How the exchange of greeting cards began
As the designer maker of handmade greeting Cards n More, I thought it fitting to take the time to research and write a blog on how the exchange of sending greeting cards came about.
What began the trend to choose a piece of card folded in half with a pretty front, sometimes themed be the source to send a message to a loved one family or friend.
History tells us the custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the Acient Chineese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptions, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. It was not until the early 15th century, that handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe.
By the 1850s, the greeting card had been transformed from a relatively expensive, handmade and hand delivered gift to a popular and affordable means of personal communication, due largely to advances in printing, mechanisation, and a reduction in postal rates with the introduction of the postage stamp. This was followed by new trends like Christmas Cards.
The Valentines and Christmas Cards were the most popular cards, followed by St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Holloween and Thanksgiving Cards gained popularity in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Paper Valentines were exchanged in Europe where they were given in place of Valentines gifts. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced.
Technical developments like color lithography in 1930 propelled the manufactured greeting card industy forward. Humorous greeting cards, known as studio cards, became popular in the late 1940s and 1950s.
In the 1970s Recycled Paper Greetings, a small company needing to establish a competing identity against the large companies like Hallmark began publishing hymorous “whimsical” card desighns with the artist’s name credited on the back. This was away from what was known as the standard look (sometimes called the Hallmark look) By the 1980s there was a thriving market for what were now called “alternative” greeting cards.
The oldest known greeting card in existence, is a Valentine card made in the 1400’s and can be admired at the British Museum (London).
John Beeder, former president of the Greeting Card Association, an international trade organisation representing the interests of greeting card and stationery manufacturers says greeting cards are effective tools to communicate important feelings to people you care about: “Anyone feels great when they receive an unexpected card in the mail. For me, there’s nothing like a greeting card to send a special message. I’m proud to be a part of an industry that not only keeps people connected, but uses both imagery and the power of words to help us express our emotions.”
Well said John Beeder 100% true.
Greeting Card from Wikipedia, the free encylopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeting_card
- “About Greeting Cards – General Facts”. Greeting Card Association. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- Michele Karl (January 2003). Greetings With Love: The Book of Valentines. Pelican Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-56554-993-7.
- The British Postal Museum & Archive — Rowland Hill’s Postal Reforms
- “MMU Special Collections – Victorian Ephemera”. Manchester Metropolitan University. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Sean Coughlan (12 October 2006). “Card sharps”. BBC News. Retrieved 2006-10-