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licensing news

The artwork of Richard Macneil

The Macneil studio exclusively licences the artwork of Richard Macneil, offering high quality distinctive artwork for all occasions. Richard Macneil has been a hugely popular artist in the greeting card industry for over 20 years, with many of his designs being bestsellers. Although widely known for his timeless, traditional Christmas designs, Richard is also now creating more and more designs for the Everyday and All Occasions market. Since Forming The Macneil Studio in 2009, Richard has been creating stunning Everyday designs to cater for Male and Female, from the traditional to the contemporary, from birth through the ages. He has also created portfolio ranges for Wedding/Anniversary, Sport & Leisure, Birthdays, Sympathy, Friends & Fashion, Celebrations/ Congratulations, Florals and many more. 2011 will see Richard continuing to create new and original Christmas artwork, combining his loose contemporary style on traditional ideas, whilst developing his Everyday and All Occasions ranges, which can all be viewed in the ‘Collections’ section of the studio website.

Now working with his wife and two sons, The Macneil Studio is family run, with Richard’s son Daniel heading the sales department. Their aim is to offer publishers high quality artwork coupled with a professional and friendly service. The result is a much more personal approach, in which the customer can feel assured that they are dealing directly with the artist. The Macneil Studio offers distinctive artwork for all occasions that can be used on a variety of product lines. As well as offering a portfolio of stock designs, Richard Macneil is also available to commission and is happy to work with customers to develop their own product lines and ideas. Richard Macneil designs can be viewed at or you can contact Dan directly at or tel 01886 884589, mobile 07725 636693. [Pictured is a fi ne example of Richard’s work entitled ‘Couple’]

Princess Pearl greeting cards range launched

Inside every girl there’s a Princess Pearl. That’s the message underlying a new series of books from Emma Thomson, one of the most successful names in children’s publishing. It’s also a message that is central to the newly launched range of Princess Pearl cards from Woodmansterne. Princess Pearl is the heroine of a new series of fi ve books to be published by Hodder Children’s Books in spring 2012. She is an ordinary little girl who discovers a new identity in a secret and magical world under the sea. The Woodmansterne range refl ects the magic of the stories and the beauty of Emma Thomson’s illustrations in a series of both general and age-specifi c birthday cards aimed at girls aged from one to ten. The cards all show Princess Pearl and are captioned inside with lines like ‘Treasure this day forever’, ‘Have a ball fi t for a princess’ and ‘Have a magical day’.

Charlie Donaldson, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, the company chosen to license Princess Pearl, says: “Emma Thomson already has an extraordinary reputation for publishing-related licensing success driven by memorable characters with a powerful appeal to their core audience. That’s why we expect Princess Pearl to be just as successful as her illustrious predecessors.” [Pictured are three examples from the Princess Pearl


Gemma International’s ‘Gem Fairies’ property is being developed for launch as a major licensing programme

Following on from the success of the greetings card range Gemma has appointed JELC to help develop the characters and storylines so they prove irresistible to the toy, publishing and merchandising categories. Highly experienced doll designer, Rachel Godfroy, has joined the team to lead the development work. The company claim that Gem Fairies is the only young girls’ brand which combines the aspirational aspects of princesses with the sheer magic of fairies – the main ethos of the brand is to allow ‘little girls to be little girls’ and it embraces everything which is colourful and sparkly! Developing its own IP is a relatively new venture for Gemma International which is a UK market leader in licensed greetings cards. Product Director, Amanda Parkin, says “We had a gap in our portfolio for a really strong girls’ fairy brand and decided the time was right to develop our own. With our experience in the greetings and party market we knew what 3 – 7 year old girls want so had high hopes for Gem Fairies. The card sales exceeded our expectations which prompted us to develop it further for roll out to a wider audience.” Janet Woodward, Director of JELC says, “Gemma has created a lovely brand which we are now enhancing by developing the characters and storylines. Our plans are to target the toy and publishing categories to establish the girls, their characters and their environment and then widen the reach internationally and into other categories.” [Pictured are triplets Sapphire, Ruby and Amber]


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