Opening the Vault: Hallmark’s Gillham Studios Makes its Vast Art Collection Available to New Generation of Artists and Designers

Kansas City – Hallmark’s Gillham Studios is unveiling its 105-year-old art collection and making it available to the general public for both private and commercial use, which comes after nine months of digitization and a period of beta testing.

The Hallmark archives were founded by J.C Hall in 1910, with the aim of recording the history of greeting card artwork. Since its inception, the collection has grown in size and variety, and includes more than 1 million pieces of original artwork – some of which date back as far as the 1700’s. A team of Hallmark’s designers have selected more than 125,000 pieces from the vault, focusing on those cards that have utility, historical value, and artistry. The royalty-free artwork is now open to the public to download, use, and repurpose, and thousands more pieces are being added every week.

Unlike many established image banks, Gillham Studios does not just offer photography; it centers on original art and design, with sets of unique illustrations, lithographs, postcards, lettering, and patterns. These pieces can be used for designs on physical objects, for online designs, and printed materials. Users can search for individual pieces, or browse the themed collections – all of which have been carefully put together by designers.

“We like to think of our collection as being by artists for artists,” says Gillham Studios General Manager, Christopher Shaw. “This is one of the reasons we introduced a Featured Artist section to the website. People want to see how their art has been created and by whom. This not only gives our clients a fascinating insight into the history of the pieces they are purchasing, but the chance to find a whole range of similarly styled pieces as well.”

Like most online art and design resources, the company offers various licenses (Basic $____/month and Extended $____month). Both Basic and Extended licensees may use the images for physical products and printed items, websites and digital products, and attributed editorial usage, as well as for personal and non-commercial use. In contrast to most image banks, Basic License clients are granted the same image rights as Extended License clients – only with certain limitations on the number of images they can print.

The artwork is downloadable in RAW format and Adobe Photoshop files for reasons of quality and versatility – no matter what user license is held. This means that clients can manipulate their images; designers and artists are free to change colors, orientations, and styles as they see fit – making the images their own. Furthermore, the format allows images to be published and printed anywhere – including on physical goods, such as fabric, murals, mugs and pillows. On the contrary, most stock photo websites tend only to offer images in a lower quality and far less malleable JPEG format, which can only be used online.

“At its heart Hallmark sells art and has done so for over a hundred years. We might be an old company providing a nostalgic look back American culture, but by stepping into this marketplace with the Gillham Studios’ collection, we feel that we are offering something new to artists, designers and everyone else,” adds Shaw.


Hallmark Inc. was founded in 1910 by a teenage JC Hall, with nothing but a couple of shoeboxes full of postcards – and a lot of ambition. Today it remains a private company and is valued at $3.8 billion. Hallmark’s products are available in 30 languages and can be found in more than 100 countries around the world. Hallmark’s Gillham Studios has just made available its vast artwork collection to the public, allowing designers and artists to download, repurpose, and use the art in almost anyway they see fit.