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Industry Issue

Political leanings Part of the brief for the On The Cards student greeting card design competition (instigated by Paper Rose, GF Smith and Paperchase) was for undergraduates to come up with a card concept that was unlike anything on the market. The winning entry was Political Pals, created by Leeds College of Art student Joe Cox, depicting goggle-eyed political figures coupled with witty puns. PG questions why, in this highly politicised époque, set to reach new heights now a General Election has been called, is there such a paucity of politically-themed greeting card designs? The industry experts who formed the judging panel for the On The Cards competition surprised themselves by their involuntary “wow” reaction to Joe Cox’s innovative entry – Political Pals. But then ‘surprise’ has been the name of the game recently on the political front, Brexit and Donald Trump for starters. These two democratic decisions taken by the nations either side of the Atlantic have been

enough to wake up the hitherto largely politically-apathetic UK population and propel political leaders’ actions into everyday parlance. And what with Teresa May's surprise announcement of a general election on June 8, there is no 'May-be' that politics will be on the lips of all in the coming months. ‘Don’t be down in the Trumps’ is the message atop a ‘pop art’ treatment of the US president on one of Joe Cox’s designs in his Political Pals range, while on another, a ‘You are aMay-zing’ caption heads a funky graphical treatment of the UK’s own PM’s visage on another, with

Above and inset: The political agenda has just hotted up again with Teresa May calling for a June 8 General Election. Below left: The winning entry to the On The Cards competition. Paper Rose and Paperchase are now working with Joe Cox, the art student who created it, to translate its essence into a card range that will be sold in Paperchase.

Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton also starring in this winning ‘manifesto’ of card designs. After last year’s On The Cards’ feted concepts, which included a ‘sew it yourself’ card kit that tapped into the craft zeitgeist, and another which marked the selfie obsession of 2016, this 2017 winner represents something of a step change, but arguably is an even more significant bellwether of what is making people tick. As Spectator columnist Lara Prendergast summed up in an article published recently: ‘The vote for Brexit will no doubt be a defining political moment for my age group. I sense that more people now feel politically engaged than ever before.’

PROGRESSIVE GREETINGS WORLDWIDE

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Progressive Greetings Worldwide May 2017