Walking into the reception area of our offices in Watford, I pass a forest of Henry Awards standing proudly on the front desk. Each one bears testament to a design studio on the top of its game, year after year. These are the annual design awards of our greeting card industry, celebrating such categories as Best Humour cards, Best Contemporary range, Best Photographic range etc. The most enigmatic, missing gong on the table must surely be that for Best Fine Art, (one that Woodmansterne has never won!) and our proudest of all, the most recent, the Henry Cole Classic, awarded last year for our Quentin Blake cards.
It was Julia (my sister) who has directed our publishing programme for the last 27 years, with her team, hunting out the unusual, the interesting and the unexpected, finding ideas that appeal to a sophisticated and discerning consumer. But the extraordinary brilliance of her talent has been the consistent commerciality of her ideas. She has the knack of turning what many would consider a niche product into one with broad appeal.
Julia, I thank you for your robust and healthy challenges to my crazy ideas; your studio thank you for your confident and guiding hand; our retailers thank you for creating outstanding product time after time; and millions of our consumers thank you for helping them communicate their personal thoughts and wishes in an interesting and engaging way. You have made our world a better place.