Monthly Archives: March 2018

  • Staff picks! Favourite cards from our lovely staff

    Posted by Mark on 23/03/18

    In order to work at Postmark you have to like cards, better still you have to LOVE cards!! One of our longest serving members Rob really likes cards!  So we asked him to choose his top 5 and here are favourites!

    Underground by Lagom Underground by Lagom

    Underground (Lagom)

    I love this card! It’s a timeless, vibrant depiction of subterranean London life!  Paul is an award winning illustrator living in London; his work is bold, colourful and graphic.

     

     

     

    Incredible Birthday – James Ellis (Shakies)

    Incredible birthday - Shakies Incredible birthday - Shakies
    From James Ellis Stevens Shakies range, this Card is a perfect piece of bold, comic book design. It looks Classic and colourful, and the shake-able glitter adds to its explosive dynamism!

     

    Tell me! Will McPhail Tell me! Will McPhail

    Tell Me – Pigment – Will McPhail

    As an animal lover, I have always found watching dogs chase their tales endlessly fascinating! What do they think they are going to achieve??  This card I feel provides a hilariously unexpected answer to that question!  A unique humour card from Will McPhail’s ‘Colourful Mind’ range for Paperlink.

     

     

    Epic Birthday – Cath Tate

    Hello Lucky - Epic Birthday Hello Lucky - Epic Birthday

    This card is a funny and playful rendering of ancient Greek myth. The Minotaur, Zeus and Aphrodite all surround Mount Olympus in camp, action packed stance. A beautiful gold embossing collides with its cartoonish design to connect the classical with the new. Designed by the clever guys at Hello Lucky.

     

     

     

    Counting Stars - Bacon Counting Stars - Bacon

    Don't go Bacon my heart – Counting Stars

    This card is genius!! It has a tiny miniature frying pan attached to it, and inside that, three rashers of streaky bacon! Its message that the recipient makes everything better like bacon is high praise indeed!

     

     

     

    Thank you Rob for your top 5 cards!

     

    Mrs Postmark

  • Independent Thinking....Mark Janson-Smith on slaying the ‘doom mongers’

    Posted by Mark on 06/03/18

    What a couple of weeks that was!

    All the snow, cold and general chaos brought by the 'beast from the east' at least gave us some time to sit down and get round to penning another of our regular articles for PGBuzz.

    Enjoy!

    Mrs Postmark

    This year started with so much doom and gloom about the future of the retail industry, in both industry and national press, that even I, the eternal optimist, couldn’t quite stop that voice in my head whispering ‘Is this the beginning of the end of the high street and greeting card industry?’ 

    A handful of trade shows later, both home and abroad, and I am delighted to say that ‘the voice’ has been happily silenced, largely down to the quality and commitment to design that I’ve seen.

    Wandering around the shows it was incredible to see the volume of great new designs and products on offer across the board, but I have to give a special shout out to The Art File which continues to go from strength to strength with 13 new ranges on offer as well as numerous range additions already this year – impressive stuff.

    In the weeks since the trade shows orders have been placed and I’m eager for the new arrivals to begin rolling in so we can recharge our collections and bring something fresh to our customers, keeping them interested and more importantly coming back for more!

    Zongshuge Bookstore, China is a great example of exciting retail – the kids section is amazing Aesop new London flagship store in Chelsea is such a beautiful shop design.

    This fresh outpouring of designs from our publishers throughout the year is truly what enables us (and other indies) to give our customers what they want and ultimately keeps us in business. Clearly it’s a two-way street, given that it would be difficult for publishers to reach the same volume of customers without retailers, but it’s inspiring to see them keep pushing the boundaries and coming up with fresh products and ideas, even when there are rumblings about the future of the high street.

    As retailers we should be aiming to do the same as publishers and keep refreshing our product – ie our store environment – keeping it as exciting and interesting as possible for our customers, enticing them back again and again.

    It’s no secret that the way people shop is evolving and as retailers we simply have to keep pace with these changes or we’ll be left behind. Customers today are far more discerning then they were even 10 years ago and will more often than not expect their shopping experience to reflect the quality of the product they’re buying.

    While online sales continue to grow, the physical thrill of picking, buying and taking away a product you love there and then means the high street still has a lot to offer and is a long way from being deserted. From my experience this is especially true for smaller items like cards and stationery.

    That said, while customers still want to shop instore they do also expect a smooth journey across all shopping channels – offlineonline and social – and want to be able to look or buy from anywhere. Browsing at home online before hitting the high street is now the norm for many customers who can now be left perplexed to find a bricks and mortar retailer without a website.

    While you may never sell very much online, I do believe that having an online presencedoes add value and increases your visibility, leading more people instore. Once instore, as retailers we

    Zongshuge Bookstore, China is a great example of exciting retail – the kids section is amazing Zongshuge Bookstore, China is a great example of exciting retail – the kids section is amazing

    need to go all out to engage with our customers, understand what they want and keep them interested.  Great layoutlightingand product range are essential, as well as, of course top notch customer service.

    Larger retailers are fast cottoning on to these changes with many offering online ordering instore for home deliverycafesbars and even gyms so customers can socialise while they shop as well as the ability to buy from anywhere (be online or via social media channels).

    Realistically smaller business can never offer this level of interaction but it’s not necessary as this really isn’t what our customers are looking for from an independent. Here they want to feel part of their community, that they’re involved in something unique, and that their support is making a difference to the local vicinity – but they also want a pleasurable shopping experience and great products.

    For me creating this kind of exciting and inspiring shopping environment is the part of retail that really excites me the most, even before making a profit. Getting people excited about buying cards is the key to all of this and we’re always thinking beyond the shopfloor, trying to come up with ways to engage with our customers and not just about our shop but about the industry as a whole.

    Perhaps counter-intuitively our campaignsare not driven by a desire to increase salesinstore as I think we need to be really careful about over commercialising our industry and putting people off the simple pleasure of sending and receiving a handwritten note in the drive to make a penny or two.

    As retailers, I really believe we are far better off, creating great retail spaces and promoting the joy a card can bring in a non-commercial way as the natural benefits for us all will follow.

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