October 2020

The Non-Virtual Virtue of a Card 

When virtually everything goes virtual, the tangible becomes more meaningful. When you can’t give loved ones a hug in person. When you can’t shake hands with a colleague. When distance becomes the norm. While distance may make the heart grow fonder it also makes the heart feel lonely and weary. But humans by nature are creative and adaptable, and sometimes as technology marches forward at warp speed, the most traditional ways of connecting can prove the most meaningful. 

In my new role as Executive Director of GCA, I’ve been thinking a lot about what a greeting card is, what it signifies, and what role it plays in our connectivity as humans. Greeting cards have been around since the ancient Chinese used them to exchange new year’s well wishes. In the 1850s they were first mass-produced and started to resemble the decorative, folded cards we know today. While they are at their simplest nothing more than folded pieces of paper, they are in reality much more than that. They are physical manifestations of emotion; markers of our thoughts and life’s milestones. In an age when a text can be typed in seconds and when an emoji serves as a stand-in for our feelings, putting pen to paper and writing a personal note in a greeting card takes on elevated meaning. A greeting card is tactile, and its appearance in one’s mailbox a welcome respite from bills, flyers, and junk mail. 

While a card may serve as a meaningful proxy, we all crave that in-person experience. But, for the moment we are relegated to the virtual. Making the most of time together while physically apart is what makes this year’s Annual Workshop & Retreat so special. In addition to the “workshop” with presenters and content that offer education and tools you can put straight to use in your business, the “retreat” offers an opportunity to recapture the fun and joy of the greeting card community while exploring new experiences. With the time and expense burden of travel removed, I hope many more of you will be able to participate in this year’s Workshop & Retreat, and that we can explore this brave, new, virtual world together. 

I’m also excited to announce that submissions for the 2021 Louie Awards will open next week. The committee has worked to ensure the competition is timely and relevant to this ever-changing industry and our ever-changing world. New categories for 2021 include: Trends & Events, Celebrating D.E.I., and the prestigious Illustrator of the Year and Copywriter of the Year awards to be judged by experts from the worlds of art and literature. Early bird entry fees for members will remain unchanged from last year at $55, so be sure to enter early and often! 

I look forward to getting to know GCA’s members, and to learning more about this creative greeting card community. 

Nora Weiser
GCA Executive Director