A Closer Look at the Card & Gift Trends of 2012

As promised, we’re ending the working week at Card & Gift Blog with a quick look at one of two of the trends expected in 2012. I’ll be elaborating on each of these trends, and many more, as they develop throughout the year but hopefully today will get us excited and on the lookout for trends as they hit the shops, websites and fairs.

Back in September last year the lovely Sara Prebble at Squashed Rainbows was kind enough to interview me for her blog, and asked me about trends that I had seen emerging for the gift industry in 2012. You can read the whole interview over on the Squashed Rainbows blog, and below is the extract that relates specifically to trends.

There are a number of trends that have been predicted for 2012, covering everything from ‘clouds’, to ‘technology’, to ‘voyages’, to ‘futurism’ to ‘cinematic’. I have been starting to see gift items that relate to all of these but the biggest trends that I’m starting to see more and more of revolve around ‘British’ and ‘Nostalgic’ trends. With events such as the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee due in 2012 there is a lot of focus on ‘British’ inspired gifts. The union jack trend that has been around for a few years is being carried forward with new variations and iconic ‘British’ designs of stamps, taxis, bulldogs and telephone boxes are all being incorporated into designs. The focus on London that these events will bring has also brought all things London into the mix. The ‘Nostalgic’ trend is fairly adaptable, mixing with the ‘British’ trend it can incorporate sentimental tones, using vintage inspired artwork, designs and quotes. With ‘cinematic’ trends the nostalgia comes from the glamour of the fifties and the continuing love for the Mad Men style. The handmade market is also using nostalgia with ‘upcycling’, utilising the trend as products are created mixing ‘old and new’.

A few months on as new products are being unleashed these trends are starting to surface and hit the shops more and more. Here in the UK, London in particular is at the forefront of the British-inspired trends. As the primary location for major events including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; as well as home to iconic British design on every street. Let’s take a look at some pictures of London and British themed cards and gifts …

olympics mascot in horse guard outfit

If you’re in the UK, you will have no doubt seen the official Olympic mascots in the shops and supermarkets. I took the snap above a few months ago. I’d seen the standard mascot but this was something new, an Olympic mascot with historical British twist.

crown jewels greeting card

Words of Art in conjunction with the Sandringham Estate have created an exquisite collection of greetings cards to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Designs are based on items from the Queen’s personal jewel collection; above is a close up of the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara. (I’ll be showing more from this collection in the coming weeks).

 

nancy and betty greeting cards

Nancy & Betty’s 2012 collection has some cool cards that add a modern twist on nostalgic British themes. Above is a sample of the collection with British design and a little bit of monarchy inspired card goodness.

london bus desk calendar

Pango Productions has added their own brand of cute to the iconic British doubledecker with this adorable desk calendar.

Love London anniversary card

Five Dollar Shake has created a sumptuous ‘Love London’ collection of greetings cards. Glittery and sparkly they make the London skyline look gorgeous.

colourful union jack greeting cards

Made with Love Designs has added a handmade touch to the Union Jack, with colour schemes for men and women, you can personalise the flag to suit your style or mood.

As you can probably tell the London and British trends are the big thing that I am seeing everywhere at the moment, but I do quickly want to mention the ‘cinematic’ trend, which is all about celebrating Americana. I first saw this trend last year in the retro greetings cards of Pennychoo, that featured classic American cars, and then just yesterday this month’s Vogue was delivered to my door and I saw the Prada Handbag shown below (sorry about the slightly dodgy photo, there’s no light here at all today). I think this is a sure sign that we’ll be seeing more and more Americana.

retro car birthday card

classic car leather bag

Ahead of the pack with the Americana trend Pennychoo’s 2011 collection also had a range called Fairground (see below). I’m not sure if this fits in with the cinematic /Americana trend (I’m sure retro fans can advise on this) but the reason I bring it up now is that in the last couple of weeks I keep hearing the word ‘tattoo’ being used with new ranges of cards; this is something I’m going to investigate and report back on, but please do get in touch if you have any insights … Is this cinematic? Are tattoo-inspired cards and gifts going to be their own micro-trend?

mother tattoo card

Throughout the year I’ll be looking at the trends mentioned today and the ones that I’ve had to temporarily overlook for fear of this blog post was approaching war and peace length. I’ll also be looking at the trends in textures, patterns and colour palettes that pop up in the card and gift market. I am particularly interested to see how the fashion industry’s focus on pastel translates to the card and gift industry; a press release I received earlier from AK-LH showed me that they’ve added these fab new pastel cushions to their collection. On a similar note will we be seeing Pantone’s colour of the year Tangerine Tango making an appearance?

ak-lh cushions