Announces LOUIE Award Winners and Consumer’s Choice Contest at re-Imagined Gala

NEW YORK — May 21, 2018– The Greeting Card Association (GCA) announced the winners of its 2018 “LOUIE Awards,” the International Greeting Card Awards Competition, at a re-imagined LOUIE’s “bash” last night at the opening of the National Stationery Show® (NSS).  

The evening’s highest honors went to: Great Arrow Graphics (Card of the Year, $4 and below category) and UWP Luxe (Card of the Year, $4 and above category), which also won the Judge’s Award for Excellence, an award created in 2016.  Montreal, Canada-based 417 Press was named a “Rising Star” after being a 2016 Rising Star finalist.

“There’s nothing like the genuine and lasting connection from receiving (and sending) a greeting card,” said GCA President Christy Kaprosy, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, American Greetings. “Greeting cards continue to evolve and respond to the rich diversity of today’s consumers and this year’s LOUIE Award winners illustrate that evolution,” she said.

History, Criteria and Lifetime Achievement Award

Launched in 1988, the “LOUIEs” honor Louis Prang, the German-born Boston lithographer and publisher known as the “Father of the American Christmas Card.”  Nearly 200 companies submitted hundreds of entries in 56 categories in this year’s competition. Seventy-four companies had at least one card advance to the finalist round.  The LOUIE Awards are open to all publishers in the U.S. and throughout the world. While GCA members receive a reduced entry fee, any publisher who marketed and sold cards in the U.S. in 2017 is eligible.   

A panel of 19 industry experts comprised of retailers, publishers and designers judged entries against five criteria: originality, impact, design excellence, “sendability,” and value; all identifying information about the entrant was withdrawn from the entries.  A Blue Ribbon Panel of five judges selected the “Cards of the Year” and “Judge’s Award for Excellence” from among all categories.  

“Our thanks to an outstanding panel of judges who gave two days of their time to review, comment and select the LOUIE finalists and winners,” said GCA Executive Director Peter Doherty, CAE.  The LOUIE judges are: Leta Areski, Viabella; Alison Bauer, Hallmark Cards, Inc.; Sue Charlier, J.S. McCarthy Printers; Robin Eppard, Carlson Craft; Alan Friedman, Great Arrow Graphics; Fern Gimbelman, Designer Greetings; Chris Harrold, Mohawk Paper; Aaron Hazard, National Stationery Show; Susan January, Leanin’ Tree; Kathy Krassner, Present Publishing LLC; Olga Krigman, Offensive + Delightful; Tuc Krueger, Leader Paper; Cathy LLanso, Legacy Publishing; Erin McCloud, American Greetings; Nicole Mercer, UEI Group; Cyndee Otto, Otto Printing; Beth Salvini, Greenwich Letterpress; John Segal, Crane’s and Danielle Tobin, Neenah Paper.


“In addition to the judges, both the LOUIE Chair and our fantastic roster of sponsors are the unsung heroes of the LOUIE Awards,” said Kaprosy.  She noted the “out of the box” thinking of Viabella’s VP/Creative and LOUIE Chair Molly delMastro and her team for re-thinking the LOUIE Awards gala and “pushing the envelope” to create an unforgettable evening of fun – with record attendance!  

“Whether it’s a financial contribution or an in-kind donation, each and every sponsor plays an important role in supporting the LOUIEs,” said Kaprosy.   “On behalf of the GCA Executive Committee and Board, our thanks to: American Greetings, Designer Greetings, Hallmark Cards, National Stationery Show, Universal Presentation Concepts, Viabella, Avanti Press, Bobst, Inc., Birchcraft by DFS, Kathy Davis Studios, The Occasions Group, Up With Paper/UWP Luxe and our media sponsor, Stationery Trends.

Ten GCA member companies supplied materials and production for the call for entries, “Bash” invitations, décor, program book as well as thank you and congratulatory cards and envelopes.   Those companies are: Exclusive Bordering, Infinity Foils, J.S. McCarthy, Jodi Pedri, Leader Paper Products, Neenah Paper, The Occasions Group, Universal Engraving, Universal Presentation Concepts and Viabella.

Universal Presentation Concepts designed the display showcasing winners and finalists along with the “GCA Village” which provides 12 GCA member companies the opportunity to exhibit under the GCA brand and benefit from pre-show promotional opportunities and on-site support.  The LOUIE winners and finalists are on display and open to the public through May 23 at the Jacob Javits Center. Consumers can find out how to vote for their favorite cards by visiting our Facebook page through June 8; one lucky voter will receive a selection of the winning cards.

The Greeting Card Association is the U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social expression industry. Founded in 1941, the GCA represents nearly 200 American and international publishers from businesses ranging from start-ups to established companies of all sizes, scopes and industry tenure — as well as suppliers that provide production services and wholesale product distribution. All LOUIE winners are posted at  For information on GCA membership, contact  Listed below are the 2018 LOUIE Award Winners.

Category Company Name
Announcements and Photo Cards > $4.00 and Below Mixbook
Announcements and Photo Cards > Above $4.00 Mixbook
Baby > $4.00 and Below Inklings Paperie
Baby > Above $4.00 Good Paper
Birthday > General > $4.00 and Below Gift Card Impressions, LLC
Birthday > General > Above $4.00 UWP Luxe
Birthday > Humorous > $4.00 and Below Mina Lee Studio
Birthday > Humorous > Above $4.00 Friendly Fire Paper
Birthday > Small Company > $4.00 and Below Mina Lee Studio
Birthday > Small Company > Above $4.00 Pearl & Marmalade, LLC
Blank Card > All Submissions (not divided by price) Quliing Card
Children’s Card > $4.00 and Below Designer Greetings
Children’s Card > Above $4.00 Up With Paper
Christmas/Seasonal > Boxed Set > $2.00 and Below Waste Not Paper
Christmas/Seasonal > Boxed Set > Above $2.00 The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Christmas/Seasonal > General > $4.00 and Below Great Arrow Graphics
Christmas/Seasonal > General > Above $4.00 KB Paperie
Christmas/Seasonal > Humorous > $4.00 and Below Ohh Deer LTD
Christmas/Seasonal > Humorous > Above $4.00 Iron Leaf Press
Congratulations/Special Occasion > $4.00 and Below DaySpring
Congratulations/Special Occasion > Above $4.00 UWP Luxe
Everyday Boxed Set > All Submissions (not divided by price) UWP Luxe
Father’s Day > $4.00 and Below Design Design Inc.
Father’s Day > Above $4.00 Elum Designs, Inc.
Friendship/Encouragement > General > $4.00 and Below Compendium
Friendship/Encouragement > General > Above $4.00 Elum Designs, Inc.
Friendship/Encouragement > Humorous > $4.00 and Below Viabella
Friendship/Encouragement > Humorous > Above $4.00 Easy, Tiger
General Invitations > All Submissions (not divided by price) LovelyKnot – custom wedding invitations
Get Well / Feel Better > $4.00 and Below Compendium
Get Well / Feel Better > Above $4.00 Wild Ink Press
Halloween > $4.00 and Below Designer Greetings
Halloween > Above $4.00 E. Frances Paper
Letterpress Backyard Letterpress and Paper Company
LGBTQ > All Submissions (not divided by price) UWP Luxe
Most Humorous Ohh Deer LTD
Mother’s Day > $4.00 and Below Elum Designs, Inc.
Mother’s Day > Above $4.00 KB Paperie
Non-Religious Celebrations > $4.00 and Below Calypso Cards
Non-Religious Celebrations > Above $4.00 Calypso Cards
Print and Production Excellence UWP Luxe
Religious Celebrations > $4.00 and Below Great Arrow Graphics
Religious Celebrations > Above $4.00 Up With Paper
Rising Star 417 Press
Romantic Occasions > $4.00 and Below Calypso Cards
Romantic Occasions > Above $4.00 KB Paperie
Superbly Stated Good Juju Ink
Sympathy > $4.00 and Below Calypso Cards
Sympathy > Above $4.00 Ginger P. Designs
Thank You > $4.00 and Below Avanti Press
Thank You > Above $4.00 Inklings Paperie
Valentine’s Day > $4.00 and Below Gift Card Impressions, LLC
Valentine’s Day > Above $4.00 Elum Designs, Inc.
Wedding Invitation Suite > Deluxe > Classic Printed Artisan 2, Inc
Wedding Invitation Suite > Deluxe > Modern Printed B12 Creations
Wedding Invitation Suite > Standard > All Submissions Bella Figura
Card of the Year > $4 and Below Great Arrow Graphics
Card of the Year > Above $4 UWP Luxe
Judge’s Award for Excellence UWP Luxe


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