Friday, July 13, 2012

Scrapmatt's and Why we send a Card

Have you ever wondered why we send cards well this is why it is my DT post over at Scrapmatt's where cards are the theme this month, I hope you enjoy the post.

The ancient Chinese were known to give messages for the New Year, the ancient Egyptians exchanged written greetings on papyrus. Wood-block printed cards were used in Germany in the 1400’s, but machine-printed greeting cards were not developed until the 1800’s. Sir Henry Cole (1808-188) is credited with being the first person to use mass-produced greeting cards, in the sense that we know them today.

Sir Henry was a philanthropist and wanted to ensure that his friends, family and business associates had the plight of the poor and needy at the forefront of their minds during the Christmas season. Probably not an easy thing to achieve, especially in Victorian London.

He commissioned John Calcott Horsley, an accomplished artist who studied painting at the Royal Academy, to create this image for a Christmas card which he could use for all his acquaintances. It was to depict the contrast between a comfortable family at Christmas time – the warm, well-fed, contented and merry against the deprived, uncared-for of London. As you can see, it does that quite well. The rosy-cheeked, satiated warmth of the well-to-do family is palpable, contrasted with the colourless, ragged, beggarly resignation of those who had nothing.

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Holiday greeting cards became popular in England, in no small part due to the development of the Penny Post. Many were elaborately shaped, folded, decorated and frequently illustrated by artists such as Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane.

Advances in printing processes in the 1930’s assisted the mass manufacture of greeting cards, making them faster and more cost-effective to produce and more affordable to buy. It wasn’t until the 1970’s other small ‘boutique’ card manufacturers began to emerge.

Today we are blessed to have so much choice in terms of appearance, message and occasion.

Affirmations Publishing House produce many diverse ranges including photographic, mixed media in our Vintage range, hand illustrated, water coloured characters, calligraphic and font driven designs.

Greeting cards are now an art form in every sense of the word.

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