Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe 2018, the graphic design suite from the well-known greeting card company, has an easy-to-use platform and thousands of templates and clip art choices to help you build your projects. Unlike other products we reviewed, it also provides writing tips and instructs you on proper card-sending etiquette. The program is well-rounded, with quality templates, clip art and editing tools, all of which make it a solid choice for greeting card software.
Graphics & Templates
The newest version of Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe contains about 1,000 more templates than the previous 2017 release. However, the number of included graphics, such as clip art and pictures, is surprisingly low for such well-constructed software. With only 20,000 images – no change in number from the previous release – Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe can’t compete with our top pick’s over 377,000 images. That program, Print Artist Platinum, also has about 10,000 ready-made templates.
The software also has a limited font selection, with just over 325 options. This isn’t the smallest font library we saw – we found one program with less than 50 fonts. However, compared to our best pick, which has about 1,000 fonts, Hallmark lacks options. While it’s true having more templates, fonts and graphics is an advantage, in reality, those high numbers include selections you’re unlikely to use.
You can make a variety of projects with Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe, including party favors, business cards, gift tags and more. We found its options to be more stylish than those in other greeting card programs. They’re also easy to adjust – you can resize and alter them without quality loss, a problem other software fails to consider.
Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe has many of the tools we look for as we evaluate greeting card software, including special effects and paint tools. Not only does it have enough ways to adjust templates to your liking, but it also lets you upload and edit photos directly in the software. It isn’t as fancy as a dedicated photo editing program, but there’s enough there to make quick fixes, such adjusting red eye or removing flaws and scratches from older photos.
Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe is one of only three greeting card programs we reviewed that lets you send e-cards with customized music and animations. Using the program, you can upload your own songs and share the results on Facebook and YouTube.
The program also comes with a slew of more traditional mailing options that make sending invitations, holiday greeting cards and announcements that much easier. You can print custom envelopes, postcards and labels with variable text, including mailing addresses you’ve stored in the software’s address book – that way, you don’t have to handwrite them multiple times.
Help & Support
All versions of Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe include writing tips in case you have questions about etiquette and what’s appropriate to send or don’t know what to say for a difficult situation, such as someone’s passing. Hallmark supports and guides you through the entire process of creating a card. We’d love to see more graphic design and greeting card programs address these needs, and we think it makes Hallmark stand out from the other products we reviewed.
Hallmark anticipated the needs of an average user and included support features to address them. For example, there’s a zoom tool on almost every page, so you can see your designs more clearly. We found this option helpful while browsing for projects because we didn’t need to wait to open a project to see its details. It was also useful when we did design work.
There’s a searchable help and support center inside the program, and while its interface is a little out of date, we found answers to a lot of our questions in it. At the top of the project space, there’s a button for a tutorial that walks new users through the program. There’s also a manual, videos and keyboard shortcuts in the Help tab of the top menu.
If you find the in-software help doesn’t answer your question, there’s even more support on the website. You can live chat, email or phone Hallmark. Quite a few of the programs we reviewed, including our best pick, require you to pay for phone support, but Hallmark doesn’t.
We also appreciated how clean the software’s interface is. It’s neither cluttered nor overwhelming, and we didn’t get lost or confused. All the tabs are labeled, and we think navigation felt intuitive compared to other programs.
Hallmark’s simple user interface and numerous help and support options make it an easy program to use. It doesn’t include as many templates, fonts and graphics as other programs we reviewed, but those it has are of a higher quality than we saw in other software. The searchable help center, tutorials and writing tips make this a great choice for those who are unfamiliar with greeting card software.
If the style of this software appeals to you, you might consider looking at the standard version, Hallmark Card Studio 2018. Though it has even fewer graphics and templates, it offers the same support features at a lower cost.