Friday, January 29, 2010

Cards Reflect Our Culture

I have never really thought of a greeting card as a sort of "time capsule", but when you think about it...they really can be a freeze frame of world events, slang, social norms and design styles. The Hallmark Centennial site has a really great section where they showcase cards from the past 10 decades, they are grouped in themes. With Valentine's right around the corner, the album up right now shows the different ways people used to say "I Love You", and how they say it today.

While you're there check out the past albums.
Tough Times, Good Wishes
Cards Are Groovy, Man

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Keeping Busy, and so is Hallmark.

I haven't been around for a while. But i finally got a break in my busy schedule, so, I thought I would give you an update on what I've been up to. Not that it would normally be interesting enough to mention, but i have had my hand in pretty much everything that has come out in the last few months.

1: DVD Cards - Wouldn't it be cool if you could have a customized movie with pictures of you, your family and/or your friends that can be played on your home's DVD player? Say no more. Hallmark's done it. Takes 10 minutes. Packaged conveniently into a card so you can send it out to your loved ones. Imagine Grandma's surprise when she sees that gem. It will blow her mind. Available at your local Hallmark Gold Crown.

2. Augmented Reality - The world has come one step closer to Holodecks with this innovation. Basically, when you buy specially marked Hallmark Cards (available at Walmart and Gold Crown this Valentine's Day) you get an "Online Surprise". It's a 3D, virtual reality movie, that moves around in your own world when you hold the card up to at webcam. Don't understand a lick of what i am saying? Go try out a free demo here or let Hoops and Yo-yo try and explain it! GO. QUICK!

3. Kids Encouragement - This may not seem terribly innovative, but in reality it is. Hallmark has found that kids need to be spoken to in a certain way. And that parents are starving for a way to talk to there kids. So Hallmark Gold Crown is currently (or will be very soon, depending on the store) sporting a brand new wall display featuring dozens of new products that help encourage kids in their everyday life. And not just cards, but TOYS, BOOKS, and GAMES!

The others are so top secret i can't talk about them. But i will. Oh, i will.

I know this is all pretty boring without many pictures, but maybe you will just have to go out to Hallmark and take a look. ;)
Seriously though, there has been a lot of hard work put into these cards and we'd love to know what you think when you see them!

Love, Josh

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crowns honoring Hallmark's 100th Birthday!

Remember Jeanee's post awhile back about the crowns that Hallmarkers could create to help celebrate Hallmark's Centennial? Well, one of the gals on my team here in Hallmark's Licensing Design Studio created a series of five Centennial Crowns to honor one of Hallmark's Licensing partners, Lucasfilm. She has been a fan of Star Wars since she was a child, so the project was also a personal one for her. Here are her crowns: Yoda, Darth Vader, Leia, Chewbacca, and a Star Wars tribute crown.

Each of the Star Wars crowns features a sound clip (or several!) from the character and/or music from Star Wars. You can read more about the crowns and the artist behind them on Star

Friday, January 15, 2010

Centennial Colors

It's starting to look like a celebration wherever you look around here ! Loving these colors everywhere. 
This is a photo of the Visitor's Center and Kaleidoscope.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

KCUR Covers Hallmark Centennial Celebration

I'm an avid NPR listener, especially while I design during the day. I like to listen to the local Kansas City Station KCUR. One of my favorite local shows is Up to Date with Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star.

I wanted to give a heads up about tomorrow's show - Steve will be talking with Hallmark's Historian Lynley Farris about how the need for emotional connection has stayed consistent over the decades even while the means by which we connected - the images and editorial used in Hallmark's greeting cards - changed to reflect the times.

It sounds like an awesome show, if you're in the listening area you should tune in tomorrow Friday 15th 11am - Noon on 89.3 FM, and even if you're not you can still listen online.


Here's a Link of the show archive.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How is a greeting card born?

In this edition of "Glimpses," learn how a card comes to be, from writing to design/illustration, to printing, to distribution. As you can imaging, it's pretty difficult to narrate the greeting card development process in just 2 minutes, but at least you get a quick overview and behind-the-scenes look at one of the things we do best.

For more videos and information on Hallmark product development and on our Centennial, visit Hallmark 100 Years.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What does a 100th Birthday Party look like?

Here's a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at today's 100th Birthday Party in the Crown Room (cafeteria) here at Hallmark's headquarters... Keep in mind that this was only one of three groups to attend the party today-so you're looking at only 1/3 of Hallmark's employees!

Hallmark employees go cheer with pom poms and clappers, whistle, and cheer as Don Hall, Sr., Don Hall, Jr., and Dave Hall walk onto the stage.

A rare live presentation/speech by Don Hall, Sr. He spoke about what it means to be 100 years old, gave thanks for all Hallmarkers present, and expressed gratitude for Hallmarkers who have gone before. He also teared up as he said that he is so thankful for Dave and Don and he appreciates them "more than they'll ever know."

The crowd listens intently as Don Hall, Sr. addresses the crowd.

A smiling and enthusiastic Don Hall, Jr. takes the stage.

A group of Hallmark employees presented a "Living History" of Hallmark through storytelling, acting, music, and even a little rap song. A narrator told the story of how Hallmark came to be, new products we've introduced, and how we've contributed to the Kansas City community and the world. Between narrations, an actor/actress presented a vignette to illustrate the narrator's story. As for the rap song, you just really had to be there...

Hallmark's 100th Birthday cake is pictured on the left -- it is 100 inches tall and is wrapped in the entire 100-year history of Hallmark. Don Sr., Don Jr., and Dave presented the cake to the roaring crowd, and then we each got to take a cupcake of our own when the celebration ended (see below).

Happy Birthday, Hallmark!

Happy Birthday, Hallmark!

Yesterday, January 10th, 2010, Hallmark turned 100! The coverage of our Centennial in the Kansas City Star yesterday was excellent. You can browse several articles online: one giving a brief timeline of Hallmark, one entitled On Hallmark's 100th, a fond look back, (a Q&A with Don Hall, Jr., our President and CEO), and one discussing "greeting card keepers" and why they keep the cards they receive.

My favorite part of the coverage in the Star was the online slideshow of historic Hallmark photographs. It is amazing to look back at our rich history and the some of the people who made our company great! Looks like Marcos enjoyed the slideshow too, as he just posted about it as I was writing this post (great minds think alike I guess, huh friend?!) :O)

I'll be recapping the week's events at within Hallmark here on cre•a•tiv•i•ty, and it sounds like Marcos will also be giving inside sneak peeks (along with several other Hallmarkers) on the Signatures blog. There will be lots of good reading this week, so stay tuned!

Happy 100th!

Photo from: The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star has a wonderful photo gallery of Hallmark through the years. As well as timeline of Hallmark History.


Along with our centennial website (as Erin mentioned), there's a Centennial blog called Signatures - it's a behind the scenes look at the year long celebration. The contributors are 11 Hallmarkers (I'm one of them!) Check it out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hallmark is Turning 100!

That's right, Hallmark's official 100th birthday is Sunday, January 10th, 2010! Next week, Hallmarkers here at headquarters will begin a week of events to celebrate our Centennial. I'll be posting about these events as they happen, starting with Monday's giant birthday party in the Crown Room. This event will feature remarks from the Hall family, a "living history" presentation about our last 100 years from Hallmark employees, and the unveiling of Hallmark's allegedly "huge" birthday cake! I can't wait to see it and enjoy one of the Centennial cupcakes!

You can celebrate our Centennial with us by visiting our special Centennial website Hallmark: 100 Years. One of coolest parts of this website are videos called "Glimpses," which are guided, behind the scenes looks at Hallmark. Here's the first one!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

new online magazine

Issue one of Kansas City's new magazine for young adults, "QUIRK."

Very local, very cool, very... quirky.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kansas City in the New York Post

photo from:

Sure KC is known for its BBQ, but in an article by the New York Post, it seems our museums might be even better. We have two outstanding museums of contemporary art (Nelson-Atkins and Nerman) as well as a thriving art scene in the Crossroads. The writer also touches on a number of historic and Kansas City landmarks.

Read the entire article here: 50 States: Missouri - Art Attack! In Kansas City, the museums might be better than the BBQ.

For all you've ever wanted to know about Kansas City, check out or

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hallmarker chicks rock out!

Softee is a band composed of four Hallmark Cards gals: Sarah, Steph, Mimi and Flora.

They made the cover of a local Kansas City magazine, HERLIFE.

Like a groupie I went around the office and got each gal to autograph my magazine. It's gonna be work some money one day!!!

Union Station Model Trains

Happy New Year!
I wanted to share some photos I took before the holiday break, these were taken inside Union Station.

Another holiday tradition in Kansas City are these wonderful toy trains. They take up a large part of the lobby as you can see here.

There is so much detail, this is my favorite area of the display.
It's a vintage drive-in, and it plays old black and white films. (click on the images to see the detail)

The miniature railroads feature a wide variety of model trains in every scale. Holiday trains run through snow covered trees, mountains, and towns. It is definitely a delight for children and adults alike.

The display is free to the public.