Tips and Advice

Trend watch: Spotlight on empowerment – how to use it in your designs

The UK public are spending more on Greeting Cards than ever before, £1.75 billion to be exact! On average, each person will buy 33 cards per year, so if you’re not on trend, you could be missing a trick!


We stopped by the Spotlight on Stationery panel discussion at Top Drawer S/S 18 to see what Laura Jane Boast of LJB Studio, Lucy Edmunds of Quill, Audrey Woollen of Urbanic and Neal Whittington of Present and Correct, think is heading our way for Greeting Cards and Stationery in 2018. And the next trend we can reveal is a big one… it’s all about empowerment!

This year, we can expect to see empowerment sweeping the Greeting Cards and Stationery industry by the bucket load. While the influence of empowering messages and statements has roots firmly in social and cultural change, with significance that transcends a powerful statement or two, the opportunity to adopt the movement and be key player in spreading the word is one not to be missed. Whether it’s a playful printed Notebook or a powerful Greeting Card, 2018 looks set to bring an influx of positive messages aimed at everyone, at any age of any gender.   


Taking inspiration from fashion

You’ve probably seen the influx of empowerment that’s been all over the fashion industry of late. You can’t walk past a shop window without noticing a slogan tee or accessory bearing some kind of positive messaging. And with the trend only seeming to grow in the consumer world – now’s the time to start implementing it into your designs and ranges.


Hey Gal Friend Valentine’s Day Card – design by Liz Harry Design (find her on InstagramTwitter and Facebook – or buy her cards and more on Etsy and Not on the High Street)



How to implement the empowerment trend in your designs?

 ‘Any occasion’ cards that aren’t tied to a particular event or holiday are creeping up in popularity, which is good news for empowering messages that transcend beyond just a day or date. The great thing about this trend is that even a simple typographic message on a plain background fits the bill. You just need to get the message right.


What’s the message you want to spread?

Ok, so sticking #GirlBoss onto a card might be bang on trend. But is it true to you? Will your customers see it as a natural progression of your designs? If the answer is no, then you might need to consider how you bring empowerment into your designs in other ways.


Take inspiration from your community

If you’re active on social media, or are engaged in groups, talk to those people and see what’s relevant to them. They’ll be key in helping you create empowering messages which feel relevant and true.


The trend in action

We spotted one of our customers, Liz Harry of @Liz Harry Design, using the trend to craft Valentine’s Day cards, so we chatted to her about what inspires her to create, her gorgeous designs and range of cards.  

Best Gal pals Valentine’s Day Card – design by Liz Harry Design (find her on InstagramTwitter and Facebook – or buy her cards and more on Etsy and Not on the High Street)

Liz’s unconventional Valentine’s Day cards are a little different from your usual… So, Liz, where’d you get your inspo?!

“My female friendships are a big part of my life and I feel they are just as important as my romantic relationships – and I wanted to create a card to celebrate that!”

Your cards are Galentine’s Day themed – what’s that about?

“I’m a really big Parks and Recreation fan – the TV show where the Galentine’s Day concept was coined. It’s a day to celebrate female friendships – it’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it, its so feel good and heart-warming”

We love that. How’s the response been?

“I’m part of a mainly female group called @incolourfulcompany – which is made up of a lot of colour-loving woman, many of whom are creative themselves. I deigned the card with them in mind – they’re are the most infectious, empowering, supportive group I‘ve ever come across! When I posted the card in my Instagram feed there was so much love for it, mainly from a lot of women in the group!”

We’re not surprised, they certainly caught our eye too. But what about your other designs in general? What do you love to create?

“I was born at the tail end of the 70’s – but I’m an 80s child at heart – Care Bears, Rainbow Brite and She-Ra are big influences in my work – hopefully you get that vibe from the card – less pink and more RAINBOW – though, I’ve got to admit, I crush hard on pink too!”

A little bit about Liz…

Liz lives in Liverpool and creates bold bright and beautiful graphic design for the music industry, and uses her skills to design gorgeous cards, jewellery and pins. She sells ‘em on Etsy and Not on the High Street – if you’re stuck for a Valentine’s day gift or card, we’d recommend swinging by.

For a daily injection of colour, empowerment and all things fun – Follow Liz on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook too!


Feeling empowered? Let us know how you’ll be using empowerment in your designs, and don’t forget to show off your creations and tag us in on social while you’re at it too!
Tweet @printed_com, check us out on Instagram printedcom, and visit our Facebook page to give us a like.

About the author

Emma-Lee’s the resident wordsmith and Content Editor, well versed in all things grammar. If she’s not clattering away at her keyboard, you’ll find her hitting the asphalt – or putting her extensive Eurovision knowledge to the test at the local pub quiz.

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