The greeting card community triumphed in the Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition, the winners of which were announced at Brand Licensing Europe last week, following a live pitch.
It was quite literally sustainability at a grassroots level that captured the imagination of judges of the Character and Animation category in the Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition. The winner of this category was the environmentally-focused SeedFolk, concept that was developed by Joel Mercer and the innovative creative team behind Seedlings Cards & Gifts.
Last year this category was won by Tracey Colliston, founder of greeting card company Ginger Betty for her Owl’s Nest brand (which also won the Best Cute Range award in The Henries 2021).
SeedFolk is a lovable range of characters billed as the guardians of the seeds, who care for our native habitats and wildflower seeds. Securing the win Joel Mercer pitched a number of ideas for development of the SeedFolk brand, including a stop animation series and a licensing programme that will keep sustainability at its core.
Commenting about the property Joel, co-founder of the independent card and gift company, said: “Unbeknownst to human eyes, there is a hidden world of little folk who guard and tend to our wildflowers and seeds. They are the SeedFolk, and this story follows adventures led by Yarrow, a courageous young wizard, and his dependable friend Buttercup, along with friends Mari and her little sister Gold, Clover and Bumble, the wise old Snowdrop, and the king’s daughter, Cornflower – as they set out to protect our native wildflowers.”
SeedFolk saw off strong competition in the Character and Animation category from two other finalists: Stacey Moore’s Eat Dirt – a series of poems and stories for children aged two to five years old, designed to inspire a love of veggies, gardening, and outdoor play, and Els Morris’ Els Doodles and Rosie Roars, a book that teaches little ones that it’s good to celebrate who we are.
The Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition also saw winners crowned across two further categories in Brand and Design and new for this year, the Product Design category, developed in partnership with Mojo Nation.
It was Tea for Tattoo, a series of hand drawn motifs bringing together the colour palette and style of traditional blue and white ceramics, with the aesthetic and cheeky edge of old school tattoos that secured the Brand and Design category win. The concept won out over competition from Pencil & TIE and the surface pattern designer, Aline Cervo’s Aline Bea.
Meanwhile, Wayne Lindsay – the designer behind a desk tidy based on Aardman Animations’ Morph and Chaz characters won the Products Design category for its product that took inspiration from the tension and collaboration epitomised by the pair’s relationship.
Chair of the judges and director of Start Licensing, Ian Downes said: “Congratulations to the finalists who presented very strong, well thought through and commercially mindful concepts. Lots of thought had gone into where the brands fit the market and the licensing potential of them.”
Dan Grant, licensing director of Danilo; Dale Boreham, senior design manager of Moonpig; Sarah Lawrence, director of This is Iris and Jehane Boden Spiers, founder of JEHANE Ltd were among the judges.
The Kelvyn Gardner License This! final can be viewed again during the online Brand Licensing Europe event which is taking place from 30 November to 1 December. Brand Licensing Europe will return in 2022 from 20 to 22 of September at ExCeL London.
Top: Some of the characters in the SeedFolk brand.