Creative Consultant Geoff Sanderson, who has spent many years recruiting and developing greeting card designers in businesses such as Tigerprint/M&S, Hallmark and Moonpig, shares his insight into some of the graduate opportunities in the greeting card industry.
The UK greeting card industry is worth over £1.5bn* in annual retail sales, and that’s just single greeting cards! The British send more cards per capita than any other nation, and we lead the world in greeting card innovation and design.
It’s been one of the UK creative industries best kept secrets that it’s a fantastic starting point for thousands of graduate’s in illustration, graphic design, photography, surface pattern, textiles or creative and innovative people generally; who have entered via work placement, freelance, licensing, recruitment or setting up their own small business, online site or selling designs at a print fair.Geoff Sanderson, Celebration Nation
It’s also true that with a myriad of entry points, companies, categories of every size and end possibilities, it can be hard to navigate your way in, find out information and who can help; the Greeting Card Association is here to help!
Geoff Sanderson outside New Designers, and information handed out at 2023 Young Designers.
The Greeting Card Association (GCA) is the not-for-profit trade body for the greeting card industry, who have been working to support, protect and promote the industry for over 100 years (since 1919). Today the GCA comprises over 500 members companies, large and small. As the voice of the UK card industry, our mission is to support the growth and promotion of our wonderfully innovative and diverse sector. The GCA supports its members to build their businesses, providing specialist information and connecting them with others in the industry through their website and networking events.
With the New Creative Talent scheme the GCA aims to help highlight interested graduates to its members and assist their journey into the greeting card industry. We have two ways to help
- As a course or Uni.
- We are offering Universities the chance to join the GCA and highlight their students work on our new portal called New Creative Talent. See our blog Connecting Students with the Greeting Card industry for more information
- Feel free to pass this information to your course lectures or team.
- You don’t need to wait for your university to join.
- You can come with your portfolio of relevant designs to our Open Call Graduate Portfolio Showcase 2023 as part of our Conference in Leeds on 28th Sept 2023.
- Please contact us now as we will be short-listing portfolios during July/Aug 2023, please and include the information below to be considered:
- Name and contact number
- Email and link to your work
Visit the GCA jobs board for current industry vacancies https://www.gca.cards/jobs/
For greeting card publishers – see How to Recruit New Creative Talent
For collages and universities- See Connecting Students with the Greeting Card Industry
This GCA Open Call project was launched in 2022, see the Secret to Creative Innovation and Succession Planning for more information, and these links to see more about GCA Open Call 2022 and the report on our annual Conference and AGM in Leeds
If you’re a GCA member keen to know more, or a student keen to learn more, read How to Get into the Greeting Card Industry . A project when we teamed up with the Illustration & Graphic Design team at the School of Creative Arts University of Hertfordshire. This includes a useful handout for schools and colleges which can be downloaded.
For GCA members wishing to visit their local school, college or University there is a presentation and toolkit in the members’ library that you can use – adding in your own slides to promote your brand.
For latest greeting card industry news and events see our blogs
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If you’re interesting in Becoming a Greeting Card Artist see this blog, with lots more tips and information in our members library.
If you’re interested in Working with an Artist’s Agent, see this blog.
*The Greeting Card Association Annual Market Report which covers UK greeting card sales for single greeting cards in 2021 compared to 2020. The report shows a strong ‘bounce back’ from 2020 when retail sales were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of many non-essential retailers for long periods.