Custom greeting cards are a great way to send a highly personalized message to customers, friends, and family. And today’s software packages have made it easier than ever to create a completely custom greeting card for the holiday season. Here are five easy steps you can follow to create the perfect custom greeting cards and one BONUS tip to use when selecting your printing options. Following these steps will help you take your initial design concept and bring it to a fruitful – and beautiful – conclusion.
Select a Custom Greeting Card Template – Most professional printing firms will supply you with downloadable templates to help you lay out the design of your custom card. Think about whether you want a horizontal or vertical card, flat or folded and the size you prefer. Then check the templates your online printer provides. Once you have downloaded the correct template, you can begin designing your custom greeting card using your favorite software.
Choose a Theme – Choose a theme for your greeting card, such as a holiday or special occasion. This is an important step so that you know what kind of graphics and text to put on your custom greeting cards. There are an abundance of themed images for public use that can be found on the internet and many that are often paired with certain software programs. The sheer number of available graphics can be overwhelming, so having an idea in mind helps keep you able to narrow down your selections. Think about designs you have seen and liked, and try to incorporate a few of those elements into your own card.
Get Your Graphics – Once you’ve decided on your theme, you can start collecting your graphics. Keep in mind that most internet images are 72 dots-per-inch, but all professional printing should be done at a minimum 300 dots-per-inch. Some software programs come with a library of images and graphics usually sorted by theme and category. However, there are also many excellent resources online for free and legal high resolution graphics, such as Stock Exchange. The number and scope of graphics available can be awe-inspiring; so entering into your search with a good design idea in mind can help you narrow your search results accordingly.
Arrange Your Text and Graphics – Once you have gathered your graphics, you can begin to arrange them on your template. Keep your original theme in mind and use fonts that are easy to read. Remember when designing your card to not over-do it – keep your design clean and readable, so your theme and message gets across easily. If these are custom greeting cards for your business, don’t forget to include your logo and contact information.
Proof and Print – Finally, print off a test copy, usually referred to as a proof, to make sure what you see on your screen is what you’re going to get. Once everything looks right, save your file, and send it to your favorite print shop. Unless you are only printing only a few of your custom greeting cards, you should strongly consider using a professional print shop to print them as they will more than likely save you money and get you better results. Online printers also have a variety of paper stocks, coatings and other options available to make your custom card even more eye-catching.
BONUS TIP – Make It Extra Special – Check with your online printer to see what extras might be available to dress up your greeting card. A UV coating can make the simplest card look rich. A High Gloss UV coating adds a brilliant, eye-popping lacquer-like finish to the card, while a Dull UV coating gives the card a rich, matte-satin look and feel. Don’t forget to have your online printer add scoring and/or folding to your card to make it easy to prepare for mailing.
Using these six steps will help you design and create a custom greeting card your business will be proud send to all your friends, clients and business associates!