We have customers that ask who we recommend to print their holiday cards (when they choose not to use one of our custom holiday card designs). In our opinion, there is nothing worse then having a great picture that does not get reprinted well – it is soooo disappointing! In order to answer this question properly, I decided to do some research! Hopefully this will save you some time and possibly avoid a headache!
We know that Costco, Target, as well as hundreds of online sites offer their flat one sided photo greeting cards printed on photo paper. Needless to say, these are not our favorites. Often, there is very little quality control and the reproduction of your image will probably not look that great. If it is in your budget, we recommend using either a local professional lab or check out the following:
Each greeting card company (for example, american greetings) has their own site, the film companies (for example, kodak) have their own sites and there are other sites like Shutterfly that do a decent job. As you look around or ask around, you will come across sites like Tiny Prints or Pear Tree Greetings. I think these two are great examples of quality, yet affordable customized photo cards. Let’s do a mini comparison (I happen to send out folded cards, so I am comparing a 5x7ish card here – however, all 3 companies offer flat cards):
www.shutterfly.com: 5×7 folded cardstock, matte or satin finish, up to 9 pics, envelope included, cards can be purchased individually (this is AMAZING!), prices range (depending on quantity) from $1.19 – $1.99, hundreds of styles to choose from. PROS: No minimums, do not have to be ordered in groups of 25, always some sort of incentive!, fast turnaround, good customer service, site is easy to use. CONS: very busy (last year they sent me someone else’s cards, I had to wait several days for them to reprint my order and send it back out!)
www.tinyprints.com: 5×7 folded cardstock, matte finish (Yeah!!! No glossy option), it looks like 5 pics might be the max, minimum 25 cards, white envelopes standard (you can upgrade very easily, for example, metallic silver +.10 each), about 75 choices (in 5×7 folded), prices range from $1.64-$2.69. PROS: they offer limited edition holiday cards, they sell coordinating holiday labels, extremely user friendly site – it is so easy to drag & drop, change greeting, font, color, etc..you can request a sample of your card, but the best is: they PRE-SHIP envelopes so you can get a jump on addressing the envelopes (if you decide you want to do that part yourself!) CONS: They might be a little too pricey for some!
www.peartreegreetings.com: this sites offerings are the most unique of those mentioned – they have the best flat holiday cards – great designs – a breath of fresh air! They also offer my preferred style: folded. They offer something called a “photo pocket” – several styles that fold in different ways. The folded card features your photo personalization, a wrap pocket and a matching return address label. I love this – they look beautiful! I also love the price range: (min 25 cards) $1.18-$1.53 – best bang for the buck! Like the others, these cards include a white envelope but other upgrades are available.
They offer two other great holiday items: Create Your Own (4×8) Card – 3 easy steps: 1. Choose your layout, 2. Choose your background, 3. Choose your photos. That simple. Easy to use site! And last but not least, I just do not have a fondness for gimmicky Holiday stuff with my kids pictures all over but I really like their magnets. Yes, Photo magnets – don’t gasp – they actually have a nice look – and they are replicas of their cards – prices start at $1.33. I know my grandmother would love one!
I realize that there are endless places to place holiday photo card orders…I would love to hear about others that I have not come across – I would really appreciate feedback! Thanks!