“We draw our design ideas from a wide variety of social and cultural sources, but the creation and production of our pop-up cards is very much an art. Every card is highly unique in its innovative design, from the paper to the rubber band that makes them pop.”
– Lowell Hess, Graphics3 Paper Engineer / illustrator on winning both “Card of the Year” and “Best Traditional Christmas Card” during the International Greeting Card Awards the first time entered.
In 1974, Lowell Hess created Graphics3’s first rubber band activated pop-up Christmas card. These never-before-seen “pop-up” cards were mailed exclusively to customers and friends for Christmas that season. To the delight of recipients, these cards magically transformed into elaborate, freestanding holiday designs for display on the table or hanging from the Christmas tree. Our customer’s enthusiasm for purchasing these cards for their own use put Graphics3 in the greeting card business. 2024 will be our 50th anniversary, capping a family legacy in the printing business that started in 1934.
Today, Graphics3 is America’s original pop-up greeting card company, a family business founded on an American design innovation. Sophisticated engineering is our hallmark. Made by hand in North America, Graphics3’s card designs are famously freestanding, uniquely displayable, and more fully dimensional ‘in-the-round’.
Our customers appreciate our whimsically unique designs, quantity-based pricing, single-stamp postage, – and especially hearing from their own enthusiastic recipients who save their Graphics3 Christmas cards to put on display year after year!
Our Christmas cards are not sold in stores. We enjoy working directly with customers, a focus has earned Graphics3 decades of loyalty and the high privilege of being part of our customer’s holiday celebrations for nearly 50 years. Our portfolio of over 100 unique card designs and pop-up calendars keeps our customers on top, season after season.
Along with the 3-dimensional Christmas cards, Graphics3 manufactures our rubber band-activated pop-up polygon design, an intriguing and fully 3d geometric pop-up ball shape with 14 different sides popular for desk calendars, custom printed greetings, and direct mail promotions people keep – all mail for a single stamp. We showcase our collection for customers each year via our annual catalog.
About Lowell Hess… Paper engineer extraordinaire:
“Almost everything that guy ever did makes my head explode.”
– A contemporary illustrator, commenting on Lowell Hess’ work.
Lowell Hess was the inventive genius behind many of Graphics3’s original pop-up card designs. An Oklahoma native, Lowell served as a lieutenant in the US Army in Europe during World War II and later attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Lowell came of age as a commercial artist in post-war New York City, the heyday of magazine illustration. Lowell’s illustrations shined from the covers of Collier’s, New York Magazine, and Boy’s Life as well as the hugely popular children’s Golden Book series, touching the lives of millions.
Beyond great art, Lowell Hess possessed an uncanny ability to visualize 3-dimensional transformations from flat 2-dimensional art, combining knife, paper and brush with brilliance long before computers. For centuries, wonderfully talented paper engineers had taken the art of pop-up design and engineering to new heights from between the covers of wonderful books. Lowell Hess conceived freestanding designs that required no cover at all – a hidden rubber band would create the magic on opening an envelope! Graphics3’s customers and their lucky recipients have been the exclusive beneficiaries of Lowell’s very original creativity ever since, with millions of fond memories attached.
International Greeting Card Association Awards: “Card of the Year”
Graphics3 entered seven of Lowell Hess’s original pop-up card designs for the first time in the International Greeting Card Awards held by the Greeting Card Association in conjunction with the 1990 National Stationary Show held in New York City. The “Louie Awards”, named after the father of the American Christmas card Louie Prang, are the greeting card industry’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Emmy, Oscar or Tony Awards. Actress Mariette Hartley hosted the ceremony in the famed Waldorf-Astoria’s Grand Ballroom.
The first time Lowell’s pop-up cards were entered, all seven entries were finalists in each nominated category, winning top honors outright in five categories and winning the award for ‘Card of the Year’, the industry’s highest honor, for his ‘English Toy Shoppe’, a Charles Dickens themed Graphics3 rubber band-activated pop-up card. This design also won the top award for the Best Traditional Christmas Card. The following year, another Lowell Hess design won the top award for, Best Traditional Christmas Card; two years in a row.