Say It With Ecards – Part 1

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.

Kwikecards – Your Resource for Quick Cards

February 20th, 2009 by Solange

There are so many occasions to send cards and so little time. www.kwikecards.com offers you greeting cards which cover every single occasion on your calendar. It is fast and reliable. The choice is large and the customisation unique to you:

One simple customization to your e-cards can make all the difference. When choosing a greeting card to send to someone think about adding the following:

 

  • Music: “when thinking about the person, are you reminded of a song? If so you should add it with the card”.
  • Is the recipient fond of a color? Do you want to enhance your card: then “add a colored border to enhance the card”.
  • ”Try to write a message or choose a poem to include with your card”. Messages are the most important part of the card, few well chosen words will make all the difference
  • Photo cards are all the rage, “make somebody’s day by adding a photo to your card”.

 

If you choose to send a paper card instead and do not have much time here are 10 crafty-fast ideas.

 

  1. Shape it up: Cut out a paper-shape that you know the recipient will like and decorate it, for example: a hand-bag, flip-flops, a car, an elephant
  2. Use stick-on lettering for your message; you can get packs of ready messages in all sorts of colors, so your message will read clearly.
  3. Use photos: favourite memories involving your friend, type a jolly message underneath, use humour for personal memories, after all you want to bring a smile on your friend’s face.
  4. Use cut out of famous people that have similarities with your friend.
  5. Cut out astrological signs and use them as embellishments
  6. Find an origami pattern and practise it a few time before using it as a card, you could hide your message in the folds
  7. Use sweet-heart candies to tell somebody you love them, find the most appropriate ones and glue them on a card.
  8.  Don’t forget haberdashery and sewing shops: buttons, ribbons, embroidery such as flowers are really cheap to buy. Layer them on card and paper.
  9. Add stitching to your card: use a ruler and pencil to space the points evenly
  10. cut out an hole in a blank card and attach a charm or a small piece of jewellery.

 

Share your comments and ideas with other readers using the comments box.

Valentine’s Day Cards

February 6th, 2009 by Solange

Valentine’s day is upon us and many will argue the relevance of a Valentine’s day “when really love should be celebrated everyday and that it has become far too commercialized”. This year the height of cynicism is represented by a growing trend of anti-Valentine’s with all the paraphernalia associated: anti-Valentine’s cards, T-shirts, and even gifts! Don’t let those nay-says get you down. Whether you have a secret crush, dating, or happily married – here are some valentine greeting card & gift tips that will sure to make an impression.

 

 

The Victorians were really into Valentines day greeting cards – sending elaborate cards which sometimes took months to create. There is a current revival of the vintage Valentine cards which I would not be surprise to see more of in years to come. Nowadays we are not far behind our ancestors with ½ of the US population observing the tradition. Mind you 85% are women. So what are men thinking of?

 

You don’t have to overspend on traditional red roses, sometimes a simple free e-card with a poem and words coming from your hearty will be equally appreciated. Concentrate on the message and the person you are sending the card to. Make sure it is not too tacky and if you are sending a “office Valentine” keep it humorous.

 

Now when it comes to the matter of that unique Valentine gift, you could play safe with a box of hand-made or high quality chocolate or a heart shaped jewellery. It is of the up-most importance for your gift to be personalized before it gets wrapped.

 

Now if you have a bigger budget, you cannot go wrong with the traditional flowers and a note. For a greener gift, cut-flowers could be replaced by growing flowers. Think laterally, a plant lasts. A friend of mine received a cryptic Valentine card which became crystal clear when presented with beautifully wrapped tomato plants, or pommes d’amour as they were called in French, from the former belief in tomato’s aphrodisiacal powers.

 

Dining out can turn into a bit of a nightmare on Valentine’s Day, when it is almost impossible to secure a booking in your favourite restaurant when everybody in the neighbourhood seem intent to keep you and your loved-one company. Plus there is something a bit depressing at the sight of rows of tables for 2, waited upon by busy servers who would rather be romancing than serving you.

 

I know what I would prefer instead, my idea of romantic valentine gift is a home-cooked meal put together with a little love and a card…or two.

Invitation cards

February 1st, 2009 by Solange

Today is Super Bowl 43! And most likely, you have sent or have received an invitation to a Super Bowl event. Whether it is to an informal event such as a Super Bowl party or a formal event such as a wedding or bridal shower; invitations and invitation cards are an etiquette minefield. Common questions are should they be sent and replied to by e-mail or not, how to formulate the message, who should I invite, etc… Let’s try to clarify with a few important invitation card tips and tricks.

 

 

It is perfectly acceptable to use email for a invitation (or an reply) to a wedding shower, but I am afraid that it is a big no no when it comes to the wedding invitation self or the acceptance, it  has to be paper. Invitations to anniversary celebrations can be sent in a number of ways. As a general rule, if it is to be a important celebration, invitations should be sent at least 6 weeks in advance. This timeframe also depends on the size and magnitude of the event as well as the timing.  If the party is during a holiday period such as in the Christmas Holidays, you will be well advised to send a “save the date” notelet in advance of the invitation, you can do so up to a year ahead. For an informal event such as a Super Bowl party, it is perfectly acceptable to send them through emails just a few weeks before the event. 

 

Invitations are also the place to clarify the type of celebration, and what your guest are expected to do, bring, wear, etc…But there are ways of doing so, not conforming to the etiquette is a faux-pas, and you don’t want that!

 

Children and “troublesome partners”: you can’t really say “No children please” or invite only one person in a couple; it is commonly understood that only the person(s) named are invited, if you have doubts you might want to speak direct with the people invited to let them know that no children will not be present or an “ex” will be.

 

Formal diners and restaurant meals: if a party is in the evening and the celebration is important, it is understood to be “Black tie”. “Black tie” does not appear in the wording of the invitation but again if you have concerned, use it as a foot-note.

 

If the celebration takes place in a restaurant and the invitees are supposed to pay for their meal, the wording should reflect that : “to share in a lunch” for example, joining the menu with the prices will reinforce the message.

 

For an informal occasion at home such as a house warming party where you will want people to pitch in, simply make it clear on the invitation as to what they could bring. It also gives you the opportunity to co-ordinate. I once went to a 40th birthday party where the invitees were kindly asked to bring local cheeses, it was a fantastic hit, of course a little more difficult to achieve if all live in the same district.

 

Phrasing for formal invitation is always in the 3rd person, no abbreviations everything is spelled out e.g.: “junior” not “jr” nor “j.” since all initials are banned.

 

Responding is important even if you are not going but that can be done via e-reply.