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Klara Hawkins and Animo are License This! finalists

Publishers make finals of BLE 2022 comp’s Brand & Design category


Greeting card publishers have proven their creative prowess yet again with two talented cardies taking their places among the eight finalists for the 2022 Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition.

With previous years’ cardie winners including Seedlings Cards & Gifts for its Seedfolk collection, and Ginger Betty’s Owl’s Nest brand, this year publishers Animo and Klara Hawkins have joined book brand The Spookysauraus as the trio competing for the Brand & Design category.

And their personal pitches to the License This! judges will be taking place at Brand Licensing Europe, which runs over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, 20-22 September, at London’s ExCel.

Above: Klara Hawkins will be pitching in the License This! Brand & Design category
Above: Klara Hawkins will be pitching in the License This! Brand & Design category

Former UK Greetings’ in-house designer Klara now runs her eponymous brand using her distinctive, colourful and charming surface pattern designs for gifts and greeting cards for various big-name clients as well as her own products.

She said: “I’m beyond thrilled to be a finalist! It feels completely overwhelming and I’ve cried lots of happy tears since finding out the news. I truly love what I do and do what I love. This is my passion, and I am so grateful and happy to be on this amazing journey.”

Klara Hawkins made her trade show debut at PG Live this June at which her card ranges were warmly received. She also made it into the shortlist of The Henries this year in the Best Children’s Range category with her Children’s Ages collection.

Above: Klara Hawkins (right) gets the thumbs-up, with Andrea Pinder, of Presentation Cards & Gifts in Barrowford, spending her Greats voucher with her at the recent PG Live
Above: Klara Hawkins (right) gets the thumbs-up, with Andrea Pinder, of Presentation Cards & Gifts in Barrowford, spending her Greats voucher with her at the recent PG Live

Animo, who also exhibited at PG Live 2022, features designs based on the watercolour paintings of animals by Swedish artist and stage designer Anna Gisle, who is inspired by her many years working in the theatre and the world of Scandinavian children’s literature.

Starting out as a character in a children’s picture book, The Spookysaurus is soon to be expanded into a fantasy book The Spookysaurus And The Boy With No Fear, and author and illustrator Crispin Lowrey said: “Wow! Just wow! I’m so delighted to be a finalist – I can’t wait to share more about the Spookysaurus with the judging panel on the day.”

Above: Animal antics from Animo
Above: Animal antics from Animo

All together eight aspiring designers, illustrators, inventors and entrepreneurs have been shortlisted for the competition, which aims to boost the profile of businesses and individuals keen to get a foot in the door of the £282billion ($315bn) global licensing market.

In Character & Animation the finalists are Frobelles, character and digital toys brand based on sisters Coco, Kelli and Krista, who proudly rock their Afro hair and inspire girls to love their natural tresses; and Let’s Go See, based on the original Pilot Ollie and Pilot Polly adventure books by Captain Rob Johnson, which entertain, educate and inspire children about the wonders of the world, its people and cultures.

Above: Fantasy fun with The Spookysaurus
Above: Fantasy fun with The Spookysaurus

For the Product Design category, in partnership with Mojo Nation and Aardman, entries were open to students for the first time, with people asked to design a Wallace & Gromit-branded STEM toy with an RRP below £30, and the finalists are Lorcan O’Shea and his Contraption Creator, Penny Kyriacou and her Invent-A-Cards, and Phoebe Bamford and her Stop Motion Bonanza Boz Set.

All finalists will present their properties, concepts and products to the judging panel, which includes Danilo’s licensing director Dan Grant, Moonpig’s senior design manager Dale Boreman, Giftware Association chief executive Sarah Ward, and the Natural History Museum’s head of licensing Maxine Lister, and will be chaired by Start Licensing director Ian Downes.

The Product Design presentations will be on BLE’s opening day, Tuesday, 20 September, at 11am, with Character & Animation and Brand & Design finalists meeting the judges on the last day, Thursday, 22 September, at 10.30am.

Run by the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, Brand Licensing Europe was launched in 1998, as the only pan-European annual event dedicated to licensing and brand extension. The London event features over 2,500 brands and more than 7,500 licensees, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and licensing agents.

To register for the show, head to

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