|Numéro de publication||WO2010018373 A1|
|Type de publication||Demande|
|Numéro de demande||PCT/GB2009/001976|
|Date de publication||18 févr. 2010|
|Date de dépôt||12 août 2009|
|Date de priorité||12 août 2008|
|Autre référence de publication||EP2331346A1|
|Numéro de publication||PCT/2009/1976, PCT/GB/2009/001976, PCT/GB/2009/01976, PCT/GB/9/001976, PCT/GB/9/01976, PCT/GB2009/001976, PCT/GB2009/01976, PCT/GB2009001976, PCT/GB200901976, PCT/GB9/001976, PCT/GB9/01976, PCT/GB9001976, PCT/GB901976, WO 2010/018373 A1, WO 2010018373 A1, WO 2010018373A1, WO-A1-2010018373, WO2010/018373A1, WO2010018373 A1, WO2010018373A1|
|Exporter la citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citations de brevets (5), Référencé par (1), Classifications (3), Événements juridiques (2)|
|Liens externes: Patentscope, Espacenet|
A GREETINGS CARD Field of Invention
The present invention relates to a greetings card. The present invention relates to, in particular, a greetings card which overcomes an apparent short-term nature of cards.
Background to the Invention
A greetings card generally comprises an illustrated, folded card featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment. Although greetings cards are usually given on special occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas, or other holidays, they are also sent to convey thanks or express other feelings. Greetings cards, usually packaged with an envelope, come in a variety of styles. There are both mass- produced as well as handmade versions that are distributed by hundreds of companies large and small. Whilst typically inexpensive, more elaborate cards with die-cuts or glued-on decorations may cost up to GB £5 each, or more.
In the United Kingdom it is presently estimated that nearly two billion pounds sterling are spent on greetings cards every year, with the average person sending 55 cards per year. In western societies and increasingly in other societies, many people traditionally mail seasonally themed cards to their friends and relatives in December at or around Christmas time. Many service businesses also send cards to their customers in this season, usually with a Christmas message or what is deemed by some to be a universally acceptable non-religious message such as "happy holidays" or "seasons' greetings".
Irrespective of the event, greetings cards can be effective tools to communicate important feelings to people that other individuals or families care about: The custom of sending greetings cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of goodwill to celebrate the New Year; the early Egyptians conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. By the early 1400s, handmade paper greetings cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year's greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, and handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to mid-1400s.
By the 1850s, the greetings card had been transformed from a relatively expensive, handmade and hand-delivered gift to a popular and affordable means of personal communication, due largely to advances in printing and mechanization. This was followed by new trends like Christmas cards, the first of which appeared in published form in London in 1843 when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John C Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends and acquaintances. In the 1860s, companies like Charles Bennett began the mass production of greetings cards. Well known artists were employed as illustrators and card designers.
Technical developments like colour lithography in 1930 propelled the manufactured greetings card industry forward. This has resulted in a reduction in the cost of cards, but a trend has developed such that once a card has been displayed for a period of time - for example two weeks or so - then the card is either disposed of or filed as a keepsake - especially in the case of the exchange of cards by lovers or, for example, a wedding album, when cards are retained along with photographs and other mementoes. As a direct result, the quality of a card is typically not particularly good; cards are made to a price and a typical card is disposed of within a relatively shot period of time. Additionally, since so many cards celebrate an event, once a period of time after the event has expired; then the card is disposed, typically irrespective of the quality of the card.
Notwithstanding the above, some people will wish to retain a card because of the quality of print, a fondness of the picture, illustration or message. If left upon a mantelpiece or similar surface, it will get dusty, tend to be knocked off and may be liable to distort over a period of time. Sometimes the front face of a card is separated by scissors and mounted within a picture frame; however this is quite unusual; a card inevitably is unlikely to be further displayed.
In another scenario, a person, family, group or the like may be photographed before a particular site - e.g. a well-known location such as Nelson's Column etc. - a photograph is produced, inserted in a frame or merely forgotten after being placed in a photo-album / left as an entry on a memory card associated with a camera. Despite the recorded image, there exists no memento or other tangible memory of the event.
Object of the Invention
The present invention seeks to provide a solution to the problems addressed above. The present invention seeks to provide a greetings card or memento which is both simple and convenient to retain and display. Statement of Invention
In accordance with a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a greetings card comprising a support member adapted to engage with a picture to provide a first pictorial representation and an inside face suitable for adding a greeting; wherein the pictorial representation is mounted upon a card or card-like member which is adhesively secured to the support member; wherein in a first mode is operable to provide a greetings card and, in a second mode, when separated from the support member, provides a picture which can be adhesively secured to an object.
Thus, once a card has time-expired, the picture, being a photograph, piece of artwork (being two- or three-dimensional), water colour etc maybe utilised again and be mounted - using its own mounting means upon a further surface, being one of a substantially non-dusty or ferromagnetic surface. Indeed, further advantages of the invention include the fact that the cards can be more easily personalized and a greater choice can be provided to the consumer. Not only can the cards comprise birthday cards, greetings cards, Christmas cards and the like, they may also comprise memento cards etc..
The adhesive may comprise a first adhesive, being a pressure sensitive adhesive; once released from the support card, the picture can be adhesively secured to an object. The adhesive may comprise a second adhesive, being a magnetic card or magnetic polymer sheet, which comprises part of the card upon which the picture is mounted. Other types of, preferably releasable, adhesive may be employed. Two or more different types of adhesive may be applied to the rear of the picture card. A plastics film may be applied to the pressure sensitive adhesive applied to the rear of the picture. Further adhesives that are washable in water may also be utilised.
The card conveniently comprises a generally rectangular shape, but the invention is not limited to such a shape. The shape and size of a card are not limited to any particular dimensions.
Brief Description of the Figures
For a better understanding of the present invention, reference will now be made, by way of example only, to the Figures as shown in the accompanying drawing sheets, wherein. ■-
Figure 1 is a perspective view of cards as are typically placed upon a shelf within a house; Figures 2 a-c show how a single card is fabricated;
Figures 3a - 3h show a various embodiments of the invention; Figures 4a and 4b show specific uses of the invention; Figures 5a and 5b show further variations of the invention; Figure 6 shows a prior art card display unit; and, Figure 7 shows a point of sale arrangement.
Detailed description of the Preferred Embodiments
There will now be described, by way of example only, the best mode contemplated by the inventor for carrying out the present invention. In the following description, numerous specific details are set out in order to provide a complete understanding to the present invention. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that the present invention may be put into practice with variations of the specific.
Referring now to Figure 1, there is shown, a typical setting for a greetings card, where such cards 10, 11 are situated upon the mantelpiece 12 of a fireplace 13. The cards, as described above may be greetings cards in general, such as a thank you note, a birthday greetings card, a Christmas card etc. The cards typically comprise a piece of card, for example of a weight of 20Og per square metre; thicker or thinner cards may be employed; dependent, amongst many other things such as the size of the card and the need to bear any further decorations such as badges (for example, a badge may also be attached to a birthday card for a young child stating e.g. WI am six today"), glitter etc, and, of course, the price.
Figures 2a, 2b and 2c show how a simple card is made from a single sheet of card. Figure 2a details the inside of a card 14; Figure 2b shows the outside cover of card 14, in particular, the front and rear covers 15, 16 to the card 14; the message 18 and picture 19 are placed to the right of a fold line 20; there may be manufacturer's markings 21 on the left hand side of the fold line. Figure 2b shows the inside surface of the card 14; to the left of a fold line there may be ornamentation or it may be blank; on the right hand side, there will typically (but not necessarily) be a printed message - the sender of the card would sign the message or create his own. Figure 2c shows how the card, once folded, can be placed upon a suitable generally horizontal surface.
A first embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to Figures 3a, 3b and 3c. In Figure 3a there is shown a card 30, having a picture 31 and greeting 33 upon a first face of the card 32, with a greeting message 35 on an inside surface of support card 34 of the card 30. With reference to Figure 3b, the first face 32 of the card 30 is itself mounted upon a support card 35 and is detachable from the support card 35 together with the rear card member 35. The rear card member is hingedly connected to support card 35. With reference now to Figure 3c, the rear of the front face card 32 is shown with four different zones, 40, 41, 42 & 44. The peripheral zone 40 comprises a magnetic paper / polymeric magnetic sheet; zones 41 - 43 indicate, in this embodiment, a releasable contact adhesive, whereby two forms of adhesive are provided upon the back of a card 32. Whilst the card is in use as a card, upon a horizontal surface, the card 32 is connected to the support member 35 by means of a contact adhesive. To prevent the respective contact adhesive portions from preventing removal of the two components, a thin plastics film 44 is applied to the contact adhesive zones 41 - 43; only zone 43 is depicted with the film 44 present. Figure 3d shows the card 32, without the support element 35, or, indeed the rear of the card member 34.
Referring now to Figure 3e, there is shown a front part of a card which shows how the card, in another aspect of the invention, is created. Reference numeral 50 represents the outside face of the card, upon which the picture 31 is printed. A layer of glue, such as a contact adhesive is represented by 51, which enables a polymeric magnetic sheet 52 to be securely adhered to the card 35 that supports the picture. In turn, layer 53 comprises a permanent glue which retains a backing material 54 for a peelable adhesive layer 55. As a completed product, the peelable (releasable) adhesive adheres to a backing card 35.
Referring now to Figure 3f, there is shown a front part of a card which shows how the card, in a further aspect of the invention, is created. Reference numeral 60 represents the outside face of the card, which is arranged akin to a picture frame and comprises a polymeric magnet material and has an aperture 66 for the picture and logo 65. The picture frame can be printed upon, using suitable ink. For example, a wood effect design may be printed upon magnet material. Alternatively a printed sheet of vinyl or other material may be glued directly, but this level of detail is not shown. Layer 61 represents a permanent adhesive which adheres to a paper 62 such as satin gloss paper (or other suitable material), which can accept a releasable or peelable adhesive. The paper 62 may have to be treated to enable the releasable adhesive 63 to be adhered thereto. As in the case above, the releasable adhesive layer is attached to the backing card 35. Figure 3g shows the reverse side of Figure 3f and how the picture frame, with permanent adhesive 61 applied thereon, can have picture 61 attached thereto, as seen prior to the application of layer 62. As will be appreciated, many types of picture, photograph or other artwork can be inserted into the picture frame arrangement.
Turning now to Figure 3h, there is shown an alternative arrangement. Upon the rear side of the front card 70 bearing the main picture 31, suitably treated to accept a releasable adhesive, a layer of releasable adhesive is represented by 71, whilst 72 represents a layer of release material such as satin gloss paper, a silicon coated paper, which supports an adjacent layer of permanent adhesive 73. The permanent adhesive, in turn, attaches to a polymeric magnetic sheet 74 - which sheet may need to be keyed by a suitable mechanical or chemical procedure. Polymeric magnetic sheet 74 is securely adhered to the card 35 that supports the picture, this adhesive being a simple contact adhesive, which is not retained by the polymer magnetic sheet, instead adhering more securely to the card. In use the magnetic material is the first material to be available upon release from the card; if one wishes to stick the picture to a non-ferromagnetic material, then one would remove the polymeric magnet material from the picture with the releasable adhesive.
It has been determined that the permanent adhesive is conveniently provided as an aqueous compounded acrylic emulsion. Such adhesives are known for label, paper and film applications, where a permanent bond is required and is generally suitable for application where a permanent bond is required; it is a pressure sensitive adhesive. The releasable adhesive - sometimes referred to as super peel adhesive is also conveniently prepared as an aqueous acrylic adhesive which require low - medium tack and clean removability; it is also a pressure sensitive adhesive. The release material such as satin gloss paper, is conveniently provided as a multi-purpose machine coated paper and is typically used in flexographic, letter press and offset litho printing processes. For convenience in manufacturing, the adhesive layers may be produced separately from the picture card or the supporting card. The adhesive layers would then be manufactured, conveniently applied on separate sides of a satin gloss paper, with release liners applied after the aqueous adhesives have been applied and dried, conveniently by heating. Such preparations are available from Tenza Technologies of Saxmundham, Suffolk, United Kingdom.
It will be appreciated that the card shown on Figure 3c will be manufactured slightly differently, with the tack adhesive and the magnet adhesive lying in substantially the same plane
Figures 3a - 3h show a removable picture from a card, the size of the card and the removable picture being the same. It will be appreciated that the removable picture may be a different size, conveniently smaller. For example a motto, legend or otherwise may be present on the card, but not on the picture. Equally, the picture may have an acetate sheet or similar arranged to protect the printing ink or artwork.
In the context of the present invention, the term adhesive is intended to cover pressure sensitive adhesive, magnetic card and magnetic polymer sheet. Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) form a bond by the application of light pressure to marry the adhesive with the adherend. The bond forms because the adhesive is soft enough to flow (i.e. "wet") the adherend. The bond has strength because the adhesive is hard enough to resist flow when stress is applied to the bond. Once the adhesive and the adherend are in close proximity, molecular interactions, such as Van der Waals" forces, become involved in the bond, contributing significantly to its ultimate strength. Whilst, pressure sensitive adhesives can be designed for either permanent or removable applications, it is intended that the primary type for the present invention will be for removable applications. Removable adhesives are designed to form a temporary bond, and ideally can be removed after months or years without leaving residue on the adherend. The adhesives are typically applied so that the adhesive thickness is in the region of 0.2 - 0.5mm. The skilled man will know to vary the thickness, dependent upon likely usage and type of backing to which the adhesive will be applied, amongst other factors.
Magnetic rubber sheeting is flexible and versatile; it is considered to have properties suitable for many temporary attachment applications. It can be cut with scissors and is available with adhesive backing or brightly coloured vinyl facing. It is available in rolls and sheets and can be of the order of as low as 0.3mm. A flexible magnetic sheet material which can contain, for example, a dispersion of magnetic particles within a polymeric matrix. The polymeric matrix can be, for example, a rubber material and the magnetic particles may be ferrite particles, for example barium or strontium ferrite. The magnetic sheet may be anisotropic or isotropic. In one embodiment, the magnetic sheet is an anisotropic material. When the sheet is anisotropic, the magnetic polarity extends across the sheet from one surface to the other with the consequence that the sheets can be stacked. Due to their elastic nature polymer magnetic sheets typically do not have a tendency to curl at edges of a sheet. It will be appreciated that the magnetic polymer must be free from grease, etc when adhesives are applied thereto.
It will be appreciated, that the adhesive employed on the rear of the picture may be of a single type, such as comprising only a pressure sensitive adhesive, or only a magnetic adhesive. Indeed, in such a case, where the adhesive is of a pressure sensitive composition, the support element card 35 need not also be provided with a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive; this alternative would be less costly to manufacture than one with a mixture of magnetic adhesive and pressure sensitive adhesive. In a still further embodiment, instead of a magnet, a polymer adhesive may be employed which is of the type that can be washed with cold water to "re-fresh" its adhesive properties, whereby the photograph or artwork may be moved form time-to-time, without detriment.
Once use of the card - as such - has ended, the front card 32 can be removed from the support 35; the picture/ photograph / print/ or other artwork (to be referred to collectively, hereinafter, as the "picture") may then be displayed separately from the inside message and support of the card member 34. With reference to Figure 4a, the picture is shown mounted on a card 32 which is attached to a wall 46 of a dwelling or office, the card being attached to the wall by a pressure sensitive adhesive. Obviously, the plastic film protective sheets would need to be removed prior to placement of the pressure sensitive adhesive against a suitable surface - which would not include dusty surfaces, as would be understood. Figure 4b shows the card 32 attached to a fridge 48, in a fashion employed by devices known as fridge magnets, where a novelty including a magnet is attached to a refrigerator, the outer skin of which generally comprises a ferromagnetic material. If two adhesive types are present, then the pressure sensitive adhesive protector 44 need not be removed. It will be appreciated that many variations of the invention are possible; the degree of personalization can be enhanced and extended by virtue of the increased longevity of the card. For example, the card may comprise a plasties sheet; the picture, as mentioned above may comprise one of many kinds of artwork; it may be a three-dimensional collage, a water-colour, a photograph (the card may have one or more small apertures to enable the mounting of a passport size photograph etc. Professional caricaturists, for example can find a ready format whereby their work is enjoyed in a traditional fashion, but that the composition can be more easily be enjoyed for longer. It will be appreciated that the manner of selling the cards could change: customers could place orders online - variations can be easily attained; customers could upload digital photographs - and actual photos of friends and dogs etc can be included, rather than selecting a card with a dog that looks similar to owners, for example, a parent may include photo of child for Grandparent.
Figures 5a and 5b show how an aperture 50 in a card or layer of card associated with the rear of the card member 34 can provide a frame 52 to be used over the front face of the card. Further, the benefits of personalization are likely to be so easily achieved to the extent that instead of being an economy option, a premium option could be provided by the invention. Equally a selection of known prints could be utilized, as is already known in on-line scenarios. Traditional premium features such as including a fly leaf, having a store voucher or coupon or lottery ticket will also be possible.
As a further alternative, it is possible for the rear of the picture to have pressure sensitive adhesive applied to a sufficient degree, such that the support member 35 need not have any pressure sensitive adhesive; the adhesive of the back of the card would be sufficient; equally the card may have a non-adhesive protective plastic film; the support member 35 would then, in this case require its own adhesive. It will be appreciated that whilst the cards shown have all had a generally rectangular shape, non rectangular cards can be made in accordance with the invention; they need not be regular shapes. Further, the card may comprise a picture post-card style greeting card, with the address and greeting section comprising the releasable backing paper for an adhesive on the reverse of the picture. Equally, the card may comprise more than one hinged section; the pictorial representation may be detached from the support card 35, which may have one or more hinged sections. In accordance with a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a system for producing greetings card. It is known to have several display shelving arrangements in shops which sell cards, each having 5 - 15 or so shelves which are slantingly arranged against a wall, against the back of similar or different units. An example of this is shown in Figure 6, identified by reference numeral 68. Customers are able to view and select such cards. Cards tend to be priced in accordance with a price letter, whereby the price of the card does not become known to the recipient; once selected a card is taken to a cashier and payment can be made. It is also known for cards to be selected by viewing on the world- wide-web (the "web"), a card site ("website") where cards can be selected from a range of stored images, mottoes etc and which cards can have a selected message placed within and signed, for example with a digital copy of a signature of the person sending the card.
As shown in Figure 7 there is provided a point of sale arrangement 80 comprising a visual display unit or monitor 84, input keys 85 and a printer 86. A user can select the image to be placed on the front cover, the text to be selected, including a signature, whether typed in or from a digital signature entered in via wireless from a personal data assistant such as a Blackberry ®, or signature may be written upon the card once completed. With regard to a picture to be printed, the same may be selected from a digital image library, conveniently displayed on display device 82, or uploaded form an electronic communication, via e-mail, a usb stick or other memory device. Equally the selected image may be a specific artwork to which a suitable adhesive is placed on the rear side thereof and attached to the polymeric magnet / releasable adhesive, dependent upon the way the card is arranged. A choice can be had as to which particular backing card one utilises, not only the weight, conveniently 320 gsm or more, but this will be dependent upon a number of factors.
It will be appreciated that the system will need a usb port, internet connection or similar to enable at least some of the further functionalities to be provided. It may be appropriate for a pre-payment system be utilised, since once one has printed a new card tailor made to one's own specification, re-sale to another is highly unlikely.
The present invention could also be employed as a memento. For example, when one visits a particular event, there may be a photographer available who would be available to take a photograph of a visitor, with a background of the building, event, show meeting with personalities etc. After taking the photograph, a card could be created whereby a memento of the event is provided as a card. The card could be taken home, sent to a friend or relative etc. After use as a card, the memento may be placed upon a refrigerator, metal filing cabinet etc.
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