With Christmas behind us and looking forward to the new year, G&G Review would like to celebrate one of our favourite British publishers, Colcards, which has been producing fine art greetings cards for 25 years.
The business was started by Alan Collins, who began the company selling cards based on textile and ceramic design. He was later joined by sons Ian and David, who continue to help him run the business to this day. With this he clearly showed great foresight, as surface pattern design has since become a staple of fine art cards and stationery in the world’s most sophisticated greetings markets.
A specialist in the fields of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, retro poster art, embroidery and ceramics designs – along with traditional artwork from both old masters and modern classics – Colcards has a large and sumptuous collection, all now printed and finished from its own premises in Malvern.
Manufacturing their own product means Colcards can quickly make smaller, efficient print runs of both their own cards and bespoke ranges for third parties. The company owns two digital printers and a Heidelberg GTP for foiling and embossing.
For long a quiet favourite in the UK market, Colcards also has great distribution overseas, including: Australia (via McMillan Cards), New Zealand, France (with Fotomania), Germany, Japan, Holland, Belgium, Finland (with Paletti), Denmark, Ireland and even the Falkland Islands (via The Pink Shop). A new fulfilment service for North America also now allows Colcards to make direct sales to outlets in the USA. Distribution is currently being sought for both this region and Canada.
A strong presence at trade shows means that Colcards stays in face-to-face contact with existing and potential customers at every opportunity, exhibiting at: Spring Fair, Autumn Fair, Giving & Living, Home & Gift Harrogate and PG Live.
Says Alan: “They are key to our business, especially Spring Fair.” On the subject of that other all-important selling tool, the internet, he adds: “The internet is hugely important and we have spent a good deal of our marketing budget on the site from Skylight Media to ensure we have a good presence and a useful trade catalogue online. Consumer purchases are increasing too, especially from overseas. The quality of the site is also very important as it is increasingly the first stop for most buyers looking for new product”.
Images from top: one of Colcards best-selling art cards, from artist Annabel Langrish, a William Morris textile design, a mouse with kingfisher by Helen Stevens, a Tiffany design, a CFA Voysey licensed Alice in Wonderland image and another best-seller, this beautifully sentimental greeting designed by Brigett Hill.