Cards – analyse

Assignment 2 ‘Thinking of you’ – a range of greetings cards expressing a sentiment.  On the brief, start with the keywords…
Primary keywords

  • range
  • sentiments
  • events
  • not catered for
  • happening
  • worth celebrating
  • worth commiserating
  • personal landmark
  • worth sharing

Secondary keywords

  • calendar events
  • obscure saints days
  • sporting calendars
  • life’s other landmarks
  • first grey hairs
  • release from prison

The sentiment… that is missing from the card racks, is that of showing appreciation for someone who’s done something that impresses you. It can be for a long struggle with something, taking a risky and/or life-changing decision, raising a load of money for something needed, walking the whole Appalachian Trail, finally sorting out dodgy electrics. Big or small, the point is you want to be able to send them a card and say ‘Well done, I’m impressed’. I’ts a bit tricky and easier to define by the negatives – it’s not ‘Congratulations’ because it’s about appreciating the cost as well as the achievement, and it might still be ongoing. It doesn’t want to be trivialised, but it’s not heavy and serious either, and it certainly doesn’t want to be pat-on-the-head patronising. There’s a bit of solidarity about it, a hint of inspirational, but it’s neutral in terms of religion or spirituality type sentiment.

Mindmap on the sentiment

What isn’t out there? It’s more than ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Let’s Celebrate’, it’s not necessarily about driving tests, exams, weddings and jobs (Hallmark), and has a bit more depth than ‘Completely totally proud of you’ (Paperchase) or ‘You are very special’ ( It’s a generic sentiment that has a certain amount of depth to it, and covers the gaps between more specific greetings.

Who’s it for? People who buy cards with greetings in them, and people who probably wouldn’t but who are finding it difficult to show their appreciation for someone verbally, and for whom a card might do the trick. It’s also got to appeal to people who normally buy blank cards. It’s for adults, but it’s not gender specific.

Successful outcomes? A set of about 5 or so cards that work together, express the sentiment accurately, and that people will want to buy.

Potential pitfalls? Getting the pitch of the sentiment wrong and producing something that is heavy or sycophantic or patronising.   Therefore needs to be neutral and simple, light but interesting!


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