About Bug Art
Bug Art have been trading for over 20 years and are internationally recognized as publishers of quality art greeting cards.
Originally from York, Jane Crowther graduated from Kingston Polytechnic in 1986 with an Honours degree in Illustration. Later, whilst based in North London, Jane designed a small range of greeting cards to supplement her meagre income as an artist, initially selling them at craft fairs alongside her paintings – and Bug Art was born.
These first cards, called the Snout range, featured a cute little bug character with a plastic nose and wobbly eyes. The earliest Snout cards were a labour-intensive cottage industry – they were hand-painted and the noses and eyes were glued on by hand.
Bug Art attended several trade shows before the Snouts attracted significant attention. There was nothing else like them on the market and soon agents and distributors began to show an interest. As trade started to pick up – and with Jane increasingly overcome by spray paint and glue - it was clear that she needed to upgrade her production methods. She was able to invest in four-colour printed cards and bespoke coloured noses.
The orders started to roll in and within a couple of years Bug Art had acquired a team of agents covering most of Britain and distributors covering North America, Australasia and parts of Europe. Friends and family were employed to keep up with demand.
The range proved hugely popular and over the next 10 years would sell in their millions right across the world.
A second range was released in 1993 and although different in style was again a great success. These innovative cards were more of an art card and had a handmade-paper design and were enhanced by the use of foil and embossing. This Paper & Foil range is still one of Bug Art's best-selling ranges and is regularly updated with new designs.
In 1995 Jane and Bug Art moved to Nottingham. They started from a small industrial unit and soon expanded into offices and a larger warehouse in 1998. In 1999, Jane's sister Anne joined the company as a non-executive director. Anne, a chartered accountant with many years of consultancy experience, initiated and oversaw the financial and logistical restructuring of the business.
In 2002 Anne and Chris Griffiths (Bug Art's general manager) founded A La Carte to provide warehousing, distribution and credit control services to greeting card publishers - with Bug Art as its first client. Jane was now able to concentrate on her role as Art Director for Bug Art.
In the same year Bug Art released the Jewel range. The innovative use of 'jewel-like' foil embossing against black backgrounds provided a classic yet contemporary look, which again has had lasting appeal.
Every Bug Art design has a tiny little bug hidden somewhere in the image (with the exception of sympathy cards). This was originally done as a way to link the art ranges to the original cartoon-style bugs of the Snout range.
Bug Art release up to three new ranges a year and add new images to refresh successful existing ranges. In recent years, Jane has commissioned designs from and worked in partnership with other artists. This has expanded and broadened the appeal of the Bug Art portfolio.
Having come a long way since the first Snout range, Bug Art is now broadly recognized as a publisher of quality art greeting cards. Printed on high quality board, most of the ranges are embellished with a variety of finishes designed to enhance the artwork onto which they are applied. The design, printing, finishing and packing of Bug Art Cards are all done within a 50-mile radius of Nottingham, an area with a renowned history in printmaking and the master crafts affiliated with the industry. This local craftsmanship is a major asset to Bug Art’s international reputation as a designer of quality greeting cards.
Bug Art has on several occasions received formal recognition both for its designs and the quality of their production, having been nominated several times for various internationally-recognised industry awards.
In the UK the company sells to independent retailers, small chains and quality department stores. Internationally, Bug Art continues to enjoy growth in exports, with distributors in over twenty countries including Australia, USA, New Zealand and most of Europe. The majority of Bug Art cards have no text and therefore sell well in non English-speaking countries.
The Bug Art website was launched in 1998. In 2009 an online ordering facility was introduced (for UK customers only).