Graphics3’s award-winning pop-up card designs have enabled individuals and businesses to spread joy and excitement through the mail for nearly fifty years, creating countless memories and strengthening millions of relationships.
Graphics3 is an outgrowth of a family printing business founded in 1934 by a Swedish migrant, Per Gothard Herlin. Then, just as today, creative and exciting mail meant impactful advertising and higher response. In 1974 Robert M. Herlin founded Graphics3 in Jupiter, Florida, inviting illustrator and designer Lowell Hess to join the business from his studio in Southport, Connecticut (Lowell’s bio is below). Together, they created the world’s first rubber band-powered pop-up greeting cards. So enthusiastic was the customer response that they, in effect, put us in the greeting card business. Since that time Graphics3 has designed, manufactured, and marketed over one hundred separate and uniquely engineered pop-up card designs, as well as our ever-popular pop-up polygon desk calendars for promotional use.
Each year Graphics3 creates new designs and showcases our collection to customers via our mail catalog. Customers enjoy the fanfare that results from unique hand made cards that friends and associates put on display during the holidays – and often collect to display in seasons to come. We look forward to helping you create memorable moments that stand out, whatever the occasion.
Lowell Hess… Illustrator, Designer, Paper Engineer
“Almost everything that guy ever did makes my head explode.”
– A contemporary illustrator, commenting on Lowell Hess’ work.
Lowell Hess, the original genius behind many of Graphics3’s card designs was an Oklahoma native. Lowell served as a lieutenant in the US Army artillery 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 and rose to prominence during the heyday of magazine illustration. Known for his “strength of line”, Lowell’s illustrations shined forth from the covers of Collier’s, New York, and Boy’s Life as well as the popular children’s Golden Books series, his work touching millions.
At Graphics3, Lowell’s considerable talents found new expression in dimensional paper where “strength of line” translated naturally into crisp, cut paper. Lowell demonstrated an uncanny ability to visualize and transform 2-d art into the 3-dimensional. A frontier was crossed when Lowell designed the first commercially viable rubber band activated pop-up Christmas cards for Graphics3. To the surprise and delight of recipients these whimsical cards transformed right before their eyes into elaborate gift-like paper miniatures. Graphics3’s customers – and their lucky recipients – have been the exclusive beneficiaries with millions of cards, and the fond memories that accompanied them, published since.
Later in life Lowell carried his good-humored dimensional vision into yet another medium; whittling fanciful woodcarvings. Once again in a prolific career that spanned six decades, Lowell Hess combined knife, brush and paper with whimsical brilliance. Anyone receiving a Graphics3 pop-up card today is a bit awestruck at the mind-bending ingenuity that could conceive and create such elaborate, highly engineered three-dimensional paper designs. Today every card Graphics3 produces is a reincarnation of the creative process begun in Lowell Hess’ studio. Customers enjoy the fanfare that results from sharing these unique hand made cards with friends and associates during the holidays; memorable keepsakes that are saved and collected for display during the holiday seasons to come.
(Graphics3 has never seen the like of Lowell Hess’s creative talents for design. If you believe you possess such skills we would be interested in knowing more.)
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; so named for Louis Prang, the father of the American Christmas card, are the greeting card industry’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Emmy, Oscar or Tony Awards. Actress Mariette Hartley hosted the event in the famed Waldorf-Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The first time entered all seven of Graphics3’s Lowell Hess designed pop-up cards were nominated as finalists in every category entered, winning outright in five of those categories and winning the industry’s highest honor, the “Louie” award for ‘Card of The Year’ in the coveted Traditional Christmas Category, for his ‘English Toy Shoppe’, a design inspired by Charles Dickens. This within an 800 company strong greeting card industry. The following year another Lowell Hess design again won the top award for Best Traditional Christmas Card.
“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.