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Hallmark Cards is a privately owned Americanmarker company based in Kansas City, Missourimarker. Founded in 1910 by Joyce C. Hall, Hallmark is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United Statesmarker. Approximately 50% of greeting cards sent in the United States every year are manufactured by Hallmark . Christmas is the #1 selling holiday in terms of Hallmark Cards sales.


Joyce C.
Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards.
Joyce Hall became captivated by a salesman who stopped by his family's store in 1906 in Norfolk, NE. Driven by the postcard craze of 1903, Hall decided to venture from retail of various products to wholesale of postcards. He moved his business to a larger market of Kansas City. As time went on, Joyce Clyde Hall became more convinced that greeting cards would become more prominent than postcards. Greeting cards according to J.C. Hall represented class, promised discretion and "they were more than a form of communication-- they were a social custom”

By 1915 the company was known as Hall Brothers and sold Valentine's Day and Christmas cards. In 1917, Hall and his brother Rollie invented modern wrapping paper when they ran out of traditional colored tissue paper. In 1922, the company expanded throughout the country. The staff grew from 4 to 120 and the line increased from Holiday cards to include everyday greeting cards

In 1928, the company adopted the name "Hallmark", after the hallmark symbol used by goldsmiths in Londonmarker in the 14th century, and began printing the name on the back of every card and promoting it in ad campaigns, a practice the company continues to the present day. In 1931, the Canadianmarker William E. Coutts Company, Ltd., a major card maker, became an affiliate of Hall Brothers, which was Hall Brothers' first international business venture.

In 1944, it adopted its current slogan, "When you care enough to send the very best." It was created by a salesman at a meeting. The cocktail napkin on which it was originally handwritten is on display at the company headquarters. In 1951, Hall sponsored a television program for NBC that gave rise to the Hallmark Hall of Fame, which has won 78 Emmy Awards. Hallmark now has its own cable television channel, the Hallmark Channel which was established in 2001. For a period of about 15 years, Hallmark owned a stake in the Spanish language network Univision.

In 1954, the company name was changed from Hall Brothers to Hallmark. In 1958, William E. Coutts Company, Ltd., was acquired by Hallmark; until the 1990s, Hallmark's Canadian branch was known as "Coutts Hallmark".


Worldwide, Hallmark has more than 18,000 full-time employees. About 4,500 Hallmarkers work at the Kansas City headquarters and about 9,900 are associated full-time with the U.S. personal expression business.


The current chairman is Donald J. Hall, and the current president and CEO is Donald J. Hall, Jr.

Creative resources

Hallmark's creative staff consists of around 800 artists, designers, stylists, writers, editors and photographers. Together they generate more than 19,000 new and redesigned greeting cards and related products per year. The company offers more than 48,000 products in its model line at any one time.

Products and services

Hallmark corporate headquarters entrance.
Hallmark corporate offices.
A Hallmark Gold Crown Store in Evansville, Indiana.
Hallmark offers or has offered the following products and services:

Greeting Cards

  • Shoebox, the company's line of humorous cards, evolved from studio cards
  • Maxine, by artist John Wagner
  • hoops&yoyo, by artists Bob Holt and Mike Adair
  • Revilo, by artist Oliver Christianson ("Revilo" is "Oliver" spelled backwards)
  • Forever Friends was purchased in 1994 from English entrepreneur Andrew Brownsword, who for four years subsequently was Chief Executive of Hallmark Europe
  • Tippi Town Bears
  • Hallmark Smilebox, software for creating and sending photo ecards, is offered in partnership with Smilebox, Inc.
  • Hallmark Card Studio, software for creating and printing cards, is offered in partnership with Nova Development
  • Microsoft Greetings Workshop, software for creating and printing cards, was offered in partnership with Microsoft
  • In August 2008, Hallmark added same-sex marriage cards to their product line after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage.

Gift Products

Hallmark School Store

Alvirne High Schoolmarker in Hudson, New Hampshiremarker, operates the only Hallmark school store in the United States. Besides normal food and beverage items, the "Bronco Barn" store also sells Hallmark cards. The store is run by students in Marketing I and Marketing II classes, and is open to students all day and after school.

Subsidiaries and assets

Hallmark owns:
  • Hallmark Insights: Incentives - Reward programs, recognition programs and online gift certificates;
  • Hallmark Channel: cable television network — Hallmark Cards owns the majority of stock in this publicly traded company (Crown Media Holdings);
  • Crayola LLC (formerly Binney & Smith): makers of Crayola-brand crayons
  • DaySpring Greeting Cards, is the world's largest Christian greeting card company. DaySpring Cards was purchased in 1999 from Cook Publishing and is based out of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
  • Rainbow Brite: a franchise of children's dolls
  • Hallmark Gold Crown: a chain of independently-owned card and gift stores in the United States and Canada.
  • Hallmark Business Expressions: Formed in 1996, Hallmark Business Expressions is a business-to-business subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc. and is headquartered in Kansas City, MO.
  • Halls, an upscale department store at Kansas City's Country Club Plazamarker and Crown Centermarker

In addition, Hallmark Cards is the property manager of the Crown Centermarker commercial complex, adjacent to its headquarters, and the owner of lithographer Litho-Krome Co.

Hallmark Music

In the Philippinesmarker, Singer Richard Tan sang a song about Hallmark Cards. The song entitled "No One Throws Away Memories". The song was featured on the commercial of the product in the 70s.In the mid-1980s, the company started its music division, issuing compilation albums by a number of popular artists. In 2004, Hallmark entered into a licensing agreement with Somerset Entertainment to produce Hallmark Music CDs.

Former subsidiaries

Hallmark photographic collection

The Hallmark Photographic Collection was donated to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Artmarker in Kansas City, Missouri.

Legal Problems

On September 6, 2007, Paris Hilton filed an injunction lawsuit against Hallmark Cards Inc. in U.S. District Court over the unlawful use of her picture and catchphrase "That's hot" on a greeting card. The card is titled "Paris's First Day as a Waitress" with a photo of Hilton's face on a cartoon of a waitress serving a plate of food, with a Hilton's dialogue bubble, "Don't touch that, it's hot." (which had a registered trademark on Feb. 13, 2007). Hilton's attorney Brent Blakely said that the infringement damages would be based on profits from the $2.49 greeting cards. Julie O'Dell said that Hallmark used the card as parody, protected under fair use law .

Neil Armstrong sued Hallmark Cards in 1994 after they used his name and a recording of "one small step" quote in a Christmas ornament without permission. The lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money which Armstrong donated to Purdue Universitymarker. The case caused Armstrong and NASA to be more careful about the usage of astronaut names, photographs and recordings, and to whom he has granted permission. For non-profit and government public-service announcements, he will usually give permission.

See also

External links


  1. [1]
  2. "Alvirne High School students have the opportunity to operate the only Hallmark high school store in the United States."
  3. Marketers find opportunities for better targeting, ROI :: BtoB Magazine

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