Greeting Cards Industry Facts
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Greeting cards touch the lives of millions of people each day. They comfort, inspire, celebrate, and communicate a range of emotions. Greeting cards are one of our culture's foremost tools of communication,and the greeting card industry has a constant and continual need for art and verse. The greeting card industry generates more than $7.5 billion in retail sales from consumer purchases of more than 7 billion cards. Approximately half of the cards sold each year are designed by freelance artists and photographers.
A great greeting card is a marriage of art and verse. A card's message is communicated through both the design and the verse. It is the design that makes a customer pick up a card, but very often it is the verse that will make him or her decide whether to purchase it or return to the rack and search for one that better expresses what the prospective buyer wants to say. Thus the designer needs to create an illustration eye-catching enough to capture the customer's attention, and the art need to reflect the car's message. Handmade greeting cards are often sold blank, leaving the buyer with the task of writing his own message. Although this is not as convenient as just signing one's name under ready verse, writing own greeting makes the card much more personal. Coupled with the fact of the card being handmade, such personalized card is a true "one of a kind" experience. Although e-mail, text messaging and phone calls are valued by Americans for helping them communicate with family and friends, the majority of Americans say they prefer the old-fashioned, handwritten card or letter to make someone feel truly special.
Greeting cards, like other products which are designed to touch someone's heart, are part of the industry's "social expressions" category. The exchange of greeting cards is one of the most widely accepted customs in the U.S. There are cards for virtually any occasion or relationship, and they are widely available. Approximately 100,000 retail outlets around the country carry greeting cards. The most popular and most saleable categories are Birthday Cards, Christmas Cards, and Valentine's Day Cards.
There are two categories of greeting cards -- Seasonal and Everyday. According to Greeting Cards Association, total card sales are split approximately 50-50 between these two types. The most popular Everyday cards are Birthday (60%), Anniversary (8%), Get Well (7%), Friendship (6%), and Sympathy cards (6%). Christmas is the most popular card sending holiday; sales of Christmas Cards account for over 60% of seasonal greeting card purchases. Sales of Valentine's Day Cards (the second most popular seasonal occasion) account for 25% of seasonal card sales. Other occasions and their respective percentage sales are: Mother's Day (4%), Easter (3%), and Father's Day (3%) cards
There are over 2,000 greeting card publishers in America, ranging from small family businesses to major corporations, many of which license designs from freelance artists.