Progressive Greetings March 2019

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The Art of Paper Craft

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Call our customer service team on 0800 90 20 900 or ROI 012 480104, or your local area representative

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On The Cards For all the troubles, strife and uneasiness there is right now, there is, thank goodness, a whole lot of loving going on too! Getting Spring Seasons off to a great start, Valentine’s Day card sales were strong for, what I can gather, almost all retailers. Sure, not everyone enjoyed huge upsurges, but as Debbie Davis, owner of Cherry Cards in Upminster says, the combo of fine weather, the fact that the 14th fell on a Thursday and this year Valentine’s was outside of school half-term holidays dealt a kind hand this year for card retailers. But the love and passion was there, millions of cards were bought and sent/given, each one a treasure and tangible symbol of a relationship between two people. February 14 2019 will go down as a momentous one for me personally as, in an act of passion (for the industry, silly!) I bid furiously against 100 other bidders to secure what is deemed to be the world’s oldest Valentine’s card. Dating back to 1790-1810, this


Above: PG’s Jakki Brown (second left) mingling with some of the publishers before they go in to see the ‘Dragons’ at the GCA’s Speed-dating with Dragons 3 event. Left: GCA’s Amanda Fergusson (far right) and PG’s Jakki Brown with The Imaging Centre team at the digital printer’s Kent facility. Below left: PG’s Warren Lomax with WHSmith’s Claire Castle at Spring Fair.

modestly decorated piece of folded paper with heartfelt handwritten verse is not just significant for its heritage but what it represents - an enduring habit of sending and receiving cards that remains arguably more important today than ever before. I was also delighted that news of the Valentine treasure was lapped up by media all over the world - from a radio station in New Zealand to a news site in Southern Nigeria, as well as a whole host of over 100 newspapers, sites and radio stations in the UK. It felt a great honour being interviewed on several BBC radio programmes, sharing my love and total belief in the power of greeting cards. It is a great drum to bang! And, as this is the centenary of the GCA (which is run from within PG’s offices) I am looking forward to lots more ‘drum banging’ this year - and together with Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA, we will be looking to you to ‘join the band’ as there will be a whole programme of ideas and initiatives to get on board with. So, one Spring Seasons event ticked off the calendar, here’s hoping the late Easter will see the remaining three also getting ‘VG big tick’ marks from the nation. THE HOME OF MARKET LEADING TRADE MAGAZINES



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


curious world a new range of greeting cards designed by

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What’s Inside? 35

Within This Issue:


33 9-23





What’s Hot?





Over The Counter


Broken Brokerage?

Sweet Sorrow

Cardsharp muses over topical events happening in the industry.

David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, reflects on the power and support of sympathy cards.

Above: Five Dollar Shake’s beautifully illustrated bags and bring a magical twist to giving and receiving a gift.



27-31 Viewpoints


Strong Green Shoots

Focus On Giftwrappings

Retailers reveal their cream of the crop new card ranges as well as their view on the industry’s eco pursuit.

The news, views, trends and freshly launched collections from the current giftwrap market.



Spring Fair In Pictures

Jeremy’s Journal

The Fun Of The Fair

Feedback Loops

Photo moments from Spring Fair 2019.

Jeremy Corner of publisher Blue Eyed Sun talks about the importance of listening to feedback.

35-37 Trends & Inspirations



Ready For Take Off! A flavour of some of the 2019 card design trends.

Art Source

Subscribe to Progressive Greetings from £60 (UK) to £90 (International). You can organise this quickly and easily online at our secure site: For assistance, please email maxsubscriptions@marketingreinforc or call 0207 700 6740.

Tracey Arnaud

Jakki Brown

Warren Lomax

Gale Astley

Ian Hyder

Editor/Joint Owner

Joint Owner

Deputy Editor

Joint Owner

Sales Manager

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

Copyright© 2019. 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: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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An Emotional Acquisition Martin Nevin sells Emo to its former co-owner David Greaves has bought Emotional Rescue, the greeting card company he ran (and co-owned) for 22 years until 2013. The business was sold in its entirety to industry stalwart Martin Nevin four years ago. “Emotional Rescue is a great business and I have really enjoyed the last four years working with the team there and developing the company,” said Martin, who previous to owning ER, owned Is It Art. “The opportunity to sell the business to someone who knows it better than anyone, thereby offering security to the staff and customers, makes this a perfect deal. There is no better bloke for the job than David. I am just happy to have kept the business in good shape for him.” Ever since he left Emotional Rescue, David Greaves has been exploring business opportunities within the trade. It appears that the ideal opportunity was right under his nose. “It feels like putting on a favourite comfortable jacket that is just the perfect fit,” said David of becoming the owner of Emotional Rescue. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back involved in developing products for this market.” A week after the news that David Greaves had acquired Emo it was announced that Brett Smith, currently sales director of Danilo, is to join the company as joint managing director (with David) with a shareholding in the business. Commenting, David said that Brett’s “commercial knowledge, broad experience

Below: A prophetic photo at a Henries event. Brett Smith (left) with David Greaves (right), Martin Nevin (second left) and Ruth Young (Clintons).

and enthusiasm,” makes him a perfect fit for the company. Brett, who officially takes up his new role on March 11, has worked in the industry for 30 years. He spent many years in retail, over 20 of which were with Clintons, latterly as its marketing/commercial director, but held other buying and operational roles. Prior to joining Danilo in 2017 as sales director, Brett was commercial manager of Pioneer Europe and previous to this spent a period as a consultant within the card and gift sector. Sharing his excitement of his new opportunity, Brett said: “I have been fortunate to work with some of the best companies and people in our industry. I can’t wait to bring my mix of retail and supply experience to ER.” l Chris Houfe, who was joint managing director of Emotional Rescue for seven months leading up to the recent sale (previously with GBCC), has left the business, but is hoping to find a role within the industry.

Card Factory Opens Concessions In Oz Card Factory is expanding overseas by opening eight concessions within The Reject Shop, a discount retail chain in Australia, which comprises 350 stores in Australia. “Although this is very early stage, we are pleased to be working with The Reject Shop, a brand which shares our focus on quality and value, to test our proposition in the Australian market,” Karen Hubbard, ceo of Card Factory told PG. The concessions, which are all Card Factory branded, vary in size, in order to gauge consumer response. Currently only including greeting cards, the selection is based on Card Factory’s best selling designs as well as some that have been adapted to better suit Australian tastes. “All of the non-hand-finished cards are being produced in Yorkshire by our Printcraft business and shipped to Australia, while the handmade or hand-finished designs are being sent from our facilities in the Far East,” reveals Karen. Meanwhile, Card Factory’s trial with Aldi in the UK is ramping up, having been extended from 12 stores up to 121 stores. “We are very pleased with how it is going with Aldi,” said Karen. Through signage Aldi makes great play of the fact that all the cards are all designed and printed in Yorkshire, prominently featuring a Union Jack to signify their provenance. Above: The signage that proclaims Card Factory’s presence in The Reject Shop.

KPD helps love ‘Trump’ hate

It was a ‘no brainer’ for the ‘Brainbox Boys’ to add Modern Toss to its portfolio through a distribution/licensing agreement. The Brainbox Candy x Modern Toss collaboration was christened at the recent Spring Fair. While initially Modern Toss’ finished products will be distributed by Brainbox Candy, as time goes on the Modern Toss cards and gifts will be produced under licence by Brainbox. With a cult following for its edgy observations on life and distinctive styling, Modern Toss features the work of the Brighton-based company’s co-founders Jon Link and Mick Bunnage, who started the business in 2004. The distribution development came about when Jon and Mick contacted Brainbox’s co-founders, Ben Hickman and Mark Williams to see if they would be interested in becoming the exclusive distributor for the cards and gifts. “As massive fans of their work, it was a resounding yes from us,” said Brainbox’s Mark Williams.

Katie Phythian and her husband Mike, coowners of Katie Phythian Design, were deeply touched by the news reports about how nine year-old Tiger Blaylock was offering to sell his artwork in order to help provide for his family (and others) who were suffering financial hardship as a result of the extended shut down of the US Government - so they made contact. As a result Katie Phythian Design has produced a collection of four cards based on Tiger’s original artwork, which each have a compassionate and positive title, namely Love Trumps Hate, Always Use Mercy, Don't Kill and Don't Be Killed and Electric Whale, Elhaw. All profits from these cards are going to Tiger to help support his family, buy art materials and fund future studies.

Above: Brainbox Candy chaps, Ben Hickman (left) and Mark Williams on their stand at the Spring Fair. Right: Modern Toss has moved in with Brainbox.

Above: One of nine year-old Tiger Blaylock’s artworks.

Above: On the Ceiling is one of Emo’s key brands.

Brainbox Candy gives a Modern Toss



A4 Prog Greetings 25.01.19.pdf





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Romance Is Not Dead Last minute sales for Valentine’s Day Retailers’ pulses were racing as they totted up their Valentine’s Day card sales with an exceedingly high percentage of purchases being made in the last few days. Among those to have been delighted by the performance of the first Spring Seasons event of 2019 was Scribbler, who revealed that its Valentine’s Day card sales were 9% up on the previous year. “Valentine’s was very successful for us,” commented John Procter, coowner of Scribbler. He cites the retailer’s own brand selection as a major reason for this stunning performance as well as an extended space allocation. Echoing the views held by many that Cupid’s arrow was pointing in the right direction for a good start to the Spring Seasons events, independent retailer, Debbie Davis, owner of Cherry Cards in Upminster, Essex, summed up: “I do think us traders struck lucky with Valentine’s this year. The event fell on a Thursday, it wasn’t in the half-term

Below: Upminster’s Cherry Orchard wholeheartedly embraced Valentine’s Day - it was the right colour for it! Bottom: Scribbler had a stonking Valentine’s season this year.

holidays and the weather was fantastic for mid-February, I even had the door open with the sun shining in! This time last year I believe we had the Beast from the East on its way!” Debbie’s sales ended up 4% compared to last year. Last minute sales was definitely the name of the game. Mark JansonSmith, owner of London-based Postmark (whose sales ended up on a par with the previous year for its shops) said that over 50% of its sales came in the last three or four days. John Lewis also experienced a passionate last minute surge on Valentine’s Day cards. “We finished Valentine’s slightly behind last year, but only by 1%,” revealed Lizzie Batchelar, assistant buyer of cards, giftwrap and seasonal events for John Lewis. “However we were really pleased with this given how back ended sales were, as expected! In the final week we saw sales come through at +18%! Our sell through was also up on last year.”

More heart rate takings PG takes the pulse of Valentine’s Day sales… l Kate Cowie, director of Utility, which has three shops in Liverpool and opens its first store in Manchester this month: “Our Valentine’s Day card sales, for cards that specifically include the word ‘Valentine’) were 9% up based on the previous year, but our ‘love card’ sales, for cards that have a love theme that we sell all year round, were a massive 36% up compared to previous year.” l Mark Rees, md of Penmark, which has 11 stores in the Midlands: “Our Valentine’s Day card sales ended up 5.4% up for the season, which was a great result. When Valentine’s Day falls is always a factor as the last week’s sales were +21% on the previous year.” l Miles Robinson, partner of House of Cards, the Home Counties group of six stores: “Our Valentine’s Day sales ended on a par with 2018 levels, which is better than the trend over the past few years. Buying patterns showed customers were buying as late as ever!” l Mark Janson-Smith, md of Postmark, group of four stores in London: “Valentine’s this year was near on exactly the same as 2018. We sold 28 more cards, but the value was down by around £200, so it does seem that people are spending a little less per card. Our buying probably reflected this so it was an obvious result, but we continue to notice that our customer base are buying more tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s cards than the more traditional, romantic ones.” Above: One of Utility’s window displays based on a Soochichacha card design.

#Shoplocal urges The Little Dog Laughed Having built up their business over the last 20 years by supplying independent card and gift retailers, The Little Dog Laughed’s co-owners, sister and brothers trio Anna Danielle, Gavin and Nathan Smith, thought they knew a thing or two about their customers’ needs. However, a recent spell running a pop-up shop in their locality of Allestree in Derbyshire opened up their eyes to the everyday trials and tribulations of indies and a quest to direct their design skills to helping their independent retail stockists to promote the #shoplocal message. Fanfared on The Little Dog Laughed stand at Spring Fair was a suite of social media visuals that could also be printed out and displayed instore which could be useful for indies - and moreover encouraging retailers to contact the publisher with any other special design requests on this front. As Anna explained: “Nothing would please me more than if my design skills could help them to encourage their customers to shop local.” Above: One of the social media visuals that Anna created for indies to use.

Happy Jackson card in Brexit process The power of the greeting card has been shown to work even in the trickiest of situations, but few would have expected a thank you card to become such an attention grabber in the Brexit discussions. The image of the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker reading a Happy Jackson thank you card 'from Ireland', as the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar looked on, attracted masses of coverage in the international press, on TV, in newspapers and on the radio, as well as trending on social media channels recently. The European Commission’s president received it from an Irish woman, called Hayley, who has no connection to politics, who just wanted to thank Jean-Claude Juncker for having "stood up for Ireland". Giles Andreae, who co-created Happy Jackson with Heather Flynn, admitted that it was rather surprising to discover the brand had a “walk-on part in the Brexit process!” Above: Jean-Claude Juncker reading a Happy Jackson thank you card 'from Ireland', as the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar looks on.



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World’s Oldest Valentine’s Card PG’s Jakki Brown successful bidder for historic card Old love conquered all on 14 February when ‘the world’s oldest Valentine’s card’ went under the hammer and fetched £7,192, way over the expected selling price. The successful bidder was Jakki Brown, co-owner of Progressive Greetings, who held her nerve as a flurry of escalating bids came in from all over the world to Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire. “I can’t tell you how happy I feel to know that this significant greeting card, which is such a wonderful example of an enduring British tradition, will remain within our industry,” she said. Jakki also owns the first ever commercially produced Christmas card, published by Sir Henry Cole in 1843.

The historic card, which dates back to the reign of Mad King George III, may be simple in format, but it carries a deep declaration of love and poignancy. In keeping with the types of messages that would have been sent during the Jane Austen era, the front of the message features the word ‘Love’ above sketches of hearts and a dove carrying a sealed envelope. The inside includes a handwritten verse.

The card, which was folded prior to being posted, was sent to ‘Ann’ who lived at Hartwell House in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. This special Valentine’s card was among a collection of over 200 mainly Victorian and Georgian greeting cards, which belonged to the late Lawrence Randle, a keen philatelist and card collector. As soon as the news broke of the sale of the world’s oldest Valentine’s card the global media interest went into overdrive resulting in a mass of coverage in over 100 different newspapers, on diverse radio stations and a host of newsfeeds, as well as special interest websites. “I’m delighted the story has received exceptional coverage as I know Jakki [Brown] wanted to remind people of the importance of sending greeting cards,” said Jill Gallone, head of media at Hanson Auctioneers who masterminded and instigated the all-encompassing PR campaign. Above: The delicate Valentine that dates back to 17901810 that is now owned by PG’s Jakki Brown. Above left: Hansons’ auctioneer Rick Alexander keeping up with the bidding on 14 February.

Windles launches Kard Klasp Citing it as an ‘evolution in greeting card packaging’, greeting card printer Windles has launched Kard Klasp, an alternative way of publishers offering unwrapped cards. Having worked closely with Woodmansterne to develop the publisher’s close-seal solution – which enables the publisher to offer retailers an unwrapped card that remains secure with an envelope - greeting card printer Windles has now launched Kard Klasp, a variation on a Above: A mock-up of the Kard Klasp in use. theme which is a shaped, printable, peelable mechanism. “The term ‘naked cards’ has been a hot topic in the greeting card industry - as people and businesses wish to eradicate single use plastic where possible. We set about working with the naked cards phenomenon some 23 months ago, focusing on how best to retain the symbolic features of the beautiful greeting card product,” states Bruce Podmore, md of Windles. Kard Klasp is a paper-based, recyclable peelable label that can be printed with a publisher’s logo. Details can also be printed on the reverse of the Klasp.

Hallmark signs distribution deal with P&G Cards Hallmark is to strengthen its presence in Ireland by making the brand available through a distribution agreement with P&G Cards, as well as through the publisher’s dedicated sales force. P&G Cards is a well-established family business, founded by Pauline and Gerry Naughton back in 1988. Their two daughters, Michelle Daly and Aisling Naughton are now heavily involved in the day to day running of the business as deputy managing director and operations director respectively. Roscommon-based P&G Cards has built up a strong customer base, notably in the convenience sector, for its portfolio of products, which includes cards it publishes as well as those it distributes from other publishers. Its activities have also included publishing a range of own brand cards for Aldi.

Above: P&G Cards’ founders Gerry and (second right) Pauline Naughton with their daughters Michelle Daly (left) and Aisling Naughton.

The signing of Hallmark adds another string to P&G’s bow while giving Hallmark the opportunity for incremental sales in the Republic. Explaining the rationale, Ciaran Leonard, Hallmark’s head of sales for UK & Ireland said: “P&G Cards have a longstanding, trustworthy reputation in the trade and are focused on providing the best solutions for their customers, which is something we at Hallmark value greatly. We are confident P&G will be great custodians of the Hallmark brand and we are looking forward to a long and successful partnership delivering a great proposition for their customers”. Ciaran assures that Hallmark will continue with its own dedicated sales force in Ireland. “We are doing well in Ireland and have 27 Gold Crown stores there. Our sales force will continue to develop our brand’s presence, especially with the specialist card retailers.” Commenting from P&G’s perspective, deputy managing director Michelle Daly believes that “Together we are well positioned to grow and compete in the greeting card market. We will be able to offer a broader range that will enable our customers to capitalise on their greeting card business”.




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Restructured UKG Reshores Publisher braces for Brexit by stockpiling Having undergone its first complete restructure in very many years, UK Greetings (UKG) is now a much more “customer-centric business”. The publisher is also upping production in the UK by bringing 40% of production of its everyday greeting cards back to UK shores. Prior to this, all production was done in the Far East. “Reshoring production to the UK means that we can be more responsive to customer needs, reduce our lead times, improve our environmental footprint and support British suppliers,” commented Ceri Stirland, customer and channel director of UKG. Plus, preparing for the worse case scenario of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, UK Greeting has revealed it has built up a stockpile of cards. Ceri confirmed: “We have built up stocks of approximately eight weeks in order to ensure continuity of supply to our customers in the event of a no deal Brexit.” Commenting on UKG’s ‘new shape’, which is anchored around full customerfocused teams, Ceri stated: “The new structure ensures we now have a very robust, sustainable business with our customers right at its heart.” The restructure affected 75 roles, which would equate to 15% of UKG’s workforce, however in actuality it resulted in a 10% job loss. Accepting the human cost, Ceri said, “Though necessary, undergoing the restructure was upsetting as it affected so many amazing people in our business. I am so glad that we were able to find

new roles for some within UKG, be able to promote others and that so many others are remaining in the industry, having found roles elsewhere.” The new structure has seen the creation of seven strategic account management team directors, each of which will be responsible for a key UKG customer/group. UKG’s commitment to the independent retailer has also been elevated in the business’ new shape with Darren Cave, who heads up the publisher’s dedicated independent division now joining the company’s leadership team alongside Ceri and other senior directors responsible for creative, operations, finance, IT and HR. All of the leadership team report to James Conn, who took over as ceo of UK Greetings on 1 March 2018. Above: UKG’s Ceri Stirland (left) with Jayne Myers (centre), who took the decision to leave the business prior to the restructure but continued as commercial director in the transition, and Lois Holcroft. Left: Darren Cave, UKG’s director of field sales is now one of the company’s senior leadership team, highlighting the importance of the independent channel.

Think of Me Naked urges publisher Design-led card publisher Think of Me Design may be in celebratory mode, as 2019 marks the 15th anniversary of the company, but it is also keen to safeguard the planet. Keen to help cut down on plastic use, the publisher’s retail customers now have the option, through its ‘Think of Me Naked’ campaign to receive their cards without the cello packaging. “We’re realistic, we are not going to be able to rid our industry of plastic overnight, but the ‘naked’ campaign forces us to make a conscious decision about our plastic use,” Dan Kane, who co-owns the company with his wife Freya, states. A side effect of Dan and Freya’s move to the edge of the Pacific Ocean (though the company’s fulfillment remains in the UK) has been an increased awareness of environmental issues, specifically the overuse of plastics. “We see the damage that is being done to the oceans through the world’s over-reliance on plastics first hand, and it is important to act now to maintain what we have and attempt to restore what we’ve lost,” says Dan. Left: One of Think of Me’s designs from its new Aloha range.

Eco-sparkle from the Sherwood Group Greeting card printing group, Sherwood and Loxleys have added home-compostable eco-glitter, glue dot ‘Bagless Bagging’, a plastic-free gem finish and new biodegradable bags to their ‘green menu’. The Sheffield and Nottingham-based specialist greeting card printing group has added some extra eco-sparkle to its offer for its greeting card publisher customers with the launch of its new Eco-Glitter swatch, which showcases a range of 10 different colours of biodegradable glitter, including a popular super sparkly Crystalina option. This Eco-Glitter is made largely from eucalyptus cellulose and is 92% biodegradable (although the Crystalina is 85% biodegradable). In addition, the print group is also launching a suite of environmentally responsible alternatives to traditional processes, such as biodegradable and recyclable cello bags, a plastic-free alternative to plastic gems and mineralbased toner inks.

Above: Loxleys and The Sherwood Group’s EcoGlitter swatch.

“With reducing single use plastic high on the industry agenda, our Eco-Bags offer high quality packaging with a lower carbon footprint. The film is biodegradable certified with the ability to disintegrate within six months under controlled conditions and can be recycled or incinerated,” said Tony Lorriman, managing director of Loxleys. As Richard Bacon, ceo of Loxleys and managing director of The Sherwood Group added: “Being able to offer environmentally-friendly solutions that allow our greeting card customers to reduce and remove plastics has been a key priority for the group.” Loxleys has also just perfected its Bagless Bagging solution that keeps a card and envelope together, thereby removing the need for a ‘cello bag’. The process uses glue dot technology which is strong enough to hold the card and envelope together, while being completely removable and leaving no residue.





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NEWS Louie fame for UK publishers


GCA’s Centenary Christened New logo and initiatives galore planned for association The GCA (Greeting Card Association) has kicked off what will be a whole programme of centenary celebrations and initiatives by unveiling a whole new look to its branding. “Greeting cards are all about celebrating and marking life’s events and moments, so it is wholly appropriate that we celebrate the GCA’s own significant 100 year milestone,” said Amanda Fergusson, chief executive of the GCA, who revealed the new logo at the recent GCA Speed-dating with Dragons event. “This new updated logo is just the start, we are working on a whole programme of initiatives and activities that we will be sharing in the coming weeks and months and we will be encouraging publishers, retailers and suppliers to embrace the opportunity to get involved in celebrating our wonderful industry’s ongoing evolution,” Amanda added. She explained that the centenary was deemed ideal timing to give the GCA’s branding a makeover. “Being a pre-eminent creative industry, the Council felt it was important that we update our 20 year old branding, while retaining the heritage and having some

continuity with our existing logo,” she added. The new logo was arrived at following a design brief being issued to all Council members’ teams as well as the GCA hub’s creative resource. Some 30+ submissions were made, which then went to a vote among Council members and the GCA hub team. The design that received the highest number of votes, and has therefore been adopted as the new livery, remains largely true to the colours of GCA’s existing logo, with the association’s three letters depicted in a contemporary lower case font format. While for the duration of this year, the logo will feature wording that acknowledges the GCA’s centenary, from the start of 2020 this will be dropped and the branding will make no reference to the heritage. A branding ‘toolkit’ is in the throes of being developed which members and associate members will be encouraged to use. The new logo will be uploaded onto the GCA website for members to download. Above: While this year will see the logo incorporating the GCA’s centenary, from the start of 2020 a pared back version will be adopted. Left: GCA’s ceo, Amanda Fergusson holding the new GCA logo.

£1,000 ‘Woody’ prize for Just Cards It was a normal Monday morning in Just Cards, the St Ives, Cambs-based indie owned by Tom and Maureen O’Connell until their Woodmansterne sales rep Chris Duplock rang to tell them the good news, that they had won a fabulous £1,000 treat, as winner of the publisher’s Spring Fair prize draw. “It was such a wonderful surprise!” Tom O’Connell exclaimed to PG, having heard that he and Maureen can now take their pick of any of Woodmansterne’s Five Star Days and experiences, which span a wide range of treats, from hotel trips away to adventures galore. To add extra colour and excitement to Woodmansterne’s tropical-themed stand at the show, Kate Leach, the publisher’s head of marketing explained that as part of its Spring Fair activities, “all customers placing an order went into the prize draw with the chance to win the £1,000 prize. As well as having lots of great new products this was clearly an attractive incentive as we collected loads of entries!” “The only tough bit is deciding where to go or what to do - at the moment a trip to Paris, Rome or Istanbul are looking the favourites!” said Maureen. Above: This is not the first time the O’Connells have been winners as Just Cards won a Retas greeting card retailer award a few years ago! Left: One of the Rumba designs in the new Woodmansterne range.

Rosie Made a Thing, Ohh Deer, Laura Sherratt, Sally Scaffardi, Laura Darrington and Lagom are among the UK greeting card publishers to have reached the finals of The Louie Awards 2019, the US counterparts of The Henries awards in the UK. The creativity of UK publishers did not go unnoticed by the US judges of the Louies, resulting in British card designs being feted among the 165 specific card designs that have been officially announced as finalists by the US Greeting Card Association that owns and organises The Louie awards. Think of Me’s transatlantic set-up (the founders Dan and Freya Kane now live in California, though the fulfillment is still handled in the UK) is clearly providing the best of both worlds as one of the publisher’s designs is in the finals. Other finalists include several US brands that are well-known on UK shores, including Avanti (distributed in the UK by GBCC) and Up With Paper (distributed in the UK by Noel Tatt and Northern Lights). In addition, Quilling Card, which has just signed a distribution deal with UK company East West, also reached the finals with one of its intricately hand-created designs. The winners will be announced at The Louie Celebration -Speakeasy Soirée, which will take place on Sunday 18 May at 26 Bridge in Brooklyn, New York. The Louie Celebration will coincide with Noted: The Greeting Card Expo, the brand new greeting card trade show that is being organised by the US Greeting Card Association. It will take place May 18-20 in Brooklyn Expo Center in Brooklyn. Top to bottom: A Lagom design (distributed in the US by Calypso); a Laura Darrington card (distributed in the US by Notes & Queries); a Laura Sherratt design; a Quilling Card (distributed in the UK by EastWest) and a Sally Scaffardi design (distributed in the US by Notes & Queries).



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All Fired Up GCA’s Speed-dating With Dragons 3 success GCA’s third Speed-dating with Dragons event, held at London’s Business Design Centre, was hailed a great success by all. “It’s great to see lots of new product and companies coming through. As a buyer you also get something out of being able to help others, and of being part of something with others who share a passion for this industry,” summed up Andrea Pinder, owner of Unit 7, who was one of the ‘Dragons’ along with those from Between the Lines, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Cardzone, Moonpig, Scribbler, Thortful, House of Cards, Postmark and other leading indies. Some 72 greeting card publishers made the most of the opportunities of pitching their companies’ ranges to 18 of

the UK’s top greeting card retailers in a series of one-to-one 10 minute ‘dates’ with buyers from multiples, small groups and indies. The event also involved a knowledge-filled panel session during which industry stalwarts, Ged Mace of The Art File, Paul Woodmansterne of Woodmansterne Publications and Brett Smith of Danilo (soon to join Emotional Rescue), covered a whole gamut of pertinent business issues - from making the most of agents to how brokerage works, from buyers’ needs to the trade’s collective environmental responsibility.

Below: A pitching session in action. Below left: Publishers waiting in their ‘pen’ before going in to pitch to the Dragons.

“It has been a wonderful afternoon, and I know from the feedback already that it is going to make a real difference to many people and their businesses, either through the orders they receive as well as the advice shared by the Dragons or from our experienced panelists of Ged, Paul and Brett,” said Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA. “This year we are celebrating the GCA’s 100th anniversary; events like this help to perpetuate our industry’s future through a closer understanding between publishers and retailers.” Lindsey Kleinlercher, co-owner of Between the Lines, having been persuaded to participate by her daughter Ellie, was ecstatic about the event. “I have loved it - and will be ordering from everyone I have seen!” she said. Paul Taylor, managing director of Cardzone, was also impressed with the publishers he met: “I ordered from one talented publisher, then and there as I so loved one Mother’s Day design I was shown. Our Mother’s Day selection is all done, but I couldn’t resist so we are squeezing it in.” Echoing the views of the dragons, Miles Robinson, partner of House of Cards summed up how: “It feels good to be able to put something back into the industry. Plus, we all love the opportunity of being able to spot the next little gems of publishers who have the potential to grow into something special.”

Handcrafted GOTY wins The Handcrafted Card Company won the Gift of the Year Cards and Wrap award in the Giftware Association’s awards, for its Pen & Ink collection, bagging a second award for the talented card publisher. This follows on from its Henries award for the Best Handmade or Handfinished Range last October. For the second year running, Paper Mirchi won the GOTY Design & Craft award for its hand-marbled giftwrap. Right: The Handcrafted Card Company won the Gift of the Year Cards and Wrap award for its Pen & Ink collection with Marianne Cameron, agent for Handcrafted, who collected the trophy (left). Seen here with Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner (second left), and Origamo’s Furio Ceciliato (as the Quilling Cards by Origamo, distributed by BES, who received a Highly Commended trophy) and Fiona Burge of Really Good/Soul, as the company received a Highly Commended award for its Suck It reusable straws in the Under £10 category.

l Some 8% fewer ‘letters’ were sent by post in the nine months to 23 December compared to the previous year, but Royal Mail has stressed that the drop is largely to do with the continuing impact of GDPR. This meant that there was a 6% reduction in revenue from letter post. Previously Royal Mail has said it was anticipating a long-term average drop of 4%-6%.

£20 million cash injection in Clintons reduces losses Clintons lodging its annual accounts with Companies House (for the year to January 27 2018) was picked up in the press. The Times featured a sizeable story about the specialist retailer’s results. ‘Store closures, cost-cutting and a £20 million cash injection from its wealthy American owner have contributed to a reduced loss at Clintons’ was how the article began before going on to share how Clintons showed a £14.2 million pre-tax loss for the 12 months to end of January 2018, which was an improvement on the £19.4 million loss the previous year. The article also gave credence to how Clintons has been making progress in shutting unprofitable stores, trimming costs, clearing out excess stock and improving its retail margins in a ‘recovery’ that is being led by Eddie Shepherd, who became chief executive in 2017. Acknowledging the tricky retail landscape, The Times said that ‘Like many retailers fighting to survive on the high street, Clintons is grappling with its landlords to secure rents on better terms. It has renegotiated about 160 leases in the past two years.’ The accounts show how nearly £20 million of cash was injected by the Weiss family (who still wholly own Clintons, despite selling 60% of American Greetings, the publishing parent of UKG to private equity firm, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice last April). In a statement in its accounts, Clintons has said that it believes it will be a “profitable concern” within two years, “despite continued difficult market conditions in the high street” that it did not expect to improve. Above: Clintons currently trades from around 350 stores.



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Cardgains’ 30th Anniversary New sales team and £5,000 of prizes up for grabs “Cardgains has come a long way in its 30 year history, but with today’s membership, representing 1,000 independent retail rooftops, its successful continuing evolution is a real cause for celebration,” Chris Dyson, joint managing director of Cardgains told PG. “We have a full programme of initiatives and promotions for our milestone year - and a new motivated and experienced sales team to support our existing members and encourage other retailers to join us,” he added. With Spring Fair officially marking the 30th anniversary celebrations, Cardgains’ new sales team made their trade debut, but they are certainly not strangers to many in the industry. Joining Jim Girvan, Cardgains’ general sales manager (who also covers Scotland), are Jane Rodgers (who is to cover the

north), Alan Harwood (covering the south) and Ron Ritchie, who is responsible for the Midlands. The trio are all formerly of UKG (and Jane is also a former retail member of Cardgains). Penny Shaw, marketing director of Cardgains reveals how the next eight months will see a flurry of innovative promotions and competitions from 21 suppliers, offering Cardgains’ members the chance to win various prizes, collectively worth well over £5,000. “There will be two of three promotions each month, starting with H&H’s incentive which will see a member winning a £200

Premier Inn voucher, but other great prizes including televisions, theatre tickets and experience days are all being lined up,” she explained. Among the suppliers to have committed to participating in this promotions bonanza are Abacus, Carte Blanche, Cherry Orchard, Enesco, GBCC, Glick, Grassroots, House of Sarunds, IC&G, Jacksons, Ling, Nigel Quiney, Paper Rose, Pioneer, Second Nature, UKG, Wax Lyrical, Widdop and Co, Words ‘n’ Wishes and Xystos. In addition, in order to encourage Cardgains’ members to try new suppliers’ products within the buying group’s portfolio, some 13 companies are putting together a ‘taster’ offer that will be available to members for only £30.00 each. The Cardgains’ rep force will be introducing these as part of their service. “With a retail value of between £100£140, comprising some 18 cards, this will allow a member who has not dealt with that supplier ever before or not for a long time to fill two rows on their card racks, or create two blocks of nine cards, and add some newness to their offer,” said Chris. Above: The Cardgains’ sales team (left-right) Jane Rodgers who covers the north; general sales manager Jim Girvan, also responsible for Scotland; Alan Harwood who covers the south and Ron Ritchie, who is responsible for the Midlands. Above left: Cardgains retail members First Class Greetings’ Jerry (centre) and (far left) Debbie Brown spinning ‘the wheel of fortune’ on the Cardgains Village at Spring Fair with Cardgains’ Chris Dyson (second left), Penny Shaw (second right) and Xpressions’ Christine Harrison.

American Greetings packs an emotional punch The wellbeing power of greeting cards comes to the fore in American Greetings’ latest commercial. AG, the parent company of UK Greetings, aired an incredibly powerful consumer advert, the underlining message of which is that sending greeting cards to those close to us are good for your wellbeing. As part of the card publisher’s #GiveMeaning campaign, the latest commercial, entitled A True Test of Strength, starts with top tier athletes pushed to their physical limits as an “evaluation for a new innovative workout that will help you live longer,” says the trainer. He sets the “relationship challenge” asking them to “think of someone who really matters to you and write them a card.” The film ends with the message that close relationships also help us live longer, healthier lives. Above: A still from the four minute commercial, that is hosted on YouTube.

l After 34 years in the greeting card industry, Simon King (right), the well-respected sales director of specialist greeting card printer Sherwood Group, is making a complete career change and is re-training to run a care home. “I have loved my time in this industry, and feel privileged to have be part of what must be the most exciting chapter in its evolution, but having worked in the printing industry since I left school at 16, I now have an opportunity to join the care industry,” Simon told PG. “From being at the heart of one industry whose product is all about showing you care to another!” he added. Paying tribute to “his colleague and friend”, Jeremy Bacon, ceo of the Sherwood Group, acknowledged that Simon, who joined the Nottingham-based Sherwood Group in the year 2000, has been “instrumental in developing the Sherwood Group’s business and reputation as a specialist greeting card printer.” He added that “Simon has been a ‘wise old bear’ of our board meetings and his experience and insight has played a part in our strategic decisions.”

l Wholesaler Northwest Greetings has welcome experienced gift buyer Debbie Jones (above) into its team. Debbie joins with 30 years experience gained both at G & T’s Original Warehouse in Bournemouth and latterly at Budget Greetings Manchester. l Go La La was delighted that DJ Zoe Ball read out its ‘Sausage’ poem from the publisher’s Nice Little Ditties range on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show. l Oliver Bonas is to open Above: Sizzling PR eight new stores taking it to for Go La La. 85 shops by the end of the year. This expansion is being supported by a £15 million revolving credit facility from HSBC UK. The first of the new stores will open at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. l The Giftware Association’s ceo Sarah Ward is to attend a meeting at the House of Lords on 13 March, two weeks before the proposed Brexit date, to discuss the impact to SMEs across different sectors.



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The news, at the time PG went to press, that the CMA (Competition and Market Authority) had ruled against the merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s, deciding it represented an oligopoly (ie reduces competition and leads to higher prices) inspired Cardsharp to reflect on the role of supermarkets in the greeting card category. More specifically, he wondered, is the current big supermarket brokerage model really working to anyone’s benefit? Cardsharp has been doing some serious thinking, and really wonders about a convoluted and unprofitable supply route, that has somehow become the established norm? And who does it really benefit? Cardsharp wants to have a really quiet word about supermarket brokerage! For the last 20 years, brokerage has been considered the norm in supplying the big grocers who dominate UK retailing. The system is far from simple. A huge multinational card publisher guarantees to provide the even larger multiple retail customer with all of its needs product wise, as well as provide (in most cases) the fixtures and fittings, the merchandising support, and ensure the greeting card area’s sales and profitability. The publisher in return will be allowed a certain percentage of the displays but then will guarantee to the grocer that the rest of the pockets will be filled by product ranges and designs of its (the retailer’s) choice. The percentage given to the brokerage



operating publisher varies from grocer to grocer, but can be between 50% to 80%. Traditionally for the broker this has meant control over a massive greeting card account, generating a huge turnover. For smaller/contributing publishers supplying into the controlling broker

Top: Do we need to talk about the greeting industry’s brokerage system? Above: The CMA (Competition and Market Authority) had ruled against the merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s. Below: Before the 1990s the supermarket sector had just a 6% value market share.

/publisher, this has meant access to an account that they may have well been denied access to in other circumstances. But this at a cost. The supplying publisher’s margin is seriously eroded. The price they receive per card is well below the industry average transactional charge, and they will normally have to pay towards a merchandising cost per pocket. On top of that, they are often liable for returns and in all cases, as far as Cardsharp knows, they have to pay for these ‘returns’ to be removed and inevitably destroyed! And we, as an industry, have arrived in this weird situation, where a lot of medium-sized established card publishers’ largest customers are in

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CARDSHARP fact their major competitors. Now if you think about it, that is really weird! Normally the agreement the publishing broker strikes with the grocer is for a fixed term of five years. Historically, the supermarkets have gone with one of the big two US owned publishing giants for their brokerage agreements, and in the case of Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco over the last 20 years, it has been a bit of a musical chairs game, transferring from one to the other with regularity, presumably on the basis of whoever comes up with the best pitch, or perhaps more importantly the best financial deal! Like a lot of these odd anomalies, in the greeting card trade and in many other industries, if you started from scratch no one would think of brokerage as it seems such a convoluted model for publishing greeting cards and getting them to the consumer to buy. And like a lot of these things, it all goes back to history. Back in the early 1990’s the greeting card industry looked totally different from it is today. At that time, the supermarkets sold virtually no cards. The UK retailers with the largest greeting card market share were, believe it or not, the now lamented Woolworths (on Christmas) and WHSmith (on everyday). Clintons, under Don Lewin, was yet to go on the huge acquisition spree that eventually meant it would end up with 1,000 stores and then eventually combusted six years ago. Newsagents, as opposed to specialist card shops, had the largest market share as a category group and the wholesale sector had a remarkable 52% market share by volume and a 40% market share by value. Cardsharp, showing his age, remembers that remarkably the supermarket sector had just a 6% value market share back then. But things began to change rapidly during the 1990’s. To Cardsharp’s recollection Tesco was the first of the supermarkets to spot the potential of greeting cards and the high margin they promised, and with the move into much larger superstore formats they had the space to do the category justice. But surprisingly Tesco chose as its brokerage partner not one of the big two, but a small

Above: Normally the agreement the publishing broker strikes with the grocer is for a fixed term of five years. Below: For the last 20 years, brokerage has been considered the norm in supplying the big grocers who dominate UK retailing.

Bath-based publisher called Minds Eye. Initially Minds Eye acted as a pure broker with the displays mainly from other publishers, but increasingly as its margins were put under pressure, Minds Eye could not resist the temptation to put more and more of its own product into the displays. But even this could not prevent Minds Eye’s downfall, and eventually in 1999, the company collapsed. Ever since then greeting card brokerage in the grocers has been dominated by Hallmark and UKG. Paper House, as GBCC was known then, did have a share of the Sainsbury’s brokerage operation in the early noughties before losing out to UKG, while Woodmansterne brokered the smallest of the major grocer, Waitrose, up to four years ago. Since then the big five have all been Hallmark or UKG brokerages. In order to win or maintain the supermarkets’ business, the big boys presumably have had to offer more and more in terms and incentives to reach a point where, Cardsharp wonders, whether either of them are making a decent return on what must be something in the region of £500 million worth of consumer sales. So what are the answers? Or are there any? Perhaps this supermarket brokerage model, like ‘sale or return’, is just ‘one of those things’ that publishers have to live with? But is it sensible that a business model that generates such a huge amount of consumer sales through the big four grocers gives so little in return for the brokering publisher or the participating

publishers in the brokerage chain? At present, to Cardsharp’s mind, it seems to be the big five - Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose - who are the ones that really benefit. Are there any alternatives? In the US, a mainly solus supply system seems to operate, with one of the big two totally supplying the retailers’ greeting card needs. This in Cardsharp’s view has been a major contributor to the decline in the consumer interest in greeting cards in America. If as a publisher you don’t have to compete for pockets there is little incentive to up your game, and hence you could get a consumer public that becomes bored with a dull homogenous offering. That hardly sounds like an improvement to the current system. Could the answer be for the grocers to go back to ‘wild buying’? In an ideal world, reflects Cardsharp, that would be great. However given the constraints on head office numbers at the major grocers at present, and no doubt in the future, this would seem unlikely in the extreme. One possible solution could be licensing deals where participating publishers supply the artwork for a fee and the broker prints it. This may work fine for flat printed cards, but would the publisher of

cards with embellishments, foiling or embossing be willing to forgo control of their production process to another publisher? Perhaps, concludes Cardsharp, there is no apparent palatable alternative to the present brokerage system – and in fact to move to solus supply or for retailers to pull out or reduce greeting card footage would be worse. But while Status Quo got everyone rocking all over the world, Cardsharp wonders whether it is time for heads to be knocked together to find a better solution. In the meantime, ‘if it ain’t ‘brokered, don’t fix it’.



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Green Shoots

With the early good weather bringing on a wonderful show of spring flowers, PG gets horticultural, asking retailers for the cream of the crop of the new card launches as well as their take on the industry’s green quest.

Gillian Harrison owner of Cards and Candles, Lancaster: Best new launches?: “This year's standout products for us include, Louise Tiler's Sweet and Simple and Gold Gentleman ranges which have a modern look with gold foil and embossed finish. Real & Exciting Designs’ Moonlight range is lovely contemporary collection with different artwork and a sliver finish. We are stocking birthdays, relations and occasions and all are selling well. New additions to Woodmansterne’s Quentin Blake range reinforced its position as a strong seller across all captions with fun quirky designs that appeal to all ages. The publisher’s Peaches & Prosecco and Pink collections are both lovely card ranges and for a more high end look we like the Feathers & Fern from its Proper Mail Company division, the designs of which incorporate delicate diamanté embellishments.” How green is your valley?: “As everyone is becoming more aware of the need to make changes to reduce the carbon footprint on the planet and as the industry moves forward, we all have a responsibility to play our part in choosing more environmentally friendly products. At the moment 70% of all our cards are unwrapped and moving forward we are always on the lookout for ways to reduce wastage.” Top: Louise Tiler’s Sweet and Simple range hit the spot with Gillian Harrison. Above: Gillian Harrison with Woodmansterne’s Caroline Crawford on the publisher’s stand at Spring Fair.

Michelle Ellingham owner of Box of Delights, Flitwick: Best new launches?: “There are lots of lovely new fresh card ranges and additions to existing collections. These include, Five Dollar Shake/Counting Stars, which have introduced some amazing new products cards/wrap/gift bags, including those featuring biodegradable glitter. Belly Button Designs has launched many new colourful collections, including Elle, Coco, a new men’s collection and Be, a lovely sentiment and inspirational range. Good to see that the funny Rosie Made a Thing brand has expanded into gifts (from McLaggan Mugs), wrap and giftbags (from Glick). I also loved Rachel Ellen Designs’ new inspirational card range. I think we all need words of encouragement at difficult times, especially as we are all being encouraged to be honest and open about mental health. New contemporary collections from The Art File, Stop The Clock and Hearts Designs, age cards from Wendy JonesBlackett and Belly Button Designs, plus humour from Redback Cards and Paperlink all deserve a mention.” How green is your valley?: “When we opened in 1990 I don’t think any of our cards were wrapped, although they could look quite untidy and got damaged easily. When it was introduced, wrapped cards certainly hiked up the cost price of the card but they looked smarter. Some of our cards are already in compostable wrap and some have already changed to biodegradable glitter/flitter. My only worries lie with the consumer as so many of them still require a bag for their purchase, so it kind of defeats the object!” Above: One of the Rose Made a Thing designs that Glick has licensed for giftwrappings. Left: Box of Delights in Flitwick is mindful of the environmental issues.



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VIEWPOINTS Mark Rees managing director of Penmark Cards, 11 shops in the Midlands: Best new launches?: “Ranges that really caught my eye recently have been Paper Salad’s new Jamboree children’s embossed cards, Brainbox Candy’s ‘naughty’ box, Rosie Made a Thing’s new additions, Redback Cards’ and Words ‘n’ Wishes’ new ranges. Glick’s Christmas range looked fantastic again with the licences from some of the card companies I’ve mentioned making for a strong story instore.” How green is your valley?: “We would like to be as supportive as possible where the environment is concerned. We have stocked cards that have been a mixture of wrapped and unwrapped for a number of years now. I particularly like Woodmansterne’s solution using a peelable sticker. While consumers will say they are concerned about the environment, I’m not sure that they will choose cards based on their environmental sustainability. I think it will be down to the industry to lead the way and work towards solutions that have minimal impact on the environment. Customers have not raised these issues with us, but with more media interest, particularly around plastics, this will be an area that we should not be complacent about and should tackle head on.” Top: Mark Rees, md of Penmark. Above: Paper Salad launched a children’s Jamboree collection at Spring Fair. Left: The prototype of a Seal-Close approach from Woodmansterne.

Roger Eames and Laura Didehvar co-owners of Celebrations of Stourbridge: Best new launches?: “We love the Shine range from Redback Cards with reversible sequins making up the design; something we have not seen on cards before. They are already selling well for us. Our main focus at Spring Fair, as ever was on gifts and Christmas, but we did order a range of family ages from Belly Button which are beautiful designs and just the right size for a special birthday.” How green is your valley?: “We obviously feel concerned about the planet and all the environmental issues that are related to this. We have not had any customers comment on how cards are presented, and while we would like to see more environmentally-friendly products being used we also believe a broader approach needs to be sought, for example large boxes with lots of packaging can easily and often do negate the benefits of ‘going naked’ or using eco-friendly packaging. This is an area we will continue to monitor and refine what we do on an ongoing basis.” Above: One of the Shine designs from Redback Cards that features reversible sequins. Left: Celebrations’ co-owners Roger Eames and Laura Didehvar on the GBCC stand at Spring Fair.



Sarah Green director of Spots in Southwold and Wave in Bungay: Best new launches?: “In both Spots and Wave everyone’s favourite is Rosie Made a Thing - customers buy them by the handful and it really is hard to keep up with stock. Despite customers clearly feeling cautious regarding the economy they do seem willing to spend more for a special card - maybe instead of buying a gift. We see this in the increasing sale of pop-ups. Two to Tango seems to bring out new designs all the time and these are hugely popular - people are wowed with the paper engineering. Second Nature’s Pop-Ups also do really well and people really don’t seem to flinch at pay £4.99 for what they perceive as really special cards. Penguin Ink’s letterpress cards also do well for us as people are pleased to find something different. I was really pleased to see them launch a new Seaside range, which will do well for us on the coast. Penny Lindop’s designs really caught my eye. Penny’s cards are hand-finished with a blob of real wool and are absolutely charming. I was impressed at Spring Fair by the sheer number of new designs from Woodmansterne, across all its ranges, while Emma Ball’s stand really stood out with an amazing number of new products, across cards, gifts and calendars.” How green is your valley?: “We are really concerned about the amount of plastic involved in the industry. Particularly annoying is the unnecessary packing used to send designs in plastic outers where cards are already individually wrapped. Cards could easily be separated using paper bands. I am all for naked cards if a system can be found to hold the envelope and card together and protect the corners. I have been really impressed with Museums & Galleries’ eco-Band supplied with its BBC Planet Earth range. This has worked really well and we haven’t noticed any damages. It was encouraging to see Woodmansterne’s paper seal that is in development. Having seen it at Spring Fair I was a little concerned that it is quite a small sticker and doesn’t offer any protection to the corners. It will be interesting to see how it fares in the trials. As an industry we really have a responsibility to act on this but progress seems slow. I think PG should host a focus group on this issue so that suppliers can brainstorm with buyers to really thrash out the issues. I worry that the designers are not directly talking to the consumers and so are missing some of the issues.” Above right: Among the wealth of newness from Emma Ball were some stunning collections based on Abigail Mills’ embroidered designs. Above: Sarah Green is a fan of Museums & Galleries’ eco-Band approach that debuted on its Planet Earth collection last year.

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VIEWPOINTS Miles Robinson partner of House of Cards, six stores in the Home Counties: Best new launches?: “Stand out product for us has been with existing suppliers and not so much with new ones. New ranges and designs from Bexy Boo, Cherry Orchard, Lola Designs and Woodmansterne, are all looking very strong.” How green is your valley?: “With regards to the environment, our view is this is being media/large retailer-led, and not consumer-led yet. Certainly, our customers are not asking for unwrapped cards but they’ve been declining carrier bags for years and this trend will continue naturally I think. We’re quite happy to embrace naked cards and we’d rather this than compostable bags which, in our opinion, worsen the look/feel of the product. We do wonder if our consumer carrier bag usage will increase as wrapped cards decrease, but only time will tell on this. We are embracing 100% paper/kraft bags this year, which although a hefty cost increase is the right thing to do.” Above: Miles Robinson (left) with his business partner Nigel Williamson in House of Cards’ Wallingford store. Left: Beautiful artwork with a message from Lola Design.

Mark Janson-Smith managing director of Postmark, four shops in London: Best new launches?: “I’m still to review my trade show bags in full but the majority of newness has been new ranges from current suppliers. The Art File, as always, has come up with an abundance of fab new ranges. However, there definitely seems to be a lack of new talent coming through at the moment. Again, maybe a sign of the times and people not wanting to launch a business in these uncertain times?” How green is your valley?: “The environmental issue does keep raising its head and is a concern for us due to the complications we see. Damaged stock and missing envelopes are a concern. There is no continuity across the stores as different publishers use different methods to be ‘green’. I feel the greetings industry is more concerned about the environmental issue than the consumer is. We don’t really get asked about our cello bags or glitter. The main environmental concern of our customers is around Christmas and recyclable wrapping paper, which we would love to source. It’s great that as an industry we are doing everything we can but we do also need to consider the implications it has for us retailers and how we manage it.” Above: Imagine is one of many new ranges from The Art File. Left: Postmark’s Greenwich store.

Sally Matson owner of Red Card, Petworth: Best new launches?: “Our top sellers since the start of the year have been Redback’s hilarious Holy Flaps range, which has recently added new captions, and also its new reversible sequins Shine range, of which are already on our second order. Cardology’s amazing 3D cards are new to us and have gone down a storm as they are unique and offer something for everyone, with designs ranging from Land Rovers to gin to unicorns. I first saw Deadpan’s cards at last year’s GCA’s Dragons’ Den and they have been a new year top seller at Red Card. The company launched new captions at Top Drawer, which have been a great success. The dry humour is very clever and a welcome addition to our occasions’ offering. The trend of card companies licensing their bestselling ranges to other companies to produce different products really works for us and enables us to build ‘stories’ around the shop. Our first purchase at Top Drawer was the new Rosie Made a Thing mugs from McLaggan Smith and they have been so successful that a further range was released at Spring Fair, which we also bought. Glick launched Rosie Made a Thing giftwrap and bags at Spring Fair, and the wrap and bags based on Redback’s Cloud Nine range, both of which are flying out. Top: Sally Matson on The Art File Redback has also licensed stand at Top Drawer. Above: Five Dollar Shake’s new its Cloud Nine brand to Magic, Music & Moonbeams range on show at Top Drawer. Transomnia and so at Spring Fair we bought some lovely Christmas products from this range. From a retailer’s point of view, these partnerships are beneficial to everyone as they mean quality products are being produced by the specialists in their respective fields and we are able to expand our offering of bestselling card brands. It also provides a link between suppliers and extends that family feeling that is so lovely about the greeting card and gift industry. Five Dollar Shake’s colourful new Magic, Music & Moonbeams range, which also has the most amazing Continued on page 31 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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VIEWPOINTS selection of gift bags and wrap to match, has been a focal point for our new year displays, as have Heather Marten’s beautiful English Graphics cards, notebooks and prints. This card range is my current top favourite as they really are just so beautiful. We started ordering from Toasted Crumpet at PG Live last June, initially just the cards but have now expanded our offering with some of the beautiful bone china mugs and jugs and again, this expansion of the range has been really successful; the artwork is so pretty. And I have to mention Bluebell 33’s new ‘town’ card range, which is fab - we ordered the whole lot at Spring Fair.” How green is your valley?: “Environmental concerns are definitely forging into the greeting card industry and while our customers haven’t been particularly vocal about the issue to date, there is definitely a heightened awareness of the impact we are having on the environment and our capacity to address this is being questioned. Plastic bags are now a thing of the past at Red Card; we only offer paper ones. While we are not actively sourcing cards that use biodegradable flitter and compostable bags at this stage, I do feel a sense of relief when a company is doing this and advertising it as part of their USP. As an industry we are definitely capable of reducing our impact on the environment and I think this

Julia Keeling owner of Wishes of Cudworth, Cudworth: Best new launches?: “I’ve always struggled with humour cards as we’re located in a more traditional area where verse is popular, however I wanted to target younger customers so have started stocking a few ruder cards from Brainbox Candy, especially as they now have the ‘cheeky box’ to tuck the riskier cards away in. I love the new Modern Toss range of cards that is being distributed by Brainbox, which I picked up at the recent Spring Fair. Recent new ranges that stand out for me include: Rosé by Hotchpotch, a very colourful, pretty range at a great price point; Birthday Times by Kingfisher, there are quite a few ‘year born’ cards on the market at the moment but these stand out as they not only have facts from the year but a crossword and quiz too. I also applaud the Bliss range from Hallmark. These are special cards for premature births or babies in hospitals. It’s nice to have a suitable card for such situations and 20p from each card sold goes to the charity.” How green is your valley?: “No doubt the ‘Blue Planet Effect’ is impacting retailers and making us think more consciously about the cards and gifts we stock. Even before this increase in awareness I’ve long favoured ‘naked cards’ as I

Left: One of the new Cloud Nine Christmas products from Transomnia, based on a licensing agreement with Redback Cards. Far left: Biodegradable flitter is hand-applied on English Graphics’ cards. Below: Some of Bluebell 33’s Love Where You Live cards that have been produced for Red Card featuring Petworth.

is becoming more and more important to everyone in the chain: manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and the customer. I do think that our actions on this need to start with the basics with the biggest change needing to be made at point of packing stock for delivery. Time and time again we receive deliveries in enormous boxes packed full of plastic packing materials and waste cardboard. We recycle all our cardboard but all this packaging is simply not necessary. I unpacked an order from a company recently, which contained cards packed in sixes, which had a plastic belly band and were then sealed in a plastic cello - why? And all this in a cardboard box stuffed full of plastic air sacks. However, the idea of our cards ‘going naked’ concerns me as although it is possible with the cards we display on slatwall and spinners, thousands of our cards are in baskets, which would undoubtedly lead to a high percentage of damaged and shop-soiled stock. But, we all need to work together on this so I will need to look at changing my display method and also educating my customers about care of the stock!”

honestly feel they look more attractive and you can see the finish better. Cellophane just collects dust anyway. Interesting, one of my suppliers wanted to charge me extra to supply my cards in plastic sleeves, but I’m not sure if that was an environmental or financial decision. I have noticed more cards are using foiling rather than flitter and to me this is not detrimental to the look of the designs. They’re just as attractive, and I feel this can only be a positive thing. We have always used brown paper bags in the shop rather than plastic bags and even hand-screen larger paper bags with our branding. Recently we used a recycled paper stock for our Design a Cudworth Bunny Colouring Competition flyer, but this choice almost doubled the price. Hopefully the more businesses that choose recycled paper and card, the more affordable it will become. In nearby Sheffield, a Facebook group called the Plastic Free Project Sheffield has been formed to promote businesses and individuals who are trying (however small) to reduce their use of disposable plastics. It already has over 1,500 members who are very passionate about where they shop and the products they buy. Just look at the recent negative PR directed at Poundland’s 'gift of nothing’ for Valentine’s Day, which was basically an empty heart-shaped plastic package. The retailer said it was just "a bit of fun" but environmental groups and customers have been quick to condemn it as an environmental misstep. I think you need to consider the cards’ and gifts’ environmental impact when it comes to picking new ranges.” Above left: Julia Keeling in Valentine’s mode in Wishes of Cudworth. Left: Poundland came in for criticism for its plastic ‘gift of nothing’ for Valentine's Day.



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Spring Fair In Pictures

Top: As next year will see a re-edited Spring Fair, with greeting cards moving to Hall 2, this was the last hurrah in Hall 3! Above: Culinary maestro Prue Leith (centre) on the Portico stand (in Hall 6) with Charlie Czul, Portico’s sales director and industry stalwart, Riou Baxter of Why Management who is facilitating the licensing programme. Prue confectionery from House of Sarunds was also on show at the fair. Below: There was a definite tropical flavour to Woodmansterne’s stand at Spring Fair with cocktails served each afternoon. (Leftright) Woody’s Kate Leach, Andy Paterson, Seth Woodmansterne and Geoff Paterson.

The Fun Of

The Fair Last month’s Spring Fair was a ‘five day bubble’ of greeting card chat, great new launches and rumours galore. PG shares some of the ‘showbiz’ moments in pictures… Left: It was a cheers from Berni Parker who christened the company’s diversification into extending its portfolio by producing glassware, calendars, clocks and more gifts under its own steam.

Above: Keen to remain in the industry, (third right) Chris Houfe, former md of Emotional Rescue (which has been sold back to former co-owner David Greaves, see news) enjoyed catching up with everyone, including at the PG stand end of the day drinks do. (Left-right) Ben Hickman (Brainbox Candy), Claire Williams (Paper Salad), Raj Arora (Davora), Karen Wilson (Paper Salad), Neil Anthony Greenwood (agent).

Right: While the Tate collection and a range of bamboo travel mugs were a major attractions on its Museums & Galleries stand, sibling brand Mint also had some great new licensed ranges. Company’s co-owner Alan Williams showed off its new ‘Be a…’ range, based on Sarah Forde’s popular books, published by Octopus, with mugs being produced under licence by McLaggan Mugs. Below: The show saw the launch of Half Moon Bay’s May The Thoughts Be With You range under its new Ice House publishing imprint. Creator of the brand, Charlotte Reed caught up with Peter Thompson, md of Half Moon Bay/Shruti.

Above: There was lots of happy chatter at the PG drinks gathering at the end of each day, including between this Stripey Cats, Wraptious and Davora group. Left: Louise Tiler Designs and Tache joined forces and showed on an impressively designed shared stand.



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Spring Fair In Pictures

Right: It was a ‘Hey Girl’ moment on the Pigment stand when sales exec Andrea Caspar realised it was her 25th anniversary Spring Fair. Below right: Archway Cards’ Chris Dyball (far left) and Amy Beeby (far right) with the Out of the Blue Studios’ team (2nd left-right) co-owners Clive Rubin and Pete Rawlingson, designers Bobbie Mulkerrin and Colleen Whittaker and area sales rep Martin Sanderson. Above: The Motor Neurone Disease Association was delighted to be presented with a giant cheque for £20,000 from Cardgains as a result of the fundraising by the buying group in 2018, largely through its annual charity challenge, a mega walk in Cumbria undertaken by many publisher suppliers and retail members, many of whom were there for the cheque handover. Left: Scottish retailer (and PG columnist), David Robertson with Toasted Crumpet’s owner Jo Clarke. Below left: Portfolio’s md Jayne Diggory (centre) shows off the publisher’s brand new website with colleague Natalie Morphet (left) and agent Sarah Caldicott.

Left: A doubly ‘happy’ gathering. (Far right) Emily Coxhead, creator of The Happy News with (third left) Giles Andreae, cocreator of Happy Jackson on the Blueprint stand. Below: (centre) Dean Morris, founder of Dean Morris Cards in a ‘Dom sandwich’, between (left) Dominic Early of Earlybird Designs and Lesser Spotted’s Dominic Greyer at the PG drinks do. Below: This year was David Metcalfe’s 50th anniversary Spring Fair. Having headed up the running of the show for many years, and having continued as a consultant for several years, this was his swansong. There was a toast to the great man on the PG stand. Seen here with his wife Brenda (centre) and LB Warehouse’s founder Lynda Raymond.

Left: Blue Eyed Sun’s Jeremy Corner (left) was taken aback when he was presented with some old photos of himself from the very first ever Ladder Club, much to the amusement of Furio Ceciliato, owner of Italian-based Origamo, which has a two way distribution relationship with BES. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE



As a gift for others, a treat for ourselves or a workplace essential, stationery is a striking and personal way for people to express themselves.

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Trends & Inspirations

Ready For

Below: An Oh Squirrel design from its Glitter Typography Collection. Below right: Redback’s new Shine range features sparkling reversible sequins. Below left: The Magic, Music and Moonbeams range by Five Dollar Shake is obsessed with all things disco and cosmic.

Take Off Uplifting or up, up and away, the key trend in the ascent on cards in 2019 is elevation. Whether it's the celebration of enriching, encouraging and supportive female bonds, optimistic warm coral hues and abundant ocean reef life, or even sparkling to the max and Apollo 11 taking to the skies, there’s a sense of soaring into the stratosphere on card designs, serving as some relief from earthly troubles and strife. With big bold painterly florals and birds in rich tones accompanied by a barrel of monkeys, there’s no denying that the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo continues to influence this year on card designs, so PG takes a look at the cornucopia of trends swinging high in the trees.

Disco Dreams Shining brazenly in sequins, holographic finishes and more shiny silvery enhancements than 70s glam rock band Wizzard, a sparkling trend currently on card designs is Disco. Yes, Disco. It’s more than just music, more than a place to shake your thing, it shimmies glistens and twinkles its lustre on a dancefloor of different designs on cards. From Ziggy Stardust lightning bolts, glossy lips and glitter balls in iridescent finishes to bright, gleaming neon and rainbows - too much is never enough for the Disco groove on cards. Nostalgia is a place that is often called on when times get tough, and popping back to a time when disco music gods Earth, Wind & Fire, Donna Summer and Chic were lighting up clubs such as New York’s Studio 54 with their four to the floor beat is a design vibe that’s come from last year’s catwalks and ‘Hustle-d’ its way on to cards.

Sequins & spandex Anna Price, head of design for Hotchpotch: “Disco was all over the catwalk trends last year, both in beauty and fashion. We’re all magpies at Hotchpotch, so when we saw this trend emerging we wanted to jump straight on it! Disco is not purely about fashion and music, we love how it lends itself so well to greeting cards. We geek out when it comes to holographic foil, rainbow colours, neons and sparkle, which all work perfectly with this trend. Last summer we were developing tactile, shaped pouches that contained holographic and iridescent glitter to create a new collection of cards. As a result, ‘Glitter Ball’ launched at Top Drawer in January and we had a great reaction to the new designs. The glitter moves in the pouch when shaken and adds another dimension to the trend-led designs, which include unicorns, disco balls, balloons, llamas, cakes and flamingos!”

Above: Bold gold foiled font and rosy hues invite us to party on a Sadler Jones card from its The Miami Collection. Left: Hotchpotch’s new range Glitter Ball has heaps of holographic finishes. Below: A design from Meraki’s contemporary holographic Aries range.

Above left: A design from The Art File’s new Shimmy range. Left: Tiny specs of sparkle shimmer on The Handcrafted Card Company’s new Limelight collection. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Trends & Inspirations

Figurative Women Helena Maratheftis, marketing manager for Roger la Borde: “The recent greeting card trend of female-centric figurative artwork should come as no surprise. Women of all races, ages and religions are demanding to see themselves represented in places where they were once frequently side lined: in the boardroom, in politics, on the silver screen and beyond. In a post #metoo world of Women’s Marches and fresh awareness of feminist issues we have seen a wider, diverse pool of female role models emerge (think Malala Yousafzai, Emma González or Jameela Jamil). With them, the notion that ALL kinds of women should be visible is being reinforced. This has tapped into what is clearly a huge appetite for women to celebrate other women. It is wonderful to see this reflected in greeting cards. We are seeing a greater diversity of figures represented, especially in terms of racial diversity, but also in terms of general appearance - for every glittering glamorous model there is now a blue-haired figure in jeans. We are seeing more images of women doing what real women do: going on adventures, relaxing at home, and simply celebrating themselves and their friendships. The women on these cards feel true to life - perhaps because they come from, and are for, the female gaze. They are not caricatures of femininity. The cards are used as symbols - of friendship, solidarity and empowerment.” Top: Independent female role model oozes from this design by Alja Horvat from the Old English Company. Above: A reassuring friend design, a How Funny card from its new The Girls! range. Middle left: Solidarity, friendship and fun – a The Cardy Club design. Left: Tigerlily’s Hip Edition is a range of fun characters from friendships to girl boss.

Top: Supportive and affirming, a Jennifer Bouron design from Lagom. Above: Greater diversity in Pigment’s Hey Girl collection. Right: A celebration of female friendships on a Glass Menagerie design from Roger la Borde.

Living Coral Vibrant, uplifting and buoyant, Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2019, Living Coral, is a sunny warm hue offering a much needed burst of optimism in uncertain times economically, politically and environmentally. Its association with flourishing coral reefs, full of brightly coloured marine-life, and vivid Californian sunsets, is lifeaffirming; its golden peachy orange shade mood enhancing, calm and serene. Ever keen to capture this elevating colour, in 2019 card designers are pairing it as a solid enhancement to blues and light pink tones, immersed in their illustrations as a hint, rather than engulfing the designs, to add a touch of vitality.

Elevating shades Alison Hardcastle, founder of Alison Hardcastle: Above: David & David Studio has some gorgeous cacti, palm trees and desert plants set on a warm coral sunset hue. Below: A gorgeous and uplifting, a new Sara Miller London design from The Art File. Below middle: This Old English Company’s Bold Type design uses the Living Coral shade as its font’s shadow. Below right: The ‘Flower Love Card’ from The Completist.

“It seems a natural and fitting response to the current mood of the country, and marketplace in general, that we need a creative boost with such a positive colour as Living Coral. It’s an uplifting colour which is both warm and warming, and sits perfectly against other trending colours such as pale pinks, peach and clear blues. It all forms a great Californian/Miami look which is an antidote to the great British weather and bleak political climate! As a designer I turned to coral when designing our Sun + Sea range last year as a backlash against the harsh and very long British winter that we experienced.”

Top: Arnelle Woker’s Tropsi design has hints of Living Coral hue on the card and inside the envelope. Above: Raspberry Blossom’s Natural Wonders design uses touches of the Living Coral colour for its coral illustrations. Left: Alison Hardcastle’s Sun + Sea range was a backlash to a hard British winter.



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Trends & Inspirations

Space travel The galactic aesthetic continues to orbit design illustrations on cards in 2019, however this space travel has shuttled on from the ethereal, dreamlike and the spiritual big bang of last year to more earthly rockets and astronauts. With this year the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, present day exploration of planets such as Mars and extraterrestrial realms, and Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s Space X offering suborbital space flights soon, card designers have rocketed in to this cosmic atmosphere with g-force. Borne from a desire to escape to new worlds, discover sources of interest and experiences, a supernova of card illustrations featuring space people, dogs and even cats are soaring into the depths of outer space, taking on the adventure of discovering new planets and landing on card racks.

Going boldly Lorna Syson, founder of Lorna Syson Designs: “The astronaut trend is huge this year. People have become more interested in astronauts such as Tim Peake, and we’re learning more about space every year. My Astro Pets range is a progression of the ever-growing and popular Jenkins and Friends collection. I wanted to think about the pets in different situations. Jack the Jack Russell, Frieda Cat, Bolt the Labrador and Jenkins the Havanese (our studio dog) are some of our most adventurous and bold pets, so they became part of our outer space team!” Top: New for 2019 from the Alison Hardcastle + Tatty Devine collaborative range, designed to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the moon landing. Above middle: Petra Boase’s Space Pets range sends cats and dogs into the stratosphere! Left: Rocketing into space, Emma Benz’s ‘Out of this World’ card. Right: Folio’s ‘Dream Big’ design is cosmic! Middle right: Going boldly into space, Lorna Syson’s Astro Pets range.

Top: This James Ellis Shakies design takes to the skies. Above: ‘Space Cat’ from Under One Cloud floats amongst the stars. Left: Blasting off, a design from Rosanna Rossi’s new Rainbow Press range.

Reef life It was with wonderment and awe that we watched Blue Planet ll, and in the final episode Sir David Attenborough’s conservation rally cry over the human impact on our oceans, but for 2019 card designers have created a utopic water world, a paradise for all marine life if only we can take care of our beautiful Earth. Sailing on from last year’s mythological mermaid trend on cards are illustrations of tangible ocean life residing in an underwater reverie of clear blue oceans and gently swaying coral reefs. Precious seahorses, jellyfish, turtles, octopi, hermit crabs and starfish swim and scuttle side by side with whales, shoals of fish, shells and scallop shapes in iridescent sheens, holographic finishes and silvery shimmering foiling on card designs this year. Reef life is vibrant. Bubbling with mint, turquoise and royal blue watery hues, accents of bright orange, yellow or pink lift the burgeoning marine world to create a glorious tropical ocean realm that sends a sunny wave of optimism.

The ocean blue David Nichols-Rice, brand manager for Card Nest: “Collectively we’re paying far more attention to sea life than ever before. The ‘Blue Planet movement’ has shown us that we all need to do more to protect our ocean wildlife, and it was the wonderful creatures that inhabit the water that inspired us in our new Creature Comfort designs.” Above left: Real & Exciting Designs’ (Mint) new Moonlight Under The Sea designs are truly beautiful. Left: Card Nest’s adorable luxe gold foiled A6 Creature Comfort designs appeal to adults and children.

Top left: The Art File’s stunning Into The Blue Giftwrap collection. Top right: A tiny floating seahorse on a Framed design from Cinnamon Aitch. Above: Coral, shells and sea grasses feature in Hotchpotch’s Mermaid collection. Left: Turtley awesome, a design from Hutch Cassidy. Middle left: New to the shores, a Good Feels design from Stormy Knight.



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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

Menagerie Mayhem Amelia Illustration’s new Party Animal collection features a menagerie of colourful characters drawn with pen and enhanced with watercolours by illustrator Amelia Ilangaratne. The playful designs, which include a bear with a birthday cake and a pig in a party hat, are printed onto thick 340gsm board. The cards measure 5”x7” and come cellowrapped with a kraft brown envelope. Amelia Illustration 07891783453

Time Of Life

A Full Guest List

Confronting a subject matter that comes to all women is HH Designs’ new The Musings of (Ms) Mena Pause collection. The fresh and funny collection features simply illustrated designs that offer a humorous take on the menopause that are bound to chime with women of a ‘certain age’. From ‘I start each day as Mary Poppins and end it as Cruella De Vil’ to ‘If only hot flushes burned calories’, the colourful thought bubbles say it as it is!

Kate Guest has just released three brand new collections, including Floral (24 designs), Rose Gold Luxe (30 designs) and a dedicated Teenage range (16 designs). In addition there has been a refresh of the publisher’s 'black and white' Originals collection in a larger format, plus additions to its Typewriter collection. Kate Guest 01279 214304

HH Designs 07864 376144

More Frankness Shortlisted for the Gift of the Year 2019, Poet and Painter has added lots of great new designs to its Frankly collection. The range, which is at the core of the publisher’s portfolio, offers outspoken, inclusive, honest and always warm-hearted designs. Featuring diverse art styles, from cut out collage ‘ransom notes’ to loose pen and ink, joyful watercolours to statement graphics, the new additions further strengthen this arresting range. Poet and Painter 07779 064894

Hearty Laughter How Funny has launched two new humorous card ranges. While The Girls! is an on-trend female-related figurative collection, How Romantic lends itself as a year round ‘love’ range. The designs, centred around hand-drawn digital illustrations by Jez How, cater for a wide range of humour types. Designed and printed in the UK, the 105mm x 150mm cards are individually cellowrapped and come with either a poppy red or dove grey envelope. How Funny 0796 109 3202

Kooking The Looks After a strong release of its new Kooks range last year, Bug Art has expanded the collection with new designs for 2019. Designed by Jane Crowther, each card depicts a quirky animal, created using colourful collage patterns. Being blank inside, they are suitable for most occasions and age groups. Each card is embossed with gold foil detailing, measure 167mm x 118mm and are individually wrapped with a white envelope. Bug Art 0115 929 4776 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

Youthful Creations Sweet Design has a few special USPs to thank for its new Endangered Species collection of children’s age cards – the animal designs are drawn by the publisher’s founder Sally Anson’s two daughters, who are 8 3/4 and 10 years old. The range, which covers the ages 110, promotes the ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ message which is so important for the younger generation. Facts about the featured animal are included on the back of each card. Sweet Design 01934 751386

* * oceans * * recycle me * * reduce plastic waste

Tache 01202 691435



No Clock Ticking As well as adding extra sparkle to its Sparkles collection through a makeover and raft of new designs, The Original Poster Company has also just launched Timeless. This new card collection is a mix of floral and scenic designs catering for male and female sends covering simple birthday wishes and thoughtful verses throughout the range. All designs, supplied on consignment, are printed on high quality board and finished off with foil details. The Original Poster Company 01932 267 300

up our sea-life * * reduce global warming * * clean-

The Spring Fair saw the launch of Tache’s new sister brand, Lashes, which is feminine through-and-through. Vintage Dream is the first range under the Lashes brand, created through a collaboration with talented young artist, Frankie Norman. Frankie’s personal style is very evident in the 35 new designs. Vintage Dream is all handmade in Britain and the cards all come with stylish matching envelopes.

ness recycle me * * save the planet * * raise aware

our * * save our wildlife from extinction * * save


Drawing On Diversity Huetribe, which specialises in multi-racial and LGBT cards, has now launched an illustration collection alongside its current offering of photographic cards. The collection encompasses three new ranges covering Christmas, everyday, relations and occasions. The Christmas range, entitled Mistletoe Mania, features designs with cute captions features people of diverse colour and creed. The cards are 145mm square and come with fern green envelopes and cello bags. Huetribe is offering 15% off all orders of its new illustration collection until the end of April. Huetribe +447943416562

Liver And Let Live We Are In Good Company has just launched its second range that continues the card and gift brand’s mission to ‘make space for sober’. The cards double up as recipe cards featuring alcohol-free cocktail recipes,(including Lemon Drop, Summer Strawberry, Pear Perfection and Mocha Muddle. The new set of cards has been developed in collaboration with Marnie Rae Clark, a pioneer in the alcohol-free beverage space in the US. We Are In Good Company 07745036222

Being Thankful Cherry Orchard’s Many Thanks package comprises 28 brand new Thank You and Occasions designs. The collection features a wide variety of design styles and price codes with some stunning cold foil embossed finishes. The publisher has also launched a new baby package and debuted a Spring Collection of relations designs. Cherry Orchard Publishing 01684 295500 PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


A major new collection with 40 greetings cards, in two sizes, and a range of gift stationery

Our new 2019 catalogue is available now. Please contact your local agent, register online or call our sales team for more information.


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Home of the finest arts brands Progressive_Greetings_FULLPage_Ad_AW_March_Issue.indd 1 42_PG_March 2019.indd 1

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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

Jess’ Zest For Life Jessica Hogarth Designs’ new colourful Zest range is perfect for spring. The collection comprises 24 designs featuring hand-drawn geometrics combined with eye-catching colour palettes that cover ages, birthdays as well as Mum and Dad captions. The cards, which are 120mm x 170mm, are blank inside, come with co-ordinating envelopes and are wrapped in recyclable cellos. Jessica Hogarth Designs 07786906648

Alternative Alphabet Wobbly Wonderfulness

As its name suggests, the Alphabet range from Elsie Dodds celebrates the 26 letters of the alphabet. The 26 designs each feature a contemporary graphic pattern of an array of items that start with the selected letter. Created to suit a multitude sends, each card measures 105mm x 148mm and comes packed in a clear biodegradable sleeve with a white envelope.

Pango Productions has launched its first ever stationery collection featuring Jelly Mould notebooks based on the company’s popular Jelly Mould magnet cards. The notebooks come in both A5 and A6 formats in a whole host of designs. There are also co-ordinated matching pencil cases and squishy pens. Pango Productions 02079232580

Elsie Dodds 07795836302

Floral Couture The enchanting Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe greeting card collection by Petal & Pins features 36 botanical couture dresses, the floral delights of fashion designer, Sandra Alcorn’s Tasmanian garden. This stylishly range of A6 cards, which combine florals with fashion, are printed on premium FSC-certified paper and are all blank inside. The cards come with a crisp white banker style envelope and in a cello sleeve. Petal & Pins +61 412 063 538

Count On It Just A Number is the appropriately named new age range from Dandelion Stationery as the bold graphical designs leave you in no doubt as to the main reason for sending the card! The bold copper foil finished designs cover special ages with cards available for ages 13, 16, 15, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 80, 90 and 100. The 140mm square cards are all printed on luxury matt 300gsm cream FSC board, supplied individually cellowrapped and supplied with thick 120gsm burnt orange envelopes, which complement the colour palette. Dandelion Stationery 01332 695359

Have Your Phill Having won Wraptious’ most recent artist competition, Phill Taffs’ work has been published on greeting cards by the company. Phill first creates textures on paper, then combines these digitally to create his wonderful layered images depicting beautiful woodland animals and landscapes, in deep rich colours. The cards measure 15cm square and are printed in the UK on FSC-certified sustainable card. Wraptious 0161 430 2310



(E) SALES@REALANDEXCITINGDESIGNS.CO.UK (T) 01223 207 080 (F) 01536 401 031

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PG showcases a selection of new product launches

California Dreaming

A World Debut With ‘gender reveal’ baby showers gaining massively in popularity, wholesale card publisher Out of the Blue Studios has spotted a gap in the card market for a greeting card design that can be given at one of these parties or from friends wanting to predict the sex of the baby. The card design, which includes a facility to guess whether it will be a boy or a girl forms part of the publisher’s new baby card collection.

Flame Tree has signed a new licensing agreement with Florida artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith. The artist’s distinctive work - featuring faeries, mermaids, princesses - will now grace Flame Tree’s beautiful foiled notebooks, jigsaws, calendars and diaries. Another new signing for Flame Tree is Italian artist Vittorio Zecchin’s Art Nouveau style paintings. Flame Tree Publishing 020 7751 9650

A Gentle Breeze Among a raft of new launches from Ling Design is the company’s first collaboration with Cornwall-based designer Georgia Breeze. This inaugural range features detailed, trend-inspired designs, including some depictions of unicorns, toucans, llamas and flamingos. Expertly placed buttons or foil add an extra dimension to each design that start life as a machine-stitched paper collage.

Out of the Blue Studios 07795 957995

Ling Design 01892 838574

Flying High Up, Up And Away Artist Sarah Capper’s ‘exquisitely detailed doodles’ reaches new heights in Doodleicious Art’s Up in my Balloon greeting card range. There are 12 designs in this new collection, which include some children’s ages as well as those for general sends. All 6”x6” in format, the cards are printed on quality cream board and are accompanied by a brown envelope. Doodleicious Art 07734034039

Fay's Studio has launched a further 22 new designs into its In The Wild range as well as a new birthday humour range called Funimals. The former features delightful hand-illustrations by company founder Fay Miladowska, which draws on her personal love and understanding of wildlife and the countryside. The cards, which are 145mm square, are finished with a bit of sparkle, blank inside and come wrapped in a recyclable bag with a recycled fleck kraft envelope. There are also 12” prints available. Fay's Studio 07817 412086

Taking A Shine Hallmark’s new Sequin Sensations range taps into the huge trend for reversible sequins. There are 24 cards in the collection across all major kids and adult captions. The range includes baby cards, which reveal a boy or a girl as well as some licensed properties, including Harry Potter and Disney designs, there by catering for children and adults. Hallmark 0800 9020900



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Sweet Sorrow

Below: David with his mum and dad (Lynda and Jim) at the recent reopening of one of their stores. Bottom: Just some of the 450 sympathy cards (so far) that David and his mum have received.

Independent card and gift retailer, David Robertson, co-owner of JP Pozzi in Scotland, discusses grief and the power and support of Sympathy cards after the recent sad loss of his dad. Sympathy is an emotion I have considered a lot in recent years. As you get older you tend to go to an increasing number of funerals and you realise that someone somewhere is always getting a sore heart. That said, until these last two weeks, I think I have never truly understood how you feel when you lose someone so close to you. Described as the feeling of sorrow for someone else’s misfortune or troubles, sympathy covers many forms, but in the world in which we live it is most thought of in terms of someone passing away. Sympathy cards are unfortunately our biggest seller, and both my mum and I put an emphasis on giving our customers a large choice within our stores, having around 60 pockets of sympathy cards, excluding Thinking of You and other titles. We have always taken the attitude that this is the single most important caption on our displays, and sadly this has been proven correct time after time. The history behind sympathy cards is interesting. Originally they were used as more of an announcement to tell people that someone had passed. Most of the original cards were plain, but as time elapsed they became more elaborate with imagery, drawings, family crests and other things adorning them. Some also featured the epitaph from the headstone and a little of the history of the person who had passed. In this sense they became part of the records of a life. As we moved into the middle and late 20th century sympathy cards changed again. The colours softened to pastel hues and the imagery was simple and designed to minimise the harshness of what had happened. Most of the imagery is similar to 46


now, with flowers, rainbows, butterflies and beaches/sea being popular. However, cards with words are essential to a card store’s collection as some people don’t know what to say. These words can be simple and touching while others more elaborate with a prayer or inspirational text to comfort and support the recipient. This year one of the sympathy card trends I have noted is in even more specific titles, such as the loss of a pet, and indeed motivation/statement cards such as ‘cancer sucks’. Hallmark has just brought out its ‘Here for you’ range from America. There is only a small selection of titles at launch but Hallmark expects this to grow rapidly as it has in the States. Sadly I write this after I have lost one of the two biggest influences in my life, my father. In the week since his passing we have received almost 450 cards marking his life and his influence. He used to read this

column every month without saying too much. Comments like “You have said that before” or “They are all the same” were frequent remarks. However, as is often the case, it came to light afterwards that he did enjoy my writing. His carer who worked in the house with us to support my mum informed me that he made her read it every month and said he couldn’t believe that I could write like that, always finding something different to say. My dad was, and will always be, a special person. He lost his dad when he was just nine years old and had to fight hard for everything in life. He cared little for material things and was really only worried about mum and I. That said, he did have a burning ambition to own his own business. This goal was achieved at the age of 54 when an oldschool newsagents, selling combs and bootlaces, was bought. The cards it did stock were kept in shoeboxes! As a pair, mum and dad changed the shop. A pop-up shop was opened, part of the hotel next door was bought and extensions were made. From second-hand bright orange card units in the beginning to where we are now, it has been a long journey. I began my dad’s eulogy at his funeral by describing him as “hardworking, loyal, reliable, intelligent, funny, quick-witted, unassuming, generous… a gentleman”. These are the words that permeated the sympathy cards that we have received and

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OVER THE COUNTER that I have also heard in the street and in the shops. He was a quiet man who let actions speak louder than anything else, and as part of a small tight-knit community he believed that how you treated people mattered. The fondness for our business is something that we have nurtured - through the employment we create, the charities and groups we support and by simply always being there. Community spirit and having a place where people can feel that you are part of the make-up of your village, town or city is very important and I would hope that our type of business will always survive for this reason alone. My parents genuinely care about their customers, as well as their friends, and the outpouring of messages would make my father embarrassed but immensely proud. As businesses like ours stand on a precipice where things keep getting tougher and tougher every day, it is reassuring to know we as a family are thought of in such a way. I do wonder if people realise that using and buying from soulless warehouses will result in

very little being left on the high street, and that the kind of store that we have strived to build, and of which my father was so proud, may simply not exist. My dad was not focused on margin or money. He was focused on creating a business that meant something. You could argue that the former needs to be the focus but in truth his business flourished because of the latter. Over the years, this column has changed from being one that was very focused on product to being writings about my life in business and sometimes just life. This month’s is about the power of a card. The power or a proper written word and the emotion that such a thing can still bring, even in this ever-changing fast-paced emailorientated and tweet-filled world. The words in the cards we received are both comforting and upsetting, and in the weeks and months to come I am sure that we will go back and read them again and again. I often try to explain to people the power of a card. The physicality and realness of

Above: So many beautiful bunches of flowers were sent to David’s mum Lynda and David after husband and dad, Jim Robertson, passed away. Below left: A real family business, David’s JP Pozzi and Bijou stores in Scotland. Below right: David, Lynda and Jim Robertson, a wellrespected gentleman.

receiving one is something special, as is the visualisation of handwriting. My dad was a beautiful writer; very neat, accurate and tidy just like his numbers and columns when he did his bookkeeping. The emotional connection when you see someone’s writing is a powerful thing. This morning I was surrounded by boxes that my dad had written on and his distinctive way of doing his ‘J’ brought a million memories flooding back. As we have been re-reading the cards one of them had a written note in it that said to look at the ‘ball in the box theory’. I Googled this theory and found it quite inspiring. It seems the idea came from a Lauren Herschel whose doctor told her to try this when coping with the loss of her mother. The theory is quite simple there is a ball in a box and the only other thing in there is a pain/grief button. When things are fresh and have newly happened the ball is large and fills the box thereby compressing the pain button, and that feeling of someone manipulating your soul is intense and constant. The ball moves in the box but constantly hits the button. Over time the ball starts to shrink so it does not hit the button quite so much. It means that you can function day to day but at some point without notice the ball will hit that button and the pain and grief will be brought back into sharp focus. Again, as time passes the ball will shrink but it will never go away completely and neither should it if you loved that person as much as you do. I thought that this was a really good way to describe what I am feeling and I wanted to shine a light and share this with you. At present I am sort of functioning. I am going through the motions of what I need to do - wages, VAT and other such things will not wait I am afraid, and indeed my dad would not want them to.

I always felt that he would want me to be back in there, working right away, and I have tried, and continue to try, but it is just not the same. When your lives are intertwined with work, home and simple day-to-day tasks as ours it seems to make the grief even more intense. Grief of course cannot be measured or compared, as everyone’s own situation is their own. People will handle things in different ways and in different timescales, but as a nation we tend not to discuss things or put them out there. Personally, I need the openness of discussion. I like to share how I am feeling and I am lucky to have a great support network around me. We are left with only one place to go and that is forward, however tough that may be, and I fully intend to read this column to my dad as I know that he is watching over me and guiding me still. I ended his eulogy with some simple thanks, and likewise I want to thank my extended family and friends in the industry for the many messages to Mum and I. My dad’s eulogy also prompted lots of people to go and speak to their dad, as in this busy world we can sometimes forget to do the small things and take things for granted.

My final words at the funeral were that mum and I were “lucky to have had him for so long but that did not mean we were ready to let him go or would not swap everything for just a little more time”. This statement sums up exactly how I feel, and, in truth, it feels like a part of me has gone forever. Be good to one another... and be kind to yourselves. Love you dad. To contact David email: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE




Want to maximise your sales and reduce your carry over with Sale or Return? Let us plan and install your Christmas Display! Call the Sales Office for more Information. ORDER THROUGH OUR WEBSHOP: 01274 655980 Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB

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Focus On Giftwrappings - News

Special Delivery The annual Focus On Giftwrappings shares the current news, views and brand new launches within this vibrant and creative sector.

Industry issue “The cost of paper has increased massively over the last three to four months alone. It is around 15% to 20% more expensive now, primarily because the Chinese (and Asia generally) are now having to buy legally sourced paper from Europe/Scandinavia,” states Martin Bramley, managing director of giftwrap company Eurowrap. So how are UK giftwrap publishers dealing with this paper price hike? Lydia Scamponi, director for The Unique Paper Company says: “It is true, there have been substantial paper price increases over the last couple of years, which being one of the largest costs, has really put a strain on margins. While we have tried to absorb these ongoing additional costs over the past few years, we have found ourselves this year having to apply increases in some areas.” Lydia highlights how sterling’s devaluation affected by the Brexit uncertainty is another contributory factor to rising costs. “As most paper is purchased from sustainable forests outside of the UK this has made the price increase worse than it normally would have been - the price is both going up, and then costing us further through the sterling devaluation.” David Byk, ceo for Swan Mill Group, of which Penny Kennedy is a part, affirms that “Prices on everything are going up, and it is unprecedented in its speed and unpredictability. It is not only paper but also cardboard, ink and also transport.” He said that the Swan Mill Group is reacting to paper cost increases by using its large purchasing power and size “to buy stocks now to fix the price but, in this toppy market, we are also taking delivery of the product, which requires cashflow and space.” Giftwrap UK has set its pricing for 2019, however, Mark Allam, director of the company, adds, “If there are any significant increases in raw material costs in the future, we will try to absorb them as much as we can to assist our customers during this difficult trading period but this is clearly dependant on the level of increase.” Above: Eurowrap’s roll wrap sales remain buoyant.

The marrying kind Adding to its current alliances with card publishers Stop the Clock and Jessica Hogarth, Deva Designs has recently launched its latest collaboration with Cheshire neighbour Katie Phythian Design. Deva has brought out two new giftwrap collections based on Katie’s popular greeting card ranges - Patterned Boutique and Party Mice, based on Katie’s Paintbox range. Left: Deva Designs’ Patterned Boutique collection created in conjunction with Katie Phythian.

Eco-friendly wrap Is your giftwrap recyclable? Does it come from a managed forest? Is the glitter biodegradable? What is your ethics’ policy for your factories? Deva Design’s md, Andrew Maddock has been asked all of these questions recently, and more besides, about the eco-friendliness of the giftwrap company’s collections. “Most giftwrap companies will be FSC accredited and carry out full factory audits, but going forward there is a growing trend for consumers to ‘know they are doing the right thing’. I am sure there will be a growing list of logos such as FSC and the recycling mark appearing directly on products to reassure consumers that that are purchasing ethically,” says Andrew. Above right: Glick giftwrapping collection featuring Rosie Made a Thing’s Proseccosize and the magnificent Lycra Biker designs amongst others.

Life is Rosie One of Glick’s brand new giftwrappings collections features the funny and quirky designs by Henries award-winning humour card publisher Rosie Made a Thing. In a licensing tie-up with the talented card company founder, Rosie Harrison, the ‘Proseccosize’ and ‘Lycra Biker’ are just two of the chucklesome designs included in Glick’s Rosie Made a Thing collection. Becky Dobson, director of Glick commented: “We all need some light relief with the doom and gloom the media like to show us every day. The giftwrap designs are taken from some of Rosie’s best-selling cards and they are hilarious!”

Happy days Penny Kennedy has signed a licensing tie-up with British designer Emily Coxhead’s The Happy News to create a range of luxury bright and fun giftwrappings with uplifting, positive and kind messages and quirky illustrations. Left: The Happy News giftwrap range from Penny Kennedy.

Fluttering homage The Tag Company’s Butterfly Michelle Gold large gift bag with its thistle motif was released in honour of Michelle Obama, the ex first lady of the USA. However, it is a designed that pays homage to the proud and regal Scottish thistle, the national emblem of Scotland a place the brand founder spent two years working and living. Right: The Tag Company bag with its motif dedicated to Michelle Obama.










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Giftwrap Design Trends 2019

Sashay Away Swaying coral reefs and ocean life, gentle unicorns deep in the forest, animal prints straight off the fashion catwalks and elevating bright colours to lift our spirits are joined by bold painterly birds and botanicals, alpine bicycle adventures and adorable, but quirky animal repeat prints. As new giftwrap designs sashay down the wrap runway, the ‘Anna Wintours’ of the giftwrap market reveal some of the design trends that are currently ‘in vogue’.

Helena Maratheftis, marketing manager for Roger la Borde: Mythological retreat “In 2018, unicorns exploded onto the scene in every possible format - from pool floats to pyjamas to Starbucks Frappuccinos - and the trend shows no signs of abating. Unicorns are evocative of magic, joy and whimsy. This trend has appeared at a time when world politics feel particularly bleak, so perhaps it’s no surprise that we are retreating into a fairytale world! Our Unicorn wrap for 2019 is an elegant take on the trend, featuring Rosie Harbottle’s handsome artwork with an enchanted forest vibe.” Flights of fancy “Painterly birds and botanicals is another wrap trend we’ve identified. Tying in with the maximalist interiors trend, there is an emphasis on layering contrasting eclectic prints. In addition to loose watercolour florals, we’re also seeing moodier imagery appearing. This is clear in our two new giftwrap designs by Jennifer Orkin Lewis: Bird Life is light and breezy, while Wild Batik is richer and darker. The maximalist trend results from the urge to be cocooned by beautiful things that make us happy. While Marie Kondo urges us to declutter, she simultaneously reminds us to hold onto things that “spark joy” - and what could be more joyful than sumptuous natural imagery?” Above: Wild Batik by Jennifer Orkin Lewis from Roger le Borde.

Border image: Jo Clark’s hand-illustrated wrap designs feature adorable guinea pigs, foxes, badgers, budgies and bunnies all celebrating the arrival of spring. Now there are new festive wrap designs too, including those disgruntled cats in Christmas hats!

Andrew Maddock, md of Deva Designs: Riding high - on your bike! “There is a great playful fashion trend for bicycle prints. The bike icon itself is really charming and conjures up wonderfully nostalgic childhood feelings. Deva has tapped in to the trend in two collections. The first bike pattern is from our card publisher friends at Stop the Clock. The alternative is Trek, designed in-house by Reuben Duffy. This is something new for Deva, the wrap is designed as a poster.” Flamingos a go go! “Flamingos two years on are still everywhere like unicorns and llamas. It’s funny how trends start, then keep growing and growing. It’s in fashion, home interiors, but it continues to sell like crazy. Working with the very talented Katie Phythian, we have just launched her new Pattern Boutique collection, which is a tropical feast Above: ‘Trek’ from Deva features cyclists of ‘Flamingos and Pineapples’ - it never fails to on their alpine climb. lift your spirits and think of the summer ahead.” Designers Guild “Designers Guild can be anything from dramatic, oversized hand painted florals, to delicately subtle textured patterns - but they are always original and stunning. My absolute favourite collection, new this season from Designers Guild, is the Giardino Segreto collection. Inspired by the Impressionists’ love of nature - this amazing artwork was created for massive wall panels. The panels have been scaled down to giftwrap and bags and still retain the dramatic impact.”

Eddie Clarke, licensing manager for Museums & Galleries: Cultural influencers “A key objective is to find the happy medium where historically important design meets contemporary trends and commercial relevance. On a very broad level, bird motifs and jungle animals tend to perform strongly. Key drivers of specific trends are the public activities of licensors - for example, the Paddington movie boosted the sales of our Classic Paddington wrap. Another example is Hokusai, where the massively successful British Museum exhibition of 2017 reinforced a general trend towards Asian art. A good match between the public's perception of a museum's strengths and the Above: Museums & Galleries now giftwrap design is also a factor in consumer publishes over 60 everyday sheet from a great roster of selection: giftwrap buyers like William Morris wraps contemporary designers and and Charles Voysey from the V&A; dinosaurs artists. For 2019, it is adding Christmas roll wraps, gift tissue from the Natural History Museum; Alice in packs and gift bags (including for Wonderland from the British Library. This year the first time a bottle bag. we are launching Mondrian and Caulfield among others from the Tate, and a double-sided LS Lowry wrap (and six gift bags!) from The Lowry, Salford.”



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Giftwrap Design Trends 2019

Reuben Duffy, designer for Deva Designs: Tropical thunder “Regarding the ever-increasing environmental issues, this has now become a world trend, with more and more big businesses leading the charge with all-natural packaging and products, with a strong focus on sustainability. On a recent trip to the Christmasworld fair 2019 in Frankfurt, these issues have never been more apparent. Natural textures and earthly colour palettes dominated the trends area at the Messe. It is no surprise then that the tropical plants trend is here to stay throughout 2019. Both relaxing and uplifting, our exquisitely painted succulents giftwrap offers a wonderful colour palette of rich, earthy jewel tones and soft lush shapes, while our calming tropical palms design brings the outside in with organic symmetry. Coupled with felt and linen accessories these designs are natural and modern and are the perfect way to present to an environmentally-conscious recipient.” Bon voyage “Summer holidays, a time to get away and share fun with family and friends. With a limited vintage colour palette, our new collection is nostalgic in flavour but contemporary in design. The Seaside design is a half and half wrap, that’s to say on one half are playful people in the sand, while the other half is splashing about on the water. The result is quite unique in terms of composition, and looks great wrapped around a gift.” Above: Deva’s new painted succulents giftwrap. Right: The Seaside giftwrap from Deva showcases two scenes of both the beach and the sea in a half and half design.

Anna Price, head of design for Hotchpotch: Water world “Following on from the success of Hello Neon, Lemonade is our latest collection featuring neon ink - it’s an eye-popping trend and so much fun! We have also just launched an oceanic mermaid and seashells collection - we’ve used holographic foiling on these, which works perfectly with the underwater theme. And, there’s more watery inspiration. Currently our most extensive collection to date is Swan Lake, which we have just added new Spring/Summer 2019 lines to. Spanning across 27 designs, all feature beautifully painted artwork (created inhouse from our design studio in Richmond) in a palette of blue hues, soft pinks and muted lilacs.” Left: The beautiful mermaid and seashells collection from Hotchpotch. Keep your eyes peeled on its Instagram to see the first sneak peeks of its new autumn/winter 2019 designs.

Border image: Think of Me has launched eight new giftwrap designs for Spring 2019 featuring super-cool surfer girls, wild zebra stripes, oh-so-cute kittens and on-trend sweet succulents. Below right: Bright shades and brushstrokes on the 2019 Paper Salad collection from Glick.

Becky Dobson, director of Glick: Uplifting shades “Zesty bright hues are a hit for 2019 and at Glick we have that in abundance. Beautiful textures are trending in interiors and our new range from Paper Salad incorporates brush stroke patterns, gold foil with zesty colours and embossed patterns, this is the all-round on trend collection for 2019! Mustard is a must! Our Mustard Floral design from Paper Salad with some hints of toned down neon colours will be the stand out design on any display.” Supportive words “Last year Glick won The Henries’ Best Giftwrappings award (for the second year running), with our beautiful Stephanie Dyment collection. There is a serenity about Stephanie Dyment’s artwork and it translates so beautifully onto gift bags and wrap. There are some lovely captions in this feminine range to make the recipient feel special.”

Amelia Strawson, marketing manager for Penny Kennedy: William Morris SS19 has seen Penny Kennedy partner with Morris&Co. on an inspired range with prints including the iconic Strawberry Thief. Morris is experiencing a big revival and can be found on everything from stationery to bed sheets. There is even a popular clothing range available in H&M, which has been featured in Vogue magazine, so the timing for us could not be better.” Left: Penny Kennedy has partnered with Morris&Co. to create some stunning William Morris prints on wrap, boxes and bags.

Michelle Porter, editor for Lagom: Natural splendour “The natural world has been a big inspiration for our designers this season. Our new giftwrap collection by Carrie May for 2019 is full of the gentle joys of spring and the colours and designs are fresh and uplifting. From the exquisite hummingbird on a background of delicious pinks to the Chestnut Tanager bird perched on a tree of orange fruit, this giftwrap is just stunning. We also have some jolly new designs for the little folk. We have cute cosmic and quirky deep-sea designs by Susie Hammer, and a fun snake complete with a red forked tongue by Monika Forsberg.” Above: Stunning artwork by Carrie May on Lagom giftwrap.



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Giftwrap New Launches

Paper Passion With a passion for paper and design a parade of giftwrap publishers showcase a taster of their new collections.

l Cinnamon Aitch has just launched some beautiful new gift bag designs using the gorgeous illustrations from its Claire Picard card range. Celebrating the beauty of the natural world, Claire’s designs are inspired by flowers, birds and animals and influenced by folkloric imagery. With feminine contemporary imagery hand-painted in vibrant and unusual colour combinations, each of the three designs come in three different sizes, with twisted paper handles and handfinished with a co-ordinating messaged gift tag. l The success of Danilo's greeting card ranges across humour licences such as Only Fools and Horses, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Subbuteo and Action Man has prompted the publisher to extend its offering with an innovative range of gift bags and wrap, including new bottle bags. Plus the addition of fresh, new licences such as Harry Potter, Baby Shark, Trolls, the new Doctor Who and The Secret Life of Pets 2 will allow Danilo to increase the range even further with these brands. l Earlybird has collaborated again

with artist Bex Parkin to publish her lush botanical paintings onto wrapping paper. Bex’s use of vibrant jungle colours work beautifully on six new wrap designs and sit nicely alongside her already existing card range by Earlybird. There are tigers, zebras, flamingos, toucans and a perfectly timed leopard print wrap on matte 100 gsm paper, with all printed in the UK. l The Tag Company’s latest contemporary collection of giftwrap and packaging is inspired by wax print aesthetics of ankara and batik fabric. Produced using quality food safe standard premium paper, each product range comes with complementary gift tags.

l This spring Globe Enterprises has launched a variety of new giftwrap, from a bright and vibrant Dahlia print, to a pretty, delicate and romantic Lace print, and bold and geometric Kaleidoscope print.

l Kali Stileman has designed a deliciously wacky ‘pebble wrap’, inspired by a little handful of stripy and speckled pebbles from Kimmeridge, and two new gold star wraps in pale mauve-pink and opal-blue inspired by the success of its gold star tiddly number cards, that are suitable for babies but have a wider appeal too. l Kate And The Ink recently launched giftwrap at Top Drawer SS19. These are Kate’s first giftwrap designs and are a part of her new Earthbound collection inspired by sea, sky and stone. The six wraps, incorporating abstract sea, fern and hill patterns, are available in bold winter and summer colour palettes. l Card and wrap publisher, Kinshipped, launched at Top Drawer this year, showcasing six chic and fun design-led sustainable luxury wrap designs. Printed with vegetable-oil based inks (no chemicals), and with the perfect paper thickness for a quality feel but with ease of folding nicely, the wraps have proved incredibly popular. l Greg Shepherd of Photowrap has launched new designs taken with a 6cm x 7cm film camera, giving much more detail and the depth of traditional photography. There are now 60 designs of giftwrap in the range, as well as gift-bags and greeting cards, which can now be orded on Photowrap’s new Trade-only website.




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Giftwrap New Launches

l Simon Elvin’s 2019 giftwrap collection comprises 80 designs, which are supplied on stock control through the company’s authorised wholesale distributors. The range includes 20 juvenile designs and combines looks that range from contemporary to traditional with coverage over birthdays, open, wedding, baby, Christening, baby shower and milestone ages. All designs are printed on a quality 90gsm coated paper and offer amazing value for money.

Additionally, elegant Elle is a new everyday luxury collection created through an exploratory journey, one focused on illustrating luxury and encapsulating it. Birthday balloons are beautifully illustrated and styled to create greater depth, enhanced by gold metallic foiled finishes. Design details and finishes are considered to complement and work with a colour palette that is tonally soft and muted.

l Luxury stationery brand, Mock Up Designs, debuted its first range of wrapping paper at Top Drawer SS19. Printed onto matt 120gsm paper, each of the six designs complement one of its new card ranges. The range includes confetti, lightning bolts, two beautifully coloured abstract prints and two monochrome designs kisses and paper planes.

l Design By Violet (Partisan Products) has launched eight new

l Studio by Gemma has recently

launched its new range of premium flat wrap of charmingly crafted designs based on its character brands; Thomas Vintage, Peppa Pig, Moomin, Guess How Much I Love You and Watership Down. While Gemma International’s latest gift pack designs provides a strong portfolio of two sheet two tag giftwrap packs to suit all tastes. Featuring three new emoji® designs, Sparkly Poo, Unicorn and the synonymous smiley faces, a refreshed Stormtrooper design and new non-licensed designs. l In 2018, UK Greetings was delighted to add the Classic Peter Rabbit license to its portfolio. This year, to accompany the card range, Collage (UKG) has launched a beautiful collection of Peter Rabbit gift dressings. Featuring a touch of the modern with a soft duck egg colour palette and polka dots, the collection is full of nostalgia and the perfect way to present your special gift. Available in a large and a medium gift bag, roll wrap, packaged wrap and flat wrap. l In 2019 Belly Button Bubble has adopted a more masculine colour palette to feature on recognisable graphics within its portfolio that are not just for men. Reliable classics, such as its minimalist polka dot and starry pattern are a hit with midnight hues and neutral greys, supported by lively flashes of gold foil.

Christmas ranges of giftwrapping, including high quality 80gsm foil paper with cutter guide, gift bags with inside print and matching ribbons and bows. Ranges available from all good wholesalers and distributors throughout the UK. l From Giftwrap UK is the fashionable Stewo branded gift line collection Torra, featuring animal prints, which are proving to be very popular. The collection showcases high quality gift bags, boxes, rollwrap, voucher packs and napkins. The Dioro luxury collection by Stewo has gift bags, money wallets, boxes and wrap, features white, black, gold and silver elegant designs. l The Unique Paper Company has launched two new giftwrappings collections: Glitterati - a new range of high fashion, glamorous wraps printed on a mixture of foil and paper backgrounds. There are five designs available in two colour palettes popular sophisticated champagne and glitzy pinks/silvers. And Modernity - a new range of classic florals and patterns with a modern twist. There are five designs available in two colour palettes - pretty pastels and the popular unique rose gold mix. All are produced in its own factory in the UK and available as either flat sheets or rolls. l Artebene’s Wedding wrapping range is putting on even more glamour for the new wedding season. It matches the current ‘Easy Glam’ trend perfectly, combining elegant elements such as crystals, pearls and gold with nature details. New wrapping paper with an exciting glitter embellishment, golden sequin applications on gift bags and natural magnolia motifs, appear elegant and cool at the same time. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Business blogging by publisher Jeremy Corner of Blue Eyed Sun.

Feedback Loops Jeremy Corner, owner of greeting card publisher Blue Eyed Sun and distributor of BambooCup, discusses the importance of feedback.

The American architect and leader in sustainable development, William McDonough, once taught me that, “Any system without a feedback loop is, by definition, stupid.” What he meant is that any system that isn’t testing the assumptions it’s founded on and then adjusting to feedback isn’t actually learning. Frankly, even when we have the best of intentions, if we don’t create and pay attention to feedback loops in our businesses and in our lives, we are being stupid.

The map is not the territory The terrain we encounter on the ground is rarely identical to the map we use to navigate it with. Geography is not naturally grid shaped and it changes over time. Grids (like words) are our representations of reality. They are not the reality itself. Just as money is not wealth and a menu is not the food that sustains us. The plans we make for our businesses are seldom the everyday reality we face when we implement them. Billionaire businessman Scott D. Cook put it in more relatable terms when he said: “For every one of our failures, we had spreadsheets that looked awesome.” One of the main reasons for this is that our knowledge is limited. We know what we know (Jane knows she can drive a car). We know what we don’t know (Jane knows she doesn’t speak French). We don’t know what we don’t know (Jane doesn’t know that there are rich oil reserves beneath her 58


Top: How do we discover what we don’t know what we don’t know? How do we tap into the hidden value of this knowledge? Above: 'Cycling over Tour de Yorkshire' from Atlas & I. Below: Find the ‘hidden gold’ by listening.

property). Being aware of the limitations of our knowledge is hugely important when it comes to recognising the value of feedback.

The hidden gold So how do we discover what we don’t know what we don’t know? How do we tap into the hidden value of this knowledge? How do we find the gold in the ground beneath our very feet? It starts with recognising that you don’t know everything. Then we have to understand ourselves and how we tick. In 1902 social psychologist, Charles Horton Cooley, identified our own internal feedback loops through his concept of the looking-glass self: “I am not who I think I am; I am not who you think I am; I am who I think you think I am.”

You might need to read this a couple of times for it to sink in. Essentially what Cooley is saying is that society is an interweaving and inter-working of our mental selves (a series of feedback loops). In other words, we develop our sense of self through how we believe others think about us. As you can imagine, this theory has grown in popularity with the rise of social media. Online you can represent different versions of yourself, receive feedback, judgments etc based on follows, likes and so on. Most businesses miss the value of social media in this context. As Ashton Kutcher once told me at a conference: “Social media is not a broadcast tool, it’s a conversation with a feedback loop.” There are two paths to the hidden gold available to you. Both start from within and both require you to step outside of your usual patterns of behaviour to find them. Just like navigating any jungle, first you need to stop and listen: internally and externally.

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JEREMY’S JOURNAL Internal feedback The body is an incredibly effective feedback loop. Most of the time it is functioning without you doing anything to it. We breathe 12-20 times a minute without thought, our hearts beat 100,000 times per day pumping the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood through our bodies - all without your focused conscious attention. When toxins are discovered, they are purged. When our bodies need rest, we feel tired. When hungry, our stomach rumbles, reminding us to eat. Most of us consider our body as serving our brain, which is the area we tend to feel that our sense of self resides. But, consider for a moment the idea that our brains and the entire system of our body is actually at the bidding of our gut. Did you know that 80% of the neurotransmitter serotonin (also known as the happy hormone) is produced in our guts? Serotonin regulates our mood and social behaviour, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory as well as sexual desire and function. What has this got to do with feedback? Well, the first thing to pay attention to is the feedback that is happening inside yourself.

Above: Even though it might hurt our ego we need to listen to others who give us honest unbiased feedback. Below left: Be in tune with your internal feedback. Right: Discover which direction you are heading by paying attention to your feedback loops. Below right: What you focus on will guide you.

If you take care of your health and well being, your gut will often guide you more clearly than the estimated 50,000+ thoughts we have each day. Nobody can dispute how you feel about things and only you know your own feelings. Listening to your internal feedback is the place to start when you want to consider what you know and don’t know. Sometimes your internal feedback can even take you into territory that you don’t know you don’t know. Once you are in tune with your own internal feedback you can start to pay attention to the feedback from others on things that you don’t know that you don’t know, as well as things you do know but have forgotten to pay attention to (you know - the ones most commonly and frustratingly identified by consultants).

External feedback Shut off from all of the outside influences and listen to your body. Where is there tension? How are you feeling? What is the likely cause of these sensations? To do this effectively, make sure your stomach is not empty, you are in good health and you are not tired. Set aside a quiet time and space and then breathe. Move beyond the thoughts you have about yourself, your business and the world around you. Remember that you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts and decisions come and go like hiccups. You are the presence behind your thoughts (if you want to go really deeply into this you are the entire cosmos - but we’ll save that for another time).

From Cooley’s perspective, external feedback is really filtered by your own internal bias anyway (I am who I think you think I am). This causes people like Jane issues when she is struggling to pay her bills and she doesn’t know that there’s a deep rich well of oil beneath her. How could she ever discover this? Even if Jane were to ask experts to help her she may well be hampered by beliefs that she might have built up about her unworthiness. Stories that her family, friends, school etc may have shared with her and which she in turn believed have built into the way she sees the world around her. Aside from that, how would she even know to ask for the type of expert that would help her to uncover oil reserves?

The fact is, external feedback is our best chance of improving our lot, even when we find it hard and don’t like it: perhaps even more so when we have an emotional reaction to it. Just as we need to pay attention to what’s going on inside ourselves, we also need to have our ears and eyes open to the world around us. We need to find others in our lives who offer honest, unbiased feedback on how we are doing. We need to actively solicit feedback and be open to hearing its message, even when it’s difficult and our egos are stinging from it. It’s most helpful though, when we have a clear idea of where we want to go.

The right direction Lewis Carroll once wrote: “If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.” We need to know what we want and in which direction we are heading. We then need to listen to our internal and external feedback loops as we go to determine if we are heading the right way and adjust accordingly. Where is the abundance currently concealed from your view in your life? Where do you want it to be? What can you do to uncover it? What you focus on will guide you. Slow down. Pay attention to what is working and ignore what isn’t. If you have an emotional reaction to a feedback loop then there is almost certainly a lesson to be learned from it and, who knows, perhaps even gold hidden within it.






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Art Source PG helps to paint a pretty picture of freelance artists, designers, verse writers and photographers’ worlds in order to promote their talents to publishers and, conversely, make it easier for publishers seeking artists.


Rebecca McCulloch I am an illustrator based in a beautiful studio in the countryside just outside the vibrant town of Frome in Somerset and I have been in the greeting card industry for over 20 years. After studying printed textiles at Winchester School of Art I was spotted at the New Designers show and joined the in-house studio at Gordon Fraser. The following year I joined Ling Design where I stayed for eight years, winning some Henries awards along the way, and being nominated twice for Young Designer. I spent two years at Portico and then joined the Dutch company Paperclip as its creative director, heading up the UK studio for eight

years. My last role with Ling Design was as its group creative director for the last five years, running three creative teams. I have vast experience in building successful seasonal and everyday card ranges and have spent many years involved in export and charity. I have now returned to illustration using my many years of experience to offer a really comprehensive service. As an illustrator that has been inhouse for so many years I have developed many design styles. I have a love for watercolour, but also create much of my painting digitally. I take my sketch book and camera everywhere for inspiration, and there is plenty of it. I am lucky to live near Longleat Safari Park and sketching the animals is such a joy and an amazing resource. Frome has a famous and inspiring independent artisan market and is a creative hub, so there is always something happening and there are many fantastic galleries in Bruton. When I am not in the studio you can find me in the garden, walking in the forests around my home with my children, or doing pilates. I managed to catch up with many of my clients at the Spring Fair, but if I missed you and you have a project to discuss, please do get in touch. I am represented by If you are interested in licensing please do get in touch with me for all other enquiries. l Tel: 07730003767 l Email: l Web:


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 This is an editorial feature and as such is free of charge. PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE





Let's talk envelopes... Please contact us to discuss your requirements further.

T: 01274 581327 E: W:

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Art Source

Amelia Bowman I trained as textile designer and it was purely by chance that I discovered the process of printmaking. I’m a Norfolk-based artist specialising in intaglio collagraph prints and hand-drawn, digitally coloured pattern designs. I restored a vintage Anglian mangle in 2010 before carefully adapting it into a print press, which I now use to print my collagraphs. My work is regularly exhibited and I run workshops at local venues. My best-selling images include ‘Beach Huts’ and ‘Fishing Boat’, both inspired by local scenes. My style is simple but precise, taking the most important elements, often distorting the perspective in order to incorporate as much as possible and to maximise both the impact and distinguishing features of the subject matter. My work fuses traditional, messy and sometimes unpredictable printmaking techniques with bold, clean and precise pattern design. I am particularly excited about a new way of working that I’m developing to speed up my process for certain projects. My new ‘Monstera’ design was created using a laser-cut collagraph plate with added PVA texture as opposed to cutting it all by hand. I’m currently developing a new collection with a mix of landscape, garden and coastal themes for the British market. My ‘Teatime’ collagraph is literally hot off the press. My designs have been licensed by several companies for use on their product ranges including Elite Tins. If you have any enquiries relating to licensing my designs please contact my agent, Jehane Ltd. l Contact: Jehane Boden Spiers l Tel: 07703 185413 l Web:

Suzy Taylor I am a surface pattern designer and illustrator originally from London but now living and working in Exeter, Devon. Until 2014 I had been working for 10 years as a papercutting artist, but the intensive work took its toll on my eyes and I needed to find a new way of working. I set myself the task of learning Adobe Illustrator and making a career for myself in surface design. Since 2015 I have had my work licensed for greeting cards, giftwrap, a fabric line, tapestry and cross-stitch kits, colouring books and book covers. I’ve always loved pattern and folk art and my work reflects my passion and is folky, stylised and decorative - usually incorporating birds, animals and anything nature! Most of my work starts life as quick pencil sketches on paper, however more recently I have been creating my finished work on my iPad Pro as I enjoy the intuitive nature of the drawing apps and the beautiful textures that can be created. I love my job and am constantly working on new ideas. The joy of the iPad is that I can take it anywhere, so even when I’m on holiday I’m working. I’m always learning and taking online courses to discover new techniques and improve my workflow. I particularly love the work of Lisa Congdon - she’s an inspirational woman and teacher. I am represented by Sue Bateman at Yellow House. l Contact Sue Bateman: 07879 278100 l Email:



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PG asked a selection of card retailers for their ‘hot’ card sellers. Claire North, owner of The Dinky Dove, Chertsey, Surrey A medium gift shop in a historical town with a locals and office workers customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



The Art File

Across The Board



Across The Board


Canns Down Press Green Pebble 1973

General General Letterpressed Cards



Ruth Jackson

Pencil Shavings Cards

Apple & Clover




Banoffee Pie


Lagom Katie Loxton

General Clutch bags

Really lovely ranges that are good quality, the publisher also picks up on current design trends. Just cheeky, non-offensive humour that appeals to our customers. They’re nice blank cards with a good variety of art scenes to choose from. Quite different looking with their retro look and style. All of the publisher’s ranges are lovely: the quality matt board, designs and even the envelopes. The cards stand out because with the pencil shavings they are a bit different. Originally the designs are silk-screen prints, then a little bow-tie is hand applied. Well-priced cards featuring cute die-cut animals. Nice and bright designs featuring children’s favourite themes. Very popular clutch bags at a good price point. Really nicely packaged; the bags feature a sweet message in simple font, such as One in a Million.

Contemporary Right: Beautiful quality cards from Lagom. Below right: Apple & Clover’s cute Bow-Tie mouse design.

Handmade/ HandFinished

Des Heathcote, owner of Zebra Cards, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent A medium shop in a spa town with a locals and tourists customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range






Mini Cards


Rosie Made a Thing Peartree Heybridge


Canns Down Press

Gin & Frolics Camilla & Rose and Tottering by Gently Across The Board

Simple designs scripted in silver foiling - great for occasions and birthdays. The best small cards we have ever sold. Contemporary, fun designs. Popular with our more senior customers. Contemporary art cards by leading and less wellknown artists. We sell lots of art cards from many publishers but these are our absolute best sellers. Beautiful British countryside cards, stationery and homewares that have been very popular, especially the Bee range. Always popular, especially the Classic ranges, notecards and journals. We don't usually stock ‘wordy’ cards but we reorder these nearly every month. This was our best selling new range for 2018. Traditional designs at a good price point. The Christmas designs were very popular last year. Always lots of new designs. Most popular are Cloud 9 and Quick Silver ranges. Fun, bright animal designs with googly eyes.

Toasted Crumpet


Right: A Stripey Cats Cards' Wobbly-Eyed design.

Museums and Galleries



Coulson Macleod

Wise Words

Me&McQ Wendy Jones-Blackett

Pop Up 3D Laser Cut Cards Across The Board

Stripey Cats Cards

Wobbly-Eyed Cards

Handmade/ HandFinished Children’s



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Kiah Whyte, supervisor of The Shetland Times Bookshop, Lerwick, Shetland A medium bookshop in an island port with a locals and tourists customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



Ling Design




Hysterical Heritage



Across The Board


The Heart of a Garden



The Eco-card Company (Glebe Cottage) Emma Ball

Kate Andrews

Port and Lemon


Perkins & Morley

Collective Nouns


Quentin Blake, Where's Wally? Mog General

A reliable seller for us for many years. Consistently good new designs, and so far this year the updated Wildlife range is going well. Also Curious Inksmith (from Ling) is a firm favourite in the male card section. Loved by staff and customers alike. We enjoy hearing people giggling to themselves when they are having a browse in our humour section! They are beautiful and very cute! Customers love them, whether they are blank, occasion or birthday cards. We have used this publisher for many years now. Its winter cards and great coastal designs really sell well. Art cards sell well for us. Popular at the moment is a mixture of Glebe Cottage’s Kate Andrews range, with lovely inspirational quotes, and Emma Ball’s Susie Lacome range. Both are excellent sellers. And Emma Ball’s Woolly Puffin cards have been an instant bestseller for us! We love these, and they are very popular. It does wonderful bespoke cards and gifts for us too. This range is fabulous, and is popular all year round with both tourists and visitors to the islands. Woodmansterne’s cards consistently sell well. We stock a great mixture of ranges. We have also just bought in some cards from Kali Stileman. They are lovely and bright and cheery! Creates a lovely display and customers love the gorgeous artwork of the various animals.

Right: Personalised to the shop’s area, a design from Port and Lemon.



Kali Stileman Ancillary


Susie Lacome

Sticky notes, notebooks, writing sets and bookmarks

The Maddy Moos Team at Maddy Moos, Southampton, Hampshire A small shop in a port city with a loyal locals and destination shoppers customer base. Category

Name of Publisher

Product/Name Range



UK Greetings




Across The Board


Ling Design



Nigel Quiney



Gibson (UKG)

Simply Traditional

Handmade/ HandFinished

Talking Pictures (Ling) Second Nature

General Buttoned Up


East of India

Porcelain hearts

Indulgence Jewellery


Puppy Boofle is cute without being childish. The designs are in lovely pastel colours and the captions are sweet without being over the top. Paperlink offers a really balanced selection of different types of humour - from dark humour to mainstream. Most of the designs are blank cards so are an especially good option for Sympathy sends when finding the right words can be difficult, and the photographic scenes are so beautiful. The cards are so pretty! And they suit ladies of all ages - there are Pizazz designs for a 10 year-old girl to a 70 year-old woman. There’s just the right amount of words combined with a nice traditional image. Bright and colourful designs that stand out on the rack. Really nice pastel coloured designs with lots of lovely button and gem add-ons. Lovely sentiments on pretty small heart-shaped hangings. They’re not expensive and look like you’ve spent more than you have. Amazing quality jewellery. There’s a large selection and the RRP is good.

Right: Strawberry Fizz from Talking Pictures (Ling) is a ‘tonic' for the eyes. Below right: A Nigel Quiney’s Pizazz design.



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To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

Abacus Cards Limited t: 01638 569050 e: w:

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email 66


01565 830 546 | @BexyBooLtd



66-73_Product Directory_2019.qxp 28/02/2019 11:42 Page 67




To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud on:

07957 212 062

or email on

Publishers of quality blank greeting cards

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of Greeting Cards since 19995 Products: High quality greetin ng cards with superb finishes. All maajjor and minor titles, covering traditio onaall to the latest in innovative design, n both Everydaayy and Seasonal. Providing an all NEW selection of Muggs and Notebooks. k

Tel: 0115 929 4776 Order Online

Brands Include: Down Memory Lane, W Wo ot A Mug and T Tw wist & Shout Methods of Sale: Direct to retail Desiggners welcome contact

Unit 10 Duddage Business Park Brockeridge Rd Twyning Tewkesbury GL20 6BY 01684 295500

Caspari Ltd Linden House, John Dane Player Court

East Street, Safffrron W Waalden Essex, CB10 1LR Teel: 01799 513010 T Faax: 01799 513101 F Email: ww ww

Products: Everyday cards - birthday,

blank & occasions, charity Christmas cards, gifftt wrap, bags, tissue, ribbon, hankies, napkins, paper plate, candles, placemats, crackers,invitations, placecards, notecards,diaries, address books, journals, advent calendars and bridge gifftts.

Method of Sale: Direct to Retail

Quote CUTE50 for 50% discount at

To appear in the Product Directories contact

Warren Lomax

Witty, gritty, switched on humour. Cards and gifts with a real difference. Unit 1, 45 Morrish Road London SW2 4EE Tel: 0208 671 2166 Fax: 0208 678 1119

020 7700 6740 or email or contact

Tracey Arnaud

07957 212 062

or email



66-73_Product Directory_2019.qxp 28/02/2019 11:42 Page 68




To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

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Warren Lomax




020 7700 6740

made with great imagination


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Beautiful greeting cards from contemporary British artwork





01892 838 574

or email on or contact


07957 212 062

or email on

T +44 (0) 1273 241210 E

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Te T el: 0161 1 64 641 0 06 655 Email: m sales@da sales@d av 135 Hea 13 135 eaton Moorr Rd | Stockp ock kpo port ort SK4 4HY 4 4H HY

High Quality Greeting Cards, Gift Bags, Gift Wrap & Ta Tags for every occasion.

*GCF 1HĆ‚EG +353 (0)404 20528 Email

Welsh and English cards





agents wanted

A U.K owned Greeting Cards Publisher. Our everyday ranges for all occasions and relations include traditional, contemporary, cute, humour and photographic designs. We also have a full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons. All products are designed and printed in the U.K on the finest quality board.

BRANDS “Write from the Heart� brand includes; Corsage, Sentiments, Champagne, Celebrations and Jelly Beans.

M ETHOD OF SALE Direct to Retail


To appear in the Product Directories simply contact

Warren Lomax on:

020 7700 6740

Innovative high quality gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper and accesssories galore for all seasons and occasions.

0127 74 4 655980


Glick, Unit 1 Allenby House, European Ind. Park, Knowles Lane, Bradford BD4 9AB

07957 212 062

or email on


from the

or email on or contact

Tracey Arnaud


Units 4 - 4A Valentines Buildin g Ra cec our se Bus in ess Par k Aintr ee, Liver poo l, L9 5 AL Tel: 0151 52 3 9600 Fax : 015 1 523 494 9 e-m ail: s ales@ writefr om th ehear


66-73_Product Directory_2019.qxp 28/02/2019 11:44 Page 69




• UK Market leaders with humour, art, photographic, contemporary and traditional occasions & relations cards, plus seasonal. • 2΍HULQJ D IXOO SODQQLQJ VHUYLFH with merchandising and retail development opportunities. • Specialists in garden centres and the independent trade.

Find The Great British Card Company on:

PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIER Waterwells Drive, Gloucester GL2 2PH Tel: 01452 888970 01626 369269 Estaab blished 1993



.6-5*3"$*"- and -(#5 (3&&5*/( $"3%4

AR RT TISTS CARDS 01626 369269 Esta ab blished 1993

Hue tribe t: +44(0) 7943416562 e: facebook:

One of the UK’s leading publishers of Charity Greeting Cards. Impress offers a wide collection of images, including fine art, graphic, photographic and cute. We also offer a bespoke design service for bulk orders and/or mail order fulfilment. Impress Publishing Appledown House Barton Business Park New Dover Road Canterbury, Kent CT1 3TE Tel: 01227 811 611 Fax: 01227 811 618 email:




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60 years

Your Number One Supplier of Numerals, Name, Relation & Age Labels for Greetings Cards.



Silk Screened Retro, Pop & Classic Cards Inspired by Music and 1960’s American Advertising.For all Vinyl & Rock n’Roll lovers


Huge selection with immediate delivery y.. Buy direct or from your wholesalerr.. Listan Labels 3 Isis Court, Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX1 5JN Te T el 01235 465489 Fax 01235 532118

For further details please get in touch.

+44 (0)7779 578340

LING DESIGN The UK’s leading privately owned publisher of Greetings Cards and Stationery. ...The home for and

Products: Greetings cards for all occasions, Christmas and Spring Seasons cards, gift wrap and bags, charity cards, social stationery. Bespoke service for charities and other fundraisers. Ling Design Ltd 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574




01892 838 574



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Products An exciting and innovative range of quality Birthday, Relations, Special Occasions, Art and Humorous greeting cards. Full range of Christmas and Spring Seasons merchandise. Comprehensive collection of handmade cards. Pizazz Gifts.

Exquisite Design, Beautiful Cardss Key brands include Marzipan, Portobello, Mosaic, Daisy Patch, Aquarupella and Designers Guild, plus many more.

Brand Names Pizazz, Pizazz Gallery, Pizazz Jewell, Pizazz for Men, What a Picture, Time Out, Bon Bon, Marshmallow

Tel: +44 (0)115 986 0115 Email: PaperRoseCards TheArtGroupCards The_Art_Group

Cloudesley House • Shire Hill • Saffron Walden • CB11 3FB T: 01799 520200 F: 01799 520100

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


356 Kennington Rd London SE11 4LD T 020 7582 8244 k Paperlinkcards

@ @paperlinkcards


01892 838 574

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. 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

Design-led Stationery, Gifts, Calendars, Diaries and Cards Brands Laura Ashley, Roald Dahl, Lily & Val, Vintage Ladybird, Caroline Gardner, Monsoon, Born to Shop, Flash Gordon, Boofle and many more. Our In-house design studio and established supply chain enables us to offer bespoke services. tel: +44 (0) 1225 329494 email: website:



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l PRODUCT DIRECTORY Products: Greetings Cards, Gift Wrap, Gift Bags, Social Stationery, Mugs and Glasses, Partyware

Brands: Card Essentials Designer Collection Greetings Impressions Inspirations In Touch ,VDEHO·V *DUGHQ Planet Happy With You In Mind

Method of sale: Wholesale Distributors

Simon Elvin Limited Wooburn Industrial Park, Wooburn Green, Bucks HP10 0PE Tel: 01628 526711 Fax: 01628 531483

Uk publisher of Greetings Cards with an extensive range of quality Birthday, Relations, Occasions and Seasonal product... available from


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

Method of sale: Direct to Retail 14-20 Eldon Way, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6BE Tel: 01892 838574

greeting cards & contempoRary gifts

2@= 29KL= M<K e: t: 01803 712793

Just food and their friends....

6 Heron Trading Estate Alliance Road, Park Royal, London W3 0RA T: 0208 385 4474 F: 0208 385 4471 E: WWW.XXPRESSYOURSELFCARDS.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.

raspber r 020 3723 5405



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

5= N= ?GF= ?J==F All greeting cards printed with vegetable inks on recycled boards/envelopes, including biodegradable packaging... 07906 367 663

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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


Market Leaders in


& entimen

view by rufus designed in thames ditton

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


Method of Sale: Direct to Retail Orders can be placed on our trader site or call our customer services team on

+44(0)1243 792600

“ h look “oh k, a onesie” topdog@view by 020 8972 9706

Art Cards eA Botanical Fine

an extensive range of superior quality,

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

Call Now 075 7700 1145 info@

register fo for a trade account: www w..viewbyrufus i b f .com/b2b /b2b




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BAGS Polypropylene & biodegradable bag specialists


Over 40 years quality service to the trade Hotfoiling also available

T 01206 396209 E





BESCOT CRESCENT, WALSALL, WEST MIDLANDS. WS1 4NG 01922-646666 MON,WED,FRI 8.00am-4.45pm TUES,THURS 8.00am-7.45pm SAT,SUN 8.00am-1.45pm



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

We’ve been producing p bags of high clarity and high quality q for over 30 years.



01274 220 220 www

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01773 5378 810


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

Contact DAVID JIGGINS Tel: 01245 400104 Email:



AND NOW FO OR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT... . 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 Av Available


Stock & Bespoke Cello Bags Peel & Stick Envelopes p Bespoke Service on Request

ORDER ON LINE AT: 01274 583000

Our innovative greeting gs card finishes include: Thermography Foil Intense Glitter Snowraise Liquid q M Metal Blended Glitter Embossing Textured Foil Laser Cutting

ask about our ‘Mrr Abbot’ sample pack

To discuss your nextt greetings card range call us on 01797 223355 bb i k l bb i k PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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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

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

The simplest way to order your greetings cards

The Print Works Colville Road, Acton, London, W3 8BL

Powered by

Unit 8, Archers Park, Branbridges Road, East Peckham, Kent TN12 5HP Email: Tel: 01622 871449

we print 76

we ďŹ nish


we pack

we deliver

E-mail: Tel: 020 8993 5160

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Your saf ep ai


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English speaking production team, prices quoted in sterling... and only 3 days delivery to THE UK...

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

• Hand made and hand finished greeting cards • Boxed sets and acetate packs of cards / envelopes • Giftwrap and tag packs • Individually open and closed wrapped cards • 'Pop up' and cardboard engineered products • Notelets and social stationery • Specialised printing on plastics & lenticular For production enquiries, estimates etc., please contact our UK Agent:

To find out how we can benefit your business, contact Derek Lam +00 (852) 3527 3471 / or The Sherwood Group Head Office

Rob Pearson 07710 132 232 FSC accredited (BV-COC-002485). Audited member of SMETA. Printing to ISO12674-2 standard.

Hong Kong Office: 13/F, Kam Chung Commercial Building, 19-21 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong


Really... and there s no VAT to pay or customs procedures either...that's a great deal!




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 work together, contact Simon King: Tel 0115 928 7766 Email

Glitt i Glittering

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Facto ory Outlook

Established in 1997, headquarters in Hong Kong 600,000 Sq.fftt of modern production facility ouse production Ensure complete co ontrol from start to finish with our full in-ho Continually investin t planet ng in people, equipment, technology and the Hadden Court, Glaisdale e Parkway, Glaisdale Drive West, Nottin ngham NG8 4GP

TERRY JOHNSO ON PO Box 1600 Hemel Hempstead, HP1 9SR Mobile: 07773 389784 Email: terryjohnson@ve Website: PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE


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Digital Print






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


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Card works





92 Station Road, Willingham, Cambridge CB24 5HG

Distributor of gift books and beautiful stationery

Email: Tel: 01954 260728

SALES REPRESENTATIVES Salary: Competitive, generous commission Type: Full-time or part-time Various locations, including: West Midlands Yorkshire North East Oxfordshire based Allsorted is looking to employee more and more ‘SUPERSTAR’ Sales Representatives across the UK, as our business grows exponentially, going from strength to strength. Candidates must have a proven track record as the best - or at least one of the top - sales reps in their previous team/s. You must be persuasive, honest, hardworking, positive, dedicated, smart, and enjoy helping customers to be more successful.

Contact: Lincoln Exley by email with CV for more information:



Famous for its great energy, artistic vibe and friendly atmosphere, PG Live 2019 is your chance to explore

than 250 publishers, artists and designers.

THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF GREETING CARDS IN THE WORLD “Of all the trade fairs, PG Live is an absolute ‘must attend’. The opportunity to meet designers, producers and publishers, new and established, is crucial to my

chance of talent spotting.�


Be Part Of The Show

Book your tickets now at OBC_PG_March April 2019.indd 1

PG Live 2019 Tuesday 4 - Wednesday 5 June Business Design Centre, London +44 (0) 1635 297070 @PGLiveLondon

26/02/2019 09:26