehouse to a new 25,000sq ft space (more than double the size of its current premises) in a neighbouring village. Right: Unpacking at Ohh Deer’s new HQ.



12 fantastic new designs! Simply sketched, fun animals, illustrated with bold black ink strokes, highlighted with splashes of bright primary colour! The range comes printed on a beautiful textured board, complemented by striking printed envelopes!

A selection of 12 fun animals Strong design styling Birthday and open designs Great Value at C50!

For more information contact: Nigel Quiney Publications Cloudesley House, Shire Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 3FB

Tel: 01799 520200 Fax: 01799 520100 www.nigelquiney.com

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NEWS Clarity on foiled cards’ recyclability


Hallmark x Andy’s Man Club Collab

Below left: A few of the designs in the new range, using humour to get across a serious message of support.

Publisher works with charity to help reduce male suicides As part of its ongoing drive for its greeting card designs to be as inclusive as possible, and forge important communication links for all reasons, Hallmark reached out to Andy’s Man Club, the peer-to-peer support group charity for men to collaborate on a card collection which could provide a lifeline to those suffering from mental health issues, including those at risk of taking their own life. Suicide is now the biggest killer of men under 45 and one of the aims of Andy’s Man Club (AMC) is to reduce the male suicide rate in the UK by offering help and support to those in need. AMC was formed in early 2016 by Halifax rugby league player Luke Ambler after his brother-in-law, Andy Roberts took his own life, aged only 23. The group, which now has clubs across the UK, aims to raise awareness of mental health issues among young men and encourage men to discuss their issues (#ITSOKAYTOTALK).

“The statistics on male suicide in the UK are shockingly high, and while we already publish a range of cards which offer support, we were aware that there needed to be greater diversity in offering products aimed at male consumers,” Emma Bragg, Hallmark UK/ROI’s writing director explained. AMC was very receptive to Hallmark’s idea and are delighted with the resultant card range. As Andrew Greenway, Andy’s Man Club project development champion explained the organisation is “always on the lookout for innovative ways to reach men. A greeting card sent to a man suffering from loneliness, depression, anxiety or any mental health related disorder could potentially be uplifting and could be the lifeline needed to support any man.” The Hallmark x AMC range is available to pre-order now and will be generally available from June.

A caring month Coinciding with the reopening of stores, Hallmark UK launched a 30 Days of Caring campaign, a consumer initiative to prompt people into showing small acts of kindness and support for the greater good of humanity. “A small act of caring can make a big difference in someone’s day. We all know that it’s true, but it made us wonder: What would happen if we all made a little more effort to let people know they matter to us? This is the idea behind 30 Days of Caring,” Kirstie Watson, Hallmark’s communications partner told PG. The campaign centres on encouraging individuals to do one simple, thoughtful act of caring every day for the next few weeks. Hallmark came up with a free to download checklist, which consists of three sets of 10 ideas: 10 Days of Encouragement, 10 Days of Support and 10 Days of Appreciation. These acts of encouragement, support and gratitude could be through sending a card, delivering a surprise treat or getting in touch with a phone call. Above: Hallmark’s 30 Days of Caring campaign ran in the UK and Republic of Eire throughout April.

Agent Neil Greenwood on Ant & Dec show Independent greeting card sales agent, Neil Greenwood (who together with Rachel Williams forms Reil Agencies) found himself with an audience of millions with a surprise appearance on Ant & Dec’s TV programme, Saturday Night Takeaway recently (pictured left). As a true ‘people person’ at the start of lockdown, Oldham-based Neil together with his bestie pal, Lorraine Robinson set up the Virtual Tavern (an online ‘pub’) as a way to help people feel less isolated. Since then, the Tavern has grown to over 50,000 ‘locals’ based all over the world, including many of Neil’s retail customers. Neil and Lorraine were hoodwinked into thinking they were going to be part of a documentary on lockdown, but then found themselves face to face with Ant and Dec on set!

Recent research findings prove that cards with a high foil content can still be recycled. Concerned that some card publishers, studios and retailers were under the misapprehension that greeting cards and other products with a sizeable foiled content cannot be re-pulped, foiling experts Foilco commissioned high level testing to provide assurance that this is not the case. The Foilco team approached the world leading independent testing company, SGSIPS Testing (a lab that provides testing services for the paper, packaging and disposable consumer products industries) to run a set of trials to prove that a high percentage of foil coverage does not affect the re-pulpability of a product. Jaime Evans, marketing manager of Foilco explained that a 30% foil coverage benchmark has been accepted across most sectors for many years before the stamping foil would start to have an effect on a material’s recyclable properties. “However, we were becoming more aware that studios, agencies, large brands and household names were starting to dictate the levels of foils used in creative projects for packaging and graphic applications due to their own misconceptions surrounding accepted industry standards,” said Jaime, with some retailers and brands imposing restrictions of no more than 5% maximum foil coverage on “greeting cards, labels and packaging under the guise of ‘accepted’ percentages.” The results of the recent tests, Jaime explains “were greater than anticipated”. A resultant report provides creatives, printers, specifiers and brands with the confidence that even at 80% foil coverage of a product does not affect the re-pulpability of a recyclable substrate and, as such, can be recycled conclusively. Above: Foilco is a committed member of Zerofoil2landfill.

A happy Sally Planet Sal, the Honiton-based card and gift shop owned by former agent Sally Wilde has won a Corporate Livewire Prestige Award. The awards recognise small and mediumsized businesses’ performance over the past 12 months and Planet Sal scooped the win for the South West just as the shop celebrates its third birthday! The judging panel based their decisions upon service excellence, quality of the product/service provided, innovative practices, value, ethical or sustainable methods of working, as well as consistency in performance. Above: Sally Wilde outside her Honiton shop.



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A Life

Well Lived

‘When a world event happens, such as Prince Philip passing away, newspapers are always a fascinating way to pay tribute. The front pages have some fantastic images today - some historic, some noble, some with a nod to a dry sense of humour. What I always find sad is sometimes we learn more about someone at this time than we knew when they were alive. A life well lived…’. This was the comment I posted on social media, along with images of the front covers of newspapers on the day after Prince Philip’s death was announced. It got me thinking about how many of us would see our lives ‘well lived’? Writing this on April 11 (the eve of card shops in England and Wales re-opening), the coverage of the Duke’s death a few days ago has pretty much been wall-to-wall and I have to admit to discovering much more about the man since his death than in his living years. Hearing the story of him being smuggled to safety in an orange box and the issues his parents faced, listening to his love of Scotland forged in his early days just 20 miles from me at Duffus and then his solo travel round the world supporting the WWE has changed my perception of the man. In some respects, we were all probably rather unaware of the true role he played within the Royal family and his impact on Britain as a whole. Perhaps lost in the gaffes and unfortunate comments, the portrait of a man holding his family together comes across clearly, despite all the wealth and privilege. Covid-19 has been a time when many people have reflected on their own life story. Many, (maybe you included), have decided they don’t want to go back to where they were or conversely are even keener to continue along the path they were on. We are all perhaps searching for answers that have been there, but for whatever reason we have chosen to ignore them. Maybe you have decided that your personal circumstances need to change 16


Above left: The media went into overdrive in its coverage of the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Above: Just a few of the newspapers that David Robertson organised for his paperboys and girls to deliver the day after Prince Philip’s death.

and that what you thought was important is not anymore. I have friends starting businesses, leaving partners and deciding they don’t want the pressure of earning their own income anymore. I know I have great concerns about some of my staff whose circumstances have changed dramatically over the last year and I also worry about those older people in my life who have struggled with the isolation. Often people speak about ‘finding themselves again’. This phrase for me

means that you really knew your true self, had found the end goal and then you lost it and need to look for it again. I prefer the idea of ‘creating yourself’ with the things you do and your working life. I had the honour of speaking at The Ladder Club a few years ago to an audience made up of many start-up card publishing businesses. I started with a quick resume of my working life from Uni to teacher to the businesses I now have and where that path has taken me. My quick summary was followed by a slide that simply said: ‘SO FU&kING WHAT?……….’ After a little pause I then went on to stress that it was ‘my story’, and what they all needed to do was write their own story. After my speech I spoke to a lot of the audience. Some were further along the road to their dreams than others. Some I suspect, as a result of realising what was involved, were coming to the conclusion that going into card publishing was not for them, but there were definitely a few in that room that I knew would give it a damn good go. In lots of the media coverage on the Duke the phrase ‘he lived a full life’ was repeated. What do we mean when we say we have lived a good life or a full life? Is it based on money earned? Is it based on finding love and a family to

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OVER THE COUNTER share it with? Is it based on life experiences? Is it that people from outside your circle view you in a certain way? In our youth we all experiment and have different goals and it is only as we grow and mature that we can perhaps look at our lives in a different way. Youth is wasted on the young, they say and I totally get that now. I sit here as a 46-year old man knowing that I have achieved a great deal yet feeling I have achieved nothing that I really wanted. In some ways that is a good thing because it makes you hungry. I have looked at what I am doing and recognise change is needed, not necessarily to my career, but the way I view it and my mindset. One thing that I constantly come back to is that I can’t work at this pace anymore and I need to address my life balance. The lack of my usual boltholes of certain restaurants, cinema and concerts has meant I have just slipped more and more into work mode. This in itself is not a problem as I have realised that I still love my work, but you can’t only work. My new pup, Hiro The Mighty, as he has now been christened, is making me look at things differently and the joy of having a dog in the house again has made me wonder why I waited so long to do it.

I love all the projects, doing something new and turning something round, but I have also realised that there are parts of my business that drain me, so I need to find solutions for them. In truth I think I like the design/build/start-up part of the projects more than the running of them. But is this just because there are elements of my working day-to-day life that are hanging over me that I need to address?

Left: David Robertson with his new mentor, Hiro the Mighty! Below left: Easter came and went for JP Pozzi as it did for many card retailer. Below right: David, like his dad before him, believes that being a paperboy/girl sets up well for a good working life.

Last week I started with some very honest conversations and with some direct emails that hopefully will see an end to some of my challenges. I am sure whether you are a retailer, publisher or an employee you will relate to putting off a conversation with a colleague or making a decision that you know may cause issues. When looking for some inspiration I came across Harvard graduate Anton Chevalier who started a Live Well campaign, aiming to change 250,000 lives in the next five years. As a country we are perhaps more open to discussing our mental health and wellbeing than at any time in our lives and his six key points are interesting. They are: l Travel alone at some point in your life… l Allow yourself to be open to fall in love… l Pick a career that fills your soul not your bank account… l Find a best friend and hold onto them… l Seek your passion and live it… l Control what you can - let go of what you can’t… These simple edicts are things that perhaps we should all try to follow in some way. Going back to the Duke, he could tick all those boxes whereas I have focussed in on the ‘pick a career’ part. When you explore what Anton says it is fascinating, especially as so many of us prepare to return to our jobs and businesses. He looks at a career in four ways. Firstly, can you visualise your road to the top. You may not love what you do right now, but if it is a stepping-stone for you to get to where you really want to be, you are in the right place. He speaks of imposter syndrome. This is where someone feels that they are not perhaps qualified to do what they do. As business/shop people we probably all started without much of a clue. I know I wish I could go back and teach my younger self more about margin and grasp opportunities that were there. He argues that when you feel you have mastered your role that is the time to move on.

Are you making sacrifices - giving up family, recreational time for the sake of your career? Are you making those choices because you have to or are expected to or is it because you are invested? If it is a chore then it is futile. If it is because you love it then that is your choice. As I write this, I have seen loads of good luck messages to the many retailers about their reopenings. From the retailer What’s App groups I am part of and the conversations I have had with friends there is an understandable nervousness to opening their doors again. Interestingly it is less the threat of Covid that is causing the anxiety, but whether and to what extent the public will return to a very different High Street. With so many businesses having gone or under pressure it will be a different place but that does not mean it will not be successful. Retail, like your life, will evolve and you simply must change and move with it. Very few if any of us will make front page news when our life comes to an end, but I want my story and legacy to be left with my family first but also in the businesses I have built and the work that I have done. My dad (who bought our newsagency business all those years ago) always felt that his biggest legacy was in the way he gave so many young people their first jobs. He believed delivering the newspapers in all weathers, seven days a week shapes you in terms of work ethic, honesty and the realisation that hard work and dedication is needed to do a good job. Many of our former employees have gone on to stellar careers, but the fundamentals of reliability and hard work were formed on those 6.30am starts on rainy April mornings with a bright yellow paperboy bag of ‘stories’. I still really enjoy this part of my job working with those young people, giving them the chance to learn and use this simple work as the basis for their career and life habits. We may not make the front page of a national newspaper, but we each need carve out our own story that is true to ourselves. To contact David email: jppozzi@btconnect.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Not All Quiet On

The Retail Front And so, we are all gradually getting back to normal with shops opening and in some cases, booming. It’s been a welcome relief and although things will take a bit more time to really revive, from Cardsharp’s visits to both city centres and local shops, recovery is well underway. But, no sooner have non-essential shops reopened, than there has been a flurry of retail activity in our sector - both good and bad.

Firstly, the bad news…the somewhat inevitable fall of the 60store strong Cards Galore chain into administration. Of all the specialist groups, Cards Galore was dealt the cruelest blow by the pandemic. Pretty much all of its stores were either based in central London or in transport hubs - the two worst hit areas in the last year. The chain had 11 stores in the financial hub of the city, an area that has had the appearance of a ghost town since even before the first lockdown. What is worse, Cards Galore could not even take advantage of the second batch of government support, as the business was



insolvent when the third lockdown hit. Cardsharp really feels for owners Rajesh and Rumit Shah who have seen 30 years of hard work destroyed by one year of madness. From all accounts Cards Galore has behaved with a great deal of integrity, endeavouring to settle all suppliers’ bills. Cardsharp hopes the Shahs can and will pick up some of their former stores from the administrators. Above: Cards Galore has been a beacon card retailer for 30 years - and then the pandemic struck. Right: Analysts are backing WHSmith, including its Funky Pigeon side, buoyed by the successful IPO from competitors Moonpig.

Above: The shoppers have returned to card shops, thank goodness!

And London is certainly where the action is at present. On the same day of the shops reopening in England and Wales, came the news of a joint venture between Postmark and Cardzone. This sees the larger group Cardzone (founded by industry legend Paul Taylor), take a 50% stake in Postmark’s future growth. And not wasting any time, the first two new Postmark shops under the JV are to open in Wimbledon and Blackheath in the next few months. On paper the agreement looks a shrewd one for both parties. Mark JansonSmith and his wife Leona, run four very successful design-led card shops in South London, an area and market they know and understand. Meanwhile, although Cardzone now runs 170 stores, these are mainly outside London. The Postmark brand could become very strong in more affluent areas of greater London, something that might be more difficult with the Cardzone format. Last month before the reopening Cardsharp speculated that the UK’s largest specialist chain, Card Factory, might well up their prices on reopening and that has

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Cardsharp was interested to read that City analysts RBC had picked WHSmith as a potential winner as we come out of lockdown. Its prediction is that WHS could be the prime beneficiary of the ‘strong pent up demand for travel’ now the pandemic has passed here. RBC also likes Funky Pigeon, the online greeting card operation that WHSmith bought in 2010. Was it really 11 years ago, mused Cardsharp? The RBC indeed happened. Some prices have risen by 20% or so, increasing the group’s margins instead of having to open more shops. Having said that Cardsharp was surprised to see his nearest local branch in Uxbridge, Middlesex, had been completely refitted, modernised and doubled in size during closure. The company’s share price seems to be recovering nicely as well, back up to over 80p a share which was almost what it was prior to the pandemic. Not bad, thinks Cardsharp especially when you consider that a year ago it had dropped as low as 29p.

I’m Listening

pundits also see enormous opportunities for growth here, dazzled no doubt by Moonpig’s successful flotation and the techno-share boom. They also feel that other traditional card retailers are ‘stressed’ at present and there are opportunities for it to pick up market share in greeting card sales. Cardsharp is not sure he wholeheartedly agrees, as while he does not doubt WH Smith’s travel division will benefit enormously from transport hubs returning to normality, he is not so sure about the WH Smith High Street division picking up market share. In Cardsharp’s view, they have not really done that when the nonessential shops were closed (and they were allowed to remain open) so are not likely to do that now card shops have reopened. No doubt there will be plenty more activity in the greeting card retail sector in the year to come. And, as ever, winners and losers! Top: Postmark’s Greenwich store. The new JV agreement with Cardzone will see the brand grow with two store locations already signed up. Left: Card Factory has upped its card prices..

Below: Frasier (right) and Niles in the cult comedy series.

During the interminable lockdowns, Cardsharp has been re-watching the endless repeats of Frasier, the razor-sharp comedy tracking the trials and tribulations of the pompous, eloquent and egotistical Seattle radio psychiatrist, Frasier Crane and his fastidious and neurotic brother, Niles. One particular very funny episode had our eponymous hero travel from Seattle to the city of Spokane in an attempt to widen the geographical pull of his radio show through syndication. Now Cardsharp, showing his ignorance, had never heard of Spokane and was intrigued and so consulted the God of Wiki, to find out more about this little-known US city. And he found that Spokane was situated inland from Seattle, in the State of Washington in the far north west of America. It was a mining city, that was experiencing a service sector revival, after decades of decline. Nothing particularly exciting until Wikipedia revealed something that shocked Cardsharp for his ignorance. Well believe it or not, Spokane was the city where Father’s Day originated. Apparently in the 1890s Spokane experienced the worst mining disaster in American history with nearly 400 male fatalities. The disaster hit the community very badly and a few years later a local dignitary, Mrs Sonora Smart Dodd, on hearing a March Mother’s Day sermon at her local church, formed a movement to honour all the men that had died, and designated the day to be always be the third Sunday in June. Other than in Spokane, it did not really take off to start with, but it gained more national recognition in the US in the Great Depression of the 1930s and during the Second World War, when so many fathers suffered or died. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation to honour fathers on this day, but it was not until 1972 that President ‘Tricky Dicky’ Nixon of Watergate notoriety, passed an act enshrining it in law. From there the day spread to the UK where it has become our third largest Spring Season greeting card event. So, thank you Frasier for enlightening Cardsharp. And at a time when everyone in our trade is gearing up for what should be a bumper Father’s Day on greeting card sales this June 20 after last year’s pandemic disaster. Apparently after a 16-year absence, there is talk of a new series of Frasier with most of the original cast returning. Cardsharp will no doubt be ‘Listening’ and wishes all his readers ‘Good Mental Health’ as we enter a new era!



The GreATesT COLLeCTiOn OF GreeTinG CArDs in The WOrLD

“We’re very happy with the news that PG Live is moving to late July, those extra few weeks will mean all the difference to the confidence levels of retailers and exhibitors. We’re confident that with the successful vaccine rollout we will all be mingling and enjoying the finer sides of our businesses by then. We’ve launched lots of new cards over the last few months with no trade fairs to show them off at and will be adding more for PG Live too. You can’t replace the faceto-face, so we will be there with bells on!” Wendy JonesBlackett, co-owner, Wendy JonesBlackett

The FuTure OF GreeTinGs Last few stands remaininG www.progressivegreetingslive.com

20_PG_April 2021.indd 1

PG Live 2021 Tuesday 27 - Wednesday 28 July Business Design Centre, London +44 (0) 1635 297070 www.progressivegreetingslive.com @PGLiveLondon #PGL2021

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The Big Hurrah! The big day finally arrived - and greeting card retailers in England and Wales were at last allowed to reopen their doors to find their loyal customers ready and waiting with their ‘shopping lists’. PG caught up with a selection of leading indies who shared what lengths they had gone to ensure this would be a very happy return for both sides of the counter.

Deborah Tingay owner of Southbourne Cards, Southbourne: The big reopen: “Surprisingly I slept well the night before the reopening. I knew I'd done all I could to get the shop ready and I felt unusually calm and proud of what we had achieved. The bunting was well and truly out! Lockdown was rubbish yet the shop is like a phoenix from the flames. Initial sales have been up on two years ago by about 45%. People are happy to be back shopping yet being sensible. There is no panic buying, just a calmness and everyone seems quite relaxed. As a seaside resort we hope to benefit from increased numbers of staycation holidaymakers. Welcome back everyone!”

The build-up: “We fanfared our shop reopening on our website and social media and managed to reach 5,000 local people that we know. I felt it was important that we used this as an opportunity to thank our customers and friends for their support during Lockdown 3, the toughest for many for so many reasons. We wanted to really welcome them back. We had lots of online banter with 'I'm about to lose control and I think I like it' - it turned into a version of Pop Master, and yes it was The Pointer Sisters! We have had so many supportive comments online and face to face from those in our local community. I was out the day before the

reopening and a lady came running over to say how excited she was that her favourite shop would be open again tomorrow - and that shop was my shop, it was emotional. We were so excited we just couldn't hide it!” Instore approach: “For the reopening of the store we left no stone unturned. We felt it was important that we delivered a phenomenal range of cards with a smattering of new gifts to our customers to let them know what they have been missing. We were determined to reopen with a new look so we undertook range reviews in all areas of the shop and completely remerchandised it. Every single card in the shop is in a new pocket! We worked closely with Bev White at Ling to present the best of the brand’s new ranges and extended our Left: Southbourne Cards’ team were ready to greet customers into the range of The Curious Inksmith completely remerchandised shop. Above: Dianne Frewin, who Deborah cards too. We also reviewed our Tingay describes as her ‘Lady Di’ showing off some of the new products. product selections with key card suppliers Paper Salad, Paper Rose, ICG, Woodmansterne, GBCC, The Eco-friendly Card Co and Pigment. Plus, we have brought in additional suppliers to the displays. Museums and Galleries' art ranges have reinvigorated our blank art cards and notelet selection while Janie Wilson and Wendy JonesBlackett have added the bit of bling that was needed in our open card selection. We have also showcased our wedding selection in a standalone FSDU as we believe this category will see a massive growth. In order to remain Covid-compliant we have removed a number of spinners from the shop floor and added new table displays to break up the card racks. Large parts of the shop were re-wallpapered and tired display formats revitalised to make interesting displays at eye level. New lighting was installed to give better light coverage which really works well. We are also hoping that improvements to our broadband and card payment facilities will further improve the customer experience. Customer service remains at the heart of everything we do; the difference is we are now surrounded by the best product selection ever, with the best processes ever, in the best environment ever.” PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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VIEWPOINTS Sarah Laker owner of Stationery Supplies Marple and Wilmslow: The big reopen: “The reopening has been great so far. I was really nervous the weekend before, wondering how things would be. However, there's been a nice, steady stream of customers who are giddy to be able to get out and browse cards and stationery again alongside an air of excitement with customers telling me about getting their hair done, visiting loved ones again etc. And we've had a great reception to our new Wilmslow shop, customers are amazed to see the new colourful stationery, cards and gifts we have on offer. One lady bought 18 greeting cards and another just stood gazing at our wall of pastel stationery, soaking it all in. I now feel like I can stop holding my breath as things begin to feel more normal again.” The build-up: “I didn't feel it was right to do a massive reopening launch, so was quite low key apart from lots of social media photos and videos, largely to show people what we've achieved in our new Wilmslow shop during lockdown. Now we're open again we have a competition and have also handed out 150 Maped Helix pen samples with a discount voucher to passing school children to help promote our new shop.” Instore approach: “Acquiring a second shop, our Wilmslow branch, during the pandemic some might say was either bonkers or brilliant! Lockdown 3 has seen us completely overhaul the shop we acquired, spending many hours redecorating, reorganising, building display stands, and liaising with suppliers to bring in new stock and give new life to the shop. Above: Sarah has been super busy during lockdown, totally In Wilmslow we have completely reworked the revamping the Wilmslow shop as 5metre card display of 619 pockets to include a more well as titivating the Marple one. Left: As ever Sarah used the contemporary and diverse collection from 14 carefully stores’ windows to fanfare the reopening. chosen publishers.”

Mark Rees managing director of Penmark: The big reopen: “We were all super excited about reopening. The first few days of trading have been busy but not manic with customers pleased we are back open.” The build-up: “We invested significantly in new ranges (particularly gifts) to create some excitement and buzz for the reopening. We’ve supported this with social media content to engage with customers while we’ve been closed. Instore approach: “Lockdown 3 has been exceptionally busy for us with lots of significant changes being made across the business. Our business transformation is well under way with a rebrand of our store in Bridgnorth to Henry & Co and a complete refurbishment of our store in Ormskirk under the new brand. The latter will be our blueprint for stores going forward and we are delighted with the outcome. It feels fresh, modern, relaxed and exciting and this coupled with an 80% refresh on the product range has hopefully created a winning formula that we can roll out and move forward with. It feels very exciting that we have a clear direction and have moved away from Hallmark and Thorntons.” Above: In addition to the original one in Nottingham, there are now Henry & Co stores in Bridgnorth and Ormskirk. Left: Mark Rees with his wife Katy, Mum Ann and children Henry, Lucy and Alice.



Kirsty Brooks owner of Guisborough Bookshop, Guisborough: The big reopen: “I have to admit that reopening the shop was probably one of, if not the most nervous we've ever been! It felt like we were starting a new business and our biggest worry was the possibility that customer shopping habits changed and that they might not return to the high street, but thankfully they did. We have very loyal customers and feel extremely grateful for their continued support. Although footfall seems to be down, we have noticed that there are not many browsers. Everyone who has walked through the doors so far has bought something, which tells me that people know where they want to spend their money so we feel very much supported in our town.” The build-up: “We can't lie, but trying to run a business and support a family during 2020 has been an enormous challenge. We had virtually zero online presence until the pandemic, but it did give us chance to set up a website and adapt the way we run the business so we were still able to offer the one-toone customer service we are known for. After doing some market research we realised we had to look for a service/product which wasn't readily available online so we concentrated on greeting cards and balloon/party décor.” Instore approach: “In preparation for reopening we quite literally emptied every shelf, rack, cupboard and drawer. We separated and organised items for credit/return, charity or the sale table. We checked the trade press every month to keep updated with new products and services and to look for inspiration and motivation through the hard times. We rearranged the shop, installed new shopfittings, lighting, storage and installed EPOS, allowing us to showcase the new products as well as our bestselling lines. We also had a re-plan of our stock control with a UK Greetings' brokerage scheme to include some smaller publishers, giving our offering a fresh new look.” Top: The Guisborough Bookshop has welcomed a new greeting card planned display, supplied by UKG’s brokerage scheme, broadening the selection of smaller publishers. Above: Kirsty and Lloyd Brooks with The Retas’ award the shop won in 2017.

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VIEWPOINTS Heidi Early co-owner of Earlybird, Stoke Newington: The big reopen: “What a beautiful day April 12 was! I had a permanent smile on my face the entire day. We filled the shop with balloons from our ‘welcome back walk’ the day before (giving out balloons, stickers and goodie bags) to remind customers about the reopening the next day which went down a storm. On the day of reopening, we gave our first 10 customers a free I Love Stokey Fairtrade cotton tote bag with a copy of The Happy Newspaper. It is great that everyone was just so happy to be out shopping! What a relief!” The build-up: Heidi joined forces with her fellow traders in the street to make an emotionally uplifting film entitled Local Shop Local Hope to mark the reopening and nurture the love for supporting local shops. “The idea behind the film is that if a community is to be alive, vibrant and colourful it needs local shops and local customers to support them. It all works hand in hand,” explains Heidi. “I passionately feel that we have all pulled together during the Above: Heidi Early who runs owns Earlybird Designs last year - the local shops have kept serving the community in whatever way and with her husband Dominic had they can, and the local community has repaid that by supporting us. And if a permanent smile on her face on April 12. we are going to continue to get through what will undoubtedly be a rocky Left: A balloon-filled Earlybird! road for a while then we have to all keep the hope and keep supporting one another,” adds Heidi. Working with the talented digital content creator of local estate agent business Location Location, Heidi invited local retailers and businesses to appear in the film, which acknowledges that while it’s been a tough 12 months with many suffering hardship, loss and isolation and sacrifices made for the greater good, things are now finally looking up. The film has been hosted on YouTube and through the traders’ social media channels. This collective activity also attracted the interest of Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business, who did the honours and cut the ribbon to officially declare Earlybird reopen for business!

Philip and Maxine Nield co-owners of Reflections in Rugeley and Nantwich: The big reopen: “It has been fantastic, much better than we could ever have hoped! Our shops have not been packed, but customers are spending well. They have most definitely saved up their greeting card needs and have come in armed with their ‘shopping lists’. Customers have commented how they prefer to see and touch ‘real’ cards in a lovely ambience.” Instore approach: “You need to give customers a ‘reason to shop’ with you, ever more so with this reopening and for us that means a combination of product selection, store ambience and customer service. We have concentrated a lot of effort on our Rugeley store, both in look and product selection. Maxine and I started by saying we needed ‘a bit of a facelift’ for the store, but ended up with a total overhaul. We broke up a lot of fixtures; added new drawer fronts on some; installed new gondola units; polished the floors; installed a new stock control from UK Greetings which saw us bring in some new suppliers; introduced a ‘Wrendale green’ colour scheme as well as refreshing the fascia with a new canopy to reinforce Reflections’ independent status.” Above: Reflections in Rugeley has been completely revamped during Lockdown 3. Right: Philip and Maxine Nield worked with the UKG team on a new stock control system, plus have brought in some new suppliers.

Penny Bailey co-owner of Bailey’s, Ainsdale, Crosby and Maghull: The big reopen: “I was so looking forward to reopening all our shops. I had bumped into customers while out walking who, bless them, apologised for having to buy online and told me that they couldn’t wait to come back into Bailey's which was lovely to hear and something I will never take for granted. There is nothing like the buzz of a busy shop. I have loved catching up with our customers and hearing their news as well as being with my fabulous colleagues again having a purpose and not feel like I am just 'playing shop'!” The build-up: “It has been ‘full on’ transforming three shops since the Christmas sale, to a bright, new Spring look. I took a lot of time and care to find some new and exciting gift and card ranges to attract our customers back from the supermarkets and online marketplace that they have had to rely on during the lockdown.” Instore approach: “I've taken the opportunity to have a move round of furniture, rethink some areas and have a proper Spring clean. I've gone bright! I don't think you can miss some of our new gift and card ranges. In the same vein, I've gone big on humour too and extended our ‘just to say/positivity/encouraging’ selection of cards. There are some great ranges from many of our suppliers, but this season I've gone with Dandelion Stationery, Caroline Gardner, Alex Clark Art, Rachel Ellen and Toasted Crumpet.” Above right: Displays of colourful products add to the new spring feel of Bailey’s stores. Above: Penny is a big fan of Paper Salad bright designs.



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Face To Face

The Being in the audience to hear Sir David Attenborough speak at a BBC Studios presentation Dan Grant, licensing director of Danilo describes as the “the light bulb moment” which clinched the greeting card and calendar business not only forming its ‘green team’, but instigated seismic changes to its product design, ways of working and the setting of its ultimate sustainable goals. PG was all ears as Dan and Claire Bates, Danilo’s marketing manager (and fellow Green Team mate) recorded a podcast for the new Products of Change sustainable hub about the business’ environmental journey and its green path of the future. While Danilo has always been a responsible and ethical business it has only been in the last year or so that it has propelled its sustainability thrust towards the top of its agenda - and has put courage behind its convictions to elicit real change on its product design, internal processes as well as in relationships with suppliers, retailers and licensors.

In less than a year, it has reduced its use of cellowrapping on its greeting cards by 85%, on its calendars by 30%, redesigned its desk calendars to be plastic-free, instigated environmental improvements into the everyday working practices of the company, has planted over 23,000 trees through its collaboration with Ecologi and is now charging confidently towards become a climate positive business by 2024. 24



Given this environmental vigour it is not surprising that Danilo was one of the first companies to pledge its support to Products of Change, a new membership organisation (that is affiliated to Progressive Greetings’ owners, Max Publishing) that is committed to helping businesses on their respective sustainable journeys. And having made such progress in a relatively short period, Danilo ‘Green Team’ maestros, Dan Grant (licensing director) and Claire Bates (marketing manager) were persuaded to share what measures they have put in place and also their plans for the future on the eco front on the POC platform. On the podcast/webinar Dan reveals that the motivation behind Danilo’s sustainable changes falls into three areas -

Above: Dan Grant, Danilo’s licensing director speaking on the Products of Change webinar/podcast. Left: BBC Blue Planet is one of Danilo’s many licensing agreements. Below: All Danilo’s desk calendars are now plastic-free.

personal, the Danilo business drive and the industry responsibility as a whole. From his personal perspective, Dan stresses that he is “very conscious of what we can all do on an individual basis” and sees this very much as the start. However, it was being in the same room as Sir David Attenborough and hearing him speak at an event organised by the BBC (through which Danilo produces the Planet Earth calendar and diary products under licence) that really struck home for Dan. “He is such an inspirational man. And the messages he delivered made me sit up and really think how, as we supply millions of paper products we have a real opportunity to change how we do this - we can do something about this; we can lead the way,” said Dan recalling the “light bulb moment”. He recognised how Danilo, as a business, could look at its processes

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Face To Face

and ways of working through a sustainable lens, while being mindful of the considerations from an economic point of view by investigating driving efficiencies alongside the sustainability effort. Meanwhile, from a broader industry perspective, Dan summed up how “the message was also coming from many of our retail customers and licensors, that we very much needed to be on that train of sustainability going forwards.” All these three prongs combined created a clear picture for Dan and the rest of the Danilo team. “We realised we needed to do something and do it now as this issue is not going away,” stressed Dan. And ‘done it’ they have, without a lot of expense or outside ‘experts’. As Claire explained, the first stage was to instigate an internal audit “to access where we are now, to identify the gaps, what we want to achieve and figure out ways of getting there.” As well as reviewing the recyclability of its products, this also included a delve into the practicalities of running the company, from its lighting to its water supply.

Above: Claire Bates, marketing manager of Danilo feels rightfully proud of the strides the company has made on the sustainable front. Below left: Danilo has reviewed the labelling it includes on its products to encourage recycling. Right: One of the designs in Danilo’s Animal Planet selection.

This has resulted in some ‘quick wins’, such as the move to LED lighting and diligent recycling programmes as well as confronting the approach to packaging, product design and substrates used. As well as the resultant drastic reduction in its cellowrapping consumption, Claire also highlights a “move away from the use of non-recyclable finishes”, the addition of

recycling labels to its products as well as designing its products to have greater secondary use, so they are not just viewed as disposable products. While accepting that making changes is not always easy, and as a commercial business financial constraints have to be taken into consideration, Dan and Claire both feel proud of the progress Danilo has made on the sustainable front thus far and have set their sights on further goals. While a move to using recycled paper is currently not commercially viable, Dan firmly believes that this is something on the horizon. “It is something we will build into going forward. It is about sticking your neck out and proving it is worthwhile,” he says. “We believe that consumers will pay a higher price for more sustainable products,” but accepts that it is all about getting everyone engaged with the same mission - from the Danilo team, its trade suppliers and the many licensors with whom it works to the retailers who stock its products right through to the end consumer - and so the great circle of life and business can indeed be part of a more sustainable circular economy.

Products of Change is happening Danilo was among the front runners to pledge support to Products of Change (POC), becoming inaugural members of this international digital hub that officially debuted at the start of this year with a mission to drive sustainable change within all consumer products (including greeting cards, calendars and stationery). Since officially launching on 1 January 2021, POC (partly owned by PG directors) has seen 250 members (from all manner of companies, brands, retailers, agencies, trade suppliers and supporting bodies) join in its very first quarter. “To see so many sectors working together and sharing their sustainable Above: Danilo is among the 250+ members of Products of Change. journeys openly is testament to the foresight and leadership we have within our industry to build a better future,” commented Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of Products of Change. Danilo, together with Carousel Calendars and partyware company Amscan were among the first companies to commit to POC, joining the strong roster of members which includes BBC Studios, Natural History Museum, Asda, Discovery, Dreamtex, Hasbro, Lego, Licensing International, Viacom CBS, Tesco, MDR Brand Management, Character World, The Point. 1888, CPLG, Brands In, Nutmeg Licensing, Brand Focus, Kids Industries, Dependable Solutions, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Recoup, among many others, all of whom are looking to build sustainable practices within their respective businesses. Commenting on the company’s involvement with POC, Daniel Prince, managing director of Danilo told PG: “We are very proud to be among the early members of Products of Change as sustainability is at the core of our forward mission to be carbon neutral by 2024.” Danilo’s and Carousel Calendars’ POC membership follows on from the two companies forging a sustainability working group at the start of last year within the calendar sector. Now both with ‘green teams’ within their respective companies each has been happy to share their motivation, progress and aims on the POC site in the news section as well as on a podcast and webinar that are hosted on the online hub. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

Birds of a Feather Some new designs have just fledged from Yoojoo’s Birdies flock. A card and a gift combined, each bird (set against a literary backdrop) features a signature handmade origami beak which transforms into a corner bookmark when removed. The cards are all blank inside, but include with brief instructions on the back. They are supplied with a white envelope and are available cello or eco glassine wrapped. Yoojoo 01274 621419 www.yoojoo.co.uk

Some Extra Zest

Well Versed

Packed full of fun and positivity, Think of Me Design’s top selling ZEST collection now has over 40 new bright and bold designs joining the line-up. A playfully relaxed illustration style is mixed with a colour palette that is bursting with pure joy, the 140 x 152mm cards are enhanced with embossing and foiling and come with a luxury white envelope. Think of Me 01727 375399 www.thinkofmedesigns.com

Grassroots has just welcomed over 30 new traditional verse designs into its portfolio of heartfelt and sentimental cards across its bestselling ranges. All printed on FSC-certified board, the cards feature textured foil, decorative coloured foil and multi-coloured flitter. Grassroots 0115 9860115 www.paperrose.co.uk

The Art of Nature

Family Values Sabivo Design has added a dozen new female relations captioned designs to its popular Wreath range. The new designs cover close family members such as mum, daughter, sister, granny, wife, auntie etc. The soft feminine painterly strokes of the designs are embellished with signature floral sequins and delicately hand-finished with biodegradable glitter. All cards are 145 mm square and come in a brown kraft envelope and compostable cello bag. Sabivo Design 01858433716 www.sabivo.co.uk

Representing something of a departure for Rachel Ellen Designs is an eye catching new range of art cards. Inspired by flora and fauna, the uplifting imagery of the Gallery collection is perfectly complimented with glistening fluted foil and a lovely textured board. With 24 designs in the inaugural collection, the designs cover open birthday, a selection of occasions and six blank cards. Rachel Ellen Designs 0115 9700321 www.rachelellen.co.uk

Passing the Time Abacus has bolstered its popular Pastimes collection with some additional timeless illustrations depicting male hobbies and sporting pastimes. Featuring the work of talented artist Roy Thompson, the cards are printed on textured art board and enhanced by delicate gold foiled borders and captions along with a debossed image. Abacus Cards 01638 569050 www.abacuscards.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE 27


Our innovative greetings card finishes include: Thermography Foil Intense Glitter Snowraise Liquid Metal Blended Glitter Embossing Textured Foil Laser Cutting

ask about our ‘Mr Abbot’ sample pack

To discuss your next greetings card range call us on 01797 223355 www.abbotprint.co.uk sales@abbotprint.co.uk

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



Strong and expressive greeting cards by Sarah Curedale (e) sales@realandexcitingdesigns.co.uk (t) 01223 207 080 (f) 01536 401 031

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A Ton of Illustration Jolly Awesome has worked with a vibrant group of eight different talented illustrators on a bumper new range of over 100 designs. The varied art styles of Matt Joyce, Darcie Olley, Holly Thomas as well as five others, all come together in The Illustrators Range with the designs covering everyday as well as major events sends. Cards are all A6, come with a white envelope and can be individually packed with eco labels or cello-wrapped. Jolly Awesome 07904383876 sales@jollyawesome.com

All Fluffed Up

Caring for Keeps

Party Pom Poms is a new Christmas 2021 collection from Laura Sherratt Designs. The collection of 43 handmade cards combines cute illustrations with tiny pom poms. Including captions for all friends and relatives, the 155mm square cards come with a festive red envelope. Laura Sherratt Designs 01538 384566 www.laurasherrattdesigns.co.uk

Now more than ever, it’s important to remind people we care. From little pocket hugs to a promise to always be there, UK Greetings’ new keepsake cards provide a way for people to communicate that they care. And these cards are the perfect size to be kept in wallets or displayed on a mantlepiece UK Greetings 01924 465200 www.ukgreetings.co.uk

Well Impressed

Nature’s Bounty

New from Megan Claire is Sherbet Rainbow. This brand new range covers female relations, open birthday, missing you on you on your birthday and thinking of you captions - all relevant to the current climate. Each design is handwritten by Megan then embossed and hot-foiled in gold with a pastelcoloured background from a selection of mint, lavender, pink and lemon shades. Each 300gsm textured card is matched with a luxury cream envelope. Megan Claire 01536 560345 www.meganclaire.co.uk

The Spring-inspired Bloom Boom range by Emma Bryan Design has blossomed with 12 newly released everyday sentiments suitable for sending postpandemic thoughts to loved ones. This means the full range now comprises 24 elegant 127mm x 177mm designs features pretty florals, bird and insect friends alongside heartfelt sentiments. Printed in the UK on 350gsm FSC approved matte board, the cards come supplied with a Kraft envelope. Emma Bryan Design 07889 598606 www.emmabryan.co.uk

Natural Beauty Featuring artist Sarah Capper’s incredibly detailed hand drawn art, Doodleicious Art’s new Midsummer Botanicals collection has welcomed a delectable array of 20 new designs, from bee eater birds set against a jewel-coloured background to beautiful plant tendrils and delicate floral sprays curling around milestone ages. The 150 x 150mm cards, are printed on 350 gsm board and each comes with a fuchsia envelope. Doodleicious Art 07734034039 www.doodleicious.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE 29


Bounce back. Brighter.

AID the recovery and BOOST your business!


VO LUME I www.mint-publishing.co.uk sales@mint-publishing.co.uk Tel: 0116 230 4197 Fax: 01536 401 031

Order YOUR copy today!

Our exclusive arts brands – from heritage museums to contemporary textile designers like Sarah Campbell – are bursting with reasons to brighten your year. Contact your local agent, register online or call our sales team for more information.

E: sales@mgml.co.uk


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Keeping You Paged Mark my Words is Poet and Painter’s brand new bookmark card collection. While half the designs feature the publisher’s bestselling hand drawn designs and words, the range also includes beautiful new illustration and the inimitable wit of the timelessly brilliant, Oscar Wilde. The cards are all 120 x 170 mm while each of the detachable bookmarks are edged with distressed, recyclable gold foil and come with a red ribbon. They are supplied with an FSC accredited cherry red envelope. Poet and Painter 07779 064 894 www.poetandpainter.co.uk

Art Not Philosophy Rolling In Glover Lagom has a rich tapestry of new artists’ collections across a myriad of different styles. Included within its recent raft of launches is an Anna Glover collaboration, featuring the work of this multi-award winning design studio specialising in luxury wallcoverings and surface design. Lagom’s range comprises 12 greeting cards and four gift wraps. The cards are hand embossed using recyclable gold foil and come with a matching envelope. Lagom Design 03331230101 www.lagomdesign.co.uk

New from Objectables is Objet D'artables, an evolving range of cards by a collection of different artists. “There is no great philosophy to the range, it’s just art we like, by artists we like that shares the humour and slanted outlook on life that we at Objectables always try and reflect in our cards,” say owners Tim and Annie Gould. The initial launch comprises 20 designs by three artists - Steve XO, Hayden Kays and Joypolloi. Objectables 01303255287 www.objectables.co.uk

Manly Action

Planting an Idea

There has been some considerable manly action in the Noel Tatt camp! In addition to moving on the look of its Geronimo range, with a full split colour background, the publisher has also debuted a new style within its male birthday module, to reflect a focus of outdoor hobbies. In addition, it has also introduced a more celebratory style in its male relations and ages selection. Noel Tatt 01227 811 600 www.noeltatt.com

The Seed Card Company is launching with seven distinct greeting card collections, all with sustainability at their heart. All the cards are printed on board made from postconsumer waste that is embedded with wildflower seeds (including Bird’s Eye, Clarkia, Black Eyed Susan, Catchfly, Snapdragon and Sweet Alyssum) and printed with vegan inks. Plus, having partnered with Ecologi, cards ordered will result in trees being planted. The Seed Card Company 0207 183 5334 www.theseedcardcompany.com

Real Page Turners Off The Page is a brand new range from Middle Mouse Group featuring well known literary quotes reimagined as greeting cards. The inaugural collection spans 15 designs featuring quotes, from greats including Shakespeare, Jane Austen and The Brontës, on contemporary abstract background. The cards, A6 in size are suitable for a range of occasions. They come with or without cellos. Middle Mouse Group 07855 959176 www. middlemouse.co.uk PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE 31

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Industry Issue


Inset: The students of today are the card publishers and designers of tomorrow.

Greeters “New designers and publishers are the lifeblood of our industry, bringing in fresh ideas and approaches, yet so many talented illustration students out there have little idea of the opportunities that are open to them within our sector,” a view Chris Bryan, joint general manager of Second Nature (and vice president of the GCA) knows to be true, as his own son Thomas is in his final year of an Illustration & Graphic Design degree at the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire. So, last month PG joined Herts Uni students in a virtual ‘lecture theatre’ as they were treated to not only a smorgasbord of insights on the greeting card industry, but also an engaging design brief which could well result in the next budding publisher being discovered. And this is just the start…

“For over the last hundred years, the GCA has represented, protected and promoted the ever evolving greeting card industry, and part of our responsibility to help safeguard its continued successful evolution is to engage with the next generation of card senders, designers and publishers,” stated Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, explaining the association’s avowed mission to forge links with schools, colleges and universities. And if the recent ‘lecture’ experience with the Hertfordshire Uni is anything to go by, there will be some top marks scored all round.



Below left: Second Narure’s Chris Bryan (right) and his son Thomas. Bottom left: (left-right, top to bottom) Dr Thomas Cuschieri (University of Hertfordshire), Amanda Fergusson (GCA), Chris Bryan (Second Nature), Adriana Lovesy (Mrs Lovesy) and Grace Elphinstone (Carte Blanche) on the Zoom lecture. (The students were not visible). Below: The School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire embraced the approach from the GCA to set up a lecture and issue a design brief to its second and final year students.

While the GCA has been involved with schools and colleges over the years (the Hurrah for Ra lesson plan on gratitude for primary schools being a case in point) - it is undergraduates that are arguably in greatest need right now, especially as the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic have made it nigh on impossible for creative students to secure work placements nor have the usual physical ‘degree shows’ to showcase their talent to potential employers. “I knew from talking to my son Thomas, that so many of his peers are at a loss of how to turn their creativity into a career, gain some relevant experience or generate some money using their talents. He put me in contact with Dr Thomas Cuschieri, the senior lecturer of Thomas’ illustration course who immediately saw merit in the idea of a presentation about

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Industry Issue

the greeting card industry,” explained Chris. Discussing the plan with GCA’s ceo Amanda, fellow publisher Adriana Lovesy, founder of Mrs Lovesy and Grace Elphinstone, marketing manager of Carte Blanche (who form the ‘education sub-committee’) about making the most of the opportunity for the students, they hit upon the idea of setting a credible design brief to come up with a card that could be sent for Thinking of You Week, with the bonus of the best designs being made into actual cards and put on sale in a leading retailer. Support from GCA members Loxleys, who will undertake the printing; Enveco, who will donate the envelopes; retailer House of Cards, who is to sell the winning design in its six shops and legal firm Briffa overseeing the terms and conditions, clinched the project.

So last month Chris, Amanda, Adriana and Grace turned into inspiring lecturers, and in a pacey 45 minute session explained how the industry works and its potential as a career choice, shared the stories behind each of their companies as well as top tips for designing greeting cards before concluding with the details of the design brief. “The thing we all have in common is the passion for greeting cards, it is a lovely industry to be a part of. We hope at the end of our presentation, you may think about joining us - you will be made very welcome,” began Amanda Fergusson. “Greeting cards are a product that brings emotion and sentiment into someone’s heart. Everything we do is designed to be sent to someone to let them know that someone is out there thinking of them, whether a sad occasion or a happy one,” said Chris. He also elaborated how greeting cards are also reflections of life and how the design styles, subject matters and words used on them “document history.” Adriana then highlighted some of the key lessons she has learned since starting

Above: Adriana Lovesy stressed the importance of having your own look. Below: CBG’s Grace Elphinstone explained how the group was started by an entrepreneur with a passion and six greeting card designs.

her business, from showing at trade shows to entering The Henries, joining the GCA to the importance of broadening your distribution channels. “This is a great industry, but you have to stand out. Find your own style, know your USP and be true to yourself,” urged Adriana. Grace then regaled the students with the incredible entrepreneurial story of how Stephen Haines sold his motorbike to start the company, with just six card designs, and how its products are now sold in thousands of retailers’ stores, with Me to You having 96% brand awareness and Tatty licensed across all manner of merchandise. “But remember, all that started from a greeting card,” she concluded. Feedback from student rep and son of Chris, Thomas Bryan, gave the GCA team’s lecture a thumbs-up for several reasons. “The presentation was an amazing insight into the greeting card industry and was very engaging. Unlike other external lectures, where companies tend to promote themselves, this lecture allowed us to see not only how different companies within the industry started out but also how they’ve grown”, said Thomas. “This neatly tied into

the section regarding the different paths into the industry you can take as an illustrator, and again was both refreshing and enlightening as there was no corporate agenda, just a very simple explanation of the options”. He was also very enthusiastic about the brief, “leaving us all really excited as we haven’t had an opportunity like this before. It genuinely felt like a real opportunity for us rather than being used as a free/cheap resource for creative ideas. Many thanks to those who made it possible and for the opportunity to help out the future generation of the creative world!” added Thomas. As PG went to press, the Herts Uni student submissions were coming in ahead of the deadline, with the judging team all primed to discover the industry’s new stars. But this is just the start, as the building blocks have been put in place on the GCA website (including a downloadable toolkit, example of the design brief, presentation and recording of the recent lecture) to facilitate many more education collaborations. “What a wonderful start to our engagement with the next generation,” summed up Amanda. “Our hope now is that other publishers, retailers and trade suppliers will start to forge relationships with other colleges, universities and schools so we can continue this journey”.

Winning ways at retail Miles Robinson, co-owner of House of Cards explained why he had no hesitation in getting involved with the GCA/Herts Uni Thinking of You Week project, which will see cards featuring the winner’s design going on sale in the group’s six shops. “We are keen on new publishers or those with a different take on things and also believe in young talent. Having been a great supporter of The Ladder Club and many industry product initiatives over the years, when Chris [Bryan from Second Nature] asked me, we were delighted to get involved and give a student’s artwork real retail exposure in all our stores. You never know, it may be the start of a career for someone!” Right: A student’s design will be put up against professional publishers in House of Cards in the run up to Thinking of You Week in September.



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Focus On... male cards

You’ve Got There was a rallying call from indies in the recent PG Retail Barometer for a wider selection of male greeting cards, but hitting the right note for the men of today is more difficult than pulling the perfect pint. PG checked in with publishers to find out their respective testosterone drives on the male card front, the manly trends they have tracked as well as well as the acumen for their Above: The drive for the great outdoors as well as the breaking personal card design. down the barriers of talking of mental health issues are being reflected on greeting card designs. Left: An apposite design from Sally Scaffardi’s New Normal range.

Dan Kane, co-owner of Think of Me Designs: Trendy talk: “From the beginnings of Think of Me, we always saw the male sector of the greeting card industry as an area ripe for improvement from a design-led point of view. When we set up over 15 years ago there were very few male cards that didn't feature either sport, beer or humour. While these kinds of cards play a hugely important role in the sector, there is no denying that the modern man has an appreciation of style and good design. I don't think male cards should look overworked, and we strive hard to make our designs feel aspirational. They shouldn't look out of place in a cool London flat or hip New York apartment.” Your male delivery: “From a personal point of view, clean, unfussy design has always appealed to us. As the sculptor Constantin Brancusi said, 'Simplicity is complexity resolved', and we have kept that in mind with our Roam collection which features matte metallics, dusky colours, and an uncomplicated aesthetic.” On the button: “If someone were to send me a card to reflect my life right now it would probably feature a surfboard! I'm lucky enough to live next to one of the best surf breaks in Southern California, so when I'm not in the design studio I can usually be found riding the waves. There always needs to be a ‘Yin’ to the ‘Yang’ - grabbing a board and heading down to the ocean is the perfect way to kickstart the day before putting in the hours in the studio.” Right: Metallic foils and matt board combine in Think of Me’s Roam collection. Left: Thinking of Me’s Dan Kane living the dream!

Ben Dorney, creative director of Museums & Galleries Trendy talk: “After the last year I would say we ALL need more emotional support! The more I try and define ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine' the more complicated it gets!” Your male delivery: “Museums & Galleries has just launched a set of male-styled aged birthdays using amazing archive material from the Natural History Museum with rich, vintage colours, textured gold foil and lots of detail. This joins our ‘classics’ V&A range and TATE collection, which has a great mix of abstract and bold designs, alongside travel scenes, boats, architecture and more.” On the button: “The ‘Make Art Not War’ card by Bob and Roberta Smith from the TATE range would suit me. It’s a great sentiment from an artist I admire… and I also want to learn how to paint, so it fits the bill nicely (as I’m no good at war-mongering).” Right: One of the NHM designs from M&G.



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Focus On... male cards

James Mace, sales and marketing manager of The Art File: Trendy talk: “One big trend for blokes has to be exploring the great outdoors…climbing a mountain, wild swimming, cycling through the countryside. Added to this though has to be the greater bonds and admissions of emotions between men - be that among friends, brother to brother, son to father. The stigma of not showing you care has gone and greeting cards will reflect these more intimate relationships more openly going forward.” Your male delivery: “Our new California Dreaming range comprises 12 designs which each celebrate the spirit of adventure - be it cycling, sailing, driving, surfing or just kicking back. The cards have rounded corners and deep debossing and each comes with a kraft envelope.” On the button: “A card to sum me up right now would have to feature a pen (I have written so many lengthy messages in cards during lockdown), a static bike (my Peloton bike has got my fitness back on track) and a pub (much missed!).” Above: The Art File’s Vertigo collection is very much in the running of the best male ranges. Left: The retro design flavour adds to The Art File’s Calafornia Dreaming range.

Matt Genower, co-owner of Five Dollar Shake: Your male delivery: “Magnum, our new male range is designed make men feel extra special. The latest in our pursuit of creating distinctive cards for men, the board (sourced from the Bavarian Alps) is literally made with real gold! The making of it is pure alchemy, the illustrations are layered up by using a printing technique that recreates the look of screen printing. Each card is then printed in small batches to order.” On the button: “Well I have a certain big ‘five ohhh’ birthday in a couple of months. Like most of us publishers, I am a greeting card ‘anorak’ and we love it when somebody gives us a design that really resonates. I’m a massive film fan so a card relating to the film Groundhog Day would feel about right for the last 12 months...but I’d like it followed up by (in the spirit of its time to celebrate again), a card that sums up the film The Hangover!!!” Above: A design from Five Dollar’s new Magnum range, the board of which is made with real gold. Left: Matt Genower with beloved dog, Masha.

Ross Harrison, co-owner of Laura Darrington Design: Trendy talk: “It has been life, but not necessarily as we knew it over the last year! That said our Little People Collection which contains designs including men gardening, walking dogs, jogging, cycling, barbecues and man sheds seems to have struck a chord, reflecting the ways men have been spending their time - while of course taking on their share of home schooling and domestic duties!” Your male delivery: “Our Campus Collection comprises 16 designs, featuring a mix of masculine surface pattern inspired graphics, shying away from the more traditional male greeting card concepts.” On the button: “If someone was to send me a card now, it would have to feature a 42-year old father of two with really bad, early 90s, slightly greying boyband hair, wearing clothes that no longer fit (nor suit) him, contemplating why his youngest daughter still won’t sleep in her own bed after five years. Niche, I know!” Top: One of Laura Darrington’s Little People designs that reflects current times. Above: Contemporary styling on a Campus design from Laura Darrington. Left: Ross Harrison circa April 2021.

Sara Burford and Sarah Fitzpatrick, co-owners of Cinnamon Aitch: Trendy talk: “Imagery focusing on the outdoors, particularly adventure and leisure pursuits are proving popular. These tie in with an increase in awareness of male mental health issues. As we are unable to trot the globe, maybe it’s our yearning to get away, a newfound respect for nature or a reflection of an Instagram age where an adventurous lifestyle eclipses possessions on the status barometer.” Your male delivery: “Our Cobalt range has been expanded to 67 cool, contemporary designs all in a nod to escapism and the call of the wild outdoors. With a focus on modern, masculine textures. From marble and cool granite, the palette is bold and textural, greys and steely blues are punctuated with clementine, copper foil accents.” On the button: Matt Fitzpatrick, husband of Cinnamon Aitch co-founder - “A card reflecting my life right now would have to feature a bike in the great outdoors, ideally with a pub stop included!” Above: One of the 67 designs in Cinnamon Aitch’s Cobalt range. Left: Matt and Sarah Fitzpatrick enjoying a bike rest in the great outdoors of Birmingham.



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Focus On... male cards

Lee Keeper, creative director of Woodmansterne Publications: Trendy talk: “After a period of restrictions to our personal lives, it is no surprise that there is a nostalgic yearn for carefree days. This is reflected in the colour palettes and subject matter of our Man on Mars range as well as echoed in our Mambo collection. While outdoor hobbies and sports are chiming well, you cannot ignore the pull towards enjoying a beer down the pub with mates or glass or two of wine with friends over dinner.” Your male delivery: “Our brand new Man on Mars range uses surrealistic photographic collage that has a hint of vintage aesthetic. The designs play with scale, juxtaposing everyday items, sports and hobbies that make for a double take. The 10 designs (with more to come) combine witty peculiarities with subtle gold foil and muted masculine but sophisticated colours that are printed on luxury textured board.” On the button: “My son Humphrey (aged 19 who also has digs in Cornwall, but has had to stay at home) and daughter Dolly (aged 17, also stuck in the same house as Mum and Dad this past year) made my Father’s Day cards which are a good reflection of how I’m seen as a man about the lockdown household. Humphrey sees me as a fun loving, natty casually dressed Jazz (alternative music) enthusiast who performs in the house to keep our lockdown blues at bay and I’m very much on call for my daughter as the number one spider catcher (the increased spider and animal count being well-publicised) – the spider personalised further by a summer hat from our holidays (a knowing nod to when we could travel freely).” Above: Surrealism meets collage in Woody’s Man on Mars range. Above right: Lee Keeper with Woodmansterne’s Henries 2020 trophy for Best Licensed range. Right: The card Lee Keeper received from his son.

Jackie Collins, managing director of Cherry Orchard: Trendy talk: “As we’ve gone through such a difficult year, it seems men are needing a little more emotional support. This has been reflected in our bestselling male cards having been those with words and sentiments that offer support and kindness. Sales of the male captions in our Cherished words and sentiment range (a finalist in The Henries 2020) have been very strong. The verses in these cards find all the right words to send love and reassurance to the special men in our lives.” Your male delivery: “We have recently launched Road Trip, a new range which features 14 designs based on cars and motorbikes. The cards are beautifully finished with blind embossed borders and foiled titles. They come supplied with coloured envelopes. On the button: “If I was to choose a card for the men at Cherry Orchard, it would probably need to feature a nice bottle of red wine or a favourite tipple.” Above: Cherry Orchard’s Road Trip collection straddles both heritage and contemporary vehicles. Left: Cherry Orchard’s owner Jackie Collins is passionate about all things on wheels.



Hannah Matthews, insights manager and senior designer of Pigment Productions: Trendy talk: “As the societal conversation around protecting male mental health and emotional wellbeing begins to open up further, having cards that offer simply stated sentiment in a modern, meaningful way to help support and encourage the men in our lives becomes increasingly important. Our Love Unlimited range pairs thoughtful editorial with loving imagery, while The Happy News brings a friendly, chatty tone of voice - both of which are so important in bringing that much needed warmth and kindness to male sends. Meanwhile, during times of chaos or uncertainty, nostalgia tends to peak, as people look back at better times, for comfort and reassurance. After a tumultuous year, our 20th Century Icons range provides just that - a fun reminder of the good old days, combined Above: A bestselling craft beer van with playful design and plenty of illustration from Pigment’s Artisan familiar faces. Days range. Added to these are the hobby and lifestyle trends that male cards need to reflect - among these has to be continued popularity of craft ales and micro-breweries, alongside pop-up street food markets and beer festivals - which we’re very much looking forward to (hopefully) returning this summer!” Your male delivery: “As well as our aforementioned ranges, having trend-led, considered looks for men within our model line is really important. Reflecting the minimalist trend, which continues to

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Focus On... male cards

be a key look in design, these stylish designs for men from our Alice Scott and Good Hands ranges feature slick typography with gold foil finish & subtle embossing - for a simple, yet premium feel.” On the button: Martin Powderly, creative director “An appropriate card for me right now would be an encouragement themed design that reflects the past year’s rollercoaster. I envisage an image of a man standing on a traditional Victorian promenade gazing at a raging ocean. The words could be something like - ‘Calm down and have a cup of tea ...but probably skip the biscuits’.”

Trendy talk: “Trending across our collections are cards that feature cycling, gin, beer, beards and dogs. Gardening designs have also seen an uptick more recently.” Your male delivery: “We are always adding to our best-selling Country Gent range, while more recently we have also added some Father's Day cards to our Explore & Treasure collection with the National Trust.” On the button: “Speaking on behalf of my husband and our male agents, an appropriate card would definitely be our ‘Drinking Boots’ card design, which features the message, ‘get your drinking boots on, it's time to party’!”

Above: Intimate relation editorial on a Happy News design from Pigment.

Above: A relevant card from Toasted Crumpet’s Country Gent range.

Clare Twigger, creative director of Ling Design and GBCC: Trendy talk: “What is at the forefront is that health, in both physical and mental wellbeing, is key for 2021, which we reflect through subject matter such as our outdoor spaces and the beauty of nature and its surroundings. Artwork that can visually connect others with social interaction, community spaces and supporting unity is also key with added sentiment for relationship building, appreciation, encouragement and support of friends and family. Colours used are reflected from both utility and sportswear trends with added upbeat hues from peak summer season palettes.” Your male delivery: “We are currently working on our new male designs for GBCC with Ling to follow. As ever we recognise that how vital it is that the cards we produce gain as much ROI for our customers and therefore we need to strike a balance of our best sellers and the associated creative attributes and pushing the new and different.” On the button: David Byk, ceo of Ling Design/GBCC “In terms of a card to me I would hope to get a card that says ‘Haven’t seen you for ages/let’s go out or come round for drinks or dinner and we can freeze in the garden’ with a big bottle of wine on it. However, there’s always a danger that I’d get a card saying ‘please stay socially very distant!’” Above: A new male design from the Curious Inksmith part of the Ling/GBCC group. Right: ‘David Byk’ embracing the pub re-opening, despite the surprise snow flurries!

Jo Clarke, founder of Toasted Crumpet:

Hannah Macleod, co-owner of Coulson Macleod: Trendy talk: “Fitness and being outdoors have most definitely been on the up! We sell an awful lot of cycling, fitness, and running cards so somebody out there is thinking of their health! However, we are also doing rather well with ourt drinking designs - our ‘whisky’ design is also available as ‘whiskey’ to cover Irish/American whiskey drinkers!” Your male delivery: “We’ve just launched a black and white everyday version of our Vintage Words range of cards - with no foil and no ‘happy birthday’. There are 57 designs in total, including new tennis, swimming, and bearded wonder designs. Each card comes with a grey envelope.” Above: The whisky/whiskey design from Coulson Macleod’s Vintage Words range.

Rebecca Badrock, brand manager of UK Greetings: Trendy talk: “Meaningful messages which recognise the importance of wellbeing and pared-down retro themes are very much the order of the day for male cards. Home as a sanctuary is also echoed - from our actual homes and gardens to walking in nature and focusing on our micro world.” Your male delivery: “We lots of new male designs 110 new additions to our model line across various subject matter. It is no longer enough to stick to red sports cars and garden sheds!” On the button: “If I was sending a card Darren Cave, our commercial director it would be the one pictured, just like him charging to the finishing line of the last fiscal with his abundant enthusiasm and drive!” Above: One of the new Brishstokes designs. Right: A perfect UKG design for Darren Cave.




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Art Source

The Calling Of Drawing

The clue is in his christian name, Andrew Thornton cannot remember back to a time when he wasn’t drawing something, a path which led him into greeting cards working for various publishers. With hundreds of his designs out in the wide world, this talented artist is now being represented by new artist agency Creative Sparrow. Here Andrew shares his creative journey, his inspirations and aspirations… “For as long as I can remember I have always loved to draw and create. Even from a very young age I would sit down, quite often for hours on end scribbling away with pencils and crayons, either on random bits of paper or filling sketchbooks with more detailed pieces. I’ve always found it gives me a sense of freedom and joy to fill a blank piece of paper with anything I want to and to bring it to life! I am now lucky enough to do this for a living, with a career spanning over two decades in the greeting card industry, I’ve learnt so much and met some amazing and very inspiring people along the way. Even after all these years, when I see a design or range of designs I have illustrated in store, I am still filled with the same sense of pride that I felt at the beginning of my career and it’s a real bonus if I hear the cards are selling well too! I feel very humbled when a family member or friend tells me with excitement, that they have seen or bought one of my designs in store. When I think back to the first studio that I worked in, there was barely a Mac in sight! I used to paint pretty much everything with either watercolour, gouache or acrylic. This was great at the time and with so much practice my skills developed and improved no end - and I couldn’t quite believe I was being paid to do this! I do however, much prefer the way things work now and although I do still crack out the paints from time to time I like having the freedom that a Mac allows. You just cannot underestimate the power and ease of ‘Command Z’ to undo a mistake!


Left: His joy of the outdoors is often reflected in Andrew’s work. Far left: Andrew Thornton has been creating greeting card designs for two decades. Below right: As a dog owner, this design is based on one of life’s realities! Below middle: Andrew is equally adept at looser styles as he is in detailed illustration. Bottom: Andrew’s creative journey has seen him supply several card publishers with his artwork.

Nowadays, I tend to sketch or paint something, scan it and then play around with the scale and positioning of things a little, before drawing and colouring any bits needed on the computer adding texture and pattern depending on what kind of style and look I am trying to achieve. I love seeing how an illustration evolves and I can sometimes end up with a design looking completely different to what I first envisaged. Sometimes this can be a really positive thing and can leave me pleasantly surprised with a nice new style! Sometimes the complete opposite happens and I need to have a rethink. I find that going for a walk with my dog, or a nice run around the Yorkshire countryside where I live, can really help clear my head (especially if I’m having a bit of an off day) and invariably results in me bursting with ideas. I actually went for a run before writing this piece, I had all kinds of things going round in my head and found myself wishing that I had a pen and pad to write down a few bullet points! But obviously that’s not very practical, so I instead found myself rushing home to get started before all was lost in some deep and distant part of my brain. I find inspiration from so many different things, from wall art and posters to things like food packaging and children’s picture books. I love the work of Jon Klassen, Oliver Jeffers and Marc Martin to name but a few. I have had a go at authoring and illustrating a few children’s books of my own and one day would love the opportunity to have them published. I could then read them to my two young daughters, one of whom is at the age where she is coming out with all kinds of random hilarious nonsense - I am hoping she can help inspire me with some magic to write something new! In the meantime, I’m very happily illustrating away and have been lucky enough to work on some amazing briefs including a recent animation brief, which is something completely new to me. It’s fantastic and a real privilege to be represented by Hannah Curtis and new agency Creative Sparrow, where I have already had some wonderful briefs to work on and I’m sure, there will be many more amazing things to come.”

If you are an artist, photographer or verse writer and would like to be considered to appear in Art Source, please contact PG’s Emma Cain on emmac@max-publishing.co.uk. This is an editorial feature and as such is free of charge. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Philip and Maxine Nield, co-owners of Reflections, Rugeley in Staffordshire. An established card and gift shop with a loyal customer base. They also own a store in Nantwich. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range




Carlton; Watermark

Alex Clark Art


Thinking of You/Support Humour



UKG (Hanson White)

New Yorker


Wrendale Designs

The Country Set

Relations and Occasions


Above right: The Believe design from IC&G’s Eternal range. Right: A beautiful card from Second Nature’s

IC&G Second Nature

Gibson, Hanson White, Carlton and Watermark Generally Champagne



Magical Wonders

Adult ages


What A Year




“Our stores seem to thrive on unusual cards. Price is not an issue if the product is right.” “Fabulous cards and great co-ordinating gifts and stationery.” “The ‘Believe’ design is one of many from this range that sells well.” “Quirky off-beat humour that compliments the rest of the Hanson White range.” “Our best-selling blank cards - beautiful artwork with complimentary gifts available.” “We have a new planned display from UKG/IC&G in our Rugeley store which is very comprehensive and has been well received.” “Very well designed, handmade cards. We stock the full range of these, and it is especially good for senior ages.” “We have tried them all but keep coming back to IC&G’s great designs and good price points.” “The ‘year you were born’ is a winning card concept - and this take is well executed.” “Very comprehensive range so we can source virtually all of our selection from this company.”

Jay Patel, owner of Greetings, East Dulwich. A long-established card and gift shop in a south London suburb. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range


Everyday Humour

Paper Rose Woodmansterne

Across the board Genius

“Just such a wide variety of styles.” “This range works so well for the 10-17 age group that is so difficult to buy for.”


Paperlink Deadpan Cards Dry Red Press

Colourful Mind Generally Generally

Art Angels

Angie Lewin; London scenes Colour Crush Marzipan Just Animals Quentin Blake

Right: Jay Patel loves the broad variety of designs from UKG.


Relations and Occasions Thinking of You/Support Giftwrap

Stop the Clock Paper Rose Lucilla Lavender Woodmansterne Publications UK Greetings

Across the board

Carte Blanche

Blue Mountain Arts

UK Greetings Unique Lagom; Canns Down Press

Little Voice Uniqueco range Generally

“The owner delivers the cards to us.” “We have sold so many since re-opening. The balance of artists and themes just works.” “Angie Lewin is such a brilliant artist for our customers.” “Everyone loves them.” “The googly eyes add to the appeal.” “The watercolour brushstroke art style is a bit different.”

“You can cover everything from the modern to the traditional.” “There are some customers who need those deep expressions of sentiment.” “Sentiment for the younger generation.” “Made in the UK, the 3 mtr rolls of recycled Kraft paper is just great.” “While demand has moved from flat wrap to rollwrap, these two publishers do a lovely selection.” Above: The watercolour brushstrokes gives Lucilla Lavender’s Just Animals range a distinctive appeal.



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Heidi and Dominic Early, co-owners of Earlybird, Stoke Newington. A popular medium sized card and gift shop in a north London enclave of the England Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Lagom Design

Ruby Taylor

Earlybird Designs

Big Fab


Shine; Pinata

Thinking of You

Caroline Gardner

Across the board

Relations and Occasions

James Ellis Earlybird Designs Think of Me



Objectables Brainbox Candy Dean Morris Cards Canns Down Press

Paper Shakies Fab Relations Lemonade; Zest Generally David Shrigley Generally Generally



3D Pop-outs

Giftwrap Gifts

Deluxebase Redback James Ellis Artebene Coco Chocolatier

Lenticulars Shine Shakies Generally Generally

“The colours, patterns, embossing and foiling really make these cards stand out.” “Customers love the slightly bigger size and the neon colours.” “Phenomenal sellers as the customer get more for their money.” “Delicately designed with good messages.” “Very popular with the eco-conscious.” “The colour pops!” “Lovely illustrations and good use of foil detailing.” “Hilariously blunt!” “Ours customers love him.” “His designs are always so timely.” “You can send them to anyone for any occasion.” “The new 3D pop-out cards are amazing.” “Great for kids - fantastic imagery.”


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Top: A colourful design from Lagom’s Ruby Taylor collection. Above: The unmistakable quirky wit of David Shrigley from Brainbox Candy.

Rob and Pete Sampson, co-owners of A Stone’s Throw in Sherwood A popular medium sized card and gift shop in a Nottingham enclave. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



The Art File

“Sales of cards that are inspired by nature have increased significantly.” “We do well with cards with handmade elements.” “These sell really well.”

Hannah Marchant

Natural Phenomenon; Sara Miller London Touchy Feely; Sew Delightful Explore & Treasure (National Trust) Seed cards

Humour Art

Not At All Jack The Art File Penny Lindop

Generally Nature’s Trail Generally


Rachel Ellen Designs


Toasted Crumpet Dandelion Stationery Sass & Belle

Whippersnappers; Star Jumps General General Mojave plant pots

Black Acres Soap Pantry

Scented candles

Shrieking Violet Fable East of India

Jewellery Jewellery Coasters and hanging hearts

Blue Eyed Sun Keep in touch




Toasted Crumpet


“The cards can be planted and wildflowers will grow, making such a lovely gift as well as a card!” “A fantastic range by a local artist.” “One of our best sellers.” “They have a higher price point, but customers love the artwork combined with the handmade felt embellishment.” “The bright colourful characters really come to life.” “These two suppliers are among the better sellers for us.” “People have been spending more time at home and want to beautify their indoor spaces.” “This essential oils range by local makers sells well - gaps appear on the shelves almost as soon as we've restocked!” “Both these ranges of jewellery Top: The recipient can plant a Hannah Marchant’s card and see it result in sell very well.” wild flowers growing! “A huge range of options!” Above: One of the designs from Not All Jack.

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We replace slow sellers and damaged stock free of charge. We merchandise regularly, so you don’t have to. THAT’S WHY WE’RE ORIGINAL!

01932 267 300


01892 838 574 information@lingdesign.co.uk Great brands, Great service Bespoke planning We can help with all your planning l i requir i ements. t From smaller displays to redeveloping complete card departments

@NoelT Ta attGroup 01227 811 600 sales@noeltatt.co.uk www.noeltatt.co.uk


All our cards are supplied on consignment, so you only pay for what you sell. We also supply card fixtures and spinners free-on-loan.

Te T el 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118 www.listanpublications.co.uk sales@listanpublications.co.uk



Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:56 Page 47




p p paperlink... the home of fabulous cards!

356 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244 info@paperlink.co.uk k www.paperlink.co.uk Paperlinkcards

@ @paperlinkcards

greeting cards & contempoRary gifts

Send Love e

www.redbackcards.com e: info@redbackcards.com t: 01752 830482

( all year round )

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax



020 7700 6740

or email on warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

t: 0208 6138 085 paperbirdpublishing.co.uk u

or email on traceya@max-publishing.co.uk


01892 838 574 www.pennykennedy.co.uk

PURPLE TREE DESIGNS Exquisite Designs Beautiful Cards

Making card giving a bit more awesome Uk publisher of Greetings Cards with an extensive range of quality Birthday, Relations, Occasions and Seasonal product...

Key br ands include: Wr ite from the Hear t Ar tisan, Marzipan, Capisco Designer s Guild, Clare Tupperr Lucy Ledger plus man y more

available from

t. 07779 654 694 e. info@ruby-tuesday.co.uk www.ruby-tuesday.co.uk


Our Brands: Laughter with Animals, Sporting Fun The Funny Side of Life.

Tel:: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Te customer ser vices@paperrose.co.uk www.paperrose.co.uk www.ar tgroupcards.co.uk

purpletreedesigns.co.uk info@purpletreedesigns.co.uk @purpletreedesigns

Method of sale: Direct to Retail 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574 enquiries@lingdesign.co.uk www.lingdesign.co.uk




Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 48




The UK’s leading publisher of highest quality handmade Greetings Cards. Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons. Spinners and other retail displays available. Talking Pictures Cards Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6BE

Tel: 01892 838574 enquiries@talkingpics.co.uk www.talking-pictures.co.uk

Products: Greetings Cards, Gift Wrap, Gift Bags, Social Stationery, Partyware

Brands: Blossom & Bows Card Essentials Greetings Impressions In Touch Isabel·s Garden Planet Happy Sentiments With You In Mind Word Play


Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

Simon Elvin Limited Wooburn Industrial Park, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0PE Tel: 01628 526711 Fax: 01628 531483 www.simonelvin.com mail@simonelvin.com

7RPFDW&DUGV TEL: 01480 435562 FAX: 01480 450599

6 Heron Trading Estate Alliance Road, Park Royal, London W3 0RA T: 0208 385 4474 F: 0208 385 4471 E: info@Xpressyourselfcards.co.uk




PRODUCTS: World’s leading publisher of high quality plastic greeting cards. Also an extensive range of quality greeting cards covering Everyday, Occasions, Christmas and Spring seasons.


BRANDS: Cherished Thoughts, Sweet Sentiments, Buddies Always, Symphony, Thinking of You, Style, Special Wishes, Special Times, Young Editions, Groove Sensations, Forever Blessed, Grey Skies, Classics. METHOD OF SALE: SENSATIONS – Direct to retail XPRESS YOURSELF – Now one of the leading wholesale publisher suppliers in the UK



www.tomcat.cards info@tomcat.cards

To appear in the Product Directories email Warren Lomax warren@max-publishing.co.uk or Tracey Arnaud traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 49




view by rufus designed in thames ditton

We offffer a We COMPREHEN

range of high Greeting Cards f ALL Occasions,


... and if we fall into the ountain, we will just prosecco ffo ha av ve to drink our wa ay y out!

Season f Sale:

topdog@view by rufus.com 020 8972 9706


mail: inffo o@words-nWeb: www We w..words-n-wishes.co.uk

register ffo or a trade account: www w..viewbyrufus.com/b2b

Tel: 01942 233201

Market Leaders in

& entimen

an extensive range of superior quality,

design-led Greeting Cards for all occasions, Spring Seasons & Christmas.

A Cards e Art Botanical Fine


Vibrant and nd elegant gree greeting cards A fr freshly modern perspective on nature

Method of Sale: Direct to Retail Orders can be placed on our trader site

www.cbgtrader.co.uk or call our customer services team on

+44(0)1243 792600

Call Now 075 7700 1145 www.zaquarella.co.uk info@ zaquarella.com


To appear in the Product Directories email Warren Lomax warren@max-publishing.co.uk or Tracey Arnaud traceya@max-publishing.co.uk



Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 50




Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists


Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E sales@badgerconverters.co.uk www.badgerconverters.co.uk

BAGS We’ve been producing p bags of high clarity and high quality q for over 30 years. 01274 220 220 www w.wrapid.co.uk sales@wrapid.co.uk




- HEADER BAGS - WA WALLET BAGS - ZIPPER BAGS - FLEXOGRAPHIC, HOTFOIL & THEERMAL PRINTING www.transrappackagin ng.co.uk sales@transrap.co o.uk


01773 5378 810




0122 1228 228 2 28 8 5605 56 60 052 26 6 www.fful ulcrumfilms. ulcrrum mfillm ms s co.uk uk



Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 51








FOR ALL YOUR ENVELOPE NEEDS! Largest range of in-stock colours Over 400 Bespoke Envelope Sizes 8 Sizes Permanently in Stock RECYCLED


100% Recycled Paper Available Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes Bespoke Service on Request



01 90 83 78 86 6

www.regentenvelopes.com 01274 583000 sales@regentenvelopes.com


‘we we make Envelopes and Stationery’



SPECIALISTS IN SHORT RUN MULTI IMAGE PRINT s Foiling Services without the need for dies s Wiro bound notebooks, no minimum quantity s In House Fulfilmment Services

T 01274 305832 E info@hellocards.co.uk www.hellocards.co.uk

The simplest way to order your greetings cards


ABL Foil Ltd Unit 1, Industrial Estate East Hanningfield Chelmsford Essex, CM3 8AB

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email: david@abl-ltd.co.uk

Powered by

Unit 8, Archers Park, Branbridges Road, East Peckham, Kent TN12 5HP www.theimagingcentre.co.uk Email: info@theimagingcentre.co.uk Tel: 01622 871449

we print

we finish

we pack

we deliver



Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 52









PJ PRINT Celebrating 166 years of service to the printing industry...

LONDON The Capitals Only Specialist Greeting Card Printer All Industry Finishes Available In-House Including Laser Cutting

Over a century and a half of expert printing knowledge, Loxleys are the home of specialist lithographic and digital greeting card production

The Print Works Colville Road, Acton, London, W3 8BL E-mail: sales@pj-print.co.uk Tel: 020 8993 5160 www.pj-print.co.uk

Your saf ep ai

cturing ufa an m

ds for Far E as han f t ro

Outstanding, cost effective and efficient production of Greeting cards, Packaging and Social stationery, ideal for intricate and hand finished products. • Over 15 years experience providing high-quality printed products direct from the Far East • Trusted and financially stable, UK owned by The Sherwood Group • Socially responsible manufacturing: SMETA, ISO9001, ISO14001, FSC certification • Full product prototyping in the UK for competitive speed to market requirements


To find out how we can benefit your business, contact Derek Lam +00 (852) 3527 3471 / derek@sherwood-press.com or The Sherwood Group Head Office Hong Kong Office: 13/F, Kam Chung Commercial Building, 19-21 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

www w..sherwoodgroupuk.com 52



Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 53









Social Sta tationerry Printer of the Year

Award winning U UK & Global specialist manufacturer ffor the greeting card industry fo or over 40 years To discuss how we can worrk together, contact Richard Bacon: Tel 0115 928 7766 Email ric chard.bacon@sherwoodgroupuk.com

www.sherrwoodgroupuk.com Hadden Court, Glaisdale e Parkway, Glaisdale Drive West, Nottin ngham NG8 4GP


Same day order turna around Accurate fulfilment Value added only as you sell the product


Exclusively Greeting Cards Dedicated Account Managers

Litho Print


Digital Print







Tel:0127 e 4 4531828 Email: info@herbertw o alkers.co.uk

www.herbertwalkers.co.u uk


LB Warehousing 9RMXWȦȶ ȴ;E]WMHI;EVILSYWIW8 8S S W I P E R H  3IEVX3ISXW(EQFVMHKIWLMVI5*ȦȟȰ7< TelȉȦȏȁȉȁȁȉȁȉȉFaxȉȦȏȁȉȁȁȉȟȉȉMobileȉȮȁȁȟȴȟȟȴȏȦ P]RHE%PF[EVILSYWMRKGSYO



Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 54








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Classified Complete 2021.qxp 21/04/2021 10:58 Page 55





SALES AGENT(S S) Established 19 years, we publish humorous card ranges for a mix of audiences and are best known for the Alison’s Animals brand. We need an established Agent to maintain and build our business with retailers in





on to Su lin the bs c e at new rib PG s e Bu flas zz h .n et


South We West England (our most successful area) For a decade the south west has been our best territor y – so some big shoes to step into. The territor y comprises Cornwall, Devon, Dorset , Somerset , Wiltshire, Bristol, Gloucestershire – and we will make one or t wo appointments to cover the area. If you are currently selling complementar y products into garden centres, farm shops an nd card / gif t retailers, please telephone Stuar t Caldwell for an initial chat , on 07973 110324, o or email stuar t@splimple.com

From the team behind Progressive Greetings Worldwide, PG Live, The Retas and The Henries, PGBuzz.net has launched as the new online central resource for the greeting card sector online... Say it how you like.

l Twice weekly newsflash delivered to over 9000 inboxes l Regularly updated jobs-board l The very latest news, views, articles and analysis l Digital issues of Progressive Greetings Worldwide l Resource pages for The Ladder Club, GCA,

PG Live, The Retas and The Henries.

Head of Sales Location: Tonbridge, Kent Job type: Full -time Job description: UK Leading Greeting Card Suppliers, The Imaging Centre are looking for a high-performing Sales Manager. We are looking for someone to help us meet and exceed our customer expectations by giving them the best opportunity to succeed in this unique, creative and growing Industry. •

Great responsibility from Day One – the opportunity to make a real difference

Flexible holiday (minimum 25 days)

Competitive Salary

A fun and engaging working environment

Pension Scheme

All Electric Company Car and on site Charge Points

Company Laptop and Mobile Phone

News, Editorial and Content Opportunities:

Advertising, Recruitment and Sponsorship Opportunities:

Jakki Brown Joint md & editorial director jakkib@max-publishing.co.uk

Warren Lomax warren@max-publishing.co.uk

Michelle Board News editor michelleb@max-publishing.co.uk

Tracey Arnaud traceya@max-publishing.co.uk

News • PG Worldwide • Interviews • PG Live • Newsflash Events Gallery • Jobs • Ladder Club • GCA

To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax: 020 7700 6740 warren@max-publishing.co.uk or contact

To apply, send CV and covering letter to: adam@theimagingcentre.co.uk

Tracey Arnaud: 07957 212 062 tarnaud@btinternet.com PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


PG SNL CALL-WILD MAY 2021.indd 1 OBC_PG_April 2021.indd 1

21/04/2021 09:32 21/04/2021 15:47

Profile for Max Media Group

Progressive Greetings April 2021  

Progressive Greetings April 2021  

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