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American GCA says 1.6 billion Christmas cards will be bought this year

The US Greeting Card Association forecasts that 1.6 billion Christmas cards will be bought this festive season
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The American GCA is predicting that around 1.6 billion Christmas cards will be bought this year – making it the largest card-sending holiday in the U.S. That figure includes boxed cards, but does not include photo cards and other personalised cards sold via the Internet. Overall, Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, with annual retail sales estimated between $7 and $8 billion.

According to research by GCA member Hallmark Cards, nearly three-fourths of consumers who send holiday cards do so because they know how good it feels when they receive a holiday greeting. The company’s designs for this Christmas include cards featuring fun embellishments such as removable ornaments; designs with simple photography; laser-cut holiday cards; and cards incorporating rich colors and short but powerful sentiments.

Other design trends leading Christmas card designs this year include modern updates on traditional text and icons; quirky humor mixed with nostalgia; bold color palettes, and unexpected pops of color – say GCA members.

“For the holiday season, basics continue to rule – from themes to colors,” according to Designer Greetings, which is seeing demand for understated, natural designs for Christmas that “speak to the return to the familiar for peace of mind and comfort.”

American Greetings is focusing on traditional designs with a contemporary flair: “Around the holidays, families and friends seek out experiences and traditions they can share, which provides framework and connection for making memories. Although traditions are very important for the post-recession mindset, people still like to give them a modern update. Christmas trends will go from classic to quirky this holiday season.”

Colors on traditional Christmas cards will continue to incorporate classic green-and-red hues along with gold touches, while featuring vintage imagery or fashion-inspired iconography. Cards focusing on a winter theme will combine winter whites, soft aqua, frosty spearmint, and ice rink blue, and include images of snowflakes and icicles. Black-and-white illustrations with pops of red create an updated, graphic look for the holiday. Brighter, less-traditional hues can be found on more whimsical-themed holiday cards, such as those featuring humorous takes on Santa, elves and ugly Christmas sweaters.