Politics is never far from the news these days and with the UK going to the polls in June, it’s going to stay this way. But what about the influence of politics in greeting cards?
The shock announcement of the general election on June 8 comes on the back of the surprise of Brexit and Donald Trump. These two democratic decisions have been enough to wake up the hitherto largely politically-apathetic UK population and propel political leaders’ actions into everyday parlance.
But while politics may be a hot topic in the media, it’s not always the case with greeting cards. Lee Keeper, creative director of Woodmansterne and CardMix agrees that while the Have I Got News for You range is a very successful range for CardMix, “it is always a gamble staying ahead of the curve and keeping designs relevant.” A case in point in a card design shows David Cameron with Angela Merkel, which is now hopelessly out of date post Brexit.
Jennie Rutter, creative director of Emotional Rescue also commented: “We find that any topical subjects work well for us, not just political news. Big-hitting, long-lasting news items, whether they be political or just about popular culture, have often given us strong material for our ranges. It’s just a matter of a quick turn-around to get them on the shelves before it’s yesterday’s news.”
But there does seem to be a step change taking place, with more and more people – young and old – taking an interest in politics. This came through in this year’s On the Cards student greeting card design competition (instigated by Paper Rose, GF Smith and Paperchase). The winning entry was Political Pals, created by Leeds College of Art student Joe Cox, depicting goggle-eyed political figures coupled with witty puns (pictured at the top of this page).
“Creating the designs was really fun,” says Joe. “I decided on using famous current political icons. I thought that this would be best because it would reach the widest audience. My aim was to not slate the icons. The range isn’t about mocking them, but about realising them as comical characters.”
Don’t miss the May issue of Progressive Greetings magazine for the full article on Political Learnings.
Pictured at top: Joe Cox’s winning designs for On the Cards