Want to make your perfect Christmas photo card? Here's five tips that will help

photo cards
(Image credit: shutterstock)

With Christmas fast approaching, photo cards are becoming increasingly popular - custom-made, inexpensive and less time consuming than a photo book, but equally unique and significant. 

Now, creating the perfect photo card may sound like a daunting task, particularly when you just take a look at the finished product. They look like they've been curated by professionals and the high quality prints can be intimidating.

Well fear not, that's all done by the software you select - all you have to do is the fun part! And we're here to give you five top tips to consider when designing your dream photo card.

And of course, if professionalism is what you're looking for, consider selecting Mixbook as your weapon of choice. We rank it extremely highly for plenty of reasons, but the impeccable photo quality is definitely a top one. Need more options? Check out our best photo card guide, it has all the top providers for your photo services. 

Anyway, as promised here are five key things to consider prior to the creation of your photo book masterpiece.

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Our number one photo card service is Mixbook
Mixbook is our number one photo book and photo card provider for plenty of reasons but all very needed when curating a master piece. Mixbook boasts hundreds of ready made themes and templates ready for you (so if the whole custom thing isn't a must we know it's not for everyone). Or if originality is what you're looking for, it also has in-depth customization. Plus, the quality of the finished article is excellent and the software is ridiculously straightforward to use.

1. Money talks

Let's talk about money, whilst photo cards are relatively quite a lot cheaper than photo books they can still cost quite a few dollars, especially if you're printing in abundance.

Work out a budget that you're comfortable with and consider all the variables from the size of the card, to the type of paper (Mixbook has real foil photo cards!) to the number of cards you want printed. You could see that measly cost of $3.49 for one card transform into $90 for 30 cards. 

And if you're on a strict budget, then your best best would be Simply to Impress its photo card prices are significantly lower than the competition all year long. 

And make sure to look for discounts! For example we know that both Mixbook and Snapfish have got seasonal discounts going on (but this won't be for long) .

2. Fantastic and thematic

This is the fun (not daunting, we promise!) part. Here you get to decide exactly what your photo card is going to be about. Is it a thank you card, a Christmas card, a graduation card, a baby card - are you going to send this out to your family and friends?

There's plenty to consider so take your time, fine-tooth comb it and come to your ideal photo card. If you're looking for diversity in your themes, Simply to Impress has Hannukah cards, and Shutterfly has cards in Spanish.

3. All we want is photos 

Photos, photos, photos. They come in all shapes and sizes and what might be ideal for one occasion may not be for the other. If you're going with a family themed Christmas photo card say, you can have one large photo or a collage of smaller photos? 

Either way select your photos carefully depending on size and theme - one may best suited than the other. Go over your smartphone albums, even if they were quick snaps - thoroughly search your social media and family albums. You could even digitalize the latter, all you're going to need is the best photo editor around.

4. Timing is everything!

No one likes to be late or to be kept waiting, and if the photo cards you need printing have a time stamp - then the earlier you start the better. 

Even some of the fastest photo book providers need time, the photos not only need  to be sent to you but they also need to be printed, and depending on how many you've purchased - this could take a while. 

Not to mention that the shipping and production can have a few unpredictabilities and there's nothing worse than spending ages curating the perfect photo card just to have it not arrive in time.

Ultimately you won't want to rush the photo card otherwise it won't be your exact vision, but if you are time pressured we do know that Mixbook has an express option that (at an additional cost) can get you your photo card in three business days.

5. Size, size, size

Although photo cards are fairly small, that doesn't mean that size isn't important. 

You may want to consider what size is ideal for the theme and type of photo card you are sending out. For instance, if it's a thank you card and you've only got one photo on it, a regular 5x7 would be fine.

But if it's a save the date card, or you're sending a custom one to a loved one that has a collage of images - then it may be better to select a bigger option, such as the 7x10 would be better, and so on - you get the picture.

In this respect, some photo card providers can have a work around the size or an added feature let's say. Snapfish for instance allows you to shape the card, not just to square or round but they have the option of scalloped or elegant corners too.

Isabel Martins

Isabel Martins is a staff writer at TechRadar for the e-commerce department. Her responsibilities included being in charge of creating as well as maintaining and regularly updating a variety of buying guides, news deals and how to watch guides. She also help edit other articles across multiple websites and regularly do keyword research to help inform the creation of search engine optimised content. Additionally, she manages a weekly content schedule, ensuring all deadlines and targets are met.