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Christmas Stamps To Feature Greeting Cards In Isle of Man To Celebrate GCA’s Centenary

The Isle of Man Post Office has announced that the island’s Christmas stamp designs for this year are to centre around Christmas cards – and is inviting UK publishers to submit Christmas designs (from previous years’ ranges) for consideration. It is a tight timeline though as the deadline is next Monday (15 July).

This exciting development was sparked by Maxine Cannon, general manager of stamps & coins for the Isle of Man Post Office learning that this year is the 100th anniversary of the Greeting Card Association (GCA) and made contact with Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA. Maxine also spoke to independent card retailer (and GCA retail member), Chris Beard of Mantons, based in Port Douglas, who has encouraged the idea for a card-centric festive stamp issue on the IoM.

Above: The Isle of Man Post Office will support the Christmas stamp launch with PR activity.
Above: The Isle of Man Post Office will support the Christmas stamp launch with PR activity.

Amanda has written to all GCA publisher members today (July 9) inviting them to submit Christmas card images that would fit the brief as defined by Isle of Man post office (detailed below).

“This is a really exciting opportunity to remind consumers of the part greeting cards play in British culture, the heritage of Christmas card images, and the importance of sending greeting cards to loved ones at Christmas. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the team at the IoM PO to develop and deliver a really interesting and evocative range of Christmas stamps. This is a particularly fitting way to celebrate the Christmas of our Centenary year,” highlights Amanda.

Above: Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA (right) discussing the 100th anniversary plans at PG Live with Pennie Bryant of Tache and Louise Tiler of Louise Tiler Designs.
Above: Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA (right) discussing the 100th anniversary plans at PG Live with Pennie Bryant of Tache and Louise Tiler of Louise Tiler Designs.

Geoff Sanderson, who is curating the GCA 100thAnniversary Exhibition, is collecting the submissions and working closely with the Isle of Man team on behalf of the GCA.

For Maxine, featuring Christmas cards on the stamps underlines her “mission in life”, which she says “is to get more people writing by hand  – you can’t put a text message on the mantle piece!” she stressed to PG Buzz. To this end Isle of Man Post Office gives away thousands of stamps and postcards each year for people to write to anyone in the world.

“If we could get more Christmas cards posted that would be just fabulous,” added Maxine, feeling that having interesting Christmas stamps helps in this.

This year’s planned collaboration with the GCA follows on from a very successful tie-up with Beano Studios last year, which not only involved Beano-themed stamps, but also a Beanotown post office as part of the project.

Above: Last year’s IoM Christmas stamps were Beano themed.
Above: Last year’s IoM Christmas stamps were Beano themed.

The Isle of Man Post Office is to put a whole PR programme around this year’s launch to highlight both the heritage of Christmas cards and the importance of sending them.

Isle of Man Christmas Stamps 2019 Requirements And Brief

  • Submissions need to be supplied as a low resolution files on email to Geoff Sanderson on geoffsanderson@mac.comby 5pm on Monday July 15.
  • Submissions should include contact details and some background information on the design. This could be a card design from your archive or something you have designed/amended specially.
  • The choice of designs will be selected from multiple sources to tell a Christmas themed story
  • See Isle of Man’s recent Beano collection as illustration
  • IoM have asked for a mix of subject matter such as Father Christmas, snowmen, traditional scenes, contemporary, religious, nostalgia, sentiment/cute and humour.
  • Where possible any IoM links or connections would be beneficial eg artists’ connections.
  • Designs can be from recent years or have historical context – but not this year’s ranges.
  • Publishers are welcome to submit a mix of designs or a single option.
  • Once shortlisted the designs will be used to build a wider story, showing other artwork/designs, tell the artists/publishers back stories, which will support a wider range of Christmas marketing collateral across all IoM PO activities and to enlighten collectors and consumers alike.
  • The final ‘collection’ will be themed to support the GCA – using the 100 years anniversary. This will frame, rather than a directly relate to, specifically ‘cards from last 100 years’ angle.
  • IoM Post will have final editorial decision
  • Any publisher’s content/assets would need to be able to be provided for free in return for a name check/credits and to be part of the editorial/background information for collectors and press pack etc.

The GCA’s 100 Years of Cards Exhibition

As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations, the GCA is creating a special exhibition, which will exist both physically and digitally. The exhibition will launch at the GCA AGM on 17 October, and ultimately be available for members to use for their own events and PR activity.

The exhibition is being curated by Geoff Sanderson who is currently collecting submissions of archive greeting cards that would represent the last 100 years of greeting cards. Anyone with any cards or information they would like to have considered for inclusion should contact Geoff on The deadline for submitting designs for the exhibition is 31 July 2019.

Top: The Isle of Man Post Office is to looking to fanfare Christmas cards on its festive stamps this year.

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