This year’s Awards saw upwards of 950 entries from 170 companies worldwide. Entrants included companies from Canada, India and England, and roughly 1/3 of the entries were from first-time entrant companies.
The winners were chosen by an esteemed panel of retailers, industry suppliers, independent sales representatives and press and blogger judges during the official judging, which took place January 31 – February 2, 2012, in conjunction with the New York International Gift Fair, also in New York City.
The coveted Card of the Year in the Above $3.50 category was won by first-time Louie entrant Maginating for its bacon and egg design, winner of the Romantic Occasions Above $3.50 category. Blue Ribbon judge and next year’s Louie chair, Monika Brandrup from Up With Paper, said: “The quality of the luxurious heavyweight cotton stock, beautifully letter-pressed, and topped off with smart design, captures the simple pleasures in daily life, all in one neat little card.”
In the $3.50 or less category, the Card of the Year was Amy Smyth Made It’s Congratulatory/Special Occasion card, exemplifying the joy and humor in welcoming a newborn baby. “This card just simply gives you a feel-good, warm and fuzzy feeling all over,” said Brandrup.
This year’s awards saw an enormous rise in the Invitation Suite category, so the panel decided to award three Honorable Mentions in this category in addition to the Cards of the Year. The Honorable Mention for Design Excellence Above $15 went to Sugar Paper; the Honorable Mention for Design Excellence Below $15 went to Printerette Press; and the Honorable Mention for a Non-Wedding Invitation went to Create Studio’s Bar Mitzvah invitation.
All entries were marketed and sold in the United States during the 2011 calendar year. Entries were judged based on: Originality, Impact, Design Excellence, Sendability and Value.