March 22, 2012
24th Annual LOUIE Awards Finalists Announced

The Greeting Card Association (GCA) has announced the finalists of the 24th Annual LOUIE Awards. Among the thousands of cards and invitations published each year, three cards from each of the 54 categories reached the final round of the 2011 Awards. The competition drew approximately 900 entries from 180 companies worldwide, and all entries were marketed and sold in the United States during the 2011 calendar year.

Many of the companies were first-time LOUIE entrants as well as smaller companies and manufacturers, with almost 30 percent becoming finalists. Responding to a Call for Entries sent out in late November, competitors entered their most dazzling creative work in a total of 54 categories. Superbly Stated and Humor – Most Humorous were the only categories without the requisite price break, and this year’s Awards marked the addition of the new Humor category, as well as a large number of invitation-specific entries which garnered a number of honorable mentions.

“The number of first time entrants and small companies who have been nominated for a LOUIE shows that the industry is moving in an exciting direction and that greeting cards are relevant and important in today’s increasingly digital world,” said Katy Greenspan of American Greetings/ and the 24th Annual LOUIE Awards Chair.

LOUIE judging took place Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, 2012 in New York City, in conjunction with the New York International Gift Fair. The judges included prominent retailer buyers such as Paper Source and Barnes and Noble, industry suppliers, independent sales representatives and members of the social stationery blogger and press community. Each entry was reviewed based on criteria that included Originality, Impact, Design Excellence, Sendability and Value.

Winners in every category, as well as the “Cards of the Year” will be announced during this year’s LOUIE celebration on a new night, Sunday, May 20 at ESpace in New York City. In addition, the nominees will be showcased in a special LOUIE Awards display designed by Universal Presentation Concepts, Inc. (UPC) at the Jacob K. Javits Center during the National Stationery Show, May 20 – 23 in New York City. The winner of last year’s LOUIE Awards display competition, Universal Presentation Concepts, created a one-of-a-kind “card store” for the nominees; the display will be housed in the upper level of the Javits Center in the upper reception area off of 11th Avenue.

“The LOUIE display is a must-see at the NSS,” said Patti Stracher, general manager of the National Stationery Show. “Located in the Crystal Palace, it will both highlight the talent and creativity expressed in each finalist’s card, and provide an excellent vehicle for exhibiting finalists to enjoy exposure outside their booth.”

In addition to a variety of industry suppliers who aid in the production of the LOUIE printed materials and the program book, sponsors of this year’s LOUIEs include The United States Postal Service, JAST Company Limited, Bobst Group North America, FREEMAN, GLM and the National Stationery Show, Glory Moon, Hallmark Cards, Inc., and Infinity Foils, Inc.

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