The awards season isn’t just for Hollywood! For those in the greeting card industry, now is the time to select the cards of the year. For over 30 years, the Greeting Card Association has honored the best cards with the Annual Louie Awards. As we anxiously wait for this year’s winners to be announced at the annual *Noted: The Greeting Card Expo happening virtually May 20-21, 2021, we want to highlight some notable trends for the $8 billion industry.
With families and friends physically separated, 2020 became the year the paper greeting card became essential. According to a December 2020 Fast Company article, Hallmark recorded triple-digit growth in online sales during the holiday period. Other companies like Colette Paperie reported a 300% increase in sales in November and December and The Card Bureau watched its online sales skyrocket 2,000%. From March to December 2020, Etsy reported a 74% increase in searches for greeting cards, a 101% increase in searches for holiday cards, and a 46% increase in searches for personalized or custom cards.
Not surprisingly, “wish I could be there” and “across the miles” cards were best sellers. Newly launched lines of appreciation cards for health and childcare workers, hairstylists, and senior-care workers were extremely popular.
In another trend tied to the pandemic, the Shutterfly greeting card design team noticed people were looking at the year of quarantine with more humor than negativity, so funny sentiments have been showing up in all of their designs.
A new category for the Louie awards-Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion: Cards for an increasingly diverse, unique, and wonderful world-reflects the increased demand for representation. Culture Greetings, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in cards for people of color, boasted a 1,200% increase in sales since the pandemic began.
As an international art licensing agency that represents some of the most innovative artists and fine art photographers within the licensing industry today, here are our picks for greeting cards in 2021:
Best-selling greeting card and stationary artist Alan Giana showcases holiday images and ethereal landscapes in his scenic prints sold by Current and other top retailers.