Forever Friends (brand)
In 1987, artist Deborah Jones drew the first ever Forever Friends bear in her sketchbook. She approached Bath, Somerset based greeting cards publishers Andrew Brownsword, who agreed to release the bear design as a greeting card. The pair worked in a flat above a Chinese takeaway in Reading, Berkshire in the early 1980s:
"I wanted to develop a teddy bear that appealed to adults as well as children. I based Forever Friends specifically on the teddy bear that Sebastian Flyte carried around in Brideshead Revisited. It became the bear found in the attic."
In 1989, the design was registered under the trademark Forever Friends.
In 1994 Andrew Brownsword Ltd was purchased by Hallmark Cards. Brownsword himself agreed to become the CEO of Hallmark Europe, while the new money allowed the whole of card design was updated to include a border.
In 1997 new sub-brand Between Friends was issued, focusing on children's cards. This was followed in 2000 by Blanc, a plain pencil on whitecard design focused on older people. This was also the last design set Deborah Jones worked on, as she retired from what was now Hallmark's Bath design studio.
In 2005, Forever Friends was relaunched with a water colour based look, textured paper on cards and a more modern font. By 2008, the range of cuddly toys had been supplemented by a range of digital downloads.
In 2011 the "Forever Friends Naturals" range was launched by Grace Cole Limited, taking the lovable bears as the face of a cute and cuddly range of natural skincare products for babies and children.
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