Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Industry News

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Americans Still Prefer "Real" Valentine's Day Cards

 
Americans Still Prefer "Real" Valentine's Day Cards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Greeting Card Association (GCA) anticipates approximately 145 million greeting cards will be purchased for Valentine's Day this year in the U.S., with sales remaining relatively stable over last year. This figure is based on member company sales and does not include children's packaged valentines for classroom exchanges. Valentine's Day is the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards, after Christmas.

The GCA is optimistic that Valentine's Day card sending will be strong, as more valentines tend to be exchanged when the holiday occurs on a weekday – as it will again this year with February 14 falling on a Friday.

The GCA also expects printed valentines to far outweigh the sending of ecards, texts or social-media posts for the holiday, as exchanging "real" cards for Valentine's Day – whether between loved ones or in children's classrooms – is an inherent part of our culture.

The continued strength of Valentine's Day cards is also evidenced by the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, which found that more than half (51.2%) of Americans over the age of 18 will be sending greeting cards for the holiday – spending $1.029 billion on Valentine's Day cards this year.

"It's amazing what a Valentine card can do," says Steve Doyal, president of the Greeting Card Association. "It can be a lasting token of love, a surprise from a secret admirer, or a simple message of friendship. In a time of instant messages, a valentine card stands out and shows you genuinely care."

Designs and messages cover the spectrum, from casual and fun to deeply personal and romantic, reflecting the range of relationships people acknowledge on Valentine’s Day. Design trends echo those happening in fashion and giftware; e.g., lace and die-cut embellishments are strong; and woodland themes featuring owls, bears or foxes are a popular motif this year. Cats and dogs also continue to be favorite images on today's valentines.

Red and pink still dominate the Valentine's Day card display, with black accents adding sophistication. Creative calligraphy and type treatments, as well as beautiful attachments and favorite licensed properties, join the traditional images of hearts and flowers that are always part of Valentine's Day card designs. Letterpress-printed cards, cards with sound and music, and pop-ups are also popular trends for valentines on the higher end of the retail price scale.

Valentine greetings have been exchanged since the Middle Ages in Europe. In 1850, Esther Howland, an American printer and artist, was among the first to publish and sell Valentine's Day cards in the U.S. Exchanging valentines has since become a deep-seated part of our American culture.
 
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Key Speakers On Industry Change, Relevancy, Growth, Insights, and More to be Featured at Upcoming Greeting Card Association Convention

July 10, 2014 — An impressive roster of key speakers is scheduled for the 73rd Annual Convention of the Greeting Card Association (GCA), taking place from Wednesday, Sept. 17, through Saturday, Sept. 20, at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder, Colo. All in the industry – both GCA members and nonmembers – are invited to attend this year's Convention, themed "The Challenge of Change."

07/09/2014
New article
The Greeting Card Association’s 73rd Annual Convention Is September 17-20, in Boulder, Colorado

June 20, 2014 — The 73rd Annual Convention of the Greeting Card Association (GCA) will take place from Wednesday, September 17, through Saturday, September 20, at the scenic St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder, Colo. All members of the industry – both GCA members and nonmembers – are invited to attend.

06/23/2014
New article
Greeting Card Association Announces Winner of 3rd Annual Consumer’s Choice LOUIE Award Facebook Contest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 11, 2014: The Greeting Card Association (GCA) is pleased to announce that Marian Heath Greeting Cards has won this year’s Consumer’s Choice LOUIE Award. The award is given to the card that receives the most “Likes” on the LOUIE Awards Facebook page, following the posting of images of all winning cards from the GCA’s annual LOUIE Awards competition.

06/11/2014

Hallmark Helps Celebrate Dads on Father's Day
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06/03/2014

GCA Statement On Rumored "Pay-For" Postal Scheme

Washington, D.C., May 29, 2014 – The Greeting Card Association (GCA) issued the following statement in response to rumored efforts by House Republicans aimed at using the elimination of Saturday mail delivery as a “pay-for” to offset a bailout of the Highway Trust Fund: “Eliminating essential services like Saturday delivery in order to bail out the Highway Trust Fund is a misguided and infeasible tactic that should be dismissed out of hand,” said Rafe Morrissey, GCA Vice President of Postal Affairs. “The Postal Service is already in serious financial duress and any consideration of measures that would deprive consumers and small businesses of critical services, while further sacrificing revenue and ceding mail volume to competitors, is irresponsible and unacceptable."

05/29/2014
New article
Greeting Card Association Announces 26th Annual LOUIE Awards Winners

Washington, D.C. – May 19, 2014: The Greeting Card Association (GCA) has announced the winners of its 26th Annual International Greeting Card Awards Competition, better known as the “LOUIE Awards.” Winners in each of the 29 categories in this year’s competition, as well as the “Cards of the Year” in each of the two price divisions, were revealed at the LOUIE Awards gala held on Sunday evening, May 18, at Espace in New York City, during the signature mix™ marketplace tradeshow. This highly anticipated industry event drew nearly 300 guests, including finalist companies, industry retailers, manufacturers’ representatives and suppliers, as well as members of the media.

05/19/2014
New article
GREETING CARD ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES SPONSORS OF 26TH ANNUAL LOUIE AWARDS

WASHINGTON, DC – May 16, 2014: Winners of the Greeting Card Association’s 26th Annual LOUIE Awards competition will be announced at an elegant gala on Sunday, May 18, at Espace in New York City. This important industry event – considered the “Oscars” of the Greeting Card Association – would not be possible without the generous support of its many sponsors and supporters.

Special thanks go to the 26th Annual LOUIE Award sponsors: Platinum Sponsors – American Greetings; Hallmark. Gold Sponsors – Designer Greetings, Inc.; Infinity Foils, Inc.; Jast Company; National Stationery Show®/Emerald Expositions; Universal Engraving, Inc. Silver Sponsors – Avanti Press, Inc.; Neenah Paper. Category Champion – Bobst North America, Inc.; The Madison Park Group.

The GCA also extends its gratitude to Universal Presentation Concepts (UPC) for the generous contribution of the outstanding LOUIE Awards Exhibit and GCA Lounge at the signature mix™ marketplace tradeshow – which includes the National Stationery Show® – taking place May 18-21, at the Javits Center in NYC.

05/16/2014
New article
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LOUIE Exhibit to Showcase Winners and Finalists of the GCA's 26th LOUIE Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 7, 2014: The finalists and winning cards of the Greeting Card Association’s 26th Annual LOUIE Awards will be showcased at a special LOUIE Exhibit in the Crystal Palace Lobby of the Javits Center in NYC during the National Stationery Show/signature mix™ marketplace, taking place May 18-21.

05/07/2014
New article
Bridgeman Studio Award 2014 Competition Now Open
New York, NY — To coincide with the launch of Bridgeman Studio – Bridgeman Art Library's new online platform representing contemporary artists – Bridgeman has launched the Bridgeman Studio Award 2014 in partnership with Creative Review.
04/10/2014

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