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The top performers in our review are Tiny Prints, the Gold Award winner; Simply to Impress, the Silver Award winner; and Minted, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a service to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of the top 10 photo card services.
A shoutout on social media can be nice as can an email, text or phone call. Still, there is nothing like getting a personalized photo card in the mail. This tradition may seem a little old-fashioned to some, but many people still enjoy it. The best photo card sites offer a selection of designs that warm your recipients’ hearts on any occasion.
Personalized holiday photo cards are common enough, but the custom photo card services we profiled take card creation to another level by offering an array of beautiful layouts with carefully selected graphics in a variety of styles. Many also offer 3D details like foil, embossing and laser cuts that are outside the predictable holiday photo card norms, making Mother’s and Father’s Day cards and graduation invitations fun and interesting.
You can purchase store-bought cards for important spring holidays, but one of the easiest and best options is to use photo card services, which often also make photo books, another great gift. You can make unforgettable cards in minutes by simply clicking and dragging on a web-based interface, without downloading anything new onto your computer. Most layouts do not allow for too much text, but you can find some that allow quite a bit. Photo card pricing usually includes envelopes too, so you can slip a note into any card before mailing it. For more information on this topic, read our articles on photo card services.
Personalized Photo Cards for Every Occasion
While most people use these services to make photo cards for Christmas, they have card designs for other holidays and events as well. As we prepared our photo cards review, we saw all types of ideas, including some you may not have considered before. Wedding thank you photo cards are a nice touch after the big day, for instance. Seeing the recipients of your gift smiling at you from their thank you card is a very personal touch.
Birthday party invitations can be as simple as a group text, but for the milestone years, it is much more fun to get a photo card invitation with a picture of the guest of honor, especially for a first birthday. Anniversary celebration invitations are so much more interesting with some photos of the couple throughout the years. Change of address announcements with pictures of you in front of your new home are much more exciting to get in the mail than plain text ones.
Photo card companies offer many designs to fit family occasions and any possible holiday – Halloween, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, weddings, adoptions and graduation photo cards are available from most services. If there is anything to announce or celebrate, there is a photo card template for the occasion.
Photo Cards: How We Tested, What We Found
There are so many options for creating photo cards online that it can be difficult to pick the best way. For instance, you can find kiosks at many big box stores that allow you to edit your photos, organize them into simple digital photo card layouts and then print them while you wait. The online photo card makers we reviewed are different from other options because of the quality of the designs they offer, the variety of options available and the materials they use to create photo cards. A photo of your family with a holiday greeting graphic along the side is just fine, but the companies we tested take details more seriously, even offering professional and personal design services and options for specialized paper and embellishments.
When selecting the very best of the best, we had to be picky. The best photo card websites all offer attractive designs for many different occasions. We ordered two sets of cards from each company – one printed on the best quality of paper offered and one printed on the least expensive paper. We ordered the sets on the same day – all Christmas cards – and made note of whether the cards and envelopes arrived in good condition. All of the services get cards to your doorstep in a relatively short time, but we gave scoring advantages to the fastest services.
Photo cards have been around for a long time, so it is easy to find drab designs with a box for a photo on one side and simple graphic greeting on the other. We had our in-house experts look for the freshest and best designs for many different occasions. Design details were very important. Sites that offer greater variety of shapes and textures for photo cards received higher scores. Some companies quite literally think outside the box with ornament-shaped cards, glitter or foil embellishments, and scalloped or other kinds of borders.
Once the cards arrived, we had a team of in-house designers examine the cards and compare them to each other. We used the same photo from the same source, and the designers considered how nicely the photos were reproduced by each company in terms of color and clarity. They had a high-quality print of the original photo to compare to. The services that produced cards with photo reproduction closest to the original photo received the best scores.
Paper quality was a factor as well. The high-quality paper samples were all printed on nice paper, but some were noticeably thicker. The low-quality paper samples were all printed on flimsier stock, but some still stood out for being sturdier or making the photo look more crisp and true to the original.
Our Verdict and Recommendations
We saw lots of beautiful cards in our testing process, but our favorites were from Tiny Prints, Simply to Impress and Minted. These three services go beyond good designs and offer something truly unique, especially Tiny Prints.
Photo greeting cards personalized with your family's photo are already special, but Tiny Prints’ designs make them more artistic and unique with its large catalog of options. Its designs enter another dimension with laser cutting that can make the edges of your cards look like lace and embossing designs that leave indented patterns in the paper that you can see and feel. The designs with foil and glitter have a stand-out touch. This attention to detail makes Tiny Prints the best place to order photo cards.
Simply to Impress offers a large selection of cards for almost any occasion, and the designs are gorgeous. Its layouts with foil accents outshine its competitors. Minted also boasts beautiful designs and gets them to you fast.
Personalized photo greeting cards for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries are a nice way to commemorate important events for your family. The best photo card websites help you create high-quality photo cards that reflect your personal style and may become a treasured keepsake in your scrapbooks for years to come.