As it really happened...
The history of our company began, as it often happens, with…
In 1994, when cassette players were playing hits from Nirvana and Ace of Base, and the computer was still an unheard of luxury, four innovative individuals gathered together in one modest little Moscow basement.
Discussing politics, economics and the weather, they suddenly realized that Russia has so many wonderful holidays, but for some reason, absolutely no good greeting cards. The situation needed to be changed.
And off it went!
The innovative individuals came to an agreement with the American company, American Greetings. They printed the first greeting cards.
Only then did they realize that there were no envelopes of the needed size. So they brought a container full of envelopes straight from the States. Then, some more.They wanted to print special cards with foil and embossing. Turned out — there was nowhere to print..
So they discovered the Kaluga Polygraphic Company, the only one in Russia where this was possible. The first customers appeared – the Russian State Post and book stores.
The new business quickly gained momentum, and sales grew by leaps and bounds—up to 60% per year! To celebrate, they bought their first computer, a Macintosh; and even found someone who knew how to turn it on. Then came the crisis,
growth of competition, business trips abroad, new ideas, contracts, partners, another crisis...
and much, much more.
But we always remembered: our world is open to everyone, and so, all will work out! Since then, the “small basement operation” moved to a large, historic building in the center of Moscow, where it continues to create greeting cards. The old Macintosh was long ago replaced by the most modern publishing hardware and technology, but from the old remain experience, love towards greeting cards, and the desire to give the gift of happiness.
- — From the small to the great! From a small company, "Art and Design" turns into a respectable group of companies, which simply requires its own manufacturing plant. The controlling packet of shares in the Kaluga Polygraphic Company now belongs to us;
- We are growing! Now, anyone can come into the supermarket "Perekrestok" or "The Seventh Continent" and buy greeting cards by "Art and Design." And across all of Russia, too!
- — We are the best! The company “Art and Design” receives a greeting cards “Oscar” in New York. The New Year’s greeting card with Snowmaiden wins first place in the “Best card in foreign language” category at the international competition, the LOUIE AWARD.
- — Progress has reached new heights! We now have a unified information management system “Galaktika”. And Galaktika is certainly a whole galaxy in itself! It ties together all the information flows about production, sales, administration and finances of the company.
- — The whole Russian Post-- it’s ours! “Art and Design” becomes the national supplier of greeting cards, envelopes and calendars to the Russian State Post. Over 40,000 post offices sell our cards.
- — Custom ordered creativity! The Company “Art Exclusive” is created to service major corporate clients—banks, industrial companies, governmental departments.
- — We have our own manufacturing and warehouse facility! We built it right next to the polygraphic plant, and now, all shipments to customers are carried out directly from Kaluga.
- — Come, don’t be stingy, buy art! We create a new company “Art&Design Licensing” so that our most famous characters could settle on the covers of notebooks, pencil cases and backpacks.
—Hey bear! The English company Paper Island introduces us to the teddy bear, Fizzy Moon; and we decide to introduce him to the whole country!
- — Unbreakable, hassle free! The Kaluga Polygraphic Company takes on the production of disposable paper tableware.
- — The competition isn’t sleeping, but we are used to being ahead of the game! This is why we create a new designer line of greeting cards, “From Heart to Heart” for those, who like it more stylish. Glitter rhinestones, feathers, ribbons—nothing is spared in the name of art!
- — Puppy love! We take in another pet — a knitted doggy named Boofle;
—Going the extra mile! The Kaluga Polygraphic Company begins producing paper gift bags;
—Our first store! The trademark retail store “Greeting cards, gifts and good mood” opens in our central office.
- —How nice is Masha, and how nice that she is ours! Now, we have even more fun because with us are the mischievous characters from Masha and the Bear, the coolest Russian cartoon;
—Floppy-eared additions! We acquire bunnies and teddies from Bearington, which make our world warmer and cozier;
—The wonders of technology! We buy the unique printing press Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-4-L-UV. No one else has one like it!
- — Even the ordinary inspires us! We are the first in Russia to begin the production of mugs — gifts with cool pictures, catchy phrases and Masha and the Bear. Yes, yes!
—NEEDO to buy NANO-cards! Now our cards blink, sing, shake, react and, overall, do the incredible! This you must see, touch and buy!
—“Art and Design” steps us again! We acquired the company “Lacart”, and display our products on the shelves of Hallmark stores.
- —We mastered the clothing industry and started making T-shirts with “Masha and the Bear”. Hip, cool and top-notch quality. We aced this one!
—Now we not only spread joy and bring happiness, but also pack it all in our wrapping paper. An incredible number of colors and designs – too much to choose from! Although why choose? Wrap it all!
—All is well where we are. Starting this year, we can be found VKontakte and on Facebook. We brought to the social networks greeting cards, exclusive wallpapers for the desktop, contests and lots of fun and interesting stuff.
—Congratulate us! We are the happy owners of equipment for the manufacture of paper bags, which includes an automatic sheet machine for production of paper bags ( ZB960C ), an automatic machine for securing the bottom of the paper bags ( ZB50B -1 ) and a machine for making string handles with clips (Y6- 1) . We executed a five-year plan in just one year!
—Hooray! A warehouse! We purchased a new warehouse in Kaluga. Now all of our gift merchandise is on the shelves, and the shelves are on four floors and the four floors occupy 3500m², and the 3,500 m² are worked by 70 people ... We are growing!
—The megapopular Hello Kitty has graced us with her presence in our wonderful greeting cards, nestled in the company of our lovely texts. Thus the series of Hello Kitty cards was born. Not far off are the paper bags and mugs with the glamorous cat!
- —We have reached the summit of the "gifts and packaging Olympus" and turned our bags into masterpieces! We decorated them with foil, bedecked with wonderful ornaments and added satin ribbon handles! A beauty to look at, and irresistible to the touch!
—Finally, the users of social networks can enjoy our greeting cards online! To all of the internet enthusiasts, for you we have started the application "Greeting cards from Art and Design" on Facebook and VKontakte! The clearest interface, most convenient filters, a mega- calendar of birthdays of friends, and much, much more. And it is absolutely free!
—We have met the expectations of all of the owners of ‘apples’ by releasing an App ‘Greeting cards from Art and Design’ for IPhone and IPad. Our most designer designs and the most positive best wishes and greetings are now available in the Apple Store.
—Super-duper-mega-wow-NEWS OF THE YEAR! (lights, fanfare, applause! ) Ta-dum! We have created the largest, most accessible, most wonderful portal of electronic greetings - "@TKRYTKI"! This is not just animated pictures, these are real mini-movies: beautiful flowers bloom, amusing characters dance and sing, fascinating stories unfold right before your eyes! This is the movies! This is @TKRYTKI.
- - We started to manufacture 3D greeting cards and magnets! It’s 3-dimantional, deep, moving designs, trendy licenses and creative texts all together, a complete illusion of immersion into the picture, this is you must see!
- We never stop making something new, we are growing, developing and expanding. We created a new product – pens with character. It’s trendy designs, great texts and bright packaging where you could right your message. Pens with character it’s a small gift and a big joy!
- Everybody wants to join a good company, everybody wants to join “Art&Design”! So, a famous Me To You Teddy Bear also joined us. We became an exclusive distributor and licensee of Me To You brand in Russia, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan. It means that now a cute grey bear with a blue nose is on our greeting cards, magnets, gift bags, calendars, wrap paper and mugs. And we also sell Me To You gifts: plush, key rings and many other nice and cute things.
- Wow! We became an exclusive Hallmark licensee in Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan. It means more greeting cards with luxury finishing, more calendars with exclusive branded designs, more beautiful gift bags, more great mugs and much, much more!
- - It was a fruitful year which brought a lot of positive changes! First of all, we made a movie about our manufacturing, now you can see how we are making our cards on YouTube.
- We mastered the technology of Hexachrom printing! It means that now we can print not by 4 but by 6 colors. And it makes our greeting cards shine bright!
- We constructed a new huge warehouse in Kaluga, at our printing facility, it’s area is 3400 square meters and the total area of all our warehouses is now over 16 000 square meters!
- We innovated a new ultramodern technique for our sales reps! Now they all have a smart phones with a special software which pass all sales information from each retail store right to our analytical center in the main office.
- We opened the first in Russia gift and greeting card branded department in Magnit hypermarket in Krasnodar. And it’s only the beginning! In the nearest time such departments will be opened in a number of other hypermarkets all over Russia.
- - This year came out so productive for us!
- We made a real revolution in Russian greeting card manufacturing! Now we have the most modern printing machine Roland 706 LV HiPrint and our cards became even more bright and foil even more elegant.
- We launched a new super product – Wall Décor Stickers. In our collection there are designs both for kids and adults, created by our designers and licensed from the famous world brands.
- We created the whole new collection of coloring products: adult coloring books, coloring greeting cards and calendars. And this line war a real furor among our customers!
- We covered more social chains. Now we have our accounts on only in Facebook but also in Vkontakte and Instagram. And our manufacturing company “Karton-Polygraf”, and our branded store also got their accounts.
- First in Russia we made a TV advertising of Christmas greeting cards!
To be continued...