A greeting card is an illustrated, folded card usually featuring a message or greeting or other sentiment. Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or other holidays, they are also sent on 'non-occasions' to say 'hello' or 'thank you'. Greeting cards, usually packaged with an envelope, come in a variety of styles, are manufactured and/or hand-made by hundreds of companies big and small.
Hallmark Cards and American Greetings are the largest producers of greeting cards in the world. In the UK, it is estimated that one billion pounds is spent on greeting cards every year, with the average person sending 55 cards per year.
Greeting cards derive from postcards which are single sided without the fold. Postcards appeared fairly early on in the history of the Postal Service as a cheaper way of sending messages, especially those of a tourist nature.
The Greeting Card Association is an international trade organization representing the interests of greeting card and stationery manufacturers.
John Beeder, former President of the Greeting Card`Association, says greeting cards are effective tools to communicate important feelings to people you care about. "Anyone feels great when they receive an unexpected card in the mail. For me, theres nothing like a greeting card to send a special message. Im proud to be a part of an industry that not only keeps people connected, but uses both imagery and the power of words to help us express our emotions.
List of companies manufacturing or selling greeting cards
- Archies Ltd.
- American Greetings
- Cool Cards
- Hallmark Cards
- Carlton Cards
- Recycled Paper Greetings
- "Card sharps", BBC News, 2006-10-12.