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Studio Arhoj Greeting Cards in collaboration with USTUDIO Design

14th September 2022

Why Do People Still Send Cards?

What is it with cards? Why are we still sending these little handwritten things when we can just get out our phone and send a message, or go online to get a print-on-demand card and press a few buttons that mean not even have to bother finding a pen or going to the post-box, never mind buying stamps? 

That Extra Effort Goes a Long Way

You Are Special.Well, one of the main reasons is that people like to know that someone is thinking of them, that they are special. Receiving a beautiful or funny card that has obviously been chosen just for you, bought and and written, stamped and posted, really makes you feel like the sender cares for you. Even if they are mocking your ability to care for your houseplants. 

Personal Gestures.As Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy’s resident trend expert says in Marie Claire USA, “Because our lives are so filled with technology, it’s really great to prioritise something that’s a personal gesture, that’s handwritten. It’s super thoughtful, different, and actually stepping outside of that digital box.” 

You don’t get this from a ‘happy birthday’ text, or from a print-on-demand card. Both these options are solely about making it easy for the sender, not about making the recipient feel special.

'Houseplants' Greeting Card from USTUDIO Design. Artist: Fuchia Macaree

What is a 'print-on-demand'  greeting card?

Print-on-demand cards are digitally printed on a small scale and can be low quality in comparison to traditionally printed cards, in both design and manufacture. A print-on-demand site can shove a huge amount of designs up without having to put a lot of thought into it. As there is no risk, they only have to print one if it happens to be ordered. 

In contrast, with traditional litho printed cards the publisher must be really selective with what they choose as they will be printing a large amount to sell to high street and independent retailers, so the focus has to be on quality designs. In turn, the retailers will be selective about what they stock, so the quality is filtered a second time. For the same reasons the print quality and finishing (embossing, debossing, foiling, eco-glittering, spot varnishing) will be excellent and the card stock often better than print-on-demand websites. A printed card can be so special that it feels like a gift in itself, a little piece of art that has been carefully chosen at every stage of its journey. Something like the below image, by Blanca Gomez for USTUDIO:

'Nadadora' Greeting Card from USTUDIO Design. Artist: Blanca Gomez

We love 'arty' greetings cards!

In addition to all those pluses, working with a greeting card publisher like USTUDIO helps artists to get their work out there, especially when they have lesser known work that deserves to be shared, such as USTUDIO’s collaboration with Studio Arhoj founder Anders Arhoj, who is generally known for his studio's amazing ceramics.

Studio Arhoj's celebrated Ghost ceramic figurines by Anders Arhoj

Creations by Anders Arhoj for Studio Arhoj and USTUDIO

And people treasure cards. A beautiful card may be framed or put away in a memory box. I know I personally have a box of handwritten cards stashed away, it acts as a little time capsule, capturing moments in my life and friendships, the births of my children, anniversaries and thinking of you messages that still mean something to me years later. 

Cards Can Be Art! USTUDIO Greeting Card frames make cards into inexpensive wall art

Not just for Boomers!

This attitude towards cards seems to be especially high with Millenials and Gen Z, who see it as an old school backlash against the impersonal attitude of a ‘press and send’ culture. They want to actually hold the card they are going to send in their hands, write a thoughtful message and maybe even doodle decorations on the envelope.

 With lives increasingly lived online, Gen Z are interested in the warm fuzzies that come from real connections. According to the Greeting Card Association’s 2019 market report, the British public spent £1.7bn on cards in 2018, with Generation Z buying more cards than any other age group. Sending a handwritten card shows that you care enough about someone to make a real effort. It’s the equivalent of sending a hug in the mail and it’s the antithesis of sending a group text. Gen Z are keeping it real, in the genuine sense of the expression.

And the rest of us seem to be moving away from press-and-send culture. Once again, we find our friends have dedicated ‘card drawers’ filled with favourites they’ve picked out while shopping, and stashed away ready for the day that they are just right for someone.

Introducing 'CARDO!' - The very BEST in Contemporary Cards

Cardo is the result of a long-time independent card publisher (that’s us!) deciding to bring the best of greeting cards all together on one lovely site so you have hundreds of gorgeous, funny and arty cards all together in one place. Not only USTUDIO’s work, but the best of the best in independent publishing, all on a lovely shiny new site.

Cardo! Send Some Inky Goodness. Contemporary Greeting Cards.

Cardo! The very best of contemporary greetings cards. https://cardo.love

The future of greeting cards

The pandemic made people realise that sending a card for no big reason, just to say ‘hey, I’m thinking of you’ was really worth the effort, as everybody likes to get a bit of nice post in between the bills and takeaway menus! Blank greeting cards are perfect for a little note in your very best handwriting and can make someone smile, or even do a genuine, real-life LOL if you go for humour instead of prettiness. 

Work Meeting from Modern Toss - humorous greeting card available at Cardo

Work Meeting by Modern Toss via Cardo

The interesting thing with all of this though is that it’s not only the recipient that gets to feel good. Being kind has been proven to have profoundly positive emotional effects, so the giver also gets a nice rush of endorphins. And a bit of exercise on the way to the postbox.

And you don’t even have to say loads to make it clear that you care. Taking the time to select a lovely card that you think is just right for your friend and making said journey to the postbox (maybe even in the rain!) already says you care, and if you really want to be sure of getting the message across you can wear your heart on your sleeve with a card that says ‘I love you!’ on the front. We have a whole ‘Love’ section over at Cardo…

You Light Up My Life by Red Cap Cards in Cardo.love Love section

Head on over to Cardo's Love section (image from Cardo)

The very act of sending a card is an act of friendship, of love, of thoughtfulness. and the message inside, written by you, is the icing on the emotional cake. Even if all you write is ‘hello, I thought of you today’. It will mean the world. And maybe get stashed away to be looked at years from now as a tiny testament to your relationship with the lucky recipient.

You Are Very Important by David Shrigley via Cardo

Blog post by Anna for USTUDIO

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