Thinking of You Week runs 25 Sept 2017 – 1 Oct 2017 in the UK and it is the perfect week to send a happy thought, a smile or just a simple hello to somebody you love or care about. The idea is to inspire people to write greeting cards and by sending them, to create a wave of love, caring and happiness.
It has scientifically been shown that sending cards generates positive feelings and wellbeing. On top of that, a handwritten card is far more personal and special than a text message or the tasteless social media message.
So, grab a pen, make a cuppa and send a happy thought to someone special to you. I am sure they’ll love it.
Male cards are notoriously difficult to design, so it was such a lovely news for us that our recently released male range Great Times just flew off the shelves…both ours and of our great retail customers.
So, I have been very busy designing some additions to that range and we have now released more than 40 NEW designs. Plenty of bold black typography and copper metallic keep the range fresh, on trend and striking. The designs cover milestone birthdays, family relations, additional open birthdays and open caption ‘Dad’ cards.
Naturally, all our cards are designed and manufactured in England.
Our retail customers get a sneak peek with our newsletter updates. If you are new to us and think your customers would love our cards, please make sure you get in touch. If require paper catalogue and a sample card, just let us know and we will be happy to send one.
Creatively, Christmas is one of the most difficult ranges to do. It is probably because it has been done over and over again but is also the one where experimenting is most restricted. People like traditional designs. What is a Christmas card without robin, Santa, snow, presents etc. Would you buy a Christmas card in pink, blue and yellow or would it be in green, red with gold and glitter?! The answer is that you might experiment with the colours but my wild guess is majority of people will buy the latter.
Christmas is also one of the most commercially justifiable worth spending time on design collections. Would there be a gift store, boutique, garden centre without a Christmas card selection?! Probably not. So, roll up your sleeves and get to designing lovely ranges.
This year, I have built on the success of my Fly range and decided to expand into Christmas. I have birds, birds, birds. As usual, I have experimented with ‘safe’ and with ‘wild’ designs. Some I know will sell well, others I think are a bit of a risk. However, they all help me understand my customers, old and new, so I can continue to create better greeting cards.
This blog post has just a tiny selection of what retailers have been ordering since February. They will be available for retail customers from August. Hope you like them and some of our cards are enjoyed by your loved ones.
It’s always lovely to be featured in an editorial, it is extra special when it is unexpected and when a design has been considered a trend-setter.
My coffee just got an extra kick one morning as my heron (or my trendy little friend as I called it) was in the trend section of an industry magazine. So, occasionally I hit the right trend, which explains why this bird range is so popular at the moment.
You can view the whole Fly range here and to read more of the greeting cards and stationery trends you can check the March issue of Progressive Greetings Magazine here.
Hope it inspires you to create something beautiful.
I know people always love the stories behind the names (well, I do), so I will try to give you a glimpse of how it all started.
For me, greeting cards were meant to get something out of my system. With enough retail experience to know that lacking design credentials and technical knowledge would give very limited legs to my venture I set plan A to go to the Ladder Club (I mentioned this Club back in one of my posts), so I would get design help, then do a trade show and put it all to bed. That plan massively failed as I’ve later learnt that the Ladder Club doesn’t actually help with design critique and was fully booked up when I did my query. So, I did that first trade show (Top Drawer) anyway, which surprisingly turned out brilliant. I had to quickly come up with plan B, which I am still working on. My husband keeps me sane and helps a lot with admin, IT and at trade shows. He passes expert opinion on new designs, so when he doesn’t like something I know it’ll sell well.
Nowadays, I learn a lot about design from You Tube videos, reading online magazines like Moyo, from fellow publishers in the greeting card industry, the Ladder Club and spend reasonable time on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
My designs style has changed over the years and this year I am hitting the spot with what is closer to me. I have some contemporary birds with metallic, which proves to be very popular with buyers.
I keep the best bits from my previous life as a Business Mentor at The Prince’s Trust and occasionally have meetings/invited talks with entrepreneurs at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Leicester College. I say/fool to myself that all this keeps me young.
Last but not least, cheers to plan B. It often turns out to be plan A.
Hope this inspires you to go on and make your plan B a very successful one.