"Though I do not expect a reply as this is the 'No Reply Section', I was unable to locate another way of getting in touch with you after using the help section, so this is my 'last resort', as it were.
I am student at Bradford College in the UK doing a study into E Cards and was wondering if you could provide me with some information.
My study is looking into alternative methods of communication and if they have the potential to overtake or outlast some older methods of communication. I was wondering how popular E Cards are and if you could give me some rough figures on how many cards you sell monthly, quarterly and yearly? Obviously I don't require any personal information or statistics, just some figures to use in my work from somebody involved in the trade.
It would be a great help if you could provide me with this valuable information.
Thank you kindly,
P.s. I am an animator by trade and really, really enjoyed your work. It is very affectionate and personal and frequently made me laugh and smile as I went through the VAST amount of work you have put into this website. I will be sending quite a few birthday cards over the coming months and this will be my first stop!
I'm hoping to receive a reply from her soon so that I can get some first hand information from somebody who has worked in this field for a long time. I still don't understand how popular these cards are, but it would seem that this woman is making a living from them so they must be reasonably popular. This is from Jacquie's 'About Us' section verbatim:
"Jacquie originally trained as an illustrator at St. Martin's School of Art, and has over twenty years' experience of working freelance in many areas of drawing, painting and design, including architectural perspectives, book illustration, and cartoons.
In the Autumn of 2000 Jacquie created her first animated e-card - the "Christmas Cottage" e-card which is still available from these pages - and sent it to a few friends by e-mail. Over the subsequent weeks she was amazed to receive e-mails from hundreds of people all over the world who had received the e-card from friends.
During 2001 Jacquie drew a few more e-cards, and in November a simple website was created to show off her work and allow people to download the e-cards. In December the "Snowdog" e-card was added to the collection, and the website simply could not cope with the demand. A proper e-cards service was set up and launched in February 2002, and Jacquie has been spending all her available time making new cards for the site ever since.
Jacquie lives in a perfect English country cottage in the village of Lurgashall in West Sussex. The cottage you see in the first Christmas e-card is hers, and the village green in the "Snowdog" card is right outside her cottage. She is a regular at the Noah's Ark pub opposite!
Jacquie's website is fantastic and contains hundred of 'home-made' cards. My favorite thing about her cards is the way they seem so personal. They seem hand made for the user, like the sender has gone to effort to make the card as personal the receiver as possible and although they often have limited interactivity for the user, they have just enough to make you feel involved. Even if there wasn't any interactivity, the 'feel', art style and interesting events that take place within the smooth animation would be enough to satisfy even the most demanding of card receiver. I'm gonna take you through one of her cards now commenting and talking about the things I like and the things I would do differently.
This card is fantastic for many reasons, but once again it's primarily because of Jacquie's artwork.
Again as with many of the E Cards I have come across so far you have to open the envelope and the card pops out. I like this idea and think it is something I will definitley be adding to my E Cards.
The card nips out of the envelope.
A fairy appears and starts making things appear. This is a nice touch, with a nice sparkly effect as the fairy moves around and makes thing appear. All of items that appear are hand painted and brought into the animation which is a really nice touch, but the fairy herself is animated in Flash. I personally think this works really, really well and the difference between the two mediums isn't as strikingly obvious or off putting as you might think.
There is even a bit of interactivity with the fairy as she says, "Something is missing"and considers what to do next.
So you click the fairy....
....and she tops of the cake with a candle just for that added affect. A nice touch that I really liked. Again this card feels really, really personal.
Just for that addition bit of 'flash', she sets the candle alight and the candle highlights the lighting effects in the room. I really like this card, if I was sent this card for my birthday I would be happy. The artwork is fantastic. The animation isn't anything spectacular but it isn't poorly worked leading to a result that is pleasing overall.
I think Jacquie really brings something original to the E Card market, because her cards are very personal and look like they have been made for her own family and then she has decided to share them with the world. If a time ever comes when people start designing their own E Cards to send to people, this is what you would get. I would love to let a young kid loose with their own E Card. We've all recieved those cards from kids, that end up stuck to the fridge with a scribble on it saying 'I love U mummy' and that would be a really awesome thing to see in the E Card world.