Valentine’s Day: Why the digital age hasn’t ended our love affair with card-giving


Does a be captivated by note sound any less sweet if sent via text? Around Valentine’s Day, most people non-standard like to think so.

Consumers are expected to shell out an average of $150.33 on the holiday this year, on all from flowers and candy, to jewelry and dinners out. And then, of course, there are the visiting-cards.

An estimated 40 million Valentine’s cards are exchanged in Canada each year, and another 131 million in the U.S. It’s the second-most in demand card-buying holiday after Christmas.

“There’s irreplaceable value in a note regards card,” says Carlos LLanso, president of the U.S.-based Compliments Card Association.

“The sentiment that goes with it, the time that the themselves took to send it, the ability to hold that card, to smell it — if you want the smell of ink and per, as I do — and to have something you can put up on your mantle.”

Downward look for cards?

Greeting cards are still a $7- to $8-billion industry, according to GCA statistics, but the manufacture is struggling to stay relevant in the digital age. A recent report projected a “spiralling trend” for greeting cards, with sales forecast to drop by five per cent annually settled the next five years.

But LLanso, who is also the CEO of Massachusetts-based Legacy Make known, says all indications show that today’s social media-engulfed millennials are still sending show-cards, especially “when it matters.”

“We’re not oblivious to the fact that social norm adds another way of doing some of what a greeting card does,” he voices. “But it’s not an industry that’s in dire straights, like some people wish like to say.”

People continue to value what LLanso calls “dis tch moments,” that feeling you get when you receive a brightly pigment, card-sized envelope in your mailbox and immediately know it’s not a bill or refuse mail.

He also says he sees a lot of young entrepreneurs entering the activity, bringing along fresh ideas and a touch more humour — steboards that tend to speak in the voice of a younger generation.

That’s get of what inspired Cassy Collins to launch her own line of cards.

A pictorial designer by trade, the Halifax-based Collins launched her online store, Classy Behaves, on Etsy about a year ago, and says sales instantly took off. She also traffic ins at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market and a few other local stores.

“Predominantly with younger couples, they’re not necessarily going to go out and purchase a calling-card expressing how much they love their significant other,”chances Collins. “I think something more like an inside buffoon between two people could possibly say a lot more than some squashy poem that Hallmark wrote up.”

Cassy Collins, of Halifax, opened her own line of cards, Classy Cards, about a year ago, saying she have a yen for to infuse more humour into card-making. (Provided/Classy Possibles)

Classy Cards - wine

Collins says wine-themed cards remain her most-popular seller, take ining this one for Valentine’s Day. (Provided/Classy Cards)

Classy Cards - Calculator

Collins sells on Etsy and at the Halifax Seaport Agronomists Market, where she says customers are sometimes ‘shocked’ (in a complimentary way) to see swear words on some of her cards. (Provided/Classy Cards)

She alleges wine-themed cards are her most-popular seller, along with cards with blaspheme words on them — people seem to like the “shock factor,” she declares.

But Collins also plays with a lot of pop culture references: She has an entire edge of Friends-themed cards, one featuring the Left Shark from Katy Perry’s 2015 Wonderful Bowl performance, and a Game of Thrones “Red Wedding” card.

“I’m a fairly incisive person, and I feel like there are a lot of people who are,” she says. “So the classic Hallmark card, I hated buying to give to people because it’s not how I would utter myself.”

Return to ‘retro’

Another trend LLanso sees is a give back to a more “retro” way of doing things.

Much like vinyl has generate a comeback in the music industry, letterpress cards are in vogue once again, he means. As are cards that have more embellishment, more glitter and, in accepted, offer a more tactile experience.

Pop-up cards seem to be standard, again, too — though now they’re 3-D pop-ups.

Handmade cards bring nearly a sense of nostalgia, perhaps reminding us of when we received our first take action, LLanso suggests. At Valentine’s Day, it may have been a cut-out heart from a classmate.

The foible work is about “making the card more than just a four- nel printed mat piece of per with a nice message on it,” LLanso puts.

Kid Icarus - Store

Kid Icarus is a Toronto-based print studio and per shop that focal points on hand-crafted design. In addition to featuring a number of local card-makers, the co-op give credence to has its own line of greeting cards as well. (Provided/Kid Icarus)

Kid Icarus

This was the most trendy card at Kid Icarus for Valentine’s Day last year. (Provided/Kid Icarus)

Bianca Mickmore and Michael Viglione, the duo behind Toronto-based run off studio and per shop Kid Icarus, have built their subject on hand-crafted design.

“There’s definitely a resurgence in hand-printed material, legitimate because everything is digital these days,” says Viglione.

“In the flesh can hit print and get a full-colour print right off their desktop. When human being come in, they’re a lot more intrigued by how we’re printing things, and how things are being cosseted.”

Kid Icarus customers like being able to actually pick up a car-card, says Mickmore, feeling the weight and the quality of the per, and seeing the solid ink impressions.

“It’s really easy right now to send a text message to big Chief and say ‘I’m thinking of you,'” Mickmore says. But a card “doesn’t just get deleted or bewitched for granted.”

Meet your maker

There’s also something dear about being able to meet the “maker” of a card and knowing its backstory, articulates Malika nnek, of Made in Brockton Village.

Designed and printed in Toronto by a German-Canadian twosome, their cards are offset prints of nnek’s hand- inted designs. They are as much art as they are stationary.

Made in BV - Bike love

tterned and printed in Toronto by a German-Canadian couple, Made in Brockton Village christmas cards feature hand- inted designs and are blank inside. (Provided/Made in Brockton Village)

Made in BV - Photomat

Clear in Brockton Village’s Malika nnek is German, but has been living in Canada for with regard to eight years. She says her inspiration is a mix of clean European design and nature-based Canadian sways. (Provided/Made in Brockton Village)

Made in BV - canoe

nnek, who sells on Etsy and in boutiques across Canada, says her customers seem to like being skilful to meet the maker behind the cards their buying. (Provided/Go-ahead in Brockton Village)

“People feel they can really relate to my conceive ofs,” says nnek, whose cards are sold on Etsy and in a covey of independent shops across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

“For me it’s not so much about ronomasias, but it’s something they have seen or experienced before.”

And, as LLanso prongs out, a card offers enormous “emotional value” at a very low price-point — extraordinarily if there’s a heartfelt message inscribed inside.

But no matter your card-buying desire, he says a romantic email come Feb. 14 is a definite no-no.

“That wish be the kiss of death for Valentine’s,” jokes LLanso. “If by any chance there was a time not to do that, Valentine’s is probably it.”

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