Scribbler is launching a SupportBlackDesigners campaign next month (August) to support the black card publishers it currently stocks, highlight the retailer’s diverse offering to customers as well as to encourage other black artists to get in touch.
In addition, the retailer has made a conscious decision to feature more diversity in its banners, on social media posts and the emailers it sends out to the public.
This forms just part of Scribbler’s ongoing drive to better reflect the diversity of our nation in the greeting cards that are widely available.
As Aisling Crosland, head of design at Scribbler told PG Buzz, while Scribbler has been working with diverse designers for some time, “recent events have definitely been a catalyst for us to review what we are doing and push to do more.”
Having attended the recent GCA Diversity in Greeting Cards meeting (https://www.pgbuzz.net/gca-meeting-brought-publishers-and-retailers-together-to-discuss-diversity-in-the-industry-and-initiate-progress-on-this-front/), at which many black publishers shared their frustrations at the difficulties of finding cards that cater for the black community in mainstream retail, Aisling realised “it isn’t enough to just have the cards, we also need to be making a conscious effort to promote them!”
Scribbler’s SupportBlackDesigners campaign, which starts in a few weeks, will involve the retailer promoting black-owned publishers, including Kazvare Made It, Huetribe, KitsCH Noir, among others.
“We want to make sure we are giving these designers a platform to have their work seen, letting customers know the we have these cards (not just having them buried away somewhere) and to encourage other black designers to know they can send their work to Scribbler and if it’s right for our customers it will be accepted,” explains Aisling.
Using Scribbler’s ‘print on demand’ facility, as well as paying the designers an industry leading royalty rate for the designs, the retailer is to donate the profits from these cards to a charity selected by the designers themselves. “This isn’t a charity partnership but rather us using the profits to give back to a cause that is important to our designers,” clarified Aisling.
The retailer will also use its online presence to share more ‘face behind the cards’ stories of the publishers to inform the public of the cards on sale in Scribbler’s physical stores via its POD model. This worked well with its activity to support Cherelle Brown, founder of KitsCH Noir recently (https://www.pgbuzz.net/scribbler-supports-kitsch-noirs-celebrateblackmen-campaign/)
“As we are limited for space in stores we want to use our site to make sure everyone is given a fair chance for their cards to be seen and ultimately make it into store and increase the diversity and number of black designers represented in our stores,” states Aisling.
Scribbler is also in the process of launching a new range of photo upload cards for customers across various occasions and will make sure that the stock images for these cards (although they are replaced by the customer for their own image) show a variety of diversity.
“It’s great to see other retailers too making a stand for diversity,” said Aisling, referring to PG Buzz’s coverage of Waterstones’ recent announcement (https://www.pgbuzz.net/waterstones-card-department-initiates-change-on-the-diversity-front/) and Card Factory’s stated intent to do more on this front (https://www.pgbuzz.net/card-factory-moves-towards-better-representation-of-diversity-in-its-card-selection/).
“We want to make seeing diversity on our cards just part of the norm rather than the anomaly and starting with something as simple as our photo upload cards seemed like a no brainer,” says Aisling. “These are just starting steps for us, we hope in the right direction but we know we won’t always get it right. We’re incredibly grateful to our designers for educating and working with us on this and are always open to feedback on how we could be working better or differently.”