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30 Giftware Review May/June 2014

Glorious Greetings... Greetings & Stationery

The Summer season is in full swing and with it a fresh round of trade fairs and exciting new greetings ranges. Like all aspects of the gift industry, card trends are fast moving and fresh ideas soon surpassed old favourites. Greetings expert, Charlotte Cowell has

been out and about and visited the recent Progressive Greetings Live in London to check out new talent. She said: “One of the most interesting areas of the show is Springboard, which is given over to new and fledgling publishers and is a wonderful showcase of new design.” Among some of the new exhibitors that

English Graphics and fledgling

publishers... Sarah Kelleher

caught her eye was Art Cards Ireland that had its UK launch at the show presenting cards featuring work by 30 living Irish artists. The company is now three years old

and enthusiastic in its mission to reflect and celebrate Irish art. With around 150 designs in its portfolio, the company already supplies museums, galleries bookshops and a wide range of independent retailers. Owner, Marion Hancock has a firm

foothold in the Irish card market and the bookselling trade and is keen to develop similar relationships in the UK and abroad. She said: “I’m looking forward to showing off

DM Collection

the quality of Irish art to buyers who may be new to it. The Art Cards Ireland network of artists includes the venerable – I think our oldest artist is 86 – the emerging, the academically garlanded and the self-taught.” Pictured is a Baroque Blue Cup by Irish artist, Ruth O’Donnell. Daniel Machie has

created the DM Collection and produced a series of uniquely rendered watercolours and published them as a collection of premium, quality greetings cards and prints. There are currently over 40 beautiful images that have been inspired by Ukiyo-e and Art Deco prints. Each design incorporates a

vibrant, almost psychedelic depiction of an animal’s habitat within its own form – a rolling sea in the body of a ship’s cat, a fairytale woodland on the breast of an owl and a pear tree in a partridge. Expect fabulous original

designs from Amanda Art Works with greetings that are inspired by nostalgia and Amanda’s love of fashion and vintage clothes. The design pictured, Golden

Frankie Whistle Art Cards Ireland

witty, pretty cards for every occasion – feel- good cards with inspirational words and phrases and feminine cards that are liberally sprinkled with sparkling crystals. The lovely Christmas Bauble range was

a big hit last year and for the show this line was extended with new designs brought in and cards embellished further with organza ribbons and more sparkling crystals. The cards have an appealing Made in Britain aspect, all being designed, printed and decorated by the English Graphics team from their studio/barn in the New Forest. New exhibitor, Sarah Kelleher was

already an established textile designer before setting out in the greeting card market. She uses traditional techniques to impart inspiring messages in rich colours and stand-out type face. All her cards are designed and made in the UK using a combination of modern printing methods with rustic recycled card. And finally, Frankie Whistle exhibited half

Amanda Art Works

Glamour is also available as a print along with a number of other striking images. She said: “The card designs are

developed from the multimedia ‘shrines’ that I make which fill my home. Some of these are very large and have to remain insitu so my cards are a way to share my work more widely.” Heather Marten has

been designing and printing fine, bespoke wedding stationery since 2001 and launched her greetings card brand, English Graphics two years ago. She also designs

a dozen additions to its Dog range within Springboard and also unveiled two brand new ranges - The Family Cat and Bible Stories. Owner, Michael Finkler was pleased with the response to his offering describing the show as: “Incredibly friendly and fun, more like a house party than a trade fair, but there was serious business being done. “

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