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Flashback Friday Part 3: The 1990s

by Hero Arts May 02, 2019 158 Comments

Your calendar does not deceive you - it is Thursday! So why are we here with the next Flashback Friday feature? Since our 3-day countdown leading up to the May Monthly Hero kit launch is scheduled to begin tomorrow, we decided to adjust on the fly with an early flashback. We hope you don't mind! :) It's already time to explore Hero Arts' third decade in business and CEO Aaron Leventhal is back to provide an overview of the 1990s:

"The early 1990s saw Hero Arts move from consumer shows to wholesale, and soon international distribution. The 1990s included a heavy dose of backgrounds and borders, messages and themes, including a full catalog and a Christmas supplement each year. Popular techniques included hand coloring with pencils, watercoloring, bold ink colors and more for cardmaking, with only wood stamps, as no clear or dies were yet available. Hero Arts won a number of awards for its color label tops and catalog photography and layout, and got its first patent for Press-A-Frame. The industry was in dramatic growth, and independent retailers were the focus of the industry, with some stores so popular people would choose their vacations based on the stores they wanted to visit."

Check out some of the era's understated and elegant catalog designs:

The 1990s were marked by bright and colorful stamp labels and you can see many of them if you check out the photos tagged #herocelebrates45 on Instagram. Thanks to our customers for sharing - we've truly loved seeing these treasures! 

* Above photos courtesy of @cardcrazycook on Instagram. Thank you! *

Does anyone remember the Press-A-Frame that Aaron mentioned was our first patented product in 1996?

"Using the paper template and a pointed pressure tool in the kit, stampers can quickly add a variety of shaped frames around stamped images."

Here's an example of the projects you would have found if you opened the pages of our 1998 catalog. A fun tidbit: Sally Traidman, still on the Hero Arts team today, created some of these beauties!

Do you own any stamps with colored labels? Let us know in a comment below and we will pick one winner at random to receive a $25 Hero Arts gift card! Comment by Thursday, May 9 at 11:59pm PT and you'll be entered to win.

Thanks for stopping by today! Until next time...happy stamping!





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100 Responses

Edda Tan
Edda Tan

August 15, 2019

Although all these stamps and designs are so beautiful, I’m afraid I don’t have any of them. I had not yet discovered the paper crafting scene. Thank you for sharing these decades of flashbacks with all your fans!

SHARON FOLKERTS
SHARON FOLKERTS

May 24, 2019

Wow, I do have the pansy stamp and the trio of flowers ! I did a winter Friday afternoon craft program with grade school kids in the early 1990s and for heat embossing we held the paper over a hot light bulb. The beginning of my love of stamping !

Betty Bywater
Betty Bywater

May 15, 2019

Those irises, I must have stamped and gold embosses countless time for cards. Coloured them in with my Tombow markers and a water brush.

Robyn S
Robyn S

May 09, 2019

Hi, enjoying the history of Hero Arts. I have quite a few coloured stamps – oldest one so far is E1455 large daisy 1998 – and just noticed the mini set of 3 daisy (that came with a dauber and little paper pad) has a very similar style. I still have the poetic prints set in its box with the little great stamp ideas leaflet dated 1995. Thanks again Hero Arts.

Stacy K
Stacy K

May 09, 2019

Feeling very nostalgic and it was so fun to review all the stamps I do have from Hero Arts. I have quite a few (over 60!) wood mounted stamps with colored labels. A very Happy Birthday, Hero Arts!

Chark
Chark

May 08, 2019

That was before I started stamping, but they’re cute!

Margaret Roberts
Margaret Roberts

May 08, 2019

My first attempt at coloring a stamped image was with #F1020 Birdhouse Border, one of the stamps I have with a colored label. A fun one with lots of little details!

Rebecca Ednie
Rebecca Ednie

May 07, 2019

I think I did have a few stamps with coloured labels. But I unmounted them years ago. So I’m afraid I can’t check!

Dana M
Dana M

May 07, 2019

The flashbacks are so fun! I do have Hero Arts stamps with colored labels :) A bucket of bugs, some trees and a from the kitchen of stamp.

Terrie D.
Terrie D.

May 07, 2019

What lovely cards! It’s so fun to see your catalogs and wood stamps from the 90’s. :) I have a few wood stamps, but none with colored labels.

Susan Moyer
Susan Moyer

May 07, 2019

I learned to love stamping with hero arts. I own several hero arts stamps with the colored label. I think the oversize pansy was my favorite. I also enjoyed the border stamp sets especially the holiday collections. Much thanks for your quality, and designs.

Cindi Walsh
Cindi Walsh

May 06, 2019

Happy Anniversary Hero Arts! I sure do have colored labels! Oldest I found was 1995 Large Happy Birthday, I also have several boxed sets (ribbons, word tags) among others.

Hilde Larsen aka Tindaloo
Hilde Larsen aka Tindaloo

May 06, 2019

I searched thru my wood blocked rubberstamps and the earliest I have from Hero Arts were from 2001, so no colored labels on them :)

Jan Tinklenberg
Jan Tinklenberg

May 05, 2019

So many with colored labels!

Amber Scholtz
Amber Scholtz

May 05, 2019

I just got into stamping about a year ago, so I do not have any of the stamps from the 90s.

barbara lassiter
barbara lassiter

May 05, 2019

I have many Hero Arts stamps with colored labels! I’ve kept all my Hero Arts stamps since I started stamping and card making around 2001. One of my first stamps was Butterfly With Ferns and I have Woodland Leaves and Grasses, Garden Patterns, Wild Delphinium, Meadow Puff….you get the idea! I love to use these older Hero Arts stamps on occasion and that’s why I’ve held on to my collection.

Kim Klinkovsky
Kim Klinkovsky

May 05, 2019

I had several of the rubber sentiments and florals from the 90’s and early 2000’s.. Just loved your fonts and florals. And still use them today!

Kathy McCreary
Kathy McCreary

May 05, 2019

Yes, I have an extensive collection of colored labels. I love them and will not get rid of them. I love Hero Arts!
Congratulations on your anniversary!

Julie L
Julie L

May 05, 2019

I own the set of 3 buds in the center and the Congratulations stamp.

Artconquers
Artconquers

May 05, 2019

I don’t have any of these stamps.. they look awesome .. old is gold..

Joyce Soo Hoo
Joyce Soo Hoo

May 05, 2019

Yes, have many of your 1990’s stamps. Hero Arts outlasted your competitors. Met your Mom a few times. I came to the shop by Bart from San Francisco. Still, love your stamps.

Izabela Wr.
Izabela Wr.

May 05, 2019

Oh yes a have may of these stamps . I started my adventure with those stamps because I’ve got some of those from my friend. Even if I have clear stamps I’d like to come back to the old one with colored labels.

ROSALIE JOHNSON
ROSALIE JOHNSON

May 05, 2019

Yes – I have many stamps especially for Christmas that have colored label on top!

Mona McRae
Mona McRae

May 05, 2019

Oh….I have a huge collection of these and will never let them go!!!

Kenzie Higdon
Kenzie Higdon

May 04, 2019

Without even looking very hard I found 5 stamps and 2 Start Stampin’ packs

Erika Hayes
Erika Hayes

May 04, 2019

I have MANY of these stamps!

Lynn C
Lynn C

May 04, 2019

Oh, yes, my little box with four shamrock stamps. I use these every St. Paddy’s Day & have for years!

Vicki Kroll
Vicki Kroll

May 04, 2019

Yes, I have stamps with colored labels. These flower stamps are beautiful and so much fun to work with. So many crafty designs come to mind.

Jill Rauenhorst
Jill Rauenhorst

May 04, 2019

YES! The pink Happy Birthday stamp was the first stamp I ever bought!

Stacy L
Stacy L

May 03, 2019

I do not have any stamps with colored labels. I really love Hero Arts stamps, though.

Betsy Weikel
Betsy Weikel

May 03, 2019

Blast from the past!

Cynthia C.
Cynthia C.

May 03, 2019

I don’t! Until somewhat rrecently, storage was a major concern so I never let myself buy wood mount, other than back of card sets. But love HA!

D.Ann C
D.Ann C

May 03, 2019

Yes! And, when I went through that phase where I took the stamps off their wood mounts and turned them into cling, I nuked the blocks for 15 seconds to pull off the colored labels and put them on my page protectors dividing the sheets of un-mounted stamps. They were too pretty to let go to waste and still a great way to label the stamp!!

LaNell Taylor
LaNell Taylor

May 03, 2019

Love to see all of these earl products. I have always loved Hero Arts❤️

Lagene
Lagene

May 03, 2019

I’m loving seeing stamps from your yester years! I do not have any of the colored labeled Hero Arts stamps.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S

May 03, 2019

I have quite a few with the colored labels! I just used Happy Mother’s Day for my mother’s day cards!

Stampnk
Stampnk

May 03, 2019

I have many wooden stamps with colored labels from the 1990’s and early 2000’s. In fact, that was the only kind of stamp I had at first. Some of my sentiments are Hero Arts, and I still use them.

Jeanne H
Jeanne H

May 03, 2019

I have one from 1990 and two from 1996. Happy Graduation, Museum Iris and Parrot Tulip. Love them and all my Hero Arts wooden stamps. They ink up so well!

Alonda Panck
Alonda Panck

May 03, 2019

Yes, I have several brightly colored labels on wooden based stamps. They make a very pretty display in my craft room as well as stamping with them.

Veronica Cruz
Veronica Cruz

May 03, 2019

I came late to this stamping party Lol. They look so nice.

Brian Poteraj
Brian Poteraj

May 03, 2019

My first HA stamp was a teddy bear way back.

sharon gullikson
sharon gullikson

May 03, 2019

I don’t have any of those that you showed, but I do have many others. One is a set of girl faces.

Lisa Taylor
Lisa Taylor

May 03, 2019

My first Hero Arts stamp is a bluebird carrying an envelope from 1992. It’s perfect on envelopes!

Rosemary D
Rosemary D

May 03, 2019

I had several stamps that had the colored labels! Have the colored labels was nice for me as a beginning stamper because it gave me ideas about colors to use or how to color an image.

Anne.
Anne.

May 03, 2019

Not just coloured labels, but I also loved the boxes that the stamps and stamp sets came in. I still store them in those boxes.

Natalie Poth
Natalie Poth

May 03, 2019

Hello Hero Arts,
No unfortunately I don’t any stamps of yours before 2016. I just got into card crafting around then. However I do love your stamps , y’all have a variety to suit anyone’s needs! Thanks for a chance to win.

Kathy W
Kathy W

May 03, 2019

Yes, I own lots of them! :) When I first started stamping, I only bought HA stamps. Congrats on 45 years!!

Annette Gordon
Annette Gordon

May 03, 2019

I only have 1 of the stamps in the photo the Happy birthday scripted stamp. But sooo cool to see the projects from “back in the day” and how styles have changed so much from then to now.

GLenda M Sultan
GLenda M Sultan

May 03, 2019

My oh my how the years fly by. I have several stamps from the 90’s. I still use them & the rubber is still pristine. I used only embossing ink back then since I wanted to keep my cherished stamps clean. Those days are long gone & I use ink pads now too.My oldest is Ribboned Rose from 1989.

Donna
Donna

May 03, 2019

Yes, a Christmas one!

Felicia C
Felicia C

May 03, 2019

I just love walking down memory lane! So exciting! The 90’s products are just outstanding!

Robyn Trimble
Robyn Trimble

May 03, 2019

I’ve been stamping since the mid 1990’s. I have many vintage Hero Arts stamps, several in the boxed sets. Love and treasure them all.

Marty
Marty

May 03, 2019

That flashback to the ‘90’s was awesome!!! Love hearing about our craft in the past!!! Of course I have quite a lot of stamps with 90’s color labels! I’m old.. so old, It feels like the 90’s was just last year!! I LOVE your company!!! Thanks for all you do!!!! (And have done..) Congratulations!!

Anita in France
Anita in France

May 03, 2019

My discovery of card making and Hero Arts only happened in the last few years … so I don’t have any of these colourful, iconic wood block stamps from earlier times. I can imagine that as well as using them as intended, putting them on display is a great way to decorate a craft space! Anita :)

Donna
Donna

May 03, 2019

So fun to see such a history and still going strong!

Ann HG
Ann HG

May 03, 2019

Sunflower E653 1995 is still one of my favorites!

Ashley Shaffer
Ashley Shaffer

May 03, 2019

i love my HA stamps with color labels and HA was the first stamps i had way back when!

Judy
Judy

May 03, 2019

I have quite a few of the colored labeled stamps from early 2000 which I love and still use.

Kirsty
Kirsty

May 03, 2019

I sure do, haha… how fun!

Doris
Doris

May 03, 2019

I do! Have a few HA Stamps from the 80’s

Barbara Schmitz
Barbara Schmitz

May 03, 2019

I held onto a number of my colored label wood mount stamps, including a couple pictures. Hero is the best!

Dale Kummerle
Dale Kummerle

May 02, 2019

I have some of the stamps in that catalog photo! Ah, the good ol’ days

Judi
Judi

May 02, 2019

Yes, most definitely! Tons of holiday and lots of other “subjects”!!! Love the details!

Kathy Harrison
Kathy Harrison

May 02, 2019

Yes, I own a ton of your colored labeled wood stamps from the 80s, 90s, 00s and beyond!

Susan Carlson
Susan Carlson

May 02, 2019

Really enjoying this trip down memory lane – even though new to me!!!

Susan Ringler
Susan Ringler

May 02, 2019

Hero Arts was one of the first two companies I purchased from in the 90’s when I had a stamp business. I was so proud and loved every minute of creating with your beautiful designs. I no longer have the business, but I have those designs in my private collection today. Congratulations to you on 45 years of amazing ideas, designs, peope, customer service…. the list goes on.

Phyllis
Phyllis

May 02, 2019

Yes, I have many of the stamps with the colored labels – and many of the ones you have shown, along with the Press and Frame embossing forms. All items are still loved and used often. I remember the old website and the beautiful card examples listed in the galleries. Took me awhile to get used to the new site, but Hero Arts is my go-to place for products and ideas. Thanks! !

Eileen Cervi
Eileen Cervi

May 02, 2019

I believe have a number of the stamps in the picture still in my collection. I loved the script sentiments!!

Lourdes
Lourdes

May 02, 2019

Loving these flashbacks. Made me look through my stamps to find some oldies but still goodies.

Cheryl Phillips
Cheryl Phillips

May 02, 2019

after looking at the instagram post, I realized that I have many stamps from the 90’s. Hero Arts stamps were some of the first ones I bought and I still use them!

Nancy Deffner
Nancy Deffner

May 02, 2019

Yes! Love the full color labels.

Karen Lingel
Karen Lingel

May 02, 2019

OMG, I have almost all those stamps in the second photo. I still use the sentiment stamps. I should dig out my background flower stamp and do something with it! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Catherine
Catherine

May 02, 2019

I have several of the flower block stamps and I love them! Among the 2000 stamps, I bought Women in Hats, which has elegant ladies in lovely colored hats and fashionable attire. Truly a unique stamp set.

Margery C
Margery C

May 02, 2019

I love my Pleasant Piggies stamp, C207, dated 1991 Hero Arts. It always makes me smile!

Andrea
Andrea

May 02, 2019

I have a handful that I bought with babysitting and recycling money in the early 90s.

Gretchen F
Gretchen F

May 02, 2019

I have the iris stamp used to make the bookmark on the upper left. Funny thing, I just got it out last week to use for some May Day cards. It’s always been one of my favorites.

Amanda
Amanda

May 02, 2019

I was born in 1990… 😂

Marisela Delgado
Marisela Delgado

May 02, 2019

Absolutely I own stamps with colored labels. I wish they still came that way. I love my stamps especially the ones I started with. Seeing your IG pics reminded me of the excitement that I felt when I purchased them. Thanks for the memories.

Joan
Joan

May 02, 2019

I have some ranging from 1993 to 1997. I still use them. I used the G939 Victorian Bunny for one of my Easter cards this year. Have some fun ones from 1980 also.

Linda Kunsman
Linda Kunsman

May 02, 2019

Oh yes indeed , I do own stamps with colored labels:) And I still use them too!

Kelly Szafron
Kelly Szafron

May 02, 2019

Yes I own several Hero Arts stamps from the 90’s with coloured labels.

Patricia Swagler
Patricia Swagler

May 02, 2019

When I went to my craft room I have quite a few of the colored label stamps. The dates on mine range from 1995-1998. I remember the Press-A-Frame as I had them. Happy Anniversary.

Geri S
Geri S

May 02, 2019

Yes, yes, yes! I have that Heart of Flowers and one of Tulips and more with colored labels. I think I got them because they showed what can be done in coloring them. Still in love with flowers!

Janet Sisk
Janet Sisk

May 02, 2019

I had a bunch of those stamps back in the day. I still have the little leaf background squares that are in the top picture bottom left corner. I also have the little dot ones just like those. I have several of the floral block sets, too. I just couldn’t let go of all of my wood stamps. :D Hero Arts were and still are faves.

Debbie
Debbie

May 02, 2019

Yep have many! Sadly my coloring skills never equaled the colorful labels on the wood stamps!

Karenajo
Karenajo

May 02, 2019

I do own several HA stamps with their pretty colored labels – a butterfly, fall pumpkins and confetti are among them.
They have dates from the 1990’s. Thanks for the look back at your 45 years!

Cynthia O.
Cynthia O.

May 02, 2019

Congrats on 45 creative years! Yes, I have posted two stamps to Instagram with colored labels – a flower from 2001 and a single birthday candle 1995.

shartl
shartl

May 02, 2019

Yes, I have a lot of stamps with the colored labels. I started stamping before clear stamps were popular, and the wooden stamps are easier for my two girls to use so I still buy them. A few of those stamps are Hero Arts, and I still love them. Thanks for the peek into the past!

Kim Huffman
Kim Huffman

May 02, 2019

I used to have a couple stamps with colored labels!! Now I just try to stick to clear stamps because of space.

Henriétte
Henriétte

May 02, 2019

I don’t own one, but I love to see and read this. What a great way to celebrate your aniversary, I love these Flashback Fridays.

Heidi Macy
Heidi Macy

May 02, 2019

Hmm, I’m pretty sure I don’t have a stamp with a colored label, unless it is buried somewhere I can’t find it. the 90’s must have been very exciting for your company.

Eliece Edge
Eliece Edge

May 02, 2019

I have several of the colored label stamps, including the “Pansy Portrait” (which I’ve rarely used) and the “Happy Birthday” (which I’ve used many, many times). Guess it’s just more versatile.

Meli Keller
Meli Keller

May 02, 2019

From the Vault series are really great — being a 60’s child, they bring back wonderful memories of the sweetness of the past. Love the “hand drawn” quality they possess. I’ve been with Hero Arts for about 2 years and your designs are the absolute best. Was told this morning that my Monthly Hero little notecards are a hit with my friend’s church acquaintances. I’m just afraid that I’m going to miss out on these new/vintagestamps since I seem to be always late to “stamping” parties!. I’ll cross my fingers. Thanks for all the fun!!

Brandy
Brandy

May 02, 2019

I do own quite a lot of stamps & do have some w/ colored labels. I probably should go through all my stamps now to see what all I currently have. : )

karenladd
karenladd

May 02, 2019

The 1990’s were when I really got into stamping, so I have quite a collection of wood mounted stamps with colored labels. In fact, I have several of the sentiment stamps in the photo, and some gorgeous background stamps as well. I unmounted a few of my larger wood mounted stamps, for easier stamping and storage, but most of them are still intact and a treasured part of my collection.

Georgie
Georgie

May 02, 2019

I think I have every one of the stamps on this e-mail. These stamps have stood the test of time since I have used them over and over again. Many of the HA stamps are classics which will always remain in my collection. I have especially admired the quality of the rubber and the flawless impressions they have produced. I also still retain the old catalogs dating back to the early nineties. I pull them out occasionally since the examples and colorings are timeless. I have many memories shared with loved ones and stamping buddies using these stamps. They have become a part of my history. When I taught classes at various stamp stores, I could always rely on Hero Art stamps to come through with inspiration. Thank you for being part of my life.

Lindarub
Lindarub

May 02, 2019

Yes, I have some with the colored labels which I still use.

Charice Mason
Charice Mason

May 02, 2019

I love everyone of my HA stamps and I have many many from the 1990s – love the colored labels and I still use these stamps all the time. I’ve been stamping for well over 30 years and one of the first stamps I bought was from Hero Arts, and I still use it! Truly HA stamps are works of Art and timeless classics! Thank You!!!!!

Beverly Chester
Beverly Chester

May 02, 2019

Yes I do have one with a colored label!!♥️

Sherri
Sherri

May 02, 2019

I have the super sweet E674 Flower Fairy.