To view a full list of the categories this year, click here.
NEW categories we are excited to celebrate this year:
- Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion
- Cards for an increasingly diverse, unique, and wonderful world.
- Trends & Events
- Cards that reflect the current times, trends, and events.
- Special Recognition:
- Illustrator of the Year
- Writer of the Year
Since 1988, the greeting card industry has come together each year to celebrate the best our industry has to offer. Hundreds of companies from around the world enter thousands of their best cards for the chance to win the coveted LOUIE Award. The deadline typically falls at the end of the calendar year.
One of the best things about the program is the number of new publishers who enter and win each year! The finalists are announced in late February, and the GCA promotes every finalist on the web and through social media. The announcement of the finalists gives us an opportunity to share the spotlight with some truly gifted greeting card publishers, designers, and artists. The excitement continues to build until May when the winners are announced.
That's only the beginning. Each spring, our fabulous publishers and GCA Associate members come together again to design and build an outstanding awards celebration. This is where the LOUIE Award winners are announced for the first time. Not even the finalists know who will win, so we encourage all finalists and greeting card professionals to attend! Because our awards program is all about excellence in printing, our volunteers also create the invitations, program, and other items seen each year at the LOUIE Awards celebration.
Following the LOUIE Awards celebration, each winner is automatically entered into our annual Consumer's Choice competition. Through the Consumer's Choice Awards, LOUIE Award winners can expect increased exposure, press coverage, and lots of social media attention from thousands of consumers.
History and Judging Criteria
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 51 categories in this year’s competition. Fifty-five 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 2019 was 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 chose to honor the “Judge’s Award for Excellence” from among all categories. All judges recuse themselves from judging their own company cards.