Greeting Card FAQs

On this Frequently Asked Questions Page we have collected all the directly relevant “Greeting Card” related terms (according to Wikipedia), with their definitions. We have added our “take” on each term in the context of the history and meaning of greeting cards. Read on and find out about cards from “New Year Cards” to what is “Moonpig”!

FAQs in Alphabetical Order (of the Main Term):

What is Meant by Card Stock

Card stock is also called “cover stock” or “pasteboard”. It is a paper stock (type of paper) that is thicker and more durable than normal writing or printing paper. At the same time it is also thinner and more flexible than other forms of paperboard. This makes it ideally suited to making all types of greeting cards.

What do People Mean when they Refer to “American Greetings Cards”?

“American Greetings” make greeting cards. The American Greetings Corporation is a privately-owned American company. It is often referred to by those in the cards industry, because is the world’s second largest greeting card producer. It comes right behind Hallmark Cards in terms of company size.

Their HQ is located in Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

Image of Westlake, Ohio and the origins of
A Park in Westlake, Ohio. – CC BY by heather0714

They sell paper greeting cards, electronic greeting cards, party products, and electronic expressive content. In addition, the company owns the Carlton Cards, Tender Thoughts, Just for You, and Gibson brands.”

Baby Shower Cards

Greetings cards are often given on the occasion of a baby shower. A baby shower is a party of gift giving or a ceremony that has different names in different cultures. It celebrates the delivery or expected birth of a child or the transformation of a woman into a mother.

Birthday Cards

A birthday card is a greeting card given or sent to a person to celebrate their birthday.

Similar to a birthday cake, birthday card traditions vary by culture, but the origin of birthday cards is unclear.

The advent of computing and introduction of the internet and social media has led to a big reduction in birthday card giving. This is usually attributed to the use of electronic birthday cards or even Facebook posts, or messaging, to send birthday messages.

Card Making

Card making is the craft of hand-making greeting cards. Many people with interests in allied crafts such as scrap-booking and stamping also use their skills to start making handmade cards. This has contributed to card-making becoming a popular hobby.

A rising demand for traditional card-making has, in recent years, led to some companies returning to making cards by hand to sell to the premium greeting card market.

Christmas Cards – The Seasonal Greeting

A Christmas card is a greeting card sent as part of the traditional celebration of Christmas in order to convey between people a range of sentiments related to Christmastide and the holiday season.

An example of a Christmas Greetings Card.
An example of a Christmas Greetings Card.

Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Day by many people in Western society and in Asia. The traditional greeting reads “wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.

There are innumerable variations on this greeting. Many cards express more religious sentiment, or contain a poem, prayer, Christmas song lyrics or Biblical verse.

Others Christmas Cards focus on the general holiday season with an all-inclusive “Season’s greetings” usually written on or woven into the front of the card.

Conveying Thanks vs Sending Greetings

A letter of thanks or thank you letter is a letter that is used when one person/party wishes to express appreciation to another.

Personal thank you letters are sometimes handwritten in cases in which the addressee is a friend, acquaintance or relative. Thank you letters are also sometimes referred to as letters of gratitude.

These types of thank you letters are usually written as formal business letters.

This contrasts with sending greetings. Saying thank you is done in response to a good dead or favour but in contrast, greetings require no act by the recipient. Greetings are spontaneous and general celebration of the season.

What Connects Craig Shergold with Greeting Cards?

An example of a Get Well card.
An example of a Get Well card.

Craig Shergold is a British former cancer patient who received an estimated 350 million greeting cards, earning him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Variations of the plea for greeting cards on his behalf in 1989 are still being distributed through the Internet, making the plea one of the most persistent urban legends.

What is an eCard?

An eCard is similar to a postcard or greeting card, with the primary difference being that it is created using digital media instead of paper or other traditional materials.

Ecards are made available by publishers usually on various Internet sites, where they can be sent to a recipient, usually via email.

The use of eCards is also considered more environmentally friendly compared to traditional paper cards. Ecard businesses are often considered to be environmentally friendly organisations.

The reason being that their carbon footprint is generally much lower compared to paper card companies. Fairly obviously, this is self-evident as eCards are “virtual”, and because paper is not used in the end-product.

Edwardian Cards

Edwardian cards are cards were originally made during the Edwardian era or Edwardian period of British history.

These cards have a style all their own and reproduction of these cards is quite common. They are very appealing to a certain proportion of the card buying market.

The production of these cards originally spanned the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910. Some commentators extend this period to the start of the First World War.

The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 marked the end of the Victorian era.

Her son and successor, Edward VII, was already the leader of a fashionable elite that set a style influenced by the art and fashions of continental Europe.

Samuel Hynes described the Edwardian era as a “leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun really never set on the British flag.” It’s not surprising that they loved to send cards.

What is an Envelope?

The envelope is essential to physical card giving. It not only conceals the design of the card until the recipient opens the card. It also provides protection against damage to the card before it is opened.

It’s a common packaging item, usually made of thin, flat material. It is designed to contain a flat object, such as a letter or card.”

Why is “Etsy” Associated with Greeting cards, New Year’s Cards etc?

Image shows an Etsy style blank frame for customisation.
An Etsy style blank frame for customisation.

Etsy is an ecommerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. Not surprisingly greetings cards are often sold on this trading platform.

These items sold via the Etsy platform fall under a wide range of categories, including jewellery, bags, clothing, home decor and furniture, toys, art, as well as craft supplies and tools.

The site follows in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for a fee of US$0.20 per item.”

What are Get-Well Cards (from Illness)?

A get-well card is a greeting card which is sent to someone when they are ill.

Their use in the case of chronic and terminal illness is problematic because the patient may not be expected to recover. Nevertheless, they may still offer comfort to the invalid.

Glitter and It’s Use on Greetings Cards

Image shows: Glitter cards for greetings.Glitter describes an assortment of small, reflective particles that come in a variety of shapes and colours. They are often used, glued to the surface, to give additional stand-out effect to a greetings card.

Glitter particles reflect light at different angles, causing the surface to sparkle or shimmer.

Glitter is in a class of products similar to confetti, sparkles, or sequins.

The Hallmark Cards – a Family Business Empire

“Hallmark Cards, Inc”. is a private, family owned American company based in Kansas City, Missouri.

It was founded in 1910 by Joyce Hall. Hallmark is the oldest and largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States. In 1985, the company was awarded the National Medal of Arts.”

Halloween Greetings

A Happy Halloween Greetings card!
A Happy Halloween Greetings card!

A Halloween card is a greeting card associated with Halloween. It takes place on 31 October each year.

The concept originated in the 1890s United States, experiencing a peak of popularity there in the early 1900s.

Until the advent of the common home telephone, Halloween cards occupied a role similar to Christmas cards and birthday cards.

Today, many cards from the popular designers of the period are sought after as memorabilia.

What are Happy New Year Cards?

Happy New Year Cards are greeting cards sent after Christmas to wish their recipients a happy (usually also healthy, enjoyable and fruitful) year ahead.

What is Meant when People Give “Holiday Greetings”

The Christmas season, also called the holiday season, or the festive season, is an annually recurring period recognized in many Western and Western influenced countries.

The season is generally considered to run from late November to early January. It is defined as incorporating at least Christmas, and usually New Year.

Sometimes various other holidays and festivals are included.

It is strongly associated with a period of shopping which comprises a peak season for the retail sector selling gifts. The season generally ends with a period of sales.

Christmas window displays and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies when trees decorated with ornaments and light bulbs are illuminated are traditions in many areas.

During this period verbal greetings are also frequently given out to friends and community.

Why Talk of Holidays and Not Mention the Religious Connections?

In a mixed religion society, there is concern that the celebrations be inclusive of all. The term has become more popular in recent years for this reason.

A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced.

Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations.

The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job held or personal choices.

Why is Kate Greenaway Associated with Greeting Cards?

Catherine Greenaway was an English Victorian artist and writer, known for her children’s book illustrations.

Image is: Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), \
Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), “A young girl dressed up for Christmas” – CC BY-NC by sofi01

She received her education in graphic design and art between 1858 and 1871 from South Kensington School of Art and the Royal Female School of Art, and the Slade School of Fine Art.

She began her career designing for the burgeoning holiday card market of the day, producing Christmas and Valentine’s cards.

In 1879 woodblock engraver and printer, Edmund Evans, printed “Under the Window”. It became an instant bestseller, which established her reputation. Her collaboration with Evans continued throughout the 1880s and 1890s.”

What is the Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection?

The Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection is a collection of greeting cards now in the Manchester Metropolitan University, in the Sir Kenneth Green Library, on the All Saints Campus.

The Laura Seddon Collection of Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards contains about 32,000 cards by major publishers of the day such as Marcus Ward and Raphael Tuck. The Seddon Collection of Valentine cards has 450 cards dating from the early nineteenth century.

What is Lithography and How is it Associated with Greeting Cards

Lithography is a method of printing originally based on the immiscibility of oil and water.

The printing is from a stone or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by German author and actor Alois Senefelder as a cheap method of publishing theatrical works.

Lithography is used to print text or artwork onto paper or other suitable material. It has been the most common way to make Greetings cards of all types, in bulk.

What is Moonpig?

A giant moon pig is shown to illustrate Moonpig cards.
CC BY by wonker

Moonpig is the rather unusual brand name of an internet-based business whose head offices are situated in London and Guernsey.

The company’s business model is mainly selling personalised greeting cards, flowers and gifts.

What was the “Penny Post” and What Does it Have to Do with Greetings Cards

Penny Post is any one of several postal systems in which normal letters could be sent for one penny.

The Greeting Card enabler - An example of the world's first postage stamp.
An example of the world’s first postage stamp. (Penny Stamp) – CC BY by kevinzim

Five such schemes existed in the United Kingdom while the United States initiated at least three such simple fixed rate postal arrangements.

It is often said that the Penny Post was instrumental in kick-starting the mail services of today. Until the method of charging at this flat rate was introduced the charges for post were very complicated. The volume of post was low, and as a consequence it was very expensive.

How is a Postage Stamp Associated with Sending Greetings?

The vast majority of greetings cards are sent by post. Without the humble postage stamp, and before the internet, there would be no simple way to send a card.

A postage stamp is a small piece of paper issued by a post office, postal administration, or other authorized vendors to customers who pay postage.

The stamp is attached to the face or address side of each item of mail, on an envelope or other postal wrapping.

The item is then processed by the postal system, where a postmark or franking mark is applied to the stamp.

The item is then delivered to its addressee.

What is a Postcard?

A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope.

Shapes other than rectangular may also be used. There are novelty exceptions, such as wood postcards, made of thin wood, and copper postcards sold in the Copper Country of the U.S. state of Michigan. Some say that they have received coconut “postcards” from holiday makers on tropical islands.

Are “Recycled Paper Greetings” a Thing of the Future?

Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc. (RPG) is a Chicago based greeting card company founded by Phil Friedmann and Mike Keiser in 1971. They became successful as one of the first greeting card companies to print their product on recycled paper.

They are also notable as one of the first card companies to give their artists recognition by putting their names on the cards.

What are “Studio Cards”?

“Studio Cards” were a style of tall, narrow humorous greeting cards which became popular during the 1950s.

The sentiments conveyed by the greetings were at times cutting and caustic. They offered a distinct alternative to the type of non-controversial mild humour previously provided by the major greeting card companies.

What is a Valentine’s Day Card? – Also known as a “Valentine”

A Valentine is a card or gift given on Valentine’s Day, to one’s sweetheart and may refer to the name Valentine – a given name and surname.

What is a Victorian Greeting Card?

A Victorian Card is any greetings card designed or produced in the reign of Queen Victoria (United Kingdom).

In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901.

Greeting Card. 'The Quiver of Love. A collection of Valentines ancient and modern. With illustrations, in colors, ... by W. Crane and Kate Greenaway\'
‘The Quiver of Love. A collection of Valentines ancient and modern. With illustrations, in colors, … by W. Crane and Kate Greenaway’

The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Epoque era of Continental Europe.

How is Walter Crane Associated with Greeting Cards?

Walter Crane was an English artist and book illustrator. He is considered to be the most influential, and among the most prolific, children’s book creators of his generation.

Along with Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway, their artwork makes for much loved greeting cards which harp back to an earlier age.

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