Many familiar faces from the greeting card world peppered the aisles and the stands at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) trade show, which took place last week at London’s Olympia.
Visitor numbers were up this year as card publishers joined other licensees and retailers seeking out brands and properties to licence.
But it was also an opportunity for greeting card brands to offer their IP for licensing.
For the first time at BLE, Carte Blanche Group was fanfaring Hotchpotch on its stand, alongside Tatty Teddy and its new Dinky Bear brands.
Meanwhile, given pride of place on the JELC stand was a display of I Like Birds products, a result of the Scottish based company appointing the licensing agent to represent its licensing activity, which currently includes The Art File for cards (launching in January), Quadrille for stationery, BrownTrout for calendars and My Gifts for gifts.
And up in the Art and Design area, greeting card publisher Claire Louise was exhibiting, looking to build on the company’s own produced ranges, its recent diversification into hairbrushes showing how the designs can translate onto other products.
Greeting card company Deckled Edge came so close to clinching the License This! competition that is run by the show, making it into the final two.
Founder and designer Janna Cossettini put in a strong performance pitching her equestrian-skewed brand to the judges, but in the end was pipped at the post by Spanish pre-school concept based around children and yoga.
Commenting on Deckled Edge, Kelvyn Gardner, md of LIMA UK who headed up the judging panel said: The judges were impressed by Deckled Edge. Equestrian imagery has a wide fan-base and the panel saw a strong mix of originality and classic look in the brand to offer genuine licensing potential.”
Dan Grant, licensing director of Danilo, who was also part of the License This! panel added his praise for Janna’s submission and presentation: ”The Deckled Edge proposal was stunning. Janna has a very professional approach and clearly knows how to position her brand.”
Dan adds that Janna’s focus on the equestrian field, gives Deckled Edge “something unique, which can be taken into specialist retailers within the world of equestrian. At the same time the quality and appeal of her amazing artwork will mean that this property has the opportunity to secure listings across key high street retailers and department stores.”
Last year’s winner of the License This! competition was May The Thoughts Be With You, the positive musings and illustrations by Charlotte Reed. As part of the prize, Charlotte (now represented by Larkshead Media for licensing) received a stand at the show and was attracting considerable interest from publishers.