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Download 2021 Category List

A. Greeting Card Occasions

To qualify for these categories, cards must be sold as single counter cards and come from a production run of 200 pieces or more. Entries are divided by two price points: $5.00 and below, or above $5.00.

A1. Birthday (General)

A2. Birthday (Humorous)

A3. Birthday - Small Company

Birthday cards of all types produced by companies with five or fewer employees

A4. Blank Card

Cards submitted to this category can not have words on the front or the inside.

A5: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

Cards for an increasingly diverse, unique and wonderful world that celebrate a traditionally under-represented community, such as LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, People with Disabilities, or Latinx

A6. Children's Card

Cards in any category meant to be given to a child.

A7. Congratulations/Special Occasion

Includes Graduation, Good Luck, New Baby, Retirement, Promotion, New Home,
Bon Voyage, Wedding, Engagement, etc.

A8. Friendship/Encouragement (General)

 

 

A9. Friendship/Encouragement (Humorous)

A10. Get Well/Feel Better

A11. Romantic Occasions

Includes Love, Wedding, Anniversary, Engagement, etc.

Not included: Valentine's Day

A12. Sympathy

 

 

A13. Thank You

 

A14: Trends & Events

Cards that reflect trending topics in the current culture, ranging from social media and entertainment to political or social causes.

   

B. Seasonal Greeting Cards

To qualify for these categories, cards must be sold as single counter cards and come from a production of 200 pieces or more. Entries are divided by two price points: $5.00 and below, or above $5.00.

B1. Christmas/Seasonal (General)

B2. Christmas/Seasonal (Humorous)

B3. Father's Day

B4. Halloween

B5. Mother's Day

 

 

B6. Non-Religious Celebrations

 Includes Thanksgiving, New Years, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, etc.

Not included: Halloween and Valentine's Day.

B7. Religious Celebrations

Includes Easter, Hanukkah, Christening, Communion, Rosh Hashanah, Bat/Bar Mitzvah, etc.

Not included: Christmas

B8. Valentine's Day

 

 

 

C. Card Sets

Price break for cards sets is per piece, determined by dividing the total retail price of the set by the number of cards it contains. Includes all cards sold in sets, whether boxed or in other packaging (bagged/banded/wrapped, etc.).

C1. Christmas/Seasonal Boxed Set

Cards sold "separately" as individual cards, and holiday photo cards, are not eligible and should be entered in their relevant category. The complete set as sold must be submitted. Entries are divided by two price points: $3.00 and below, or above $3.00.

C2. Everyday Boxed Set

Includes blank note cards, thank you cards, assorted greeting cards, etc. The complete set as sold must be submitted. Entries are divided by two price points: $3.50 and below, or above $3.50.

 

D. Special Categories

D1. Letterpress

In addition to the stated LOUIE criteria, this award recognizes the tradition and artistry of letterpress, including overall design, creativity, and craftsmanship. Entrants must submit three representative cards in order for the judges to evaluate the collection as a whole. This falls under one entry fee.

 

D2. Print and Production Excellence

In addition to the stated LOUIE judging criteria, this awards recognizes both innovation and craftsmanship. We are looking for cards demonstrating outstanding utilization of print process and/or special finishing techniques including but not limited to foil stamping, laser or die-cutting, embossing, flocking, or other embellishments. Special attention will be given to print and production quality, and overall attention to detail.

D3. Paper Engineering and Innovation 

In addition to the stated LOUIE judging criteria, this award recognizes innovation and engineering of a card. We are looking for cards demonstrating outstanding utilization of paper engineering which may include, but is not limited to, the use of pop-ups, sound and lights. Special attention will be given to innovation, print and production quality, and overall attention to detail and elaboration. Limited to 1 entry per company for this specially recognized award. 

D4. Rising Star

Companies that have been in operation for three years or less are eligible to enter this category. Entrants must submit five representative cards in order for the judges to evaluate the line as a whole. This falls under one entry fee. Companies that have entered, but have not won this category in the past, are still in operation under three years, are eligible to enter again. The winner in the Rising Star category will also receive a complimentary GCA membership trial.

D5. Superbly Stated

This category celebrates outstanding editorial copy. Only greeting cards featuring original composition are eligible for entry. Text should uniquely or profoundly express a sentiment which elevates the overall card to excellence.

D6. Illustrator of the Year

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding illustration. One judge for this category will be a representative outside the greeting card industry but with expertise in a related field such as an art curator or esteemed artist. Entrants will need to submit five cards that best represent their body of work.

D7. Writer of the Year

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding editorial. One judge for this category will be a representative outside the greeting card industry but with expertise in a related field such as an author or esteemed publisher. Entrants will need to submit five cards that best represent their body of work.

 

E. Invitations & Announcements

Price break for invitations, announcements, and photo cards is price per card determined by a consumer placing an order for 50  pieces. Entries are divided by two price points: $5.00 and below, or above $5.00. Includes graduation announcements, moving announcements, birth announcements, Save the Dates, personalized holiday cards, personalized or photo greeting cards, invitations for any event, including wedding and wedding suites, etc.