Best Greeting Card Software: Programs for Making Cards
We have tested greeting card software for the past 12 years. This year, we spent over 40 hours comparing the ease of use, templates, graphics and text options, as well as editing tools and effects, to determine the best software. We chose Print Artist 25 Platinum as the best product on the market, not only because it offers nearly the most templates of any other software, but because it also gives you access to better editing tools so you can perfect your greeting cards with special effects. Once you are done creating your art, it’s easy to print it, share it on Facebook or send it to your friends and family as an e-card.
Print Artist 25 Platinum
Print Artist 25 Platinum balances tons of templates, graphics and design tools, making it the most customizable greeting card and home document design software we tested.
Canva is an online graphic design platform where you can get a free account or pay a low monthly fee for access to more features.
Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe
Despite its limited number of graphics and templates, Hallmark’s well-thought-out program helps guide new users with writing tips, clear organization, and a plethora of tutorials and support options.
Print Artist Platinum is easy to use and allows you to be as creative as you want. It even lets you import photos, clip art and artwork. The 28,000 templates not only help you make greeting cards, but also provide layouts for calendars, bumper stickers, T-shirts, hats, masks, gift bags, invitations, tags and gift boxes. Also, the 377,000 graphics cover numerous holidays and occasions.
Print Artist Platinum allows you to edit premade cards or create them from scratch. You can use the editing tools to add effects and enhance your projects, whether you are removing blemishes from a photo, adding filters, adjusting the color of your cards or using the various paintbrushes to create something new. On the downside, it doesn't offer prewritten text for various occasions, and some of the icons are small and unlabeled, so it requires some effort to determine what they do.
There are links to share your creations on Facebook, YouTube, or email directly from the program. Helping you to create e-cards, complete with sound or music, that are easy email to your friends and family members. If you need help, there are tutorials and a FAQs page on the company's website, or you can contact customer support via email, phone or live chat.
Canva has been around since 2012. It started as a way for graphic design students to learn the basics of design without being intimidated by overly complex software. Since then, the program has grown to include over a million images. There’s a free version with limited access to images and templates, making it our best value pick for greeting card software.
For a monthly fee of $12.95, you can get Canva for work, which includes 50,000 templates and 300,000 images. There are templates for all sorts of occasions and projects, like creating new business cards or invitations, presentations or images. Of course, you can also design sentimental cards or announcements for all kinds of occasions.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this platform compared to our best overall pick. Even though you’re paying a membership fee, not all the content is free, and you can see it while you’re browsing for images. Its also got limited editing tools available, in order keep the program simple; it’s missing some of the photo tools, like photo repair or red-eye reduction which other greeting card software includes. You’ll have to use another design program if you want to make larger adjustments to the images. But if you’re not trying to get too complicated, it’s easy to drag and drop images, either ones from the service or ones you upload.
Canva doesn’t currently offer phone support, but the help section of the website is remarkably helpful with tutorials and a search bar to look for information on how to perform different actions on the site. You can also contact them via Facebook messenger if you need to speak to another person.
Not only does Canva offer a streamlined user experience, its templates and images are fashionable and up-to-date. If you don’t want to get bogged down with too many complicated features, Canva could be the right place to design your cards.
Best for Beginners
Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe comes with thousands of graphics and templates compared to the hundreds of thousands you’ll find with Print Artist 25 Platinum. However, it comes with a unique feature that can help new designers starting out.
In addition to offering prewritten phrases for special occasions typical of most greeting card software , Hallmark provides a database of etiquette tips. These suggestions help you to write appropriate statements for delicate situations.
The beginner support program also extends to the organization of the software, which provides links to a tutorial on almost every page and neatly organizes tools so they aren’t overwhelming. But the deluxe version doesn’t skimp on the tools for the sake of a clean look either. Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe comes with a photo editing suite that allows you to can enhance your cards by changing tones, focus and colors, adding special effects and other adjustments.
When you have finished your creations, you can print them out or share them directly to Facebook, YouTube or via email. This program lets you import music and audio so you can create e-cards with personalized sound. If you have questions, you can contact the company's customer support through email, phone or live chat. You can also find help online with the company's FAQs page and tutorials.
Hallmark has also released a standard edition of this software for about $20 less. It comes with less clip art and fewer templates than the already graphic-lite deluxe version. It’s also missing some of the more advanced photo and editing tools. But, it offers the same sentiment assistance at a lower price, and it might be a good place to start for those more casually interested in greeting card design.
Best for Sharing on Social Media
Not all the programs we reviewed make it easy to share your creations online, but Print Artist Gold has embedded tools that connect you to social media directly from the software – you can share your designs on YouTube and Facebook.
Print Artist Gold also lets you add sound to your cards, including recordings of your voice and music files. Like the best greeting card software, it comes with hundreds of thousands of graphics and over 15,000 templates. Although, unlike the best program for beginners, Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe, Print Artist doesn’t include pre-written sentiments; you have to come up with them on your own. All the programs we reviewed allow you to upload photos, but only a few, including Print Artist Gold, have photo editing tools.
Best for Designers
PrintMaster Platinum from Broderbund has graphic design and photo editing tools, which make it a good choice if you’re interested in designing your own images or importing elements from other graphic design programs.
Even though PrintMaster comes with over 150,000 graphics and nearly 5,000 templates, they aren’t all high quality. For example, we saw pixilation in many of the pieces of clip art. However, the software’s tools are easy enough to use, so you can incorporate your own elements to create unique designs. Not even the best programs we reviewed have full graphics editing suites, but PrintMaster’s tools are sufficient to create new designs. The software also includes helpful layouts for other projects, including invitations and calendars, so you aren’t limited to creating greeting cards. PrintMaster is compatible with Avery templates, so it has many printing options.
Why Trust Us
We have been testing greeting card software for the past 12 years. This year alone, we spent over 40 hours testing and comparing programs. Initially, we chose the best products based on their online user reviews and then tested them ourselves to compare them against one another. We made a list of each software's features to determine which programs allowed for the most creativity and personalization.
Our resources allow us to download and compare each program side-by-side with its competitors. While we’re average greeting card software users who enjoy creating projects, we work on testing loads of software programs, so we made sure to check if the graphics look good, the programs are easy to use, and the editing tools are helpful. While looking through graphics, we made a note of the holidays and occasions each program covered. The variety of templates and images each software provided was also important in our testing.
How Much Does Greeting Card Software Cost?
As you search for greeting card design software, keep in mind that the programs with the largest clip art libraries often cost the most. Also, you access some of the most up-to-date greeting card programs through an online subscription rather than a one-time purchase. You can pause subscription accounts during times you don’t plan to use the software, and we found online programs more convenient to use in general. We don’t recommend spending more than $15 a month on a subscription or more than $50 for a program you purchase outright.
How We Tested
Our testers created three sets of greeting cards from each program to see which was the easiest to use and allowed the most creative freedom. Programs with larger graphics libraries and text options scored higher. We also evaluated which programs provided the most editing tools and pleasant-looking graphics. Software with more attractive options scored higher. We determined each program's ease of use by seeing how quickly we could find the templates and graphics we wanted, as well as how easy it was to use the editing and text tools.
Some programs’ templates covered more than just greeting cards, providing layouts for gift bags, stationery, envelopes, business cards, calendars, T-shirts and much more. Programs offering a wide selection of greeting card and other templates score higher than companies with only a few options.
We also looked at the printing and sharing abilities of each program. Software that let us share our creations directly on social media sites scored higher than products missing connectivity options. We also evaluated software programs with the ability to create and send e-cards. Since visual instructions are an important way to learn, we gave more points to companies with multiple video tutorials and FAQs page answers.
Choosing Greeting Card Software
It’s critical to choose greeting card software with all the tools you need to create a custom card at home. From our tests, we found that the best greeting card software is easy – and even fun – to use. It should also have an abundance of templates, along with various design elements, editing tools and sharing options.
Templates and Stock Images. The best greeting card software should house thousands of templates and graphics to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a birthday or anniversary card, or want to congratulate a friend or family member on graduation or engagement, good greeting card programs have you covered. Make sure the program you choose gives you multiple choices within each category, as well as the ability to personalize the cards. Also look for blank card options, where you can create a card from scratch and add your own artistic flair.
It isn’t uncommon for these programs to have tens of thousands of clip art images, so if you find a program only offering a few thousand, you can likely do better. Some of these also offer templates for slideshows.
Design. The best programs include a variety of font styles and sizes, allowing you to design just the right card for a particular occasion or person. Design tools should make it easy to move text and design elements around until your card looks just right, and there should be font styles and other elements that match the card’s design. More advanced programs allow you to create and send e-cards with music, voice recordings or slideshows. It’s also important for these applications to offer tools to help you double check aspects of your design, like spelling, before you send them off.
Photo Editing Tools. In order to create a truly personalized greeting card, you’ll need software that has powerful photo editing tools, giving you full control over the appearance of your card. Once you select clip art or upload your own images, you can then use the software to adjust the size, orientation and image display. Quality greeting card software allows you to crop or resize images, eliminate red eye, adjust brightness or add fun filters to match the card’s overall style.
Sharing Options. Once you’ve created your greeting card, the software should supply you with multiple options for saving, sharing and printing it. At the very least, you’ll have the option of saving your design in a common graphic format. From here, you can print the card yourself or save it to a jump drive to take to a professional printing service. You should also be able to email them to friends and family, and share them on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.
Ease of Use. The best greeting card software includes an approachable and intuitive interface that users of any skill level can navigate. It should also offer solid customer support options, both direct and indirect, with more than one way to contact support representatives. Also, look for tutorials and informational resources on the company’s website.