Brits a hit in US Louie awards

Eight UK card publishers clinch a baker’s dozen finalist places

 

Thirteen could be lucky for some as that’s the number of British greeting card designs who have made the grade across the pond, appearing in the 2024 Louie Awards finalists list that was announced overnight.

Among the 87 publishers who feature in the 57 award categories in the US GCA’s annual greeting card accolades are Paper Salad, which scored a hat trick of nominations; The Art File and Redback Cards with two apiece; as well as Louise Mulgrew Designs, Ohh Deer, Paper D’Art, The Pigeon Loft, Roger La Borde and Rosie Made A Thing.

Above: Paper Salad has three nominations through its US distributor Notes & Queries
Above: Paper Salad has three nominations through its US distributor Notes & Queries

“It came as a massive surprise as we had no idea we’d been entered,” Paper Salad co-owner Karen Wilson told PG Buzz, having woken to the news this morning, 28 February, “it was all down to our amazing distributors Notes & Queries.

“Of course, we’re absolutely delighted to have three of our designs shortlisted, it’s just a pity we won’t be there in person this year!”

The Manchester-based publisher’s designs are through in the Congratulations/Special Occasions $5.50 & Below category with a graduation card, a die-cut design for Thank You Above $5.50, and tri-fold children’s card in Birthday General Above $5.50, describing the embossing, bold gold foil and striking neon palette as usps of the design.

Above: Sharon Murdoch is so happy with Redback’s two nominated designs
Above: Sharon Murdoch is so happy with Redback’s two nominated designs

At Redback, which features twice in the Children’s Card Above $5.50 category, sales manager Sharon Murdoch, who looks after everything USA for the publisher, said: “We are so happy to have been chosen as a finalist in the Louie Awards for the second year in a row! Congratulations to all the finalists and we look forward to seeing some of our UK and US publisher friends at the award ceremony along with the fabulous USA GCA team.”

Louise Mulgrew is in with a chance in the Birthday General category for 2024 having scooped an amazing four Louie Awards in last year’s competition, out of the seven that came to the UK with Paper Salad, Tache and Paper D’Art being the other 2023 Brit winners.

Above: Louise Mulgrew will be back at the Louies ceremony this year
Above: Louise Mulgrew will be back at the Louies ceremony this year

Louise cheered: “Yay! Wonderful, wonderful news to wake up to this morning! I’m super excited to be nominated again this year, especially as I’m booked to visit Noted in San Francisco in April so my colleague Cait and I will be able to attend the awards evening in person and catch up with all our fab US friends we made last year.”

Twice nominated in the Blank Card $5.50 & Below category, The Art File md Ged Mace told PG Buzz: “We’re thrilled to learn we’ve made it to the finals of The Louies this year with two popular designs, one from Natural Phenomenon by our in-house lead designer Lucie Cox and the second from Pollen by Ally Gore.

Above: Two of The Art File’s designs are through in the Blank card category
Above: Two of The Art File’s designs are through in the Blank Card category

“The Art File has always focused on promoting our brand around the globe and to be recognised in the US, with its large and diversified card market, in this way is exciting. I’d also like to thank our friends at Notes & Queries for the work they’ve done in building our profile across North America over the years.”

Above: Ken The Cat’s attitude has taken Ohh Deer through to the finals
Above: Ken The Cat’s attitude has taken Ohh Deer through to the finals

And for its Birthday Humorous $5.50 & Below nomination Mark Callaby, co-owner of Ohh Deer, exclaimed to PG Buzz: “Haha! You actually broke the news to me as I didn’t know! Laptop Cat from Ken The Cat is currently our bestselling greeting card so it’s great that it’s also up for a humour award at this year’s Louies.

“I think anyone with a cat can definitely relate to Ken’s loveable, but stand off-ish attitude. Fingers crossed Ken will win the award, not that he’ll personally care that much!”

It’s the 35th outing for the Louies, which this year had seven new diversity categories “to highlight the unique voices and artists that make up the greeting card industry as a whole”, and saw 1,229 cards entered from 228 companies overall.

Above: Rosie Made A Thing, Roger La Borde, Paper D’Art and The Pigeon Loft are also nominated
Above: Rosie Made A Thing, Roger La Borde, Paper D’Art and The Pigeon Loft are also nominated

The cards were judged by a panel of 78 card publishers, retailers, sales representatives, and stationery industry leaders at seven regional hubs across America. US GCA executive director Nora Weiser said: “The surge in entries for this year’s Louie Awards speaks volumes about the vibrancy of the industry.

“It’s exciting to witness the calibre of cards, inventiveness of makers, and emergence of new companies being recognised, including those being honoured in our seven new categories.”

Above: The Louie Awards event kicks off Noted and Gifted in San Francisco
Above: The Louie Awards event kicks off Noted and Gifted in San Francisco

The winners will be announced at the Louie Awards celebration on 16 April, at the Fort Mason Center For Arts & Culture in San Francisco which kicks off the two-day Noted greeting card expo alongside the Gifted creative gift and home fair on 17-18 April at the venue.

The full list of British finalists is:

Calypso Cards/Rosie Made A Thing, Christmas/Seasonal Humorous $5.50 & Below

Louise Mulgrew Designs, Birthday General

Notes & Queries/Paper D’Art, Blank Card Above $5.50

Notes & Queries/Paper Salad, Birthday General Above $5.50

Notes & Queries/Paper Salad, Congratulations/Special Occasions $5.50 & Below

Notes & Queries/Paper Salad, Thank You Above $5.50

Ohh Deer, Birthday Humorous $5.50 & Below

Pigeon Loft, Paper Engineering & Innovation

Redback Cards, Children’s Card Above $5.50 – two nominations

Roger La Borde, Print & Production Excellence

The Art File, Blank Card $5.50 & Below – two nominations

All the greeting cards selected can be viewed in the online Louise Awards finalists’ gallery.

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