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.
The custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. By the early 15th century, handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year's greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, and handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to mid-15th century, with the oldest Valentine in existence being in the British Museum.
Everyone gets to have one every year, and it's a day for celebrating. Send your friends and loved ones happy birthday wishes with birthday cards from Hallmark. For more than 100 years, we've been helping people celebrate their day of birth, and a card is a great way to show you card—so much longer-lasting than a social media post. You can choose from thousands of birthday cards to fit any mood or relationship; browse funny birthday cards as well as sweet, uplifting, heartfelt and religious birthday cards. From musical birthday cards to the exquisite hand-crafted detail of Signature cards to cool pop-up cards, you'll find a unique birthday card for any age.
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.