Welcome to the Icon online shop for greeting cards, we’ve been waiting for you. Now that you’ve arrived you can have a look around one of the most refreshing online shops the www has to offer. Because you have good taste, you’ll notice a few differences between the Icon site and the “others”. We are not in your face, we do not bombard you with our promotions and other visual noise, we welcome you to a shopping experience that will present you with some products of top class design and, more importantly, products that will make you laugh.We have been exchanging greeting cards for hundreds of years, they have been traced back to the mid 15th century in Europe and even back to the ancient Chinese and early Egyptians when handmade cards were given to convey messages of good luck for New Year.
But the greeting card as we know it really became popular with the introduction of the mechanised printing press, when illustrated cards were produced in the 1850s for major calendar events such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Since then, the custom of giving and receiving cards has gone from strength to strength with technological advancements in printing processes and the mass produced greeting card industry is now worth over a billion pounds with the average person sending around 55 cards every year.
So from its humble origins of delicate illustrated designs, greeting cards have gone through a major evolution and are now widely available in many different styles from intricate handmade designs to the ultra-modern electronic, or e-card sent via the internet.
Over the years, as with most commercial products, greeting cards have been affected by market trends. The earliest mass produced cards were all of a light-hearted nature featuring whimsical illustrations with the simplest of sentiments. The 1970s saw a boom in the humorous greeting card, with a classic joke and additional punch-line on the inside of the card. Other artistic genres such as photography, illustration and fine art have found success over the years and more recently all forms have come together with the advent of the humour captioned cards. The very latest trend of greeting cards has come with the personalised cards which are printed individually on a ‘on demand’ basis, featuring photos and text specific to the lucky recipient.
As well as the different artistic styles of greeting cards, there’s a huge array of cards available for every occasion.
Most popular of which, unsurprisingly is the general birthday card, closely followed by Christmas cards and other seasonal cards for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the hugely traditional and popular Valentine’s Day card. You can find a card for every chronological occasion; for couples there’s engagement cards, wedding cards, anniversary cards, new baby cards and even divorce cards. There are cards for your working career covering good luck, graduation, new job cards, leaving cards and retirement cards. Then there’s health and wellbeing cards to say ‘get well’, offering sympathy or simply just to say, ‘thinking of you’.
Of course, all relations have a specifically captioned card dedicated to them too, from the old-fashioned card just for your Nan, to the up-to-date cards designed for your same-sex partner, even teachers and pets get their very own card.
Whatever your preference and greeting card requirement, you can guarantee there’s a card suited to your taste, and they couldn’t be easier to get hold of these days. You can go to the tiniest village shop in the middle of the countryside, or you can surf the worldwide net and find your perfect card online. In today’s technological culture where we’ve grown used to communicating by text, tweets, social networks and emails, it’s good to see that the good old greeting card is still going strong, so support the industry and keep buying those cards. Some of you might also be brave enough to write ‘Happy Birthday’ in them yourselves!