Thursday, December 27, 2007

The LOUIE Awards

Do you know the LOUIEs? Each year, during the National Stationery Show, The Greeting Card Association (GCA) honors the creative members of the industry with its LOUIE Awards program. Last year, there were winners in 57 categories!

I get asked a lot about the program. The most important thing to know today is this:
If you want to enter, do it NOW! The deadline is upon us – this coming Thursday, January 3rd, to be exact! Of course, you must be a greeting card, invitation or imprintable publisher in order to enter the competition. However, you do not need to be a GCA member to enter. All entries must have been marketed and sold in the United States during the calendar year 2007 (between January 1 and December 31). Click here for more information on the entry eligibility and the competition entry form.

If you enter, your product will be judged by industry peers, and if you win, you will receive a crystal award, as well as the excitement of having your own design chosen as best in its class!

Behind the scenes of the LOUIES goes a lot of volunteer work! Each year, a LOUIE Award chairperson is named from within the membership of the GCA. That wonderful person is charged with giving a lot of his or her time to making the entire Awards program a great one, start to finish. This includes reviewing categories for submission – and sometimes creating new ones. Newer categories of note include “Rising Star” which was added last year (this is only for companies that have been in operation for 2 years or less) and “Superbly Stated” which is in recognition of editorial copy – greeting cards with original composition.

This year’s LOUIE chair is Fern Gimbelman, of Designer Greetings. Fern (a LOUIE winner herself) came up with a great theme for the 20th Annual LOUIE Awards – “Cirque du LOUIE XX.” Check out this really cool call for entries.

It came in a gold envelope, and the LOUIE Award logo’s star was die-cut so that the color of the insert shone through!

Here it is with the insert pulled out. I love how the tumbling man turns into a star. I can’t wait to see the invitation and the program book for the Awards. I also can’t wait for the event itself (on Monday, May 19). With this theme, it’s sure to be fun!

The Judging for the LOUIEs is to take place in Washington, DC on Thursday, January 24 and Friday, January 25. Judges are all volunteers from within the industry. Of course, the company names of the entrants are withheld at the time of judging, so that all judging is fair and unbiased. The judges always say that even though there’s a lot of work involved (so much to review!), they have a lot of fun.

You should know that the LOUIEs might not get off the ground each year without the really behind the scenes work of one Mila Albertson. Mila works at the Greeting Card Association, and is sometimes an unsung hero! Mila receives every submission to the awards and is charged with keeping everything straight and creating the presentation to the judges. It’s tons of categorizing with files and boxes – yes, work! But she does it with a smile and her characteristic laugh, and you know she enjoys the whole process. Mila does even more for the actual event, too, but I’ll save those details for sometime after the Awards night!

Finally, in case you didn’t know - the LOUIE is named in honor of the recognized father of the American greeting card, Louis Prang.

I was going to write about something else this week, but when I realized that you might like to know that you could still enter the LOUIEs, I simply had to blog about it!

Happy New Year!!! See you in 2008.


No comments:

Post a Comment