Lisa Frank Facts
Kids from the ’80s and ’90s are well-familiar with the name Lisa Frank. During this time, every child who had owned a collection of Lisa Frank stickers and stationery sets was considered to be the epitome of cool. The brand is synonymous with rainbows, teddy bears in tuxedos, and bikinis in bananas. Designs that were all over Trapper Keepers, pencil cases, pillows, and stickers. As the pop culture of the ’90s itself have had a resurgence in recent years, Lisa Frank’s designs have also undergone a boost in popularity. Take a look at Walmart’s bright, leopard-print sheets or Urban Outfitter’s kitten-covered coloring books which are both flying off the racks, and you will see what we mean.
In 2016, artist and social media maven Ariel Hart designed the very first Lisa Frank tarot deck. The deck featured the most popular characters. And this is only a taste of things to come. There are plans to bring Lisa Frank’s artwork to the big screen! Hollywood is planning a film based on Lisa Frank similar to the Lego Movie or Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Now, what’s the secret of Lisa’s success? A lot of people today have pleasant memories associated with the company’s products as they are present during formative years. And more and more people are rediscovering Lisa Frank and reliving their childhood in the process.
Nonetheless, whether you are a new fan or an old fan, feel free to check out a few colorful facts we’ve rounded up about the iconic brand. We’re sure you will have a nice time adding these to your knowledge of Lisa Frank items! When you’re done, share it with your family and friends!
- Lisa Frank founded Lisa Frank Incorporated in 1979.
- She was 24 years old when she established the company.
- Lisa Frank’s school material designs were popular during the ’80s and ’90s.
- As of 2018, the company no longer produces its own products.
- In 2011, Lisa Frank launched a clothing line using vivid colored patterns.
- Lisa Frank is the founder of the company Lisa Frank Incorporated.
- The company’s headquarters is in Tucson, Arizona.
- Many of her corporation’s designs make use of rainbow symbols and neon colors.
- The majority of the designs of her products also include stylized animals such as unicorns.
- Lisa Frank has collaborated with several famous brands such as Reebook.
- Lisa Frank is considered to be extremely secretive when it comes to her private life.
- During her interviews in 2012, Lisa Frank requested to have her face obscured in video recordings.
- Lisa Frank nearly lost her company to her ex-husband.
- Lisa Frank is also famous for her sicker designs and products such as lunch bags and notebooks.
- Lisa Frank graduated in 1972 from the Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
- Lisa Frank is best known for producing commercial design school supplies.
- All of her products are primarily marketed towards children.
- Lisa Frank married James Green in 1994.
- In 2005, she divorced James Green.
- In 2019, Lisa Frank designed the logo for the Instagram television series, Current Mood.
Lisa Frank has also collaborated with several artists on making illustrations.
During the early days of the company, Lisa Frank and her co-CEO at the time collaborated with several artists in creating the designs for the company’s characters. Each artwork was stamped with either Lisa Frank’s or the collaborative artists’ trademark which made them more unique compared to previous designs.
Originally, each of the artworks for the characters was all made by hand but they were all later rendered onto computers and digitized to save both time and resources. Lisa Frank was noted to be frantic when it came to the details of her characters’ designs and would often meticulously check each part of the artwork before being released.
One of the Lisa Frank characters is said to be based on the company’s founder.
In previous interviews, Lisa Frank has often stated that each of her characters has a little bit of herself and the people in her life in them. The character believed to be the closest to Lisa Frank as a person would be the character named Purrscilla.
Purrscilla, which is a cat, was considered to be alike Lisa because of the character’s love for glitter and glam-styled jewelry. Despite this, Lisa Frank has commented that she is more of a dog person in real life.
Lisa Frank also collaborated with the famous show, Friends.
In collaboration with the hit TV show, Friends, a special clothing line was released that featured characters from both franchises. Alongside Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Ross, and Rachel are the vibrant characters and designs from Lisa Frank.
The clothing line was released in July 2020 and was exclusively available for a single day in honor of National Friendship Day. The merchandise that cost between $40 and $80 sold out pretty quickly.
Lisa Frank enrolled at the University of Arizona for her college education.
During her time in college, Lisa Frank took up courses in both math and art to support herself and her goals as her father refused to support her in starting her business. Over time, Lisa Frank found methods on how to balance her schoolwork and business endeavors.
During this time, she also began creating connections to several artists who would work with her on her designs. At some point, she also worked on her small jewelry line with design concepts she got from working with artists.
The majority of the characters made by the Lisa Frank company are named after real people.
In many of her interviews, Lisa Frank has stated that she often tries to base all of her characters off people she met or is part of her life. This is evident with some of the characters named after her children, close colleagues, and other friends and family members.
Some of the characters in the Lisa Frank franchise have also been named after her pets both alive and departed. According to Lisa Frank, many fans have written letters asking if she can make a character based on their names.
A Lisa Frank app was launched in 2012.
In 2012, Lisa Frank Incorporated launched a mobile app that allowed its users to place the franchise’s stickers onto photos. The app Pic n’ Share also abled its users to share the edited photos to popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
The photo app was made available for iOS systems for free. It became one of the most popular apps also ranked on the platform.
Lisa Frank launched her company while she was still in college.
Before launching Lisa Frank Incorporated, Lisa Frank began a small business during her time at the University of Arizona. According to an interview with Arizona Daily Star, Lisa Frank began by purchasing pieces of pottery and jewelry from the Indian tribes located around the area to resell them.
Over time, she began to represent the group while selling their handiwork in Michigan. This experience prompted Lisa Frank to create her own jewelry and designs which later on inspired the fancy stickers she is known for today.
Lisa Frank also created a jewelry line called Sticky Fingers.
Prior to the launching of Lisa Frank Incorporated, Frank established a modest custom jewelry line called Sticky Fingers. The jewelry line featured pieces made from plastic with varying designs in vivid colors.
Over time, she began collaborating with other artists to expand her business, expanding her range and making her known to the industry. During her first year of business, Lisa Frank was able to sell a sticker order to Spencer’s Gifts for a value of $1 million.
All of the designs and artwork made by the company was done by hand.
Originally, all of Lisa Frank Incorporated’s designs were sketched and painted by hand which took several hours to complete for just one print. In 1987, Lisa Frank used acrylics, airbrushes, and permanent markers for her designs.
However, due to the amount of work done just to produce one product, the design team resorted to digitized methods. As a result, the production time was reduced and the quality of the products improved as well.
The Lisa Frank offices are equipped with fireproof vaults.
According to Lisa Frank, Lisa Frank Incorporated has copies of all designs, products, and other materials that it produced. These items are secured in fireproof vaults located in each of its offices, which are referred to as The Library by the company.
This type of storage method is also used as a way to easily check the company’s previous works and see what they could improve or revolutionize on. These vaults are guarded by a hired staff to maintain confidentiality and safekeeping.
Lisa Frank was considered biased toward two of her characters.
In an interview with Urban Outfitters, Lisa Frank said that she’s a bit biased towards two particular characters in her franchise. These characters are the tiger cubs named Hunter and Forrest.
Lisa Frank said the reason for this was because the tiger cubs were based on her two children, who the characters were named after before their births. She also said that her children had developed a tiger cub-like behavior which increased her favoritism of the characters.
Lisa Frank also planned on constructing a theme park.
Apart from expanding her franchise into many other production lines, Lisa Frank also once expressed her desire to create a theme park based on her characters. She actually had several ideas of what the theme park would look like, which she wishes to make a reality one day.
Lisa Frank’s designs have been featured in several magazines and commercials.
During the late ’80s and early ’90s, Lisa Frank Incorporated’s products were popular among children, especially young girls. This led to the franchise getting its commercials that featured the colorful artwork of the company.
Several up-and-coming child actors and artists at the time were featured in the Lisa Frank commercials. This helped increase the popularity of the products even more. Apart from television coverage, Lisa Frank Incorporated was also often featured in children’s magazines and other publicity platforms.
The Lisa Frank company switched to digitalized art in 1989.
Lisa Frank Incorporated began rendering its art onto digital platforms in 1989 as a means of saving time and production resources. The company also began favoring digital works as it could grant them a better quality of designs. This was ultimately proven to be effective as the method increased the appeal furthermore. Going digital was also Lisa Frank’s edge over competitors.
A gumball machine was considered to be one of Lisa Frank’s first designs.
According to an interview with Urban Outfitters, Lisa Frank stated that one of her first original designs was for an antique gumball machine, which her father had given her as a child. At the time, Lisa Frank was receiving recognition from her friends for her designs and ideas for logos.
The praises drove Lisa Frank to design buttons and stickers. Over time, due to success, she also began designing items such as lunchboxes, folders, and stationery sets.
Some of the Lisa Frank characters also have a special backstory.
Lisa Frank herself said that some of the characters have their origin stories. One of these characters is Markie, the magical unicorn who lived in the clouds above the Fantastic World of Lisa Frank.
Markie enjoyed collecting stars, exploring the clouds, and going on adventures. However, Markie was to be quite a bully. She also had strong disgust about things that smell bad. Quite fascinating, isn’t it?
Lisa Frank also had tattoo collaborations with Ed Hardy.
One of the most notable collaborations of Lisa Frank is with artist Ed Hardy. Lisa Frank’s characters were featured in a line of office supplies for Ed Hardy’s company. The collaboration was a complete success, with many praising the great combination of colorful and edgy benchmarks of the companies.
Lisa Frank stated that she aimed to continue to work on more affordable collaborations with other artists to give her fans a wider selection of merchandise to choose from.
In 2010, SF Weekly magazine criticized the sexualization of modern Lisa Frank characters.
Lisa Frank Incorporated was called out by SF Weekly magazine in 2010 for making her newer characters sexualized. An act that is a far cry from her classic children themes.
Some of the human characters made by Lisa Frank were also criticized for having unrealistic body expectations. This was compared to the designs for the Bratz doll characters which were said to have set unachievable beauty goals for young girls.
The Lisa Frank company makes use of a special ink for printing their designs.
According to Lisa Frank, Lisa Frank Incorporated uses a special ink formula for their designs. This ink formula would allow the designs of the company’s products to look brighter, thus adding to the appeal of the brand.
The special ink is said to have been made through a four-step process. Apart from the ink, the company also uses a distinct mixture to achieve a vivid tint. This ink formula is also considered to be one of the most tightly guarded secrets of Lisa Frank Incorporated.
The official Lisa Frank Instagram account is run by her son.
Lisa Frank has confirmed that her official verified Instagram account is managed by her 21-year-old son, Forrest Green. As of November 2020, the Instagram account has over 800 thousand followers. The account is fairly active in featuring products and designs from the company.
According to Forrest Green, the Instagram account aspires to make the fans and the general public happy every time they visit the page. In terms of social media marketing strategies, Forrest wishes to remain unique and different from other brands. He is also noted to interact quite a lot with the company’s fanbase.