Social media giant Facebook tells us when it will soon be our friends birthday. It’s a little embarrassing when you wish them many happy returns, only to find out they entered their birth date incorrectly. Or more likely, a friend got hold of their phone and played a prank.
Sadly, our dependancy on social media means it’s now challenging to remember all those important dates for your diary. But instead of simply posting a 5 second emoji-laden note to their timeline, it’s always nice to show your loved ones you care, by posting them a carefully chosen greetings card.
With every passing year, more and more incredible designers create new and exciting greetings card designs that are beautiful, make us laugh, or simply say “that’s nice”. They could be handmade, recyclable, made natively or support local communities. It can be depressing to wade your way through the constant flow of mainstream paper goods that makes you question rhetorically “who buys this?”.
It can be very easy to buy a card from the supermarket, or Amazon, in packs of 6 for a few pounds, euros or dollars. But we think it’s important to look a little harder at the reverse of a greetings card. As you stand there in the aisle between sandwiches and consumer electronics, ask a few questions like: “Where are they printed? Who illustrated this card? Is this paper environmental? How can this card be so cheap?”.
Don’t let card buying be easy. Let the extra effort be a testament to the person you’re buying it for. You’ll soon find yourself at the right shop for the right person. If you look hard enough you will find a greetings card that really does show your loved ones you care. (Mailing a card by post also means you can get away with being a few days out, just in case you can’t remember if their special day was the 21st or the 22nd)
Just a Card are championing this idea. Our colleague stall-holder Sasha met Just a Card while we were exhibiting at Crafty Fox market in Brixton in May. Founded by Sarah Hamilton, Design Trust and Mollie Makes their aim is to emphasise that even if it’s just a card, just buying it can make a meaningful contribution to independent makers and studios. Visiting a farmer’s market, one expects to pay a little more because of the locality, quality and freshness that accompanies the produce. Apply the same philosophy to great art, design and craft too!
Show your loved ones that you made the effort to go out and buy a card, just for them. Show them something hand-written by you, not your keyboard. Something with a history, a story to tell.
Article by Rowan Ottesen, Co-founder of The City Works.