Friday, 13 February 2015

Designer Profile - JoJo Norris

We are currently rolling out our project "On the Cards" to several Universities around the country, this is in partnership with G.F.Smith, the Greeting Card Association, Sherwood Press and the House of Illustration. This is to promote the Greetings Card industry to young graduates who may not consider Greeting Cards as a viable career path. In house we are proud to have 3 fairly recent graduate working for us, over the next few weeks we will take a look into the world of our designers and have a conversation with them about entering into the industry and their thoughts on this career path.

JoJo Norris has been a designer with Paper Rose and The Art Group for nearly 4 years since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011, she moved to Nottingham after graduating and the rest, as they say, is history...

I wasn’t aware of the creative potential in greeting cards when I studied Illustration at University. When I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011, I moved to Nottingham with a plan to be a full time freelance Illustrator. I'd only been in Nottingham for a week when I just happened to spot the Designer position availability at Paper Rose and thought ‘Wow, that job sounds like fun!’ and I just couldn’t believe it when I actually got the job! I learnt more about design and print production in one week of working at Paper Rose than I did in my 4 years at University.

Each day is different, and even after 3 years I still look forward to work in the morning (that’s definitely got to be a good sign!).I think when someone hears ‘Greeting Card Designer’ they think of literally JUST greeting cards, but in reality we actually work on all kinds of exciting projects from product design to exhibition curation. We're always working on developing something  
contemporary and innovative. It’s a brilliant career path that offers huge amounts of creative opportunity. 

I think the greeting card industry has been vastly underestimated by many universities- it  wasn't something that we were encouraged to pursue; I'd never even considered a career in this field. As a student I felt like I was constantly encouraged to 'develop a style', I often felt a bit pigeon holed and unable to express the variety of concepts and techniques I wanted.  However what I enjoy most about greeting card design is how variety is encouraged and versatility is supported. 

In the several years I've worked here, I've enjoyed developing and updating many of my own card ranges. One of my ranges Magpie even helped to win a Henries award in 2014 (the highest 
accolade in the industry!) which was a great confidence booster and also great confirmation that I made the right choice in choosing my career. 

I’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to maintain my freelance career too, which is very important to me. Since working at Paper Rose I’ve illustrated two children’s books, packing design, CD covers, all kinds of things!  I can balance my freelance illustration comfortably 
alongside the full time work, and I also really love working in the studio alongside amazing 
creative people. (I’d go a bit stir crazy being on my own all day!) 


  1. Fantastic, how great to be bringing fresh new talent to the world!

  2. Fantastic, how great to be bringing fresh new talent to the world!