Sunday, 17 July 2011

Harrogate Home and Gift - 2011

Cool Cards were at the Harrogate Home and Gift Trade Show today searching for new greeting card ideas for you. Did we find any? Yes we did..! And here are a few of our favourites... 
You'll soon find some of these, and more, at Cool Cards.

So, in no particular order... enjoy.

First up. Building on her success at many design-led trade shows, the enchanting and understated London based Graphic Designer Roisin Cafferty bravely made the long journey Up North and quite caught our attention with her stripped down, super cute, back to basics, less-is-more style of cards which confidently stood out amid the wash of the many samey, "Yorkshire" cards at Harrogate this year. We couldn't quite decide if they're right for Cool Cards though... What do you think?


Next up. We also fell in love with Velvet Olive years ago... but never took the plunge.

The delightful Kathryn Fletcher continues to expand her designs which we enjoyed catching up with at Harrogate. Supremely classy, timeless and yet contemporary designs, wonderfully finished - but with a RRP of £3.25 are they a bit too much for Cool Cards..? The cards are finished to such a high standard it's impossible to fully appreciate them with a website image. Can we do them justice?

This is a small sample of just one Velvet Olive design range which caught the apple of our eye/s. Clean, clear, classy.
Seriously, they don't do any justice to these stunningly beautiful cards.

"Back to Black
Cream textured board, print finished with beautiful black thermography, a technique which gives a raised and glossy impression, also hand finished with Austrian cream pearls."

But before you decide... Some important stuff you should know about Velvet Olive.

"She detests washing up but loves hoovering.
When designing, she very rarely moves from one spot for hours at a time, then eats 10 slices of toast and galleons of tea in one hit.
She loves typography and unusual types of board and paper.
Furniture, she can spend hours in a junk shop, buy nothing she needs, and then her poor house is filled to the rafters with her odd finds.
Architecture, she loves, loves, loves beautiful and interesting buildings, old or new. 
She hates bananas."
What more could you need to know?

Moving on... These next cards are quite simply a must-have, no-brainer addition to Cool Cards. You'll be seeing these soon. We used to have a Fair Trade shop and the lack of ethical, Fair Trade greeting cards on Cool Cards has always been a great source of shame for us... But, today we found these beauties at the Shared Earth stand: FairMail Fair Trade cards.

This is why we like them...

"FairMail is a company producing fair trade greeting cards in Peru and India and is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation."
The card images, to be fair (...sorry) aren't all that strong. But that's not the point. It's the Fair Trade back-story that's important to us.

What's the back-story? "The photos on FairMail cards are taken by underpriviliged Indian and Peruvian teenagers. FairMail offers them photography training, part-time work, medical insurance and guidance in making their future plans."

"The teenagers get 50 % of the profits of the sale of their own cards to finance their housing and education."

We like that a lot. And we want more, more..!

Not shown here, but the back of each card shows an image of the person who will benefit from the sale of each card and information about them.

See more FairMail...

More?  Youtube FairMail Channel  (Mostly Dutch - the birthplace of the Fair Trade movement)
More more? Greedy guts. Search YouTube and Google for Fair Trade.

More cards? Oh, ok...

Susan Entwistle

We haven't had many Art Cards for a while, but these caught our attention... Any thoughts?

" Susan Entwistle, an artist with a textile design background, paints gardens from her visits around the country, using a contemporary, pointillist style in layers of coloured dots. She undertakes commissions for both public and private gardens as well as landscapes and florals."

Had a super day at Harrogate. So nice to meet existing Cool Cards publishers and some new ones too, but that's all for now (It's getting late and it's time for some FIBS backgammon to nicely round the day off) - more soon.

Those links again...
Super Classy Velvet Olive cards (trade only damn her to super hell)

Couldn't make the show? See for yourself... Harrogate Home & Gift Exhibitor list