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Art of Greeting Cards

greetingcardHoliday traditions start off by searching to find that perfect holiday card that has the perfect message. Other times you want to find a humorous card that you know will make your brother or sister laugh out loud. Maybe it’s a card that says “I’m thinking of you” or has a picture on it your mother will love.

By traditional mail or through the Internet, each of us starts receiving cards at this time of the year. In almost all instances, they have been carefully selected by the sender to reflect their taste and style. The “special ones” – the ones you often display close to you and read over again, have been picked out especially for you!

History of Greeting Cards

The custom of sending greeting cards started with the ancient Chinese who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and the early Egyptians, who delivered greetings on papyrus scrolls.

Handmade paper cards started being exchanged in Europe in the 1400s, followed by the first “printed” cards made from woodcuts. But it wasn’t until the printing industry was more advanced that greeting cards became an industry. The first known published Christmas card appeared in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Callcott Horsley to design a holiday card to send to his friends.

Within the past generation, greeting cards have become much more specialized, offering greetings to match almost every personality and situation. You can even purchase cards to send to your friends’ pets! Cards can be personalized with your own photos, designs and messages. Some play music, over and over again. The huge growth in the electronic greeting cards (E-cards) has recently expanded the industry once again.

The Greeting Card Awards

Every year, awards are given in various greeting card categories. The most famous of these are the LOUIE Awards, with categories that include best “pop-up” card, best humorous, etc. According to the American Greeting Card Association, the LOUIE’s recognize, reward and celebrate that moment when “art, editorial, and design perfectly coalesce to bring these emotions to life and memorialize the numerous milestones in our lives.”

How will you “greet” this year?

  • Think about the best holiday card you ever received. Why did it make such an impact?
  • When picking out a card to send to a friend, what do you look for?
  • Is there something you add to your cards that reminds the receiver of you? Perhaps a sparkly label, some glitter in the envelope, a personalized note or photo?
  • If you can send a physical card with your handwriting, don’t just settle with an e-card. It will mean a lot more to the receiver.