Spring seasons are well and truly over with Easter having fallen back in March. Overall feedback on the first half of the year has been positive, with many retailers suggesting that Mother’s Day is growing in importance in relation to Valentine’s Day - so I think it is fair to say 2016 got off to a good start. But what's next?
For me, this is the time that it really gets interesting as most of those early season cards were probably ordered before Christmas.
Because Easter was so early, the new 'everyday' and 'occasions' ranges ordered from Top Drawer and Spring Fair have enjoyed the full space in the shops of late - and have only just made way for Father’s Day.
Having moved through April and May, 'Occasions' are growing in importance with 'Weddings' and 'Anniversaries' needing to be represented in more depth. There are some wonderful handmade, hand finished, and beautifully detailed ranges around that really lend themselves to these special occasions.
I have several special events coming up this year and I am hoping I can find cards from some of my favourite publishers like Belly Button Designs and Caroline Gardiner to buy.
One of the stand-out ranges for me this season is the striking 'Tahiti' from Blue Eyed Sun which uses strong rich colours, picking up on the current tropical trend, flamboyant lettering and hand applied jewels - all of which give the cards a really sumptuous and extravagant feel.
I love special occasion cards for children as they can be truly delicate and beautiful and there are some lovely ones this year for new babies and their christenings. This spring I saw a very different approach from Bexy Boo called 'Stick Chicks': she uses bright bold fashionable prints to create some fun images which made me smile.
Age cards for adults are a many varied thing; some humorous, some rude, some just plain boring but I really like the understated style of the new Copper Plated range from Caroline Gardiner which uses strong colours combined with foiled icons and surface patterns to create a striking backdrop for the numerals.
Before we know it we will be exam time and we will need good luck cards! Surface pattern and textile design specialist, Jessica Hogarth, has a new range out this spring called 'Sparkle' which uses brightly coloured foils to enhance the designs so they really pop out on the retailer’s display.
And so another year whizzes by!!