Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Hallmark Cards, Inc. is a private, family-owned American company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1910 by Joyce Hall, Hallmark is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States.[2] In 1985, the company was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[3]

Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Industry Retail, greeting card, television
Founded Kansas City, Missouri, United States (January 10, 1910; 108 years ago (1910-01-10))
Founder Joyce Hall
Headquarters 2501 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Area served
Key people
Donald J. Hall Sr.
Donald J. Hall Jr.
David E. Hall
  • Greeting Cards
  • Gift Wrap
  • Party Goods
  • Giftware
  • Stationery
  • Electronic Greetings
  • Keepsake Ornaments
  • Media/Entertainment
Revenue Increase US $4.0 billion (2016)[1]
Owner Hall family
Number of employees

In addition to greeting cards, Hallmark also manufactures such products as party goods, gift wrap, and stationery. They acquired Binney & Smith in 1987, and would later change its name to Crayola, LLC after its well-known Crayola brand of crayons, markers and colored pencils. Hallmark has also had a long foray in the television business, having produced the long-running Hallmark Hall of Fame series since 1951, and launching the Hallmark Channel 50 years later (replacing an earlier joint venture with The Jim Henson Company, Odyssey Network).



Hallmark corporate headquarters entrance.
Hallmark corporate offices.
A Hallmark Store in Markville Shopping Centre.

Joyce Clyde Hall became enthralled by a salesman who stopped by his family's store in 1906 in Norfolk, Nebraska. 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 the larger market of Kansas City. As time went on, Hall became 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.”[citation needed]

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 at the stationery store and substituted fancy French envelope lining paper. After selling the lining paper again the next year, the Hall Brothers started printing their own specifically design wrapping paper.[4] In 1922, the company expanded throughout the country.[5] The staff grew from 4 to 120 people, and the line increased from holiday cards to include everyday greeting cards.

In 1928, the company introduced the brand name Hallmark, after the hallmark symbol used by goldsmiths in London in the 14th century, and began printing the name on the back of every card. That same year, the company became the first in the greeting card industry to advertise their product nationally. Their first advertisement appeared in Ladies' Home Journal and was written by J.C. Hall himself.[5] In 1931, the Canadian William E. Coutts Company, Ltd., a major card maker, became an affiliate of Hall Brothers – their first international business venture.

In 1944, it adopted its current slogan, "When you care enough to send the very best." It was created by C. E. Goodman, a Hallmark marketing and sales executive, and written on a 3x5 card.[6] The card 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 80 Emmy Awards.[7] 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.[8] In 1958, William E. Coutts Company, Ltd. was acquired by Hallmark. Until the 1990s, Hallmark's Canadian branch was known as Coutts Hallmark.

In 1998, Hallmark made a number of acquisitions, including Britain-based Creative Publishing (a recent spinoff of Fine Art Developments), and U.S. based InterArt.[9][10]


Worldwide, Hallmark has over 27,000 employees; 20,000 of them work in the United States, about 5,600 of whom are full-time employees. About 2,700 Hallmarkers work at the Kansas City headquarters.[1]


Donald J. Hall Sr. serves as chairman. Donald J. Hall Jr. serves as CEO. David E. Hall is the company president.[1]

Creative resourcesEdit

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 servicesEdit

Hallmark offers or has offered the following products and services:

Greeting cardsEdit

Hallmark birthday cards

Hallmark Cards feature several brands and licenses. Shoebox, the company's line of humorous cards, evolved from studio cards. Maxine (by John Wagner), was introduced in 1986 when she appeared on several Shoebox cards the year the alternative card line was launched. hoops&yoyo, were characters created by Bob Holt and Mike Adair. Revilo is another popular line, 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. Image Craft was acquired by the William E. Coutts Company subsidiary of Hallmark Canada in the mid-2000s.

Hallmark has provided software for creating and printing cards. This software has been known as Hallmark Card Studio, with partner Nova Development, and Microsoft Greetings Workshop in partner with Microsoft.[11]

Gift productsEdit

  • Gifts, Greeting Cards
  • Hallmark Flowers
  • Keepsake Ornaments and other Christmas ornaments
  • Road Rovers: diecast cartoon vehicles[12]
  • Books
  • Stationery
  • Sentimental Frames
  • Recordable Plush
  • Itty-Bittys
  • Bookmarks


Some of the licensors for Hallmark's greeting cards, ornaments, and gift products include:

Hallmark Visitors CenterEdit

The Hallmark Visitors Center is located at the company's headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. The Center features exhibits about the company's history including historic greeting cards and postcards, Christmas ornaments, exhibits from the company's art collection, and displays about the Hallmark Hall of Fame programs and awards.[14] There is also a movie about the company's history.

Hallmark School StoreEdit

Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire, 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.[15]

Subsidiaries and assetsEdit

A Hallmark Gold Crown franchise in Evansville, Indiana.
A Crayola pack of 64 crayons.

Hallmark owns:

  • Crayola LLC (formerly Binney & Smith): makers of Crayola-brand crayons
  • DaySpring Greeting Cards, is the world's largest Christian greeting card company. It was purchased in 1999 from Cook Publishing and is based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
  • 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.[16]
  • Hallmark Channel: cable television network—Hallmark Cards owns this now privately held company (Crown Media Holdings), having acquired the stake it didn't own from Liberty Media; the network launched the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries sister channel (formerly known as Hallmark Movie Channel) in January 2004
  • Hallmark Gold Crown: a chain of independently-owned card and gift stores in the United States and Canada. Certain locations are corporate operated.
  • Hallmark Business Connections: Incentives—Reward programs, recognition programs and online gift certificates;
  • Halls, an upscale department store at Kansas City's Crown Center
  • Feeln: A premium subscription video on-demand (SVOD) service that is the primary streaming provider of the Hallmark Hall of Fame library of films, along with a curated collection of Hollywood features, TV series and original productions.
  • Rainbow Brite: a franchise of children's dolls; includes the TV series produced by DIC Entertainment, but not the movie, which is owned by Warner Bros.)
  • Shirt Tales: a franchise of cards, featuring animals with shirts that read different messages; does not include the TV series series created by Hanna-Barbera Productions (owned by Turner Entertainment)
  • Sunrise Greetings: Located in Bloomington, IN
  • Zoobilee Zoo: a 1986 TV show, centered around a zoo populated by animals with artistic tastes

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

Photographic CollectionEdit

In 2006, Hallmark donated its Hallmark Photographic Collection, an extensive collection of photographs by prominent photographers including Todd Webb, to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.[17]

Hallmark MusicEdit

In the Philippines, singer Richard Tan sang a song about Hallmark Cards, entitled "No One Throws Away Memories". The song was featured in a commercial of the product in the 1970s.[18]

In the mid-1980s, the company started its music division, issuing compilation albums by a number of popular artists.[citation needed] In 2004, Hallmark entered into a licensing agreement with Somerset Entertainment to produce Hallmark Music CDs.[citation needed]

Former subsidiariesEdit

Copyright lawsuitsEdit

Neil Armstrong sued Hallmark Cards in 1994 after they used his name and a recording of his quote, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" in a Christmas ornament without permission. The lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money which Armstrong donated to Purdue University. The case caused Armstrong and NASA to be more careful about the use of astronaut names, photographs and recordings, and to whom he had granted permission. For non-profit and government public-service announcements, he would usually give permission.[20]

On September 6, 2007, Paris Hilton filed an injunction lawsuit against Hallmark Cards Inc., titled Hilton v. Hallmark Cards, 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 photograph 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 February 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.[21] The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviewed the case and "denied Hallmark's motion to dismiss". Hilton and Hallmark Cards Inc. later settled out of court.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Hallmark Corporate Information | Hallmark Facts". Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Hallmark Cards – Joyce Hall Invented Hallmark Cards". Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Lifetime Honors: National Medal of Arts". National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ Garber, Megan (December 22, 2012). "Wrappers' Delight: A Brief History of Wrapping Paper". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 10, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Early Innovation 1910s–30s". Hallmark Corporate. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Brand Legacy". Hallmark Corporate. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Hallmark Hall of Fame". Hallmark Corporate. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Joyce C. Hall". Encyclopædia Britannica. April 27, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017. the 'Hallmark' brand name, introduced in 1923, did not become part of the company's name until 1954 
  9. ^ "Hallmark Cards agrees to buy British competitor". Southeast Missourian. Associated Press. July 10, 1998. 
  10. ^ "Hallmark buys firm". Victoria Advocate. September 11, 1998. 
  11. ^ "Microsoft and Hallmark Connections Team Up to Offer Microsoft Greetings Workshop" (Press release). Microsoft. September 11, 1996. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Hallmark Road Rovers". Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Filstar Distributors Corporation". Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Official site". Hallmark Visitors Center. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  15. ^ "". Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  16. ^ Carol Krol (October 16, 2006). "Marketers find opportunities for better targeting ROI". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (February 18, 2006). "For a Dear Museum: Love, Hallmark". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  18. ^ Yalong, Bobby T. (November 21, 2014). "Jose Mari Chan juggles between his music and business enterprise". Asian Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Facts about Hallmark's Major Subsidiaries". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. 
  20. ^ Hansen, James R. (2005). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. Simon & Schuster. p. 628. ISBN 0-7432-5751-0. 
  21. ^ "Paris Hilton Sues Over Hallmark Card". The Smoking Gun. September 7, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  22. ^ Carter, T.; Juliet Lushbough Dee; Harvey L. Zuckman (2014) [1983]. Mass Communication Law in a Nutshell (7th ed.). St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-314-28063-3. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 

External linksEdit