In a significant initiative which marks Black History Month, while also giving visibility and opportunities to the immense talent of UK designers, the 26 winning designs in the GCA x Sainsbury’s greeting card design competition are now being printed onto greeting cards by Windles, in readiness of going into 107 Sainsbury’s supermarkets towards the end of this month.
The competition, which was hosted on Instagram, attracted almost 1,000 entries featuring multifarious design styles and approaches, each and every one celebrating Black History Month, which falls in October.
The task of selecting which of the designs would be turned into greeting cards (giving full provenance to the designer) to be sold in selected Sainsbury’s stores lay in the shared hands of members the Sainsbury’s greeting card buying team (Abi Wilson, Kate Goss and Emma Tanner) as well as GCA council members, Adriana Lovesy (founder of Mrs Lovesy), Ohh Deer’s md Mark Callaby and greeting card trade association ceo, Amanda Fergusson.
Commenting on the initiative, Mark Callaby (head of the GCA Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee), who has been instrumental in developing this progressive project with the Sainsbury’s team commented: “Full credit to Sainsbury’s for wanting to mark Black History Month in this way. The high levels of engagement from so many designers, the vast majority from the Black community, reinforces the wealth of talent which can be harnessed to progress on the diversity and inclusion fronts.”
The designer/publisher of each selected design will receive a royalty for every card sold, with any additional profits going into a new GCA Diversity and Inclusion Fund which will be used to drive future initiatives within the industry
As Adriana Lovesy added: “This competition is not only significant in that it highlights and addresses the need for greater representation for greeting card diversity at retail, but has also opened up the opportunities to welcome more Black designers and publishers into the industry. Using social media to communicate has gave the competition a wider reach and the submissions were richer as a result.”
This collaboration with Sainsbury’s is just part of the GCA’s ongoing drive and commitment for greater diversity and inclusion in the industry, something which is underpinned by the association’s sponsorship of the Best Diversity and/or Inclusion Range in The Henries greeting card industry awards this year.
“While progress has been made on the diversity and inclusion front in the greeting card industry, as evidenced by this initiative from Sainsbury’s and the new Henries’ category, there is more that can be done,” states Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA. “With the association now having a dedicated sub-committee, it facilitates and pushes for progress on this front and will help us to engage with the next generation of card senders.”
Top: Sainsbury’s is to stock the 26 winning designs in 107 of its stores.