Refreshed from the summer holidays and dipping a toe in to autumn, the September issue of Progressive Greetings is out now, delivering all the views and news, industry stories and new greeting card launches, and much, much more!
The finalists of The Henries 2018 greeting card product awards have been revealed! Last month over 50 retail buyers considered the 15,000 greeting cards and items of giftwrapping that formed this year’s record breaking entries from publishers of all shapes and sizes.
Reading like a ‘who’s who’ of card buyers, this year’s impressive Henries Judging Panel included buyers from Paperchase, Scribbler, WHSmith, John Lewis, Oliver Bonas, Between the Lines, Sainsbury’s, Fenwick, Longacres Garden Centres, House of Cards, Postmark, Moonpig as well as host of leading independents from right across the retail spectrum.
Commenting on The Henries Judging Day, Kim Lewis, buyer from Longacres Garden Centre Group said: “The Henries is a brilliant way of championing our publishers – from the largest to the smallest all being treated equally.”
To see all of this year’s Henries Awards finalists (click to pages 35-75) within the September issue of Progressive Greetings
In a flashback to the 1980s, the theme of this year’s Henries Awards’ Electric Dreams ball, and the vintage decade of big haired bands, yuppies with shoulder pads, gold lame and synth pop, The Henries Awards Judging Panel 2018 went on a retro revival to share their personal revelations of what they feel were the best things about the 80s, adding their views on what would be a ‘hot hit’ for our industry right now.
Claire Castle, senior buyer of WHSmith, believed the 80s were a great time for music: “The music was the best ever – Depeche Mode, Duran Duran etc! And the clothes – at the time I really liked the big shoulder pads and shiny suits.”
And to boost the industry today, Claire feels that, “Free parking on high street would help retailers; smaller print runs for seasonal cards; and set and adopt industry standards for environmentally-friendly packaging.”
Sally Matson, owner of Red Card in Petworth, loved “the Sony Walkman – I won one in a competition – portable music for the first time! Also the 80s were a time for amazing movies – The Breakfast Club, Top Gun, ET – all the favourites of my teen daughters now.”
Hot hitters for the industry now, Sally adds, would be, “To stop the closures of banks and post offices in small and medium-sized towns and more things like ‘my shop life collective’.”
See more of the retailer judges’ 80s revelations (click to pages 25-29).
In the September issue PG ‘grills’ Toasted Crumpet’s founder and illustrator Jo Clarke, who reveals how she turned her back on a glittering career in the City with Price Waterhouse to launch her card, prints and gift company and the trials, tribulations and triumphs of juggling a business with a young family.
Jo was surprised at the dazzling retailer response at PG Live in 2017, only her second time exhibiting at a trade show, receiving handfuls of Retas Golden, Silver and Sunshine Tickets from buyers at the fair: “I vividly remember setting up at PG Live in 2017 thinking: ‘If this doesn’t work then perhaps I am not destined to be a card publisher.’ Thankfully the response I received blew me away and spurred me to do so much more.”
Find out more about Jo’s journey in September PG. (click to pages 76-77).
With the upcoming Brand Licensing Europe trade exhibition (October 9-11, at London’s Olympia), PG September highlights how licensing is flourishing in the greetings industry.
The finalists in The Henries’ Best Licensed Range category is testament to this blooming licensing action. While entertainment giant Disney is in there (with Hallmark’s Disney/Marvel Magazine Covers), Danilo’s Ladybird Books for Grown-ups chimes the nostalgic bell, as does UKG’s Peter Rabbit range and Woodmansterne’s Quentin Blake collection, the remaining two finalists, both from The Art File, hail from the design world (Sara Miller and I Like Birds).
With the UK public spending £11.2 billion on licensed merchandise in the last year, it’s not surprising that more greeting card publishers than ever before are joining the licensing fray. (click to pages 89-91).
Freelance illustrator Jane Newland (represented by the the Bright Group) has had her work gracing the cover of Breath and Flow magazines, appeared in Vogue on bedding for Anthropologie and on the Summertime greeting card range from Roger la Borde.
“I was inspired to become an illustrator by my dad and grandfather. My dad is an amazing landscape painter of moody, glorious-skied Norfolk landscapes, and my grandfather, who was an architect by trade, also painted illustratively, particularly once he had retired. His work was reminiscent of Arthur Rackham, and as a child I loved sitting beside him watching him work.
Now, I am still inspired by dad and granddad mostly and I like to think I’ve kind of merged the two into my own style,” explains Jane.
With her profile increasing, Jane shares her story and her creative inspirations in PG’s Art Source. (click to page 97).
And, of course, September PG also includes, Innovations featuring some of the new greeting card range launches at this month’s Autumn Fair and Top Drawer Autumn (click to pages 79-86); wise words from regular columnists David Robertson of Scottish retailer JP Pozzi, who this month discusses retail reinvention (click to pages 20-21); and publisher Blue Eyed-Sun’s Jeremy Corner looks at the benefits of Thinking of You Week (click to pages 92-93).
Plus, what’s currently the hottest card product for retailers (click to pages 100-101) and the industry’s latest news.
All this in the pages of a lovely glossy magazine and online too!