1. Have a Plan. Decide what you want to create. Not every photo will work with the card layout that you choose, so decide in advance what you want. A 4-by-6, 5-by-7, 5-by-5, 4-by-8, 6-by-8 sized card? Photographic Paper? Card stock? Double Sided? A multiple image card? Bright colors? Muted colors? Choose the image first, or the Holiday Card, then make it work.
Budget. Cards can be pricey, but for me, every card I receive is a gift. When the holidays are over, I add the cards that were sent to our family to a Christmas Card Album. It is so much fun to pull out this album every year and see the changes in our friends and families. I sure hope others save ours! The annual Christmas Card is something that you should put time and thought into- you never know who might be pulling it out 10 years from now!
- Single-sided photographic paper (slimline) cards will be the most cost effective.
- Five-by-five-inch Cards are darling, but postal rates are double for anything square.
- Card stocks can make a difference. If you want to stand out from the refrigerator competition, choose unique paper types. At Persnickety Prints, we carry an exclusive linen and a pearl card stock that will definitely stand out in every home.
- Cropping. Not all card templates are the same. Horizontal, vertical, square.. something will need to be cropped from the photo. When you are shooting your picture, make sure to step back and leave space in the image for wiggle room.
- Color. It is important to for your card to blend well: make sure photo and border compliment each other. For example, brightly colored cards look great with a black and white photo.
- Light. This is an important tip for all photo printing. Images shot in natural light work best, so try to take your portraits with lots of sunlight.
- Adjust. Make it a standard to lighten your images before adding them to your card template. If you are using multiple images, lighten and adjust all of them the same way. From the printing side, we can lighten images for you; however, this will lighten everything, template/border included. If one image is dark and another image is too light, we are stuck. We only have your flattened file to work with.
- Bleed. Bleed. Bleed. All printing equipment is not the same. It is best to leave at least .25″ around the edge of your project for trim, print overlay, and alignment. We don’t want to cut off anything important!
- Don’t print at home. Add up the cost of paper, ink, time and cutting, and you will be spending two to three times more than letting professionals do their job. Plus, you’ll love the quality of a professionally printed photo card–and, envelopes are usually included when ordering cards from a lab.
Every Holiday card that we receive at home is displayed for all to see. Make yours the best for 2011!
Chari Pack is the owner of Persnickety Prints, an online print processor specializing in high-quality, archival-safe photographic prints for scrapbookers. Persnickety Prints also features a wide range of photographic prints, cards and hard-bound books and other products as well as freebies for digital scrapbookers.