UKG’s Disney Faces Range Wins Top Licensing Award

There was a fair smattering of well-known greeting card faces among the 1,300 people who attended the mega Licensing Awards event that took place on Tuesday (September 10) in the Grand Ballroom at the Grosvenor House Hotel – with UK Greetings and Hallmark among the trophy winners.

Organised and owned by Max Publishing (owners of Progressive Greetings, The Henries and The Retas), the UK Licensing Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the licensing arena.

Above: Vernon Kay (far left) hosted the Licensing Awards. UKG’s creative director Ben Whittington and Susan Jones, brand development manager (second right) were presented with the winning trophy by Caroline High, director of Boat Rocker Studios, sponsor of the award category.
Above: Vernon Kay (far left) hosted the Licensing Awards. UKG’s creative director Ben Whittington and Susan Jones, brand development manager (second right) were presented with the winning trophy by Caroline High, director of Boat Rocker Studios, sponsor of the award category.

UK Greetings triumphed in the Best Paper Products and Stationery category with its Disney Faces collection of cards and wrappings.

Commenting on the win, Ben Whittington, creative director of UKG told PG Buzz: “This was our third time being nominated for this award, but the first time our name was called out as the winner. It was an amazing feeling knowing we’d be taking the trophy back to the studio! It’s a testament to our fantastic partnership with Disney, the iconic nature of their characters and the talent and teamwork of our design team!”

Above: UKG’s contemporary treatment with Disney Faces went down well with the 150 retail buyers who judged the product awards.
Above: UKG’s contemporary treatment with Disney Faces went down well with the 150 retail buyers who judged the product awards.

Explaining more about the inspiration for Disney Faces collection – which has also reached the finals in The Henries (in the Best Licensed Range category) – Ben said it was born out of “an ideation initiative” it kicked off last year. “One of our designers hit upon the initial concept and then we pushed it further to incorporate innovative print finishes and added value (such as full out flock and huge googly eyes) that really brought the range to life!”

The other finalists in that category were Disney Reversible Keepsake Range from Hallmark UK; Elf Collection from IG Design Group; I Like Birds Collection from Quadrille Publishing; Love Island Collection from Danilo; Marvel: Avengers Illustration Collection from Moonpig and Stranger Things Collection from Pyramid International.

Hallmark’s trophy that was presented at the Licensing Awards was somewhat of a different ilk. For the first time and for a bit of fun, initiated by Beano Studios, the awards event encompassed the finals of a Funniest Joke in Licensing competition.

Having received hundreds of online submissions, the laugh-o-metre whittled these down to a final four. Celebrated presented Vernon Kay, who hosted the Licensing Awards, read out the three runners up funnies before building to a crescendo with the winning joke – “It’s nice to see Warner Bros has invited both Superman AND Wonder Woman to the Licensing Awards…

Above: Matt Goodman, Hallmark’s head of creative for innovation, humour, properties with his Beano Studios’ Funniest Joke In Licensing trophy and certificate.
Above: Matt Goodman, Hallmark’s head of creative for innovation, humour, properties with his Beano Studios’ Funniest Joke In Licensing trophy and certificate.

How VERY DC…” – which saw Hallmark Cards’ Matt Goodman, the publisher’s head of creative for innovation, humour, properties and licensing proudly make his way to the stage to be presented with the official Beano Studios trophy.

Matt told PG Buzz that is not planning on debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe next year and will be “sticking with the day job!”

Above: Tesco’s card buyer Sara Gibson (centre) with IG Design Group’s David Harrison and PG’s Jakki Brown.
Above: Tesco’s card buyer Sara Gibson (centre) with IG Design Group’s David Harrison and PG’s Jakki Brown.
Above: As a sponsor of the event, the Danilo team was out in force. (Left-right) Daniel Prince, Corrina Cartlidge, Martin Carter, Dan Grant and Gemma Newcomb.
Above: As a sponsor of the event, the Danilo team was out in force. (Left-right) Daniel Prince, Corrina Cartlidge, Martin Carter, Dan Grant and Gemma Newcomb.
Above: Sainsbury’s card and wrap buyer (centre) Carly Pearson and assistant buyer (left) Emma Tanner with Danilo’s Julie Anderson.
Above: Sainsbury’s card and wrap buyer (centre) Carly Pearson and assistant buyer (left) Emma Tanner with Danilo’s Julie Anderson.
Above: Card publisher Gruffpawtraits’ Rhian ap Gruffydd with her mum, Mair at the event.
Above: Card publisher Gruffpawtraits’ Rhian ap Gruffydd with her mum, Mair at the event.
Above: All the winners of The Licensing Awards 2019 on stage with host Vernon Kay (centre front) joining Max Publishing’s (right-left) Rob Willis, Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder and Sam Loveday on the front stairway.
Above: All the winners of The Licensing Awards 2019 on stage with host Vernon Kay (centre front) joining Max Publishing’s (right-left) Rob Willis, Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder and Sam Loveday on the front stairway.

Other cardies involved with the Licensing Awards included longtime sponsor Danilo and IG Design Group, which produced plantable Peppa Pig placecards that were impregnated with wild flower seeds.

Card Factory reached the finals in The Radar award for retailers that have ‘come on the radar’ in the last year by upping their licensing activities in the UK.

For more about the Licensing Awards visit PG Buzz’s sister site, LicensingSource.net https://www.licensingsource.net/the-licensing-awards-2019-the-winners/

Top: UKG’s Ben Whittington and Susan Jones.

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