By Mary Humphreys
Looking for a holiday card that will really make an impression this year? Online photo card providers have come a long way from the standard “picture and a greeting” layouts they started with, and they really seem to be pushing the envelope this year. We’ve reviewed all of the major photo card providers and collected a few of our favorite super-creative designs this year, so take a look at the best of the best:
If you take most of your pictures with a mobile application like Hipstamatic or Instagram, there are cards out there designed with shots just like yours in mind. Most of these mobile-friendly layouts call for multiple, smaller photos, and often they’re particularly accommodating to square formats like Instagram’s. Pear Tree Greetings has made it the easiest of any site we’ve seen to pick out Instagram-ready designs, but you can probably find an appropriate layout at most of our favorite sites. We particularly like TinyPrints for their huge selection and found a few mobile-friendly options there easily.
Infographic cards are often called newsletter, “year in a nutshell,” or “year in review” cards, and there are a wide range of approaches available this year. Several sites offer design options for this cool card style, but our favorites have come from high-end provider Minted and ultra-flexible provider Mixbook. We love their use of creative typography and graphs to take the place of the traditional holiday letter. Add in space for a great picture, and you have the complete package.
If you don’t think Minted and Mixbook’s cards are right for you, you can find some similar designs from Tiny Prints. Just check “Newsletter” under “Themes” in the sidebar to filter down their selection to some similar options.
Can’t fit everything you want to say or show on just one page? You might want to check out booklet holiday cards. With more than one page, you can tell the story of your year or dedicate a page to each family member if you like. Plus, your friends and family will definitely remember your standout card layout.
Minted’s Minibooks are a great example of this style, and Pear Tree Greetings offers a few options, as does Purple Trail, though we found their card editor more difficult to use than most. You can also find tri-fold cards pretty much everywhere, if you’re not quite ready to go for the full booklet. These longer cards give you more space for photos, text, or anything else you’d like to share with your friends and family.