Monday, 11 January 2010

Enterprise & Innovation:
Trade Fairs

Home and Gift, Harrogate
Contact Clarion Events: 020 7370 8359

Spring Fair, Birmingham NEC
Contact TPS 020 8277 5800

Tigerprint Competition
Tigerprint is a Bradford based greetings/design company with international studios and sells cards as the primary stockist of M&S.
Enterprise & Innovation
Market Research & Competitors

To sell greetings cards there are two ways; either to freelance to the greetings card companies e.g. UK Greetings or create your own line of greetings cards. Artist's Market offers an annual to which designers and companies can submit their work to showcase their talent, the annual edition is updated to include the most current contact and submission information for more than 1,900 creative industries. The Greetings Card Association also provides useful information basically about the two ways of going into business with another company as a freelancer or setting up your own. I also found useful hints and tips to selling in the card industry, as well as a directory of publishers looking for artists

[Information obtained from]: [accessed 11.01.10]

Wholesale/Direct to Retail Publishers
Wholesale publishers distribute their products to the retailer via greeting card wholesalers or cash & carries. They work on volume sales and have a rapid turnover of designs. Many designs are used with a variety of different captions. Eg. a floral design may be used for mother, gran, auntie, sister.
Remember that the vast majority of wholesale cards are captioned. It is usual to leave a blank space on the design to accommodate the caption. While wholesale publishers were hitherto generally only interested in traditional, cute and juvenile designs, they now publish across the board including contemporary, humorous ranges.
Direct-to-retail (DTR) publishers supply retailers via sales agents or reps. The majority of greeting cards sold through specialist card shops and gift shops are from DTR publishers. This sector spans from the multi-national corporations such as Hallmark down to the small, trendy niche publishing companies. Direct-to-retail publishers launch series of ranges based on distinctive design themes or characters. Categories of DTR cards include contemporary art/fun, fine art, humour, children's, photographic and traditional.

Do's & don't when Freelancing to Companies:

+ Do your homework. A little time spent researching the market will save you a lot of time, money and frustration in the long run.
+ Do ring up the company prior to sending copies of your designs to check whether they accept freelance work and to find out to whom they should be addressed.
+ Do remember that few greeting card display racks show each card in its entirety. Remember to ensure that some of the design 'action' appears in the top half.
+ Do remember that most wholesale designs will need to include a caption - or space for one
+ Do present your work well and meet your deadline. Remember, news travels fast in the industry.
+ Do put your name and address on the back of every design.
+ Do enclose an SAE if you want your work returned. Please make sure this is large enough and has enough postage on it to take your samples.
+ Do agree how you will be paid.

Don't ever send originals.
Don't waste your time sending a long letter of introduction. It invariably will not be read.
Don't sell two publishers similar designs. A bad reputation will follow you around.
Don't take rejection personally.

Websites of Competitors
[Using the GCA database]:

- - Osset
- - Holmfirth
- - Ilkley
- - Leeds

Progressive Greetings Worldwide magazine:


Useful Sources:


Saturday, 2 January 2010

Enterprise & Innovation
Re-evaluation & Proposition: Greetings Card Designer

For my Enterprise I was unsure of what was actually being asked of me, was I producing a plan for when I leave to come to some big design company? The answer was of course, no. Innovation and enterprise is about exactly what it says, its about being innvoative and creating an enterprise or a company, not about going to work for someone else. Simply offering your new designs skills to a company and saying, 'hey take me on,' is not innovative, when nearly 50 people on the same course are wanting to do the same thing the odds are more or less against you. Having spoken to Bridget my concious was cleared and spoke about what my ambitions were not just in design but as part of my whole life, the important thing to remember about the subject was bringing something new.
So it is about creating something innovative. As a designer and a person I have ambitions to sell my create talents in product and aim to create products that people will buy, but what I want to do is create something different from the market something that is personal and offers something that is special. One of the things I have always wanted to do is create greetings cards, I have always made my own, not because they are cheaper but because it's personal and I would like to sell them properly as a part of my practice.
I would like to create a range of greetings cards for valentines. being the nearest seasonal opportunity for people to buy greetings cards I will also be able to test my ability to use what I have learnt during the innovation and enterprise module to better how I go about the project and not to just regurgitate the information. This will involve using the 4P's, customer segmentation analysis, a SWOT analysis to eveluate conpetitor and the communication mix to help in my marketing strategy, of course there are other aspects to consider which will help my business plan more successful.