1.6 billion Christmas cards to be purchased this year, says Greeting Card Association
(November 22, 2013) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Greeting Card Association (GCA) is predicting that some 1.6 billion Christmas cards will be bought this year – making it the largest card-sending holiday in the U.S. That figure includes boxed cards, but does not include photo cards and other personalized cards sold via the Internet. Overall, Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, with annual retail sales estimated between $7 and $8 billion.
According to research by GCA member Hallmark Cards, nearly three-fourths of consumers who send holiday cards do so because they know how good it feels when they receive a holiday greeting. The company’s holiday designs for 2013 include cards featuring fun embellishments such as removable ornaments; designs with simple photography; laser-cut holiday cards; and cards incorporating rich colors and short but powerful sentiments.
Other design trends leading Christmas cards this year include modern updates on traditional text and icons; quirky humor mixed with nostalgia; bold color palettes, and unexpected pops of color – say GCA members.
“For the holiday season, basics continue to rule – from themes to colors," according to GCA member Designer Greetings, which is seeing demand for understated, natural designs for Christmas that “speak to the return to the familiar for peace of mind and comfort.”
GCA member American Greetings is focusing on traditional designs with a contemporary flair: “Around the holidays, families and friends seek out experiences and traditions they can share, which provides framework and connection for making memories. Although traditions are very important for the post-recession mindset, people still like to give them a modern update. Christmas trends will go from classic to quirky this holiday season.”
Colors on traditional Christmas cards will continue to incorporate classic green-and-red hues along with gold touches, while featuring vintage imagery or fashion-inspired iconography. Cards focusing on a winter theme will combine winter whites, soft aqua, frosty spearmint, and ice rink blue, and include images of snowflakes and icicles. Black-and-white illustrations with pops of red create an updated, graphic look for the holiday. Brighter, less-traditional hues can be found on more whimsical-themed holiday cards, such as those featuring humorous takes on Santa, elves and ugly Christmas sweaters.
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About the Greeting Card Association
The Greeting Card Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social-expression industry. Founded in 1941, the GCA today represents nearly 200 American and international publishers from diverse businesses – ranging from young start-ups to established companies of all sizes, scopes and years in the industry – as well as suppliers that provide production services and product distribution at the wholesale level. Managed by Bostrom, the GCA is committed to celebrating, promoting and preserving the tradition of sending greeting cards.