19 April 2006
Greeting Cards(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 02,2006)
|Glittering beading and colourful stick-on Christmas motifs make these greeting cards from D.D. Industries Ltd stand out from the crowd|
E-cards may be blooming in the virtual world but a tangible greeting card still makes a difference - especially when Hong Kong manufacturers enliven them with touching designs, new finishing techniques and intricate handwork.
One such company is Verdi Label Printing Product Co Ltd, which ventured into greeting card production six years ago and has established a firm foothold in the US and European markets.
Marketing manager Leo Lau notes that the 23-year-old company has found an edge in special effects and printing on plastic sheets, and is supplying overseas importers on an OEM basis.
"Printing on plastic sheet requires special ink and production techniques," Lee explains. "Not many suppliers in the market are doing it."
Incorporated in 1983, Verdi Label Printing operates a 4,000-square-foot office in Hong Kong that takes care of administration, sales and pre-production development; while its 40,000-square-foot, 250-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland handles production.
Utilising paper from Canada, Finland and Brazil, and PP, PVC and PET from Korea, the mainland and Taiwan, Verdi produces 150,000-200,000 cards monthly.
A UL licence-holder since 1998, Verdi's minimum order quantity and pricing depend on design variation, while delivery normally takes 30 days after order confirmation.
Handmade greeting cards are the specialty of Man Sang Envelope Mfg Co Ltd, a 25-year-old manufacturer that also offers other paper stationery to retailers and importers in the UK, the US, Germany, Australia and Japan.
With more than 10 years' experience in producing handmade greeting cards, Man Sang prides itself on its ability to offer buyers a well-rounded service.
"Very often our OEM customers just provide a brief design or idea, some of which may not be workable," senior sales manager Mei Yeung says. "But our team has the expertise to find the most cost- and time-effective way to achieve the desired effect."
Man Sang also offers its own designs, and now has an inventory of more than 1,000 handmade and machined versions.
"Our latest handmade cards are also enhanced with very fine stick-on, laser-cut patterns, while our machine-made cards are jazzed up with flocking, embossing and glitter effects," Yeung explains.
Man Sang's 600,000-square-foot, 1,200-worker, ISO 9002-certified factory in Dongguan on the mainland produces 500,000-1,000,000 items a month. "Minimum orders are negotiable and shipment takes 4-6 weeks after order confirmation," Yeung adds.
A relative newcomer, eight-year-old APO Ltd has already built a thriving business selling its noughts & crosses-brand greeting cards to specialty stores in the US and Europe as well as importers in Japan.
"Many customers are after our designs, which reflect a European flair and are very different from our Asian counterparts," claims managing director Ray Lam, adding that this is probably due to the fact that APO employs a UK-born designer.
Some 80% of APO's business is OEM, and the firm offers 30-50 new designs each year - including core items such as 3D ornament cards and photo cards.
"These cards are packed flat and can be reshaped into a 3D form and hung like Christmas tree ornaments," Lam explains.
APO uses paper imported from Thailand, Japan and Taiwan in its 18,000-square-metre, 420-worker factory in Panyu on the mainland.
"We require a minimum order of 3,000 packs of 12 cards per design, and the lead time is 35-50 days after order confirmation," Lam advises.
Veteran manufacturer Glory Moon Greeting Cards Co Ltd has its own Glory Moon brand and has also been offering OEM greeting cards to the US and Europe since its inception in 1964.
Glory Moon currently boasts monthly production of 156 million cards, which are manufactured at its 900,000-square-foot, 5,000-worker factory in Panyu.
"We produce high-end greeting cards, which usually require at least three kinds of processing and encompass finishes such as UV glitter, silk-screen printing with pearlised ink, textured hot stamping and spot UV," explains assistant to the general manager Georgina Au.
She notes that the recent crossover of greeting cards and social stationery has seen Glory Moon begin producing assorted greeting cards with keepsake boxes and matching social stationery, gift wrap and gift bags. "Everything is manufactured in-house," Au adds.
A new mainland factory in Guangdong Province that will feature four new offset printing machines will further boost the company's production capacity and help reduce logistics costs by storing up to 200 TEUs of finished cards.
"We require a minimum order of one FEU of assorted designs, and delivery takes 45 days," concludes Au.
Given local manufacturers' commitment to better design and service, Hong Kong cards will certainly continue to be greeted with pleasure in markets worldwide.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
188 Sun Wan Rd
Sheung Shui, New Territories
D. D. Industries Ltd
Vanta Ind Centre
21-33 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Glory Moon Greeting Cards Co Ltd
Hope Sea Ind Centre
26 Lam Hing St
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Man Sang Envelope Mfg Co Ltd
Rms 2A-D, Blk 2
Camel Paint Bldg
58-62 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Panastar Printing Ltd
Eastern Commercial Centre
83 Nam On St
Shau Kei Wan