PG Live Action: Getting an earful!

Really Wild Cards will launch its Sounds of London range at PG Live, but did you know you can get any sound recorded in a card? PGBuzz catches up with founder John Wignall on how the technology works.

John Wignall launched his Really Wild Cards early in 2010 with a range of sound greeting cards featuring the authentic sounds of popular British birds developed alongside the RSPB. In these early days all manufacture was facilitated in China, with a four week lead time and the same time to be shipped over by sea. However as the cards took off, John was forever running out of stock of the popular species, such as the robin and blackbird so was faced with the extra cost of having to express fly stock over to satisfy demand while still meeting the minimum order criteria for China.

“It was a real stumbling block to our expansion so I negotiated with the factory in China to purchase some actual programming hardware from them,” says John. “I learnt how to use this hardware to programme the blank modules so now we undertake all our own programming here in the UK. The module is therefore the only bit that we have to source from the Far East. They are basically the same as in any brand of sound card  but what makes our cards unique is that we are the only publisher with the technical ability, specialised software and tooling to buy these in ‘blank’  to convert and programme here in the UK.”

Royal Mail's Great Tit stamp is made into a sound card by Really Wild Cards
Royal Mail’s Great Tit stamp is made into a sound card by Really Wild Cards

This means Really Wild Cards has total control of the manufacture along with the ability to make bespoke to order. Recent projects include a sound card for Kew Gardens to celebrate its ‘The Hive’ exhibition, a card for EE for its 4G launch with Kevin Bacon’s voice and a special card for PG Live featuring a personal message from PG’s Jakki Brown inviting visitors to come to PG Live.

Really Wild Cards can also be found in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, featuring classic vehicle engine sounds and famous British railway locomotives such as the Flying Scotsman and Mallard produced for the Science Museum Group.

“We also recently added a beautiful collection of popular ballet music while saving our exciting new Sounds of London to launch at PG Live,” says John. “We have 12 cards in the range featuring the iconic sights and sounds of London: the underground, Big Ben, a black cab and red telephone box. We’re also very excited to announce a licensing agreement with Royal Mail to take its special edition stamp designs and where possible add sound to publish a  totally unique card. We’ve initially transformed their current birdsong stamp collection which we will have at PG Live.”

Visit Really Wild Cards at PG Live on stand 540.

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