By the 1850s, the greeting card had been transformed from a relatively expensive, handmade and hand-delivered gift to a popular and affordable means of personal communication, due largely to advances in printing, mechanization, and a reduction in postal rates with the introduction of the postage stamp. This was followed by new trends like Christmas cards, the first of which appeared in published form in London in 1843 when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends and acquaintances. In the 1860s, companies like Marcus Ward & Co, Goodall and Charles Bennett began the mass production of greeting cards. They employed well known artists such as Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane as illustrators and card designers. The extensive Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection from the Manchester Metropolitan University gathers 32,000 Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards and 450 Valentine's Day cards dating from the early nineteenth century, printed by the major publishers of the day.
In the 1970s, Recycled Paper Greetings, a small company needing to establish a competing identity against the large companies like Hallmark Cards, began publishing humorous, whimsical card designs with the artist's name credited on the back. This was away from what was known as the standard look (sometimes called the Hallmark look.) By the 1980s, there was a thriving market for what were now called "alternative" greeting cards, and the name stuck even though these "alternative" cards changed the look of the entire industry.
Anymore, the price of a card can nearly equal a premium coffee, so “free” is a breath of fresh air, and you won’t encounter fine print exceptions or surprise fees. Complete your Printable Card project using your home printer or send your creation as an eCard from our site via email or Facebook from your computer, phone, or tablet. You can even download the image or PDF file and save it to portable storage media, if you’d like to take your design to a local shop for printing. As always, there’s no charge from us.