Hallmark History & Timeline

JC Hall on streets of Kansas City Hallmark's Eye-Vision greeting card display JC standing by Hallmark headquarters JC & Don looking at Crown Center model Crayola Crayons in a box Recordable Storybooks
Early Innovation
1910s - 30s
Building a Brand
1930s - 50s
Growing and Expanding
1960s - 80s
Building for
the Future
1980s - 90s
21st Century
& Beyond


View a Flash timeline of our first 100 years


Growing and Expanding: 1960s - 80s

Model of Crown Center

Under the leadership of Donald J. Hall, son of J.C., who became president and CEO in 1966, Hallmark grew and expanded in many ways. Hallmark introduced its quality products to global audiences when it formed Hallmark International.

Starting in the late 1960s, the vision of J.C. and Don Hall led to the development of Crown Center on the land surrounding Hallmark's headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. As an early example of urban revitalization, this project turned a blighted 85-acre section of the city into a thriving retail, residential, office and entertainment complex.

During the 1970s, Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments were introduced, revolutionizing Christmas decorating and sparking the phenomenon of ornament collecting. To meet the needs of smaller card departments and retailers in the mass channel, Hallmark rolled out the Ambassador brand. The launch of the Shoebox Greetings line of humorous greeting cards was, at the time, the company's single largest product line introduction. Mahogany cards were introduced for African-American consumers, and card lines for Jewish and Hispanic consumers soon followed.

In 1986, the Hallmark Gold Crown® store program was formalized, bringing together a network of independently owned and operated retailers to build on the strength of the Hallmark brand and products.


Fun Fact

Keepsake Ornaments debuted in 1973. Since then, Hallmark has introduced more than 8,000 Keepsake Ornaments to adorn Christmas trees and delight fans.