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Take me to the Mardi Gras!

The Art File parades colourful carnival tickets for The Henries 2023 big night


C’mon take me to the Mardi Gras – as Paul Simon’s lyrics embody there’s plenty of music and dancing on the cards for the colourful carnival that’s The Henries Awards 2023.

And, thanks to the creative talents, paper artistry and production prowess of The Art File, G.F Smith and Windles Group, the beautifully-designed gold-foiled invitations will soon be winging their way to attendees for the Oscars of the greeting card world.

Above & top: Gold foil features on this year’s fabulous tickets for The Henries Awards
Above & top: Gold foil features on this year’s fabulous tickets for The Henries Awards

The Mardi Gras-themed ceremony for The Henries 2023 Awards takes place on Thursday, 5 October, at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel, and tickets for the lively carnival fun are available here.

There’s also a fine array of sponsors stepping up to make it a full house for the 20 categories – thanks to Alpha Colour Printers, Antalis, Card Factory, Cardgains, EBB Paper, Fedrigoni, FujiFilm, G.F Smith, Gould Paper, The Imaging Centre, Graphite Creative, Herbert Walkers, LB Warehousing, Loxleys, Postmark, Progressive Greetings Live, Scribbler, Sherwood Group, Skeet Print, Skylight Media, Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, UK Envelopes, and Windles, with Bright Agency and House of Cards also on board as associate sponsors.

Beth Kemp is The Art File’s designer behind the sophisticated ticket artwork, which she said is inspired “by the colours and wonder of Mardi Gras parades”.

Above: The Art File’s Beth Kemp is the designer behind the artwork
Above: The Art File’s Beth Kemp is the designer behind the artwork

Beth added: “Deep inky purples capture the mystery of the Mardi Gras nightlife, and combine with classic harlequin patterns, decorative motifs and iconic masks in an array of bright greens, pinks and glimmering golds to give an all-round vibrant and celebratory feel.

“The theme was such fun to work with and I knew the ticket had to encapsulate the celebratory carnival feel at the same time as capturing the drama – which I think we have achieved!”

And Beth’s design has been enhanced by the beautiful board supplied by G.F Smith with exemplary printing techniques from Windles.

“Excitement is mounting for this year’s Henries awards,” said Jakki Brown, editor of Progressive Greetings and co-owner of Max Publishing which owns and organises The Henries, “and we simply couldn’t do it all without the generosity of the sponsors.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone from the industry shaking their tail feathers and going for all-out gold and glitter at the party – it’s always great fun and a brilliant atmosphere for schmoozing with greetings peers.”

Above: Harlequin patterns add to the fun
Above: Harlequin patterns add to the fun

The full list of product finalists for The Henries Awards 2023 can be found here – arrived at following a two-stage judging process, with the second in-person event seeing 35 buyers from grocers, multiples, small groups and independent retailers scrutinise all the shortlisted ranges arrived at from the first round of online voting, and their collective votes from the day decided the finalists.

The Best Service To The Independent Retailer award is sponsored by the Cardgains buying group. And nominations were sought over the past month from 1,750 independent card retailers, both Cardgains members as well as non-members.

The 2023 best service finalists can be found here and, as in previous years there will be three trophies – Bronze, Silver and Gold – which will be announced along with all winners the industry’s big night on 5 October. Tickets for the event can be bought here.

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