2018 LOUIE Awards – Street Pop

Each May, the greeting card community gathers to celebrate the “best of the best” at the GCA’s LOUIE Awards.

This year, we took a SPiN and re-imagined the traditional gala. A record 300 guests partied at SPiN in NYC to play ping pong, relax, enjoy drinks and appetizers and celebrate the LOUIE Award winners. View photos from this fun evening – where everyone had a ball! Thanks to LOUIE Chair Molly delMastro, V/Creative, Viabella for conceiving, planning and managing such a terrific event!

Top Honors

The highest honors in 2018 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.

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originality, impact, design excellence, “sendability,” and value; all identifying information about the entrant was withdrawn from the entries.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.

Thanks to 2018 LOUIE Award judges: 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.

Sponsors Provide Critical Support

And thank you to the generosity of our LOUIE Award sponsors:

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 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 www.greetingcard.org.  For information on GCA membership, contact gca@greetingcard.org.

We’ve captured the memories.

Check out all of the photos from the 2018 LOUIE Awards Bash in New York City on Flickr.

View the finalists.

View the winners.