Happy anniversary to Hallmark Cards at 100

Hallmark, you hide your age well.

Like many 100-year-olds, the card company is sweet, traditional and occasionally crass.

But in its centennial year, Hallmark stays young and fresh because it has to, amid the rise of e-cards, e-mail, social networking and, generally, the changing platforms of communication. Declining sales last year forced the corporation to eliminate 550 to 750 positions — about 6 to 8 percent of the workforce.

To draw a straying market back to the Kansas City-based brand, Hallmark has pioneered card trends, such as cards with sound and, more recently, customizable greetings that users create online and the company prints, stamps and sends. The company also sharpened its edge with the new One Tough Chick line, which tackles tough topics such as cancer with playful language like this: “Chemo sucks.”

Read the complete story at