Ever wish you could design and print awesome greeting cards to send to friends and family, but you just don't have the design skills? Never fear, the PsPrint blog is here to show you how you can make your own greeting cards fast and easy, even if you're not a designer.
“But I'm not a designer. I want my greeting cards to look professional,” you say.
No problem. Just follow the simple steps outlined below, and you'll be able to send professional-looking greeting cards that will make that sister-in-law of yours think you spent a fortune – but you'll know it cost less to get a professional design and print job than she spent on last year's crappy-looking desktop-printed greeting cards. Score one for you, as you learn how to make your own greeting cards fast and easy!
Step 1: Get a design
First things first: You need a design for your greeting cards. My recommendation for the non-designer is to either: A) find a free or paid greeting card template online; or B) see if your local community college's design program has students who need to pad their portfolios. If you choose option A, look for a template you can customize – you don't want something made for Adobe Photoshop if you don't know how to use Photoshop, but you can find free and paid templates for Microsoft Word and Open Office (a free alternative) with a quick Google search. If you choose option B, you can probably find a talented designer who will create your design for a small fee – or even free!
Finding an online template is quick and easy, but you lose the ability to customize your design. Yes, you can swap out photos and text; but you can't dictate the design yourself. If you can find a willing designer, you'll be able to dictate the design. Also, you can go with option C: hire a designer through Elance, ODesk, Guru or Digital Point (among others). Some designers cost thousands, but chances are you'll be able to find one that can design your greeting cards for under $50.
Step 2: Print
Once you have your design, all you have to do is upload your artwork and choose your printing options. A thick 14-point gloss cover or 13-point 50 percent recycled matte cover paper stock works best. Pay attention to whether your chosen paper is CS2 or CS1 – the former is coated on both sides, and the latter is only coated on one side so you can write on the inside of your greeting cards. Have your greeting cards scored and folded, and order matching envelopes to boot.
I highly recommend ordering a hardcopy proof so you can double-check your design for position, colors and typos before you approve the final print run. It's dirt-cheap insurance for a perfect greeting card print run.
Step 3: Mail
You can have your greeting cards delivered to you so you can address, stamp and mail them; or you can have your printer's mail house do this for you. All you have to do is provide a mailing list, and you can save yourself the hassle of tedious stamping and addressing, as well as a trip to the post office. And if you have a lot of greeting cards to send, you can save money through your printing company's bulk mail indicia.
Following these steps will yield an incredibly professional-looking greeting card for a great price. Let's say you find a free template that you customize with Word and print 50 5-inch by 7-inch greeting cards on 14-point CS1 paper stock, folded and delivered to you complete with matching envelopes. With a hardcopy proof and PsPrint's current special pricing, you'll spend a grand total of about $80.
Compare that to the price of a box of desktop printing greeting card paper – about $25 for 30 – and the cost of the low-quality ink it will take, not to mention the smearing, printer jams, folding times and the fact that time is money; and when you consider that you'll have $80 in materials before you even start, it's easy to see why professional greeting card printing not only looks outstanding, it costs far less than desktop printing.