Are greetings cards dying in the UK?

An image of greetings cards ready to be written.

For probably thirty years or more I have been a cardmaker. Some of my earliest blog posts were sharing my cardmaking. It is interesting looking back at my earlier makes. I was particularly happy with the mashup I shared in that post. I think my creativity comes in bursts. That is why I have more recently added in Diamond Painting – it allows me to do something creative without needing any inspiration. But I am going off topic…

An abundance of cards

When I go back 20-30 years ago, Christmas particularly saw us surrounded by cards. The ones to me specifically from colleagues and person friends would be upstairs in my flat. But downstairs (I lived at the top of my parents house) in the Dining Room we would have the cards exchanged between the immediate family. Then in the living room the walls would be covered in cards for either my parents or the whole family.

Gradually over the years the walls would become more bare. Last Christmas only one wall had a selection on it (down from all four).

Of course, that is just Christmas, there were other occasions throughout the years that saw cards displayed.

The Growth of cardmaking

Ironically over the same 20-30 year period cardmaking has flourished. When I first began a craft shop would be 90% sewing/knitting with maybe one, or possible two stands for papercrafting. I was there from the early beginnings of the hobby. There days there are shops (and of course online shops) dedicated to papercrafting on its own.

Postage Charges

One of the first points to address has to be the cost of postage. I remember the days when my Mum would have a stack of fifty plus cards awaiting a stamp and the purchase of them was not a stretch, and we had a very modest income. These days that many stamps would be a very considered purchase price.

Over time the postage pile seems to reduce to family and very good friends. Groups of people who would be seen in real life were still all included in the card giving routine.

Charity Donations

Many people chose to give to charity instead of sending cards. Let’s be honest, for many people, this is really a time saving effort and the charity donation offsets the guilt, there are after all charity cards.

So what about Cardmaking?

I still make cards for family and close friends and I make them to sell, although not many people are buying cards anymore. So what now?

Digital Cards?

I have been thinking about creating digital cards. This would be basically be the front page design of what would normally be a traditional card. That is scanned in perfectly to my computer and could be purchased from my blog as a digital download for some low cost of 50p or £1 depending upon the complexity. Then emailed out to your hearts content. No postage, heck you could even add blind CC’s and send them to people on mass.

The way forward?

Digital cards feels like a perfect compromise. It allows Card-makers to have a purpose for making their cards and allows you to feel you are still sending cards. As a bonus the physical cards could then be donated to charities or local Old Age homes for the residents use. What do you think would this be a good idea?  

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