Out with the old and in with the new! Just when you were thinking how bare your home was looking now all the Christmas gubbins have been stored away, so the latest Progressive Greetings edition has arrived filled with colour, news, retailer input and masses of much needed happiness from the recent The Henries awards. And what’s more, coinciding with the new ‘home schooling term’, it is accompanied by a Focus on Kids Cards special publication which delves into the developments of this ever-evolving sector.
There was good reason why Progressive Greetings’ December edition went to press later than usual – it was so we could capture the full glory and joy of The Henries, the greeting card awards, the winners of which were announced at a memorable virtual event last month.
Gorge yourself on the fabulous ranges were rightfully crowned (click to page 36-37) as well as diving into some of the highlights of the industry’s ‘big night in’, which brought together over 700 members of the global greeting card community (click to pages 34-35).
(And if that has whetted your appetite for more, you can relive The Henries 2020 event by clicking below to watch it in its entirety)
The Henries took place just as the industry was bracing itself for what we all hoped would be a final positive push for Christmas sales. And it was all going so well, in fact it was something of a PR and consumer bonanza (click to pages 16-17) then lockdown happened like a premature visit from Scrooge. As ever, cardies were keen to share their run-up experiences in the News section (click to pages 6-7) alongside other industry developments, such as IC&G’s official launch of its planning service, Scribbler’s tie-up with Sainsbury’s (Click to pages 14-15).
Being the last edition of what was a tumultuous year called for some reflection with a ‘selection box’ of publishers sharing their wishes and learnings as well as the plans for 2021 in the Viewpoints section. (Click to 30-31). As Gavin Smith, managing director of Little Dog Laughed so adroitly put it, when asked what lessons he had learned from the pandemic: “That versatility, creativity and loyalty can NEVER be overrated and that emotional comfort eating and drinking greatly reduces your outfit options. Humour, kindness and carbs have been essential ingredients to surviving 2020, two of which the greeting card industry thankfully has in abundance!”
Need some extra ‘ahh’ in your life, check out Little Dog Laughed latest homegrown ‘movie’, featuring Gavin’s dog Chester and some of his canine pals – it’s worth woofing for!
A highlight of Mark Rees, managing director of Penmark’s past year has to be the unveiling of the retail group’s latest concept – Henry & Co, something that may never have come to fruition without his family time during lockdown. It’s a great story. (Click to pages 62-63)
Goodness knows how retailer David Robertson (of JP Pozzi) has time to write his columns for PG, the man is a tenacious marvel, that’s for sure. ‘The gratification comes in the doing, not the results’ said James Dean, but the sentiment chimes in David who, after his mighty endurance of working 2019 flat out from dawn until the early hours, is like us all looking forward to enjoying the things in 2021 that we all previously have taken for granted. Amen to that Mr R!
Cardsharp meanwhile went left flank with his column. With a title of ‘Cardies really are weirdos’ it was bound to be an interesting read. Drawing on the theories of Joseph Heinrich in his latest book, ‘The Weirdest People in the World’, Cardsharp ponders on why greeting card sending is so popular in some countries and not at all in others. (Click to page 28-29).
If it’s pretty pictures and sentiment you’re after, then head first to the Innovations section where we fanfare some of the latest launches from publishers. (Click to page 58-59).
Once you’ve had your Innovations’ fill, enjoy the ‘just desserts’ from Jo Spicer, our artist in focus in Art Source this month, who has dished up lots of great designs for Noel Tatt among others. (Click to pages 64-65)
Honey, I almost forgot the kids…
PG’s annual delve into what’s happening in the children’s card sector in the Focus on Kids Cards supplement highlights a veritable playground where dinosaurs still roam and pirates continue to fraternise with fairies, but where too, gender neutrality is part of the design action too.
All this and more in the pages of a lovely glossy magazine and supplement. Wouldn’t you like to hold them in your hands so you can flick through and read them wherever takes your fancy?
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However, if you can’t wait, to read the whole PG December edition, you can click here.
And the Focus on Kids Cards can be read online too, by clicking here.