GCA To Create A Greeting Card Exhibition To Celebrate Its 100th Anniversary

As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations, the Greeting Card Association (GCA) is to create an exhibition (both physical and online) that will showcase the past, present and future of the UK greeting card industry.

The intention is that the exhibition will be launched at the GCA’s AGM (on October 17 in London), but could tour thereafter. In addition, some of the contents will also be made available in a downloadable format online so that members and interested parties could access it, thereby considerably extending its reach.

Above: The planned exhibition is just one of several activities that will mark the GCA’s 100th anniversary.
Above: The planned exhibition is just one of several activities that will mark the GCA’s 100th anniversary.

“The last 100 years in the UK has been marked by so many significant events, seen monumental shifts in demographics and major changes in the pressures people and businesses have faced,” states Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA. “A continuum throughout all this change has been the tradition of buying and sending greeting cards.  The design styles and editorial tones may have moved on in the last century, but the greeting card has continued to play an important role in social communication, marking life events and underpinning relationships. The 100th anniversary exhibition will celebrate this as well as include some crystal ball gazing as to the greeting card industry of the future,” she adds.

Geoff Sanderson, a talented creative force, who has worked in the industry for over three decades in the industry (including with Tigerprint, Hallmark, Birthdays and Moonpig), has kindly agreed to curate the exhibition for the GCA.

Above: Well-respected creative, Geoff Sanderson is to curate the GCA’s 100th anniversary exhibition.
Above: Well-respected creative, Geoff Sanderson is to curate the GCA’s 100th anniversary exhibition.

Geoff, who has recently left Moonpig (where he has headed up the creative team for the last six years), is delighted to be curating the exhibition as it chimes perfectly with his “passion for cards and the industry in all its many forms, from retail to digital.” Sharing his deep rooted belief with PG Buzz: “The UK greeting card industry is one of the hidden creative gems and commercial forces within our economy – creating 100s of new businesses, establishing the careers of multiple creative and commercial talents and 1000s of imaginative and exciting products and innovations each year.”

Above: GCA ceo Amanda Fergusson (right) discussing the plans for the association’s centenary with Wendy Jones-Blackett, the namesake of the card publishing business who is a leading light in the present industry.
Above: GCA ceo Amanda Fergusson (right) discussing the plans for the association’s centenary with Wendy Jones-Blackett, the namesake of the card publishing business who is a leading light in the present industry.

As to the nub of what make the industry’s product so special, Geoff’s view is that “the card is such a simple thing but it carries such symbolism, creativity, meaning and memories. This industry’s story needs to be told and shared with a wider audience.  That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to curate this project.”

The GCA 100th anniversary exhibition will span three elements:

  1. Now – the greeting cards of 2019
  2. Past – Heritage/history of cards 
  3. The Future – where will greeting cards be in 2025, 2050 and beyond?

“It’s great to have Geoff on board as the curator – but what we will also need is for our publisher, retailer and supplier members to get involved, by sharing their memories of the industry’s developments as well as raiding their archives,” said Amanda.

Top: (Right) Amanda Fergusson, ceo of the GCA talking to Tache’s Pennie Bryant (left) and Louise Tiler of Louise Tiler Designs at the GCA area at PG Live.

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