Celebrating 40 Years of Cath Tate Cards

We're turning 40! Join us as we look back over some fabulous photos, memories, and achievements from over the years...


Rewind to the early 80's - Cath sat down at her kitchen table and began making political photomontages, fuelled by by her left-wing views. She was particularly passionate about creating anti-Thatcher photomontages on postcards and posters, including this iconic image (left) of Mrs Thatcher pinching someone's handbag called 'Prevent Street Crime'. 

Inspired to shout about her favourite female cartoonits, who were often totally underrepresented, Cath decided to start publishing their work on a selection of postcards - and Cath Tate Cards was born! 

At first, Cath Tate Cards were exclusive to the alternative bookshops that could then be found in every major city in Britain, like ‘Gay is the Word’ in London’s Soho and the ‘Silvermoon’ women’s bookshop, who were among the first places to stock the designs Cath was publishing.

Along with juggling work and small children, Cath pioneered the use of retro knitting pattern images paired with witty captions and created the 'Loose Knits' range (right). Following the success of Loose Knits, Cath started to develop Photocaptions in the noughties, which remains one of our bestselling card ranges of all time. Cath continues to add to this iconic collection to this day, sourcing retro images that she digitally colorises and combines with witty captions.


Cath working on cards, October 1984

Cath at a trade show in 1990

Cover of The Radical Bookseller, 1984

Cath at Spring Fair, mid-90's

Cath and Rosie, 1981

Cath and Rosie in the office, Dec 2012

A photomontage featuring Rosie!

Cath and Rosie at Top Drawer, 2020

In 2011, Cath's daughter Rosie took a leap of faith and joined the family business. Despite the likely possibility of bickering with her mother, the pair ended up making an incredible team, and she's never looked back! 

Rosie is the brains behind another of our most popular ranges Life Is Rosie, (see left, Champagne Diet Birthday Card) a vibrant collection of cards for all occasions featuring retro imagery and witty captions. The mother-daughter duo firmly believe that a sense of humour is an essential for survival, and their only real rule is that every card they publish has to be either funny or beautiful - preferably both! Together they are the wordsmiths behind many of our in-house greeting card collections.

As well as in-house collections like Photocaptions, Life Is Rosie, Champagne, Photocats&canines and Colour Me Happy (to name a few...) Cath Tate Cards has been publishing work from a pool of creative - predominantly female - talent over the years. Cath has always loved collaborating with illustrators and cartoonists since she first began publishing, but particularly throughout the last couple of years we've started working with a selection of amazing new artists, whose styles have kickstarted a bit of a 'new era' for Cath Tate. From Terrific Humans and Max Made Me Do It, to Hot Foils and Sending Sunshine, we have an incredible selection of card ranges from independent artists that cover all kinds of tastes and styles. Like we said, our only rule is that each card must be either funny, beautiful or both...

Click here to find out more about our artists!

Rosie with artist Jess of HotFoils

Artist Veronica Dearly with her range

The Max Made Me Do It range

Modern Icons illustrated by Wotmalike!

It's been a wonderful 40 years full of amazing moments and achievements, and we can't wait to continue to publish product we love and that we're proud of; to keep collaborating with talented artists; and to keep supplying to our fabulous existing and new customers around the world. When asked what the highlights of the past 40 years have been, Cath answered:

"Firstly being able to actually produce greetings cards from initial concept...and watching it emerge as a pleasing product. Secondly getting to know our customers, who have been a lovely bunch of people, and getting to know our fellow card producers who have been a great support network. Thirdly, getting an Honorary Achievement Award at the Henries in 2020." - Cath Tate

Right: Cath receives her Henries award! During a year of total turmoil, it was such an honour!

Speaking of a year of total turmoil...having 'lived through' several recessions, Cath considers the Covid pandemic as perhaps the biggest blow to the greeting card industry, with non-essential retailers forced to close their doors for so long. However, what we've seen since has been so impressive and inspiring - the resilience of the small businesses that we know and love has been incredible. We're very lucky to stock our cards among a wide variety of independent shops across the country, and the fighting spirit from these shops during the pandemic has only reinforced our appreciation for independents. 

We're so excited to be seeing lots of our existing customers, independents and chains alike at the upcoming PG Live show, where we'll be celebrating the big 4-0 in style. Join us on Tuesday 7th June at stand 307 for some fizz and cake! We'll be running a raffle for the chance to win 40% off your next order to all who visit the stand over the show! 

Tuesday , 24 May 2022