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July 2010
Hi FNO Member!
We hope you are busy booking your summer shows! This month, Michael Woodward gives some helpful tips on breaking into the greeting card market with your art.

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The Greeting Card Market
by Michael Woodward

Reproduction of original art into greeting cards offers artists the opportunity to participate in a $7.5-billion market. Of course, the bulk of this market is captured by the very large card companies, but an estimated $1 billion is left to individual artists. Consumers purchase over seven billion cards each year.

  • Of all cards purchased annually, roughly half are seasonal and the rest are for everyday occasions.
  • Of the seasonal cards, 60% are Christmas.
  • Valentine’s cards are 25% of the seasonal sales.
  • Birthday cards account for 60% of everyday sales.
  • Each household in the US purchases an average of 35 cards every year.
  • 80% of cards are bought by women.
  • There are 2,000 card publishers in the US.

Greeting cards have many uses for artists. Besides the added sales at your shows, they can provide an excellent self-promotion tool: announcing shows, advertising for commissions and introducing new work, either originals or prints.

Depending on your style of art, consider direct sales to historical and tourist attractions, as well as fundraising ideas for churches, civic organizations, nonprofits and school groups.

Think of a new idea to bring to the greeting-card industry. One lady makes cards with buttons attached. Another artist makes fragrant cards, another Braille cards. What is your niche?

Each line, however popular it may be, will need to continue to add new designs and concepts. Once you start a line, you want to expand it by creating cards for a variety of occasions and seasons so both your rep and stores remain happy. No one-year marketing plans here! You will need a well-created, five-year business plan to succeed. Read more

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