Designer Profiles Features

December 6, 2022 • Sarah Schwartz
It Takes A Village

At $2.50 a pop, Maginating's enclosure cards pack a mighty design punch and are perfectly sized for gift cards.

One little spinner broadens a brand’s base as it highlights its artistry

Sometimes an object is more than it appears. Take Maginating’s Mini Card Spinner Program. Founder and Creative Director Brad Woods devised it based on input from his sales reps, who had received feedback from their retail clients about the format’s desirability. Woods, who had been interested in pursuing a spinner program for some time, sensed this could be “an exciting next step within a category that appears to be gently reemerging.”

Stationery Trends interviewed Woods to learn more.

ST: How long did it take to develop, and did you encounter any obstacles during that process?

BW: (About) six months. I initially (brought) my sales reps a completely different concept, but they brought some different customer needs to my attention. (So) the first idea evolved into the mini card concept.

We felt that the best way to get buy-in from retailers was to present our new mini cards as a collection, (so) a fixture would be a great addition to the release. We imagined our potential buyer as an independent store owner whose focus isn’t necessarily on cards but wants to offer something that could accompany gifts. Or perhaps they already have a card wall but wish to offer something smaller and less expensive, (with) same quality as their A2 counterparts.

We designed everything backwards. We knew a custom-designed spinner was undesirable from research and development, production, and financial standpoints, so we found a great-looking off-the-shelf spinner by Clear Solutions that could maintain a small footprint. We found an existing envelope size that fit within the spinner’s pre-determined shelf dimensions, then designed the mini card to fit it. It was a great solution. Since no custom dies were required for envelopes and spinners could be made on an as-needed basis, we weren’t burdened by a large initial investment, nor were we sitting on a lot of spinner inventory.

ST: Tell me more about your envelopes.

BW: Thanks to the recommendation of Sue Charlier at Leader Paper Products, we (selected) the #17 “Mr. & Mrs.” envelope design. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, calling cards were a means of sharing one’s contact information — the Victorian equivalent of one’s “deets,” so to speak. These #17 envelopes were widely used to accompany their calling cards. On an anecdotal level, we’ve found that people are interested in the history of our little “Mr. & Mrs.” envelopes as well.

ST: How many designs were in the launch, and when will you update them?

BW: The initial launch in January 2022 was composed of 30 mini card designs and the spinner program. As to choosing what designs to include, we focused almost entirely on scaled down versions of our best-selling A2s. We launched with 12 birthday themes, nine friendship/love-related themes, six congratulations/baby designs, and three additional ideas. Last summer we expanded all existing categories while introducing holiday designs for a total of about 60 designs.

ST: How do you recommend retailers merchandise this collection?

BW: We’ve found most retailers are displaying the spinner close to their register (since) they’re more of an impulse purchase. We’ve also found it helpful to remind customers that these mini cards fit a gift card perfectly.

ST: Anything else you would like to share with Stationery Trends readers?

BW: We’re extremely grateful for the generosity and kindness found within our industry. Maginating could not have developed such a well-received product without the support and expertise of Clear Solutions and Leader Paper Products. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our wonderful printer, Swift Print Communications, who goes above and beyond all expectations. And of course, our dear reps — our boots on the ground, so to speak. Without their insight and daily interactions with retailers, we may not have developed this product at all.

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