Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas & Holiday Photo Cards for 2013 Season

If you’re like me, you enjoy looking at all the photo cards you receive at the holidays, not just from families with kids, but from couples as well. In fact, I’d say at least three-quarters, if not more, of the cards my husband and I receive at Christmas are of the photo card variety, not standard, store-bought cards. It’s fun to see how creative people get with their photos and designs, too.

Speaking of designs, I’m seeing some really cool stuff this year, so I wanted to share with you the latest trends for the season.

 Card Sizes

You can get cards in a range of sizes and styles. The most popular are flat cards, which are usually offered in 5×7 and 5×5 for those printed on card stock, and 4×8 for those printed on photo paper.  Folded cards are most often in 5×7 format but can be set to 4x5.6" or 8.5x11". Not surprisingly, flat cards are less expensive than folded cards, and photo paper cards are the least expensive of all. You  can often order photo paper cards online for local in-store pick-up, sometimes with 1-hour or next-day printing. Zazzle has already offered sales from 20%-75% off this year - so check back frequently for sales!

Rounded Corners

Rounded corners add a pretty look.

People who do card stamping know that rounding the corners on cards adds a nice finishing touch. I just tried this myself last week with some friends at a card-making party and it does make them look special. Last year I began seeing this trend with the online photo card services and it has grown in popularity this year. Now Zazzle has a rounded corner option for flat cards that measure 5x7". You can choose this as an extra option during the card customization process.

Personalizing the Back

Zazzle is now offering 5×7 photo cards and you can add text and photos to the back.

It used to be that you could only put photos and text on the front and insides of photo cards, now most companies allow you to personalize the back side as well, which is great when you have so much you want to share. I am also seeing colorful designs on the back vs plain white.

Tips For Creating Your Card

  • It helps to peruse card styles early so you have in mind the layouts, colors and styles you like. That will help you plan your photo shoot if you are taking new photos for your card, or help you pick out images with the right orientation and colors.

  • You can find lots of beautiful cards that don’t say “Christmas” if you prefer. You can find Hanukkah and “Seasons Greetings” style cards and many that simply say “joy.” I have friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but they like to send a family photo card in December, so they send Happy New Year cards, which you will also find aplenty online.

  • If you don’t want to pay extra for address printing and you’re short on time, do what I do. I use all those free return address labels I get in the mail (the simple ones printed in gold or silver look nice) and print the recipient addresses on a sheet of clear labels in a pretty font and stick them on the envelopes. I save my list to use year-after-year and make updates to it as needed.

  • Square cards can be beautiful but they do cost extra postage, so be aware before you order.