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 shout-out on social media can be nice. So can an email, text or phone call. There is nothing like getting personalized greetings in the mail, though, especially during the holidays. This tradition may seem a little old-fashioned to some, but it is still something many people enjoy. The best photo cards are charming enough to warm the heart and brighten others' homes for the entire season – on the mantel, on the refrigerator or hanging on the Christmas tree.
A Christmas card personalized with a family photo is common enough, but the photo card services we profiled take it all to another level by offering an array of beautiful layouts with carefully selected graphics in a variety of styles. Many also offer three-dimensional details like foil, embossing and laser-cuts that are way outside the predictable photo cards of the past, making the family Christmas card much more fun and interesting.
There are lots of options for summarizing your year. Some families draft and re-draft a family newsletter with a word processing program, adding photos along the way. You can also get more generic, store-bought cards and add your own photos and text to them manually before mailing. One of the easiest and best options, though, is to use photo card services, which often also make photo books, another great gift. You can make unforgettable cards in minutes, 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 an envelope too, so you could slip a newsletter into any card before mailing. For more information on this topic, read our articles on photo card services.
Photo Christmas cards are certainly not the only use for this type of service. As we prepared our photo cards review, we saw all types of ideas, including some you may not have considered before. Thank you photo cards are a nice touch after a wedding or birthday party, for instance. Seeing the recipients of your gift smiling at you from their thank you card is a very personal touch.
Birthday party invites can be as simple as a group text, but for the milestone years it is much more fun to get a photograph of the guest of honor on the invitation, perhaps especially for a first birthday. Anniversary celebration invitations are so much more interesting with a photo or two of the couple through the years. Change of address announcements with a picture of you in front of your new digs are much more exciting to get in the mail than plain text ones.
A wide range of photo card services offer copious designs to fit family occasions and any possible holiday – Halloween, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, graduations, weddings, adoptions and many more. If there is anything to announce or celebrate, there is a photo card for the occasion.
There are so many options for creating photo cards that it can be fairly complicated to pick the best one. You can find kiosks at many big box stores, for instance, that allow you to edit your photos, organize them into simple digital photo card layouts, and then print them while you wait. What makes the services in our lineup different is the quality of the designs, the range of options and the materials used to create your 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 a range of options for specialized paper and embellishments.
In selecting the very best of the best we had to be picky. Our top 10 photo card makers all offer attractive designs for a range of 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.
They all can get cards to your doorstep in a relatively short time. We took notice of how long it took each one, though, and looked for the freshest and best designs for multiple occasions. Design details were very important. We used the same photo from the same source and considered how nicely the photo was reproduced by each different company in terms of color and clarity.
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.
A Christmas card personalized with your family's photo is already special, but Tiny Prints designs elevate it to something more artistic and unique with a vast range of options. Its designs enter another dimension with laser cutting that can make the edge of a card 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 add another stand-out touch.
Simply to Impress offers a large selection of cards for almost any occasion, and the designs are gorgeous, including the layouts with foil accents that literally outshine competitors. Minted also boasts beautiful designs and gets them to you fast. That is especially welcome during the traditional hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Photo cards for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries are a nice way to commemorate an important event for your family. The best ones are a reflection of your personal style and may become a treasured keepsake in your scrapbooks for years to come.