February 27, 2013
Finalists Announced for 25th Anniversary LOUIE Awards

The Greeting Card Association (GCA) has announced the finalists of its 25th Annual LOUIE Awards. Among the thousands of cards and invitations published each year, three cards from each of the 52 categories reached the final round of the Silver Anniversary competition. This year a record-breaking 220 companies worldwide submitted a combined total of more than 1,000 entries, all of which were marketed and sold in the United States during the 2012 calendar year.

Responding to a call for entries sent out in early October, competitors submitted their top creations in 28 different genres — from children’s cards, birthday cards and thank you cards to wedding invitations, everyday boxed notes and announcements and photo cards. The majority of genres had price-break designations, resulting in 52 categories overall. New this year was a Letterpress category; also included was the Humorous – Most Humorous category, which made its debut last year.

“We were thrilled with the number and caliber of entries this year,” said Monika Brandrup, vice president and creative eirector at Up With Paper and Chair of the 25th Anniversary LOUIE Awards. “It speaks to the strength and vitality of the greeting card industry. From high-profile greeting card and invitation manufacturers to small, independent design shops, the Silver Anniversary competition attracted the full spectrum of the industry. The variety and level of creativity of the entries was very impressive.”

Judging for the 25th Anniversary LOUIE Awards took place Jan. 29 and 30, at the Javits Center in New York City, in conjunction with New York Now (formerly the New York International Gift Fair). The panel of judges included representatives from prominent national and regional retailers such as Canada’s Indigo Books, and New York’s Paper Presentation and Kate’s Paperie; owners of well-known rep agencies such as Daniel*Richards and Lynn Mitchell Group; creative executives from Hallmark and Haute Papier; industry art directors and illustrators; and members of the social stationery blogger community. All entries were judged equally based on five pre-stated criteria: originality, impact, design excellence, sendability and value.

Winners in every category, as well as the Cards of the Year, will be announced during the 25th Anniversary LOUIE Awards gala, to be held Sunday, May 19, at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, in Manhattan. Tickets to the event will be available via the Greeting Card Association website beginning in late March.

In addition, the finalist cards will be showcased in a special LOUIE Awards display designed by Universal Presentation Concepts, Inc. (UPC), in the lobby of the Javits Center during the National Stationery Show, May 19 – 22.

“The LOUIE display is an extremely important feature of the NSS,” says Patti Stracher, GLM vice president and NSS director. “It’s fitting that the LOUIEs are acknowledged and celebrated in a prominent way at the central business event for the greeting card industry. It is a privilege to play a role in trumpeting the outstanding work and breadth of talent in the industry and a terrific way for finalists to gain exposure to retailers outside their exhibit space.”

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