While well known for the ranges of humour cards he publishes that chime with modern society, Dean Morris, founder of Dean Morris Cards is also something of a collector of cards that chronicle the past.
He has recently donated one of his treasures – an album of Christmas cards received by one family over several years in the 1960s in the US – to the GCA (Greeting Card Association).
“I always have an office decluttering every Good Friday – it’s one of my little traditions – and I thought the GCA and the industry as a whole would appreciate such a treasure as opposed to just myself,” Dean told PG Buzz.
Dean came across the album of cards at a flea market in Alameda Naval Base just across the bay from San Francisco. “I’m a big fan of flea markets, especially in the US and I was probably searching for 1950s – 1970s snapshots which is a bit of a hobby of mine (they used to appear on my very early card designs until I went legit and started using image libraries). Obviously being in the greeting card industry and having an interest with mid-century design this had my name all over it,” explained Dean. “There were several albums in the collection but there’s only so much luggage allowance my airline would allow me.”
As to what Dean feels we can learn from historical greeting cards, he highlights how it is
fascinating to see how the design has changed over the decades and to see the differences in greeting card fashion between the UK and the US. “I’m also fascinated by the messages and greetings written inside. It’s a snapshot of someone’s life and part of the reason why I started collecting snapshots from the same era,” he adds.
Dean’s historic card collection has been built up from family clear outs as well as others he has found in flea markets and junk shops over the years.
When asked how he feels about the Dean Morris cards that are to be launched at PG Live later this month (July 27-28) being the treasures of the future, Dean is in no doubt…
“We all want to be remembered after we’re gone so I’d love to think that some Dean Morris Cards will still be in people’s collections when I’m just distant memory. I’d certainly like to think there’s a few of my designs that could be regarded as iconic examples of greeting cards of the last 20 years although after the last year and half I’ll just take being able to launch new products at a trade show again. I cannot wait to see everyone in the industry again at PG Live!”
Alongside all the newness from exhibiting publishers at the show, PG Live 2021 will also house the GCA’s 100th anniversary exhibition, which champions the evolution of greeting card design over the last century (since the Association was formed in 1919) while highlighting the enduring importance of greeting cards. Click here to read the GCA blog all about the century of cards.
Top: Dean Morris at PG Live a few years ago.