The Hallmark Story
The Hallmark Card Company was founded over a century ago by Joyce Clyde Hall, the youngest son of the poor Hall family. Joyce worked hard from a young age and after his father abandoned the family, he was required to step up and help support the family. He showed an entrepreneurial streak early on, starting his first company, the Norfolk Post Card Company at age 17 and moving to Kansas City two years later, in 1910, with a vision to expand his family’s fortune and make his mark on the world.
Arriving in the large and bustling Midwest metropolis with nothing but a suitcase and two shoeboxes of postcards, J.C would have been excused for feeling overwhelmed. Living in a small apartment within the YMCA building, he begun selling his postcards through a mail order business in the local area and surrounding states, eventually opening up a store with his two brothers and beginning to manufacturer his own cards. The company, originally known as the Hall Brothers, grew rapidly and quickly became the greeting card company we know today. The Hallmark name was not printed onto cards until 1925, with the name officially switching over in 1954. The company’s global slogan, ‘when you care enough to send the very best’ was adopted in 1944 and is still used to this day.
Evolution of Hallmark logos
A true patron of the arts, J.C used his greeting card business to acquire and present to the world works by celebrated artists. He was a firm believer in bringing significant works of art to those who may not be able to see them otherwise and so hired artists from Salvador Dali to Winston Churchill to produce cards for Hallmark. He also amassed a significant corporate photographic collection including works by Southworth & Hawes, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Harry Callahan, Alfred Stieglitz and Timothy O’Sullivan. Originally exhibited in New York in 1964, the collection grew to over 6,500 works by 900 artists and was donated to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City by the Hallmark Company in 2005.
The Hallmark Company has continued to expand since its inception in 1910, taking its passion for the human connection into the Hallmark Channel, Halls Department Stores and Hallmark Gold Crown stores in the United States. Today, the Hallmark Card Company remains entirely in the hands of the Hall family, headed up by J.C Hall’s grandson Don and headquartered in Kansas City. Hallmark’s greeting cards, gift wrap and other personal expression products are translated into more than 30 languages and sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.
We believe that people love what we create, as we understand their needs better than any other greeting card company. When shopping for a card, people are seeking a sentiment and design for a particular friend, loved one or occasion and when they receive a card in the post, they understand the power of the human connection.
Christmas cards created for Hallmark by Salvador Dali
Painted by Winston Churchill for Hallmark