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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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58 Responses

Gail Anderson
Gail Anderson

May 02, 2019

I own 4 of the 6 sentiment stamps in the picture, and I still use them!

Nancy Wilcox
Nancy Wilcox

May 02, 2019

I have quite a few with colored labels. Two that I use frequently are the Thank You calligraphy and the Calendar Card. Both are from 1996. Hero Arts has always been a favorite of mine

marylouh
marylouh

May 02, 2019

that heart with the flowers looks like one in my stash.
I know I have several other stamps with colored labels.
Need to go through the stack and see what is there.
Love the look back. thanks for the trip.
txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carol H
Carol H

May 02, 2019

I still have a number of HA wood mounted stamps. My favorite one is the small alphabet comic sans looking one that came in a box. I use that a lot.
Others include the season sets and shadow ones. Happy Anniversary Hero Arts. Fabulous that you still continue to keep us enthralled after all these years. X

Laura L
Laura L

May 02, 2019

I have tons that have been converted to cling. I love them just as much now, as I did they day I purchased the stamps!
HA never goes out of style.

Trudie
Trudie

May 02, 2019

I think I have all of the word stamps shown with the color labels. Love your stamps.

Susan McRae
Susan McRae

May 02, 2019

I do own quite a few HA stamps with colored labels. Lots of leaves, geometric shapes and border stamps.

Becky Kinsinger
Becky Kinsinger

May 02, 2019

I have S1856 Pansy Portrait – still love it, and still use it!

Jean Goehlen
Jean Goehlen

May 02, 2019

It is so much fun to see these old stamps as I still have so many of them. I started stamping about 30 years ago when the supply was very limited, but many of those stamps are still my favorites. My first embossing was done over the toaster.

Marita B
Marita B

May 02, 2019

I was amazed when I opened this Flashback. I have the set with Hello, Congatulations etc. It’s copyright date is 1996 but I started stamping in 1998 so I’ve had it at least that long and I still use it!! Also I have the set with 3 roses as well which has a date of 2005. I always liked the old Quattro sets and the Poetic prints stamps. Thanks for making great quality stamps that I am still using!!

GLenda M Sultan
GLenda M Sultan

May 02, 2019

I have a few since I started making cards in 1992. The one I use often for birthdays is a cluster of balloons. I chose Hero Arts above the others because of the nicely colored labels. You are the experts! I posted my set of petite fours on #HeroArtsCelebrates45.

Josmary
Josmary

May 02, 2019

Omg some very beautiful stamps you made in the 90s I’m I love with cardcrazycook stamps..

Greta H
Greta H

May 02, 2019

I have tons of HA stamps with colored labels! I also have the press a frame somewhere around here! My LSS would order from HA based on what my friend & I asked for as we were really good at begging!

Amy Cooley
Amy Cooley

May 02, 2019

I may have a few left, but I’ve moved into clear stamp sets and these take up a lot less room. Oh how things have changed over the years!

Suzi Metcalfe
Suzi Metcalfe

May 02, 2019

I think I have all the sentiment stamps shown above, and they are still among my favorites with their large bold script fonts. Great for heat embossing!

Susan Babcock
Susan Babcock

May 02, 2019

Yes! It’s called Garden Flowers Sketch. It even has instructions on the side, “Stamp with black ink and fill in with color.”

Jo Dryden
Jo Dryden

May 02, 2019

Oh, I sure do, many many many!!

Deborah Cartwright
Deborah Cartwright

May 02, 2019

I still use the Happy Birthday stamp all the time, love it!!

Bobbie H.
Bobbie H.

May 02, 2019

I own quit a few stamps with the colored label. The majority of them are seasonal stamps. It has been fun going back into my stamps looking for my old Hero Arts stamps. I loved the colored labels because I could get an idea on how to color the stamped image.

Cindy Macias
Cindy Macias

May 02, 2019

Ah yes, the 90s! Besides having my two daughters, best years ever! I have a 1996 Checkerboard flowers and it’s a keeper! Great to be a part of this! Congrats, many more to come!

Meghan Kennihan
Meghan Kennihan

May 02, 2019

YES! I own a bunch that are in the above picture! I posted them on Flickr and linked them up to the “contest” or giveaway for all our old Hero Arts Stamps… I still use the Congratulations and Thank You from the picture above almost on every card with that theme! I love the font!

Lisa K
Lisa K

May 02, 2019

I own many of these stamps with colored labels. I still use some and love coloring with the label as a guide.

Stacey Kowbel
Stacey Kowbel

May 02, 2019

I do not have any stamps with colour labels. A great look back in time!

Shari Czerwinski
Shari Czerwinski

May 02, 2019

Yes! My stamp drawer is full of stamps to look just like the :-) I love wood mounted stamps, because the seem to last so much longer. Thanks for all the great memories from previous catalogs. Happy 45th!

Theresa Warner
Theresa Warner

May 02, 2019

The happy birthday and my first set of letter stamps. The bright labels on wood mount stamps were refreshing to see and great selling point.

Kailash
Kailash

May 02, 2019

I love that you are taking us way back, such cool stamps. I am so sad that I don’t own any of the stamps with colored labels. However I proudly display all of my hero Arts stamps!

Cynthia Fisher
Cynthia Fisher

May 02, 2019

I have the congratulations stamp & still use it!

Debbie Christensen
Debbie Christensen

May 02, 2019

Oh yeah we must be dating ourselves. Have the stamps with colored labels.did a lot of scrapbooking back then but have progressed and come a long ways (hopefully) creativitally.love your products

Cyndi Morris
Cyndi Morris

May 02, 2019

The 90’s were when I really got serious about my stamping hobby — I remember those Hero Arts stamps well. And, yes, I have several of the stamps with colored labels in my stash, and I still use them. Many of my other mounted rubber stamps from those days have dried out and are no longer usable, but my Hero Arts stamps are like new (except for the ink stains!).

Jeanne Beam
Jeanne Beam

May 02, 2019

Lots of fun seeing the stamps from the 1990’s. Love the catalogs.
Thanks so much for sharing…

Maria B
Maria B

May 02, 2019

Sure I own stamps with colored labels. Happy Anniversary.

Janet
Janet

May 02, 2019

I have quite a few of those stamps in the photo … and a whole bunch more with coloured labels. They’re up on my “favourites” wood stamp shelf unit.
And I have some of those press-a-frames too! Lucky me.

Ellie S.
Ellie S.

May 02, 2019

Those card samples look amazing and what a treasure those pretty stamps are! A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to find some retired Hero Arts stamps at a thrift store, but with black/clear stickers.
The stamp a press looks like such a fun tool! It must have been popular before my stamping time, as I’ve not seen this product before, but do have a stylus.

Theresa Davies
Theresa Davies

May 02, 2019

I have a few with colored labels, stacked with many, many more that I have bought through the years. Thank you for all the creativity

Cindy Aguirre
Cindy Aguirre

May 02, 2019

Yes. I have a couple of colored stamps!

Cindy C.
Cindy C.

May 02, 2019

Yes I do own several colored labeled Hero Arts stamps, I draw inspiration from the pretty labels for my projects.

Heather Holbrook
Heather Holbrook

May 02, 2019

I have the Hibiscus Portrait stamp with a colored label, marked 2000. I still love and used it!

anne hudgens
anne hudgens

May 02, 2019

Love the ‘HERO ARTWORK’! I enjoy just displaying as much as using them to create art!

Jo Ham
Jo Ham

May 02, 2019

I still have a good number of them with colored labels. I unmounted most of my stamps( ran out of storage room :-)) but there were many that the coloring was too pretty to remove so I have a special place for those. I have been purchasing stamps for over 25 years now. Hero arts was one of my first stamps. It was a rose. It was and still is one of my favorite stamps as well as Hero Arts being one of my favorite companies. I love this “flashback” that you are doing. Love thinking about all the places I went to find stamps.

MandaLJ
MandaLJ

May 02, 2019

I’m enjoying all these peeks into the vaults! I don’t have any stamps with coloured labels.

Shirley Johnson
Shirley Johnson

May 02, 2019

Only a couple but no Hero Arts. I like using some of the older ones.

Kelly Kennedy
Kelly Kennedy

May 02, 2019

I own many stamps with coloured labels but none are Hero Arts. They seem so old fashioned now!

Lin Brandyberry
Lin Brandyberry

May 02, 2019

Yes, I adore my Hero Arts stamps with colored labels – but most of mine have dates in the 2000s. I have mine displayed on open shelving in my craft room, so I see them everyday!

Becca Yahrling
Becca Yahrling

May 02, 2019

Oh yes, quite a few! I love them all.

Jane
Jane

May 02, 2019

I still have some of these stamps as my local craft store had a stamp of the month class and very often it was a Hero Arts stamp. I still have the 3 flowers stamps in the middle picture.

Karthikha Uday
Karthikha Uday

May 02, 2019

I love reading these flashbacks!! So good to know a successful journey this long!
I don’t own any stamp with a colored label

ginger
ginger

May 02, 2019

Yes! I have several stamps with colored labels. Looking forward to seeing stamps from the vault.

Helen
Helen

May 02, 2019

I recognize some of my stamps here! Thanks for sharing your history…I’m enjoying it very much.

KT Fit Kitty
KT Fit Kitty

May 02, 2019

Yes, I sure do have some of those stamps with the colored label! They’re great stamps! Thank you, Hero Arts!

Debbie Alderson
Debbie Alderson

May 02, 2019

I do have some old colored stamps! I’m away from home right now, so I can’t pictures. I just can’t grt rid of my old stamps!

Isabel Z
Isabel Z

May 02, 2019

I still have a few but haven’t used them in a while. I should dig them out to see what I saved.

Dee Earnshaw
Dee Earnshaw

May 02, 2019

some lovely designs – unfortunately, I do not own any of these colored label stamps

Lisa Byers
Lisa Byers

May 02, 2019

Oh my!! I have the Heart of Flowers!! It’s sitting on my shelf proudly displayed!! It’s one of my favorite stamps. It’s just so pretty!!

creatingincolors
creatingincolors

May 02, 2019

OMG those stamps with the colorful labels – sweet! I no longer have them, but recognize several of them as being among the first I ever bought! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Sherry
Sherry

May 02, 2019

Love the flashbacks!!! Yepper, you bet I have some HA stamps with colored labels! In particular, I love and often use that Happy Birthday stamp that was featured in your photo frame sample. Love your work, HA! Thanks for the inspiration and the great tools to help us create!!! Happy Stamping! Sherry

Laura P.
Laura P.

May 02, 2019

I’m so enjoying the flashbacks! I don’t have the colored label stamps but looking at all the photos makes me nostalgic for simple cards!

Kelsey Thomas
Kelsey Thomas

May 02, 2019

I have a couple of stamps with colored labels. :)

Donna Hatfield
Donna Hatfield

May 02, 2019

I have several. They were all the rage back in the day.