Woodmansterne cards are printed by ourselves here in Watford, Hertfordshire, on the site of the old Croxley Mills beside the Grand Union Canal, once owned by the original pioneer of paper manufacture and inventor of both cardboard and the gummed envelope, John Dickinson (1782-1869). Thus, Woodmansterne cards come from the very ‘birthplace of modern stationery’.
Since 1940, when our founder, Graham Woodmansterne, made his first training film for British troops serving in India during the Second World War, interpreting culture has been at our core. In 1952, with a collection of five years’ original photography of cathedrals and country houses, Graham created a collection of colourslides depicting as he put it ‘the beauty, history and pageantry of Britain and the British way of life’. The Collection was to be known as Woodmansterne Colour Slides. For thirty-five years Woodmansterne was the leading publisher and manufacturer of colourslides in the world, and one of the foremost cataloguers of British cultural heritage. Those original images form The Woodmansterne Picture Library (now handled by TopFoto).
In 1987 we diversified into fine art cards with a range of twelve Christmas cards in a new and distinctively-different square format. Today, 25% of all cards in the UK are now square.
Today, Woodmansterne has become the leading supplier of greeting cards to independent retailers in Britain, and we publish almost 30 million cards a year. We still aim to present and reflect British culture and taste. Whether it is through the magic of Quentin Blake’s illustrations, the beauty of National Trust images, or the humour of Punch cartoons, we help people to share their idiosyncrasies, thoughts and passions.