Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Where edgy greeting cards go to die

When a great greeting card is too obnoxious or eccentric to be published by Hallmark's irreverent Shoebox division, it goes to the company's wall of fame (or maybe shame) in Kansas City, Mo.

Dan Taylor, a Shoebox "stylist" (the highest title bestowed on card writers, according to the Associated Press), describes the type of response at a "roundtable read-off" that could land one of his babies on the "no" wall.

"I think sometimes the air gets sucked out of the room by something I've written," Taylor says. "It's actually beyond silence."

The A.P. story gets into the nuts and bolts of the decision-making process -- some card ideas get labeled "FBN" for "Funny, But No," and rejects beat winners 10 to one -- and dishes up some of the more colorful cards that never made it into the real world.

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