May 29, 2018
LOUIE Award Winners announced at re-imagined gala
The Greeting Card Association (GCA) announced the winners of its 2018 LOUIE Awards, the International Greeting Card Awards Competition, at a re-imagined LOUIE’s bash May 20 at the opening night of the National Stationery Show (NSS).
The evening’s highest honors went to: Great Arrow Graphics (Card of the Year, $4 and below category) and UWP Luxe (Card of the Year, $4 and above category), which also won the Judge’s Award for Excellence, an award created in 2016. The Montreal, Canada-based 417 Press was named a Rising Star after being a 2016 Rising Star finalist.
“There’s nothing like the genuine and lasting connection from receiving (and sending) a greeting card,” said GCA President Christy Kaprosy, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, American Greetings. “Greeting cards continue to evolve and respond to the rich diversity of today’s consumers, and this year’s LOUIE Award winners illustrate that evolution.”
History, Criteria and Lifetime Achievement Award
Launched in 1988, the LOUIEs honor Louis Prang, the German-born Boston lithographer and publisher known as the “Father of the American Christmas Card.” Nearly 200 companies submitted hundreds of entries in 56 categories in this year’s competition. Seventy-four companies had at least one card advance to the finalist round. The LOUIE Awards are open to all publishers in the U.S. and throughout the world. While GCA members receive a reduced entry fee, any publisher that marketed and sold cards in the U.S. in 2017 is eligible.
A panel of 19 industry experts comprised of retailers, publishers and designers judged entries against five criteria: originality, impact, design excellence, sendability, and value. All identifying information about the entrant was withdrawn from the entries. A Blue Ribbon Panel of five judges selected the Cards of the Year and Judge’s Award for Excellence from among all categories.
“Our thanks to an outstanding panel of judges who gave two days of their time to review, comment and select the LOUIE finalists and winners,” said GCA Executive Director Peter Doherty, CAE.
The LOUIE judges were: Leta Areski, Viabella; Alison Bauer, Hallmark Cards; Sue Charlier, J.S. McCarthy Printers; Robin Eppard, Carlson Craft; Alan Friedman, Great Arrow Graphics; Fern Gimbelman, Designer Greetings; Chris Harrold, Mohawk Paper; Aaron Hazard, NSS; Susan January, Leanin’ Tree; Kathy Krassner, Present Publishing; Olga Krigman, Offensive + Delightful; Tuc Krueger, Leader Paper; Cathy LLanso, Legacy Publishing; Erin McCloud, American Greetings; Nicole Mercer, UEI Group; Cyndee Otto, Otto Printing; Beth Salvini, Greenwich Letterpress; John Segal, Crane’s; and Danielle Tobin, Neenah Paper.
“In addition to the judges, both the LOUIE Chair and our fantastic roster of sponsors are the unsung heroes of the LOUIE Awards,” noted Kaprosy. “Whether it’s a financial contribution or an in-kind donation, each and every sponsor plays an important role in supporting the LOUIEs. On behalf of the GCA Executive Committee and Board, our thanks to: American Greetings, Designer Greetings, Hallmark Cards, National Stationery Show, Universal Presentation Concepts, Viabella, Avanti Press, Bobst, Inc., Birchcraft by DFS, Kathy Davis Studios, The Occasions Group, Up With Paper/UWP Luxe and our media sponsor, Stationery Trends.”
She emphasized the “out of the box” thinking of Viabella’s VP/Creative and LOUIE Chair Molly delMastro and her team for re-thinking the LOUIE Awards gala and “pushing the envelope” to create an unforgettable evening of fun — with record attendance!
Ten GCA member companies supplied materials and production for the call for entries, Bash invitations, décor, program book as well as thank you and congratulatory cards and envelopes. Those companies are: Exclusive Bordering, Infinity Foils, J.S. McCarthy, Jodi Pedri, Leader Paper Products, Neenah Paper, The Occasions Group, Universal Engraving, Universal Presentation Concepts and Viabella.
Universal Presentation Concepts designed the display showcasing winners and finalists along with the GCA Village, which provides 12 GCA member companies the opportunity to exhibit under the GCA brand and benefit from pre-show promotional opportunities and on-site support.
The Greeting Card Association is the U.S. trade association serving the greeting card and social expression industry. Founded in 1941, the GCA represents nearly 200 American and international publishers from businesses ranging from start-ups to established companies of all sizes, scopes and industry tenure — as well as suppliers that provide production services and wholesale product distribution.
All LOUIE winners are posted at and can be viewed at www.greetingcard.org. For information on GCA membership, contact [email protected]