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Officially known as the International Greeting Card Awards Competition, the Louies are named after Louis Prang, the German-born Boston lithographer credited with the birth of the U.S. Christmas card in the 1870s.

Launched by the Greeting Card Association (GCA) in 1988, the prestigious Louie Awards recognize the most outstanding greeting cards, invitations, and announcements marketed in the U.S. during the previous calendar year. The competition is open to all domestic and foreign publishers of greeting cards, invitations, and/or announcements, and attracts hundreds of entries annually.

The Changing Face of the Louies

In 2010, Andy Meehan headed a strategic review to consider ways to refocus the Louie Awards and establish a more modern direction reflective of today's greeting card industry.

The following year, the Louie Awards, chaired by Katy Greenspan, saw exciting changes, including the addition of new categories, the expansion of the program booklet to include photos of all finalist cards, a stunning new Louies exhibit at the National Stationery Show and a Consumer's Choice Award.

For the 25th Louie Awards, Monika Brandrup-Thomas chaired the Louie Awards and she continued to build on these enhancements and chose to commemorate the 25th year by recognizing in a special way excellence in greeting card design.

For the 26th Louie Awards, we engaged buyers from major retailers, industry sales reps, stationery bloggers, and magazine editors as judges, continuing to build on the credibility to the competition and attracting companies that may not have previously considered entering. The finalists cards within the Louie Exhibit is centrally located in the Javits Center at the National Stationery Show©, offering increased visibility for the card designers and manufacturers alike. We also expanded the section on the Greeting Card Association’s website to showcase images of the finalists’ and winning cards, along with links to their respective companies’ websites. The Consumer’s Choice Award, given to the winning card receiving the most votes on the Louies Facebook page, continued as well.

Each year, the Louie Awards Committee seeks to engage a diversity of publishers and artists committed to excellence in the social expression industry. To achieve this, we look to increase opportunities for early exposure for those companies named a finalist or a winner, knowing that it enhances the value in being part of the Louie Awards.

We welcome your feedback on ways we can advance, strengthen, and expand the Louie Awards in the years to come.