More than 60 years after it was first used, the slogan “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best” has become one of the most enduring advertising slogans in history.
Created from writings of C.E. (Ed) Goodman, a former Hallmark sales vice president, the statement is more than a slogan for Hallmark, it is a business commitment. As Hallmark founder Joyce C. Hall expressed in his autobiography, When You Care Enough, “The slogan constantly put pressure on us to make Hallmark cards ‘the very best.’ ... I somehow feel that without the slogan our products would not have been as good.”
The slogan was first used on a radio show broadcast in 1944. Since its debut, the “Very Best” slogan has continually been featured in Hallmark print and broadcast advertising, and as part of Hallmark Hall of Fame productions. Independent consumer research has identified the Hallmark slogan time and time again as one of the most believed advertising slogans in the United States.
Mark of Quality
The tradition of a “hallmark” signifying quality goes back to the 14th-century English guilds. Members of these guilds fashioned their goods in long rooms called halls. Each hall vied with the others to turn out superior work, and each stamped its work with a symbol called a “hall mark.” A hallmark still is used today to note the work of a master craftsperson.
In the early days, the firm’s greeting cards carried the company name “Hall Brothers” on the back. But the term “hallmark” fascinated J.C. Hall, who championed the idea of changing the company moniker. As he explained, “It not only said quality in an authoritative way, but it also incorporated our family name.” In 1925, “Hallmark” appeared on products for the first time, and by 1928, it was used on the back of every greeting card.
In 1949, Andrew Szoeke, a renowned lettering artist and designer from New York who worked as a consultant to Hallmark, collaborated with Hallmark staff artists to create the original design of the now familiar Hallmark logo. The distinctive five-point crown and Hallmark signature type became a registered trademark in 1950, and in 1954, Hallmark Cards, Inc. became the official name of the company.
The five-point crown with the name “Hallmark” under it and the slogan “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best” have become synonymous with quality and excellence in the minds of the American public. For Hallmark employees, they represent a promise to enrich people's lives by providing the very best, now and in the future.