INTERVIEW WITH FUNNY CARD DESIGNER DEAN MORRIS

Sometimes there’s an occasion to be made where you least expected it.

If you didn’t know you needed a sarcastic Merry Brexit card, now you do. We want to inspire you to send a personal note to someone to remind them you’re thinking of them, even at the most unexpected times.

To celebrate the ‘Power of the Card’ we asked Dean Morris about his inspirations and why he wants to send a card to the queen…

Do you have anyone in particular in mind when you are designing your cards?

 

I try not to think of anyone in particular. I just design what I think will be funny and make people laugh (or get a reaction at least!).

In the 19 years I’ve been creating cards I think I know a little now what my customers like and expect and I like to think I usually get it right.

There’s been a few that has bombed along the way but I’m glad there’s been plenty that have really caught the public’s imagination and sold loads.

What do you think makes a great card design?

It all depends on the style of card, but for me, I’ve always gone for bold colours and with most of my ranges a really good vintage / retro image.

I do all the designing myself so there’s a house style which I wouldn’t say is necessarily on trend but seems to resonate with people. That’ll be the humour I guess…

How did you get started in designing cards?

I used to buy cards for my close family from about 15 and I would draw inside of the card as well as decorate the envelope. I did this up to about the age of 22 when university work got in the way too much but it must have been the start of my interest in cards.

I can remember the moment when I thought I could do this for a living. I was in Paperchase’s original Tottenham Court Road shop browsing through all the craft paper and in a moment of unusual self-confidence, I thought I could make cards. Simple as. I never thought I would still be doing it 20 years later but life has a habit of surprising you.

The original cards I used to make were inspired by craft paper and they were handmade with lots of glitter, sequins and Bollywood imagery. I eventually moved more into humorous designs based on old family photos and then into printed cards altogether.

Paperchase also helped me develop the business in another way in those early years too. I was making and selling my cards part-time in the first year or so but it was my initial order with Paperchase that enabled me to quit my part-time job in a building society and develop this business full time.

My Mum thought I was crazy at first but I proved her wrong! 😊

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everything around me. Being in the card bubble it’s difficult not to get inspiration from other companies so there’s a bit of that but mostly it’s just random memes on the internet, what’s in the news and crazy stuff that pops into my head at usually the most inappropriate moment. I find the subjects of alcohol always pops up to create best sellers, especially booze Britain!

 

Do you still enjoying sending – and receiving – cards?

Of course, who doesn’t love a card ? I always have a box of good cards in the office as I’m not a fan of buying cards on spec.

I always like to have a good selection to hand. I’m a big fan of letterpress and small house publishers from the US and whenever I’m there I always make a point of visiting some great independent stores to stock up.

The cards I send are often very different to the cards I publish.

What’s the best card you’ve ever been given and why?

I can’t remember the specific design, but that wasn’t important as the best one I ever received was a sympathy card of all things sent from my personal trainer after my Mum died three years ago.

We have a very relaxed friendship, full of banter all the time when I’m training. I can’t remember the exact wording inside what he wrote but it did contain the C word. Obviously, this goes against all social norms of what should be in a sympathy card but as we have that kind of friendship it really brought a smile to my face at what was a very difficult time for me.

There’s only two friends I have that could get away with putting that word in a sympathy card and him being one provided so much at such a sad time with just a little bit of folded card and a bunch of flowers.

 

If you could send a card to anyone (could be anyone, someone you know, don’t know, past or present) today who would it be and what would you say?

 

As they’re both no longer with me I’d love to be able to send a card to my Mum and Dad but what I would say is between me and them so instead I’ll be a cliché and say the Queen. I would send one of mine.

I’d like to think she would be aware of my brand as some were royal in theme years back😊 It would be funny, but not naughty, probably be about wine or gin. I’d just say I think she’s done a great job and take it easy.

Find more Dean Morris Cards here

 

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