Creative Director, Creative and Strategy Development
Life Before Accurance
Mary McCarty’s 30-year career began with Sunrise Greetings, a ground-breaking greeting card company founded in Bloomington, Indiana, in the early 1980s. When Mary joined Sunrise in 1986, they had just signed an artist, Mary Englebreit, who was to change the face of greeting cards forever. Englebreit’s meteoric rise in social expression, fashion, and book and magazine publishing was nothing short of exhilarating and unique in the industry. Thus began a decade of non-stop growth for Mary Englebreit’s career and, certainly, for Sunrise Greetings.
During her stint in Sunrise, McCarty took on various sales roles — ultimately as Midwest regional sales manager, when she was then called to try her hand at Product Development. Laurel Burch was the first artist Mary took on with the development of the “Laurel Burch Paper Company,” which hit the National Stationary Show at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC in 1994 and won the “Most Innovative and Conceptually Beautiful Booth” award. Following this, Mary was asked to take over Product Development and Innovation, which she did until she was finally named Creative Director in 1998.
Not long after, industry giant Hallmark Cards saw the benefit of acquiring this fresh and vibrant emerging card brand and purchased Sunrise in 1999, which created another huge change in Mary’s career path. Mary worked for Sunrise/Hallmark Cards as Creative Strategies Director—a position that increasingly involved conducting trend research and collaborating on creative initiatives with several other Hallmark subsidiaries. In this capacity, she covered the most influential trade shows that inform multiple manufacturers about current and directional trends in design, color, lifestyle, and brands.
Over the course of her spectacular career, Mary flew, drove, and trained at trade shows all around the world. Her adventures took her to Germany, France, Hong Kong, Italy, and more. She also served as the creative liaison and collaboration consultant to Hallmark subsidiaries such as Binney and Smith, Dayspring (Christian Greetings) Ensemble Gifts, and Greenwich Workshop, and ultimately acted as Creative Strategies Director for 7 different divisions of Hallmark.
Mary’s experiences travelling the world (most often alone) have given her great faith and love for humankind through both unlikely and moving encounters with people who reminded her that compassion is not lost. It is the kindness of strangers and several extreme experiences that help drive Mary’s creative spirit. Inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s that drive and her thirty years of experience that made her the perfect fit for Accurance.
Life at Accurance
In 2015, Mary McCarty joined our team and has since then been doing amazing work.
As Creative Director, one responsibility Mary has is that of author liaison for cover and page design, which involves translating author’s visions into creative briefs for her design team. Additionally, Mary works with publishers on brand development and trade dress, and she also keeps illustrators and designers up to date on trends in design, color, and motifs/themes in cover design.
Being the Creative Director for Accurance isn’t always so cut and dried. Mary’s “eye” for trends and for what is hot informs her guidance of her clients and artists. Whether readers will admit it or not, a book is judged by its cover, and having the right cover is important to both publishers and authors who want their product to sell. Mary’s almost 30 years of experience gives her the expertise to tell if a book cover looks right or not.
Recently, Accurance and Mary in particular, have been working with international bestselling author of over 40 novels and nonfiction books, Catherine Lanigan, the author of Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile. Catherine Lanigan says that her decision to ‘re-fresh’ all her historical novel covers came after a long deliberation: “I had worked with Accurance in the past to bring these books to electronic publishing [conversion to e-books], but I was never happy with the [original] covers. This spring, my first cover, Sins of Omission, went live. Within twenty-four hours I had sales on Amazon, and my rank zoomed. I wish I’d clocked the numbers. I will on my next covers, which, amazingly, are more creative and alluring with each one. Thank you, Mary and team! I couldn’t be more pleased.”
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Accurance is the premier production services provider for the self-published publisher community, serving half the world’s ten largest P.O.D. publishers as their production backbone, among other clients in both the self-publishing and traditional publishing worlds. It was also recently named #1 in a client satisfaction survey involving 600 self-published authors in North America. For more information about Accurance, visit http://www.accurance.com.
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