Greeting cards are sheets of paper or cardboard with images, illustrations, and a verse of encouragement, joy, celebration, sympathy, etc., printed or engraved. Greeting cards are embellished with graphics and feature sentimental sentiments, memorable occasions, and messages to appeal to various audiences. Making greeting cards at home is simple with a pen and paper or software available from the greeting card and other businesses. Virtual cards with photos and poems can now be given to someone over the Internet and e-mail, and the recipient can print them out on paper. Even though these cards are accessible electronically, the greeting card industry still sells many cards in physical stores. More than 1,500 greeting card producers sell an estimated seven billion cards annually. An average of 80 cards are sent to each family annually.
The market research involved in creating an effective greeting card is just as crucial as appealing images or poignant verses. Large greeting card businesses are now offering cards for pets, step-siblings, divorce, encouraging weight reduction, workplace layoffs, and other occasions in addition to their typical product lines. Some tiny greeting card businesses focus on producing exclusively appealing cards to one or two particular markets. To develop a financially successful product, greeting card firms need a varied talent pool, and these businesses employ everyone from cartoonists to market researchers to pressmen who print the cards.
It has been suggested that the ancient Egyptians may have written greetings on papyrus and transmitted them to the designated recipients through messenger. It also appears conceivable that the ancient Greeks may have written emotional verses on scrolls. By the late Middle Ages, European people were exchanging love letters and greetings, including poetry sent close to St. Valentine’s Day. Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, greeting and sentimental cards were made by hand. In 1846, British businessman Henry Cole created the first greeting card mass-produced for commercial use. Cole hired a printer to create a printed Christmas card that he could rapidly send to acquaintances. By the 1860s, mass-produced Christmas cards were well-liked thanks to the idea’s success. By the 1870s, Louis Prang, an American printer who created the chromolithography method of multicolor printing, had created stunningly colored playing cards. Soon after, cards for Easter, birthdays, new babies, etc., appeared. The biggest American card firms were established in the first decade of the 20th century, and many still operate today and continue to dominate the card sales industry. Developing effective printing techniques, diversifying the product offering by nurturing a large creative talent pool, and creating more efficient point-of-sale displays so customers can easily see the products in an appealing display have been the main focuses of innovation innovations in card production.
Greeting cards are created using card stock, a durable, rather expensive paper that may contain some “rag” (textile waste) or wood pulp. These card stocks are increasingly being produced from recycled resources. A glossy aqueous coating made of water and a water-based acrylic coating is frequently, but not always, applied to the stock after printing, especially when a photograph is included. Various inks are used. Soy inks, which contain water-based solvents and are easier to clean, recycle, or dispose of than inks with oil-based solvents, are becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Cards are most frequently printed using sheet-fed printing, and the soy ink used for that contains between 20 and 30 percent soybean oil, resins, pigments, and waxes. The composition of soy ink varies depending on the printing process.
Depending on the company’s size, there are huge differences in how greeting cards are manufactured. Business analysis, marketing, and creative design are very important to successful greeting card businesses because they help them determine what cards will sell best.
marketing and research
1 Large corporation frequently fund in-house researchers who gather as much information as possible about potential customers before the artists and poets start putting pen to paper. These researchers gather as much information as possible on consumer demands, interests, and issues that might be addressed in a greeting card that isn’t already in production. The researchers use market analysis, statistical analysis, and study dietary modifications. The Research Department uses focus groups, questionnaires, and controlled retail testing after they have a concept for a new card line to determine the viability of the new offering. For instance, research may show that the evolving American family calls for cards that honor step-siblings or that the growing popularity of cat ownership would result in a lucrative line of sympathy cards for the loss of a pet.
creation of the card
2 Smaller greeting card businesses may hire designers to develop concepts and designs they think will sell well and appeal to their target demographics. In larger businesses, however, the Research and Marketing Departments collaborate closely with the Creative Department to develop a new card. These larger businesses have an internal creative team comprising photographers, graphic designers, writers, editors, and copywriters. This staff supplies the verse and graphics used in the product. The Creative Department makes a handmade card by “marrying” the sketch and the relevant verse. After the marketers and researchers are satisfied, these mock-ups are evaluated and scored by consumer panels or focus groups. The most viable prototypes are subsequently put into technical production.
Preparation for graphic design and production 3 Graphic designers and technical production assistants play a crucial role in turning handwritten text and hand-drawn images into a finished, coordinated product that can be mass produced once the designs are approved for production. In order to make artwork fit a card, graphic designers may resize it, add colour underneath or on top, mix images with suitable typefaces for the verse inside, etc. Graphic designers must be aware of the limitations of printing equipment and limit the amount of colours they employ to those that can be reproduced successfully and affordably. Verse is combined with artwork, transparencies, etc. in a mock-up that is authorised for future development. After approval, the UPC code, price, and back UPC code are all scanned or entered onto a computer disc and transmitted to the printer along with all the other parameters for the approved card.
the creation of the printing plates
4 Digital controls are used to manage the printing process. In the most cutting-edge printing facilities, plates are made by being exposed to lasers directly. The image to be replicated has been “recorded” on a computer disc. A machine is used to burn an image onto a metal plate by directing lasers under the control of a computer. The computer disc is set to output the plate specs for each individual colour, as each colour requires its own printing plate. No more than four colours can be printed on a card economically, hence a disc typically produces The writing and artwork of a card are designed by creative departments at large greeting card manufacturers. Each component is added to a handcrafted mock up of the finished product when the writers and artists finish their portions of the greeting card. The mock-up is then transformed by graphic designers into a mass-produced card. Artwork is frequently scaled, the colour updated, and the typeface’s fonts changed. The mock design is digitised and submitted to the printer after receiving final approval.
The writing and artwork of a card are designed by creative departments at large greeting card manufacturers. Each component is added to a handcrafted mock up of the finished product when the writers and artists finish their portions of the greeting card. The mock-up is then transformed by graphic designers into a mass-produced card. Artwork is frequently scaled, the colour updated, and the typeface’s fonts changed. The mock design is digitised and submitted to the printer after receiving final approval.