Yvonne Robson is an Art Director at Hallmark, and was the first winner of the New Designers Hallmark award in 1998. After 20 years in the business, we thought it would be great to get her thoughts on what has changed since then, and why working with New Designers is still so important to The Hallmark Studio now.


What opportunities did you get from New Designers?

I embraced all the opportunities I received at New Designers and was lucky enough to spend some time working in London, exhibiting at galleries and trade shows here and abroad, creating commissions and freelance work until accepting the job as a designer at Hallmark.


Why do you find working with New Designers so important?

New Designers is an amazing opportunity to see the newest talent under one roof at the same time.


What do you look for in graduates and their work?

I look for someone who is excited by design, shows potential or promise in their work and approach to their ideas. Someone who is curious and wants to become the best designer they can be.


What advice would you give to graduates?

Be open to every opportunity – you never know where it might lead. Be confident in showing your work and talking about your ideas.


What have been your highlights/products/ranges you have worked on that have been of note? 

I have always enjoyed developing gift presentation (wrapping paper and bags/accessories) and stationery ranges. Creating a co-ordinating range of patterns and applying them to gift wrap, bags and other items such as scrapbooks, photo albums, notecards that sit together is immensely satisfying. My accomplished style is floral painting so this type of product is my ideal.


What has changed at Hallmark over the past 20 years?

Hallmark has grown exponentially from when I first joined in 1998, when it was a small studio with just a handful of designers and no computers! The type of products we design has evolved from £1 cards to offering an entire gift solution. The challenge as designer is as exciting now as it was 20 years ago.


 How did you feel on day 1 in your role?

On day one I felt nervous but excited that I was getting paid to draw and paint!


What is the best thing about working at Hallmark?

The people. I have made so many lifelong friends here at Hallmark. The teamwork here and caring community is embedded in the culture.


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