The top performers in our review are Tiny Prints, the Gold Award winner; Simply to Impress, the Silver Award winner; and Shutterfly, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a photo card service to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 services.
A Facebook post or email message is enough for most announcements, but significant events in life call for something more. Custom photo cards are a great way to announce a birth, marriage, graduation or other happy event with the excitement it deserves. Your friends and family members – especially those from older generations – will be glad to get more than a blog entry when something significant happens in your life. A physical card is more meaningful than an email because it shows personal effort. However, the best photo card printing services don't require you to work hard to create just the right message for any occasion.
Of course, you can purchase invitations and birthday cards from your local department store, but it's more fun to design your own cards. Photo card services help you design custom creations fit to represent special occasions. Memorable Christmas cards, photo invitations, announcements and more start with the best photo card websites. Some services deliver your photo cards for you, print your return address automatically and have simple interfaces that allow you to personalize cards in minutes.
Photo cards come with the option to customize, but not to the extent seen with photo books. Photo cards also differ from other online printing or digital photo printing services because they sell best in bulk. Often, photo card services place a minimum quantity on the cards you order to avoid wasting ink and resources. For more about multimedia production, check out our articles on photo cards.
Like most printing services, the price of your photo card varies based on several factors. Across categories, custom cards cost around the same price; however, some card varieties come standard with extra features, tacking on a couple dollars. The best services allow you to avoid these extra costs.
One of the most fun parts of shopping for photo cards is sorting through the different layouts and style options. Top photo card services, such as Tiny Prints, allow you to edit and tweak card templates, as well as apply different background colors, card trims and envelope colors. There are libraries of cards organized in a variety of categories, and the best of these services allow you to filter your search based on a number of criteria such as theme, number of photos, image orientation, size, price and paper type.
Like friends, photo cards are best in large quantities. Photo card services often require you to purchase your photo cards in orders of at least 10 because it lowers photo card printing prices. However, this works to your advantage if you're sending out many photo invitations or announcements to friends and family around the country. The best photo card services allow you to adjust the number of cards from the minimum.
The best photo card sites offer a finished product that you are proud to send to your friends and family. For our reviews, we ordered similar birth announcements from each service and evaluated the photo reproduction, paper quality and other factors to determine the very best of the best.
During the editing process, some services alert you if your photo’s resolution is too low or needs adjusting. The best services provide proofs before you print large numbers of cards for events. In addition, you can improve your photo card's first impression by customizing the envelopes and stationery.
The best photo card companies provide delivery services and do the mailing work. You simply upload the addresses of your recipients, and the service packages, stamps and mails your personalized messages for you.
While evaluating, we looked for services that offer attractive templates for a wide variety of events, including weddings, birthdays, holidays, graduations and births. The best services also offer a selection of traditional and contemporary layouts for custom photo cards that go beyond what you can make yourself or have printed at a big box store. Our Gold and Bronze Award winners sell more than cards with your images on them. You can purchase home decor and office accessories to capture memories in and away from home. Some services can print designs on pillows, phone cases, napkins, notebooks, envelopes, mugs and Christmas ornaments.
When you're handling big events like a new baby or planning a wedding, photo cards are the last thing you want to worry about. During our evaluation, we considered extra measures photo card services apply to make the process convenient. Some sites make it much easier to find what you are looking for than others. We liked the sites that have a range of filters so you can find a template with the right number of photos, facing the right direction and in your price range in a hurry. The best photo card sites allow you to order a small quantity if you prefer. That way, you can see the card before you order a large quantity or just mail them to a small group if you like.
If you have problems during the design process or with your order, it is nice to know that help and support are available. We looked for options such as phone numbers, email and live chat assistance. In addition, the best companies offer you a satisfaction guarantee. If you are not pleased with the final product, it is important that a process is in place to ensure you ultimately get the product you paid for.
The winner of our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award is TinyPrints.com. This photo card service has a huge selection of templates for a variety of occasions. You can find photo cards for baby announcements, weddings, birthdays and holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Chinese New Year. The predesigned templates on Tiny Prints are modern with a hint of personalized DIY flavor. Though there are plenty of designs to choose from, it's easy to tweak the premade cards to your liking. In addition to photo cards, you can order blank cards, stationery and personalized stickers for other projects.
The Top Ten Reviews Silver Award goes to Simply to Impress. Many photo card sites dabble in other multimedia like photo books, but Simply to Impress' specialty is photo cards only. This keeps the website well organized. In addition, Simply to Impress offers the greatest number of cards for $25, and they are often priced lower than 75-cents individually. The cards from Simply to Impress come on high-quality paper with high-resolution photos.
Shutterfly.com is the winner of our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award. Shutterfly offers 10 formats for greeting cards, including tri-fold stationery, large 6 x 8 photo cards and plenty of lay-flat models. Several of the designs on Shutterfly take a creative new twist on traditional cards like the "big reveal" baby shower invitations. While Shutterfly misses some extra features in accessories like envelopes, it makes up for it in style and creativity. Whatever your party size, Shutterfly has no minimum order requirements, so you can order just one card or different cards in bulk from this service.