By the time you read this summer will truly be upon us and hopefully we will be enjoying some July sunshine. The last of the spring seasons will is over but as I write the view so far seems to be that Father’s Day has been very successful giving retailers great June card sales which are very welcome so what next…?
Harrogate for many of us which is always a pleasure especially if the sun is out and then we will have some fantastic sport to watch from the Olympics.
We can see the impact that Rio has had on trends this year with wonderfully hot colours and tropical imagery including flamingos, palm trees and pineapples but another trend I have noticed is how popular animals are as an image on cards. It feels as though I am noticing many more ranges this year than previously and there certainly are cards to suit every taste.
Historically it was all about cats, dogs and horses and there are plenty of good selling ranges around that focus on these 4 legged favourites, with a few farm yard friends like ducks, lambs and pigs mixed in for good measure. Then we had meerkats who took centre stage for a while standing on their back legs with their crazy peering around and for the last 2 years we have had owls and foxes in various guises; in 2016 one of the big stars seems to be the amazingly shy hare.
We have all enjoyed Wrendale’s wonderful watercolours with the quirky and characterful animal imagery for a while now and I expect they never fail to make you smile but Hannah has got some stiff competition when it comes to animal imagery and it comes in all shapes and sizes!!
Images portraying animals in their natural environment be that through photography or illustration are very strong this year and 2 publishers who do an extraordinary job are Glebe Cottage and Robert Fuller.
This stunning Kingfisher image is from the Wildlife Trusts collection published by Glebe Cottage and is going to feature on the front of their 2017 calendar as well as on a single card.
Robert Fuller is one of Britain's foremost wildlife artists known for his highly-detailed images - recently doing a lot of work with weasels. You may have seen him on Spring Watch, and the image on this card is a great example of his amazing talent.
A range that caught my eye at PG Live and if I am honest took me by surprise was the Academy range from Tracks, a stunning collection of black and white cards which are full of character.
Closer to home I spotted some cards from a local artist Ruth Molloy at a craft market recently which I thought were wonderful, the one that I bought is featured here the very popular hare
When it comes to animal imagery there are some really talented artists out there and Glebe Cottage have published work from a new artist whose collection we launched in February, Rachel Toll. These are printed on 100% recycled textured board so the surface reflects the original artwork-so they are lovely and tactile.
One of her cards, 'curled fox' has even been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year competition 2016...
More on Animal Magnetism next time...