February 27th, 2009 by Solange
In the US more than 7 billions greeting cards are bought each year. In the UK, we spend over £1bn per year on cards, sending an average of 55 cards each. We would be forgiven for thinking that the industry has reached its peak but no, the sector is expanding. Moreover the greeting cards industry is morphing beyond recognition.
The last “revolution” was in the early 80′s when a Chicago-based greeting card company (RPG: Recycled Paper Greeting) transformed the sector. How did they do it?
They used a novel material for their card: recycled paper and they accredited their artists on the back of the cards. It was an immediate success, many companies followed suit and it sent the industry flying “rocket high”.
But that was the 80′s and, given that the industry is composed of very creative people across the board, it was not going to stop there. In fact the industry embraced the digital revolution with all its might, stepping happily in the 21st century. Behind us are the days when an e-cards was frowned upon. E-cards have now found their individual use and a new etiquette is in place.
So what is new?
In the past few years Photo Greeting cards have increased in popularity. On one hand, you can buy card-frames in which you slide your own photo, the same process exist digitally. On the other hand, there is a new process which is “changing the face of cards”.
Let me explain : at Christmas, I received for the first time, a new generation of card. A photo of an artwork (which was itself a painting from a photograph) printed at very high resolution directly onto the face of the card. Stunning results, imagine you own personal photographic message as if it was a top of the range card.
Also new and very popular are the Musical Greeting Cards. I am a great fan. I love to receive them, I love to send them, I think they are great fun. As often the simplest ideas are the best: you open your card and there it throws at you a few happy notes. With e-cards, of course, you can personalize your choice of music, even better!.
So there we are : new ways of celebrating, acknowledging but what are our messages? To know the answer, read my next post where I will be exploring the content of the greeting cards.