Dreaming of our summer holidays, Gale Astley, with over 17 years in the greetings industry, and a promo filmmaker, takes us on a card designs UK trend trip. Pictured top right: Brighton’s Royal Pavilion from Linescapes’ Architectural Portraits collection.
Abacus Cards has increased its designs of British scenes for 2021. ‘Skinningrove on the Cleveland Way’ is from its BBC Countryfile range (pictured left).
From the charming fishing village of Mousehole, Margate’s dodgems and chip swooping seagulls to the sweeping grand beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the Scottish Highlands, between working on our laptops at the kitchen table, binging Netflix and home-schooling the kids, a large number of us are ‘liking’ each and every holiday memory and countryside and coastal images that pops up on Instagram and Facebook as we pine for wide-open spaces and natural landscapes while being cooped up in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And, even with the vaccine at end of the rainbow in sight, when we are gradually allowed to cautiously roam out of our homes, blinking into the light, travelling abroad this year feels like an unlikely dream as numerous countries’ borders remain closed or have self-isolating restrictions.
Pictured right: Captured by photographer Jon Higham, The Old Bathing Station, Bexhill-on-Sea, available on cards from Stationery Traffic’s Seaside Love collection.
As a result, when UK travel restrictions are eased, many Brits are looking to discover the wonders on their doorstep this year, quenching their wanderlust on British shores; satisfying a hankering for big skies and grassy knolls on home turf and brushing up on British historical heritage with daytrips to ancient towns and cities.
And, mirroring the yearning for escapism and new horizons is a big sunny meadow of greeting card designs buzzing with imagery of this year’s British travel trend, encompassing camping, campervans, British holiday icons and coastlines, historical towns and countryside, and all the farm and wildlife spotted along the way.
“No matter how enriched your life is we all need a change of scene or the opportunity to escape reality at some point. Naturally with Covid-19 this has never been more pertinent,” points out Peter Spencer, director of card publisher Stationery Traffic. And while during lockdown we fantasize about our British summer holiday, meanwhile we can share that reverie with our friends and family with a gorgeous scene on a card.
“A beautiful image or illustration of a deserted beach or a wood filled with bluebells, for example, is initially the card’s main attraction to the card purchaser; we all need to dream that one day soon we will be on that beach or strolling through that woodland. However, knowing that that connection will also be embraced and shared by the card’s recipient too makes it a doubly perfect send,” says Peter.
Pictured above is The call of the wild – a stunning design from The Passenger Press.
‘Home travel’ will be a big travel trend this year according to Booking.com. The travel company’s research study discovered that almost half (47%) of people plan to travel within their own country in the next 12 months, and rambling and relaxing is a key holiday trend with 56% of travellers seeking rural, off-the-beaten-track experiences to immerse themselves in the great outdoors.
And there are some who are itching to get their 2021 summer staycation show on the road with UK campsite pitches being snapped up and an increase in Caravan Club memberships.
Pictured left: Woolly pals on a Repeat Repeat range from The ArtPress.
Art card publisher Green Pebble’s current best sellers reflect the eagerness of Brits keen to explore British natural wonders, but editor, Ruby Ormerod, also highlights the interrelated matters of wellness and mental health as playing an important part in our current card buying choices.
“Consistently during 2020 we at Green Pebble saw an increase in sales of art cards featuring the wonderful wild places of the British Isles. Not only were we as a nation discovering the nature on our doorstep as we set off on small adventures close to home, it seemed we were also reminded of the fact that this was what we were all fighting for – freedom, hope and robust health,” says Ruby.
She adds, “Currently, we, as a nation, are finding joy at home in the simple things – reading, relaxing and recharging our batteries; ‘wellness’ is definitely a theme. The joy of small things. Finding inner peace. These are the very qualities we look for on our holidays, but also right here on our doorstep.”
Pictured below, the beautiful Journey’ by David Alderslade from Green Pebble.
Ben Dorney, creative director for Museums & Galleries, recognises British scenery – and wildlife in particular – has been a much-loved theme on cards for the UK market for as long as he can remember, however he believes the growth in appeal is due to spending more time with our wildlife pals in our locality, creating a bond that’s become crucial to our daily lives.
“We currently have a very popular range from Lucy Grossmith called ‘Coast & Country’ (of Britain) to cater for this strong trend. Lucy’s work does really well and complements, or balances, the wider trends for exotic animals, birds and scenes. In pandemic times, though, I believe appreciation of UK wildlife and scenery has gone from something ‘popular’ to something vital and essential. Even if our access to it is limited, it’s literally all we have on our doorsteps, so people have really connected with this through their daily exercise, TV and… cards!” says Ben.
Pictured right: British wildlife and scenes feature on Lucy Grossmith’s designs from Museums & Galleries.
And while rolling hillsides dotted with woolly sheep, mountain hikes and meandering woodland walks, ocean waves plunging onto sandy shores, flittering, flying and foraging wildlife and camping and retro seaside iconography sit within the British staycation card design landscape, a good number of the designs utilise muted colour palettes; vintage shades that imbue the serenenity of nostalgia and pre-pandemic times.
“Nostalgia in a fast-moving world takes people back to a place that feels calmer,” says Jon Higham, photographer of the’ Seaside Love’ collection from Stationery Traffic. “As social media and high-speed consumption encourages us to rush around, perhaps we look to gentler times and times that remind us of our childhood. Nearly everyone at some point as a child gets taken to the seaside, and the British seaside in particular has always been a place that looks like it’s walked out of the pages of a Beano or Dandy. Scarcely changing over the decades with its fish and chips, crazy golf, bunting and piers, they are palaces of fun. The British countryside too brings up a cosy familiarity of summer days and picnics or days out to a castle or village tea room.”
Pictured left: Hastings beach huts available as framed prints and cards from Pennychoo’s Coast range.
Pennychoo’s card designs have a retro flavour, its collections often illustrating vintage British icons and familiar favourites. However, the publisher’s director Sue Lee believes the modern phenomenon Airbnb has made travelling in the UK more attractive and has facilitated a surge of people wanting to stay in funky places – shepherd huts, yurts, lighthouses, treehouses, vintage caravans – and eat at stylish places that serve locally sourced food. “Look at Margate and Hastings – the British coast is very on trend and magazines like Coast have helped too. Dare I cynically suggest that Instagram has also helped? Grammable food and interiors are all part of a stylish, curated lifestyle,” she indicates, adding, “I had a holiday in Anglesey a couple of years ago during the heatwave and just bimbling around the island from one gorgeous cove to another was utterly idyllic. It really changed my ideas about the British coastline and inspired my Coast range of cards, wrap and prints.”
Now, more than ever, we yearn for open spaces, new vistas and adventures, but if we can’t quite get there yet we can dream and there are card designs to transport us.
Pictured below: Launched at Top Drawer Spring, the Lagoon range from Wendy Bell Designs.