Greeting cards have evolved a lot over the decades, but particularly over the last 10-15 years.
Card companies have become more creative with their format by creating 3D pop-ups, cards with music, customizable printable cards, and e-cards.
We've compiled a list of the best independent greeting card companies with remarkable personalities. We picked brands that demonstrate distinctive creativity with their art style, niche, format, and originality.
Table of contents (click to jump):
- 6 Noteworthy Independent Greeting Card Companies
- 6 Underrated Funny Greeting Card Companies
- 4 Best Online Greeting Card Companies
- Wholesale Greeting Card Companies
6 Noteworthy Independent Greeting Card Companies
Expressive Designs with Hysterical Concepts: Explicit Contents
Explicit Contents, which is our brand, fuses explicit, ironic, and dark humor concepts into witty watercolor artwork.
Our jokes may be inappropriate by traditional standards, but are relatable to anyone with a good sense of humor.
Thoughts and Prayers is a prime example of our unorthodox and playful concepts, often featuring a hilarious punchline on the inside.
This particular design is dark and ironic, implying that the male groom from the cover was devoured by his bride on their wedding night on the inside of the card.
Honorary Mention: One of our most popular cards is the Anonymous F**K YOU Card. You won't find another card on the market that combines in-your-face profane humor with such elegant, playful artwork. It's the epitome of our line's unique positioning within the humor market.
Vibrant Color with Minimalist Designs: Paper&Stuff
Paper&Stuff offers a card line full of striking colors. They typically feature simple graphics combined with brilliant colors to produce eye-catching products. Their designs are a testimony that simple can be better.
Run Away with Me - Like this sample, most of their designs use basic colors. By using the perfect mix of colors on minimalist designs, Michele creates a beautiful experience for customers' senses.
Paper&Stuff has a robust catalog if you're seeking beautiful minimalistic designs.
Captivating Visuals Meets Sustainability: Artists To Watch
"Artists To Watch" turns to independent artists to create visually striking graphics. The visuals are designed by hand by over 40 artists, each with their own unique style.
All materials used by Artists To Watch, from their high-quality vegetable-ink to FSC certified recycled paper, are environmentally-friendly.
Birthday Card by Iris Scott is a beautiful oil finger painting by one of their featured artists. Other artists who are experts in their craft create cards using other methods/mediums.
Their intricate handmade designs make for splendid greeting cards.
Minimalistic Modern Pop Art: Paisley Paper
Paisley Paper features greeting cards influenced by modern pop art. They design the graphics with vibrant colors to enrapture the viewer.
Pop art has only increased in popularity since its introduction in the 1950s. If you're looking for cards with this theme, then you'll definitely want to check out Paisley Paper.
You're My Favorite Song - This card is an excellent example of incorporating modern pop art into their designs. It's simple, fun, and captivates the viewer's attention.
Exquisite 3D Pop-Up Greeting Cards: Up With Paper
Many of Up With Paper's cards include integrated sound clips, push-button lights, and pull-tabs. These extra features complement the intricate designs of their cards incredibly well.
Treat Yourself - This is a perfect example of their pop-up cards. The design uses pull-tabs to make the pop-ups move, adding to the overall sophistication of the design.
With almost 4 decades of experience in manufacturing greeting cards, Up With Paper's products are worth the premium they command.
Nostalgic, Elegant Luxury: Wilde House Paper
Inspired by the color of midnight and nostalgia, Wilde House Paper brings an eccentric formula to their card designs.
Cards from this brand all share the theme of nostalgic emotions from memories past, such as impromptu road trips, moonlit swims, deep conversations, and any other memory that stirs up a fondness for the past.
You Are My Everything Card - Wilde House Paper's designs bring out sentimentality in the viewer. They're a great pick to express longing for a memorable past.
6 Underrated Funny Greeting Card Companies
Female-Empowered Simplicity: Twentysome Design
Twentysome Design offers a catalog of colorful hand-lettered designs. Most of their cards deliver a powerful punch of feminist wit and female empowerment.
They practice what they preach, donating 5% of their profits to charitable organizations that fight for women's rights and interests.
Happy Holidays - Here's an ideal example of Twentysome Design's unique positioning in the greeting card industry. This design is a good mix of pleasant colors and lively hand-lettered text that sprinkles in a dash of wit.
They have some fantastic cards for men as well. Be sure to check out their whole catalog and let their style & approach speak to you.
Letterpress Printed Life Observations: 417 Press
A multiple award-winning brand from Montreal that's well-known for their insightful humor and wit.
Their letterpress printed cards are easy on the eyes and appealing to the mind. A reliable go-to for fun letterpress cards.
Live to Terrify - This card is a prime example of how 417 press weaves together life's insightful humor with a pleasing font. You'll also find that products in their catalog feature funny quotes from celebrities and writers like Audrey Hepburn and R.M. Broderick.
Fun, Nice, and Minimalist: Chez Gagné
With the tag line, "If you can't make it nice, make it funny," this Los-Angeles-based brand makes their mark on an entire catalog of gift-related products, such as greeting cards, drink-ware, bath products, and more.
Hope You're Feline Better - This example is representative of their greeting card catalog. A witty and funny one-liner punctuated using a minimalist metal emblem.
Chez Gagne is another eye-pleasing brand to add to your "best letterpress cards" list.
Foul-Mouthed Fun: Potty Mouth Press
Potty Mouth Press is a highly-rated "Star Seller" on Etsy. Advertised as "Awful cards for awesome people," their cards pack a punch of bold and uncensored humor.
Good Times - Potty Mouth Press uses a black and white palette for all of their cards, opting for very simple artwork in the rare instances that they're featured alongside their Courier-based messages.
This minimalist approach effectively focuses all of the reader's attention on one thing: the message.
Loud and Simple: Paper Orchid Shop
Another text-centered card brand designed with simplicity in mind. Paper Orchid blends funny, uncensored, and sarcastic expressions with minimalist design.
People Are Stupid - The majority of their card feature bold, text-only designs. They're very similar to Potty Mouth Press, but with a bit more of a "modern" look.
Silly Playful Pop Art: Sleazy Greetings
Inspired by pop culture jokes and modern pop art, Sleazy Greetings is a rising star. This brand turns to a wide range of topics for their jokes, from politics and celebrity news to puns.
Plunder - Sleazy Greetings often features playful, comical puns in their designs. A cartoonish pop-art-style influences most of their graphics.
4 Best Online Greeting Card Companies
Physical greeting cards are still more personal and have a greater effect on the recipient, but online greeting cards are a great substitute when snail mail just isn't an option.
Lighthearted, Sweet and Convenient: Punch Bowl
This is one of the original e-card brands. Punch Bowl offers monthly subscriptions that allows users to send up to 10 electronic cards starting at $3/month.
Higher-level subscriptions allow you to send up to 500 cards a month and schedule delivery.
Their catalog is comprised of sweet and lighthearted e-cards. All designs are customizable. Users also have the option of adding a video message and/or including a gift card along with their e-greeting.
Eccentric Animated Joy: Jacquie Lawson
Jacquie Lawson allows users to send animated electronic greeting cards.
For an annual subscription to Jacquie Lawson, subscribers are allowed to send unlimited animated e-cards. The cards use a short video presentation that includes audio before displaying your customized message.
Jacquie Lawson's graphic style is "Flash-influenced" digital art.
These are high-quality digital products made with a lot of effort, and hold a unique position in the market of electronic greeting cards.
The More the Merrier: Group Greeting
Group Greeting's electronic greeting cards cost $5 each if the sender isn't subscribed to a plan.
Their unique service provides the customer with a link for their card, which you can send to others to sign & add messages to. The finished card is then sent to the recipient on your designated delivery date.
Group Greeting features a variety of art styles, from pop art to cartoon. Their catalog also includes cards with animated graphics.
Creative Versatility: Smilebox
Smilebox gives subscribers full customizability of their e-cards.
Membership starts at $5 a month. You begin by choosing a template, and then customize every detail of your e-card.
At the higher-priced subscription tier, you can attach your own audio to the e-card, along with other perks.
The possibilities are only limited by your creativity. Templates are available to start, but you have full ability to customize every detail.
Wholesale Greeting Card Companies
Here's the info for the card companies on this list that are available for retailers and store owners to purchase via wholesale bulk orders.
If you're looking for more up-and-coming brands to stock in your store, check out our Wholesale Greeting Cards compilation.
Wholesale Contact: Ian P.
Wholesale Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wholesale Phone #: (214) 699-7250
Complete Wholesale Details & Sample Request »
Contact: Michele B.
Artists To Watch
Up With Paper
Wilde House Paper
Contact: Sadie. T.
Thanks For Dropping By!
We appreciate you stopping by our list of the 16 best independent greeting card and e-card companies.
Please share your thoughts about this list using the comments section below. If you have any suggestions for other greeting card and e-card brands that are worthy of this list, don't hesitate to drop that in the comments too!