Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hobo Mama Giveaway: Photo Card Creations = 25 Photo Cards $62 ARV {10.26; US} CLOSED

This giveaway is now closed. View the winner here! Thank you all so much for entering!



Photo Card Creations front of thank-you Christmas cardPhoto Card Creations is offering my readers a giveaway of 25 custom photo cards!

The value of this giveaway is approximately $62 of chic designer cards, so it's a fabulous prize!

Photo Card Creations is an upscale choice for your birth announcements, birthday or baby shower invitations, family holiday cards, and thank-you notes. They also specialize in wedding invitations, save-the-date cards, and thank-yous, if wedding bells are in your future!

I was so pleased to be offered 15 free custom cards of my own so I could try out the site's functionality, test the turnaround time, and see the quality of the cards.

(I would like to apologize for the poor quality of my two photos of our cards. Our camera broke, and it has seriously been such an imposition on our usual trigger-happy lifestyle. I took the photos of our cards with my camera phone, but I hope to replace them soon with better versions, when our lens gets back from the shop.)

Photo Card Creations folded bright baby cardThe hard part, of course, as you'll be able see from the samples I'm scattering throughout this post, was choosing which sophisticated design!

At the time I ordered them, we didn't yet have a new little one on the way (squee), so we thought some sort of holiday card would be a good choice. Anticipating some fabulous Christmas gifts for Mikko (so our family'd better step it up, huh?), we settled on a full-bleed folded design that we could use as a thank-you card.

We thought a colored photo would showcase the printing capabilities more clearly than a black-and-white, and I chose a linen finish to see how texture affected the printing. We put text on the front, inside, and back of the card, for good measure!

Now, Photo Card Creations collage holiday family square cardwhen I said the hard part was choosing which card … um, actually the hardest part was getting Mikko to pose for us! Sam had this great idea to have him popping up out of wrapping paper with a big smile — a sort of goofily festive image that suggests Christmas and gratitude. As you can see from the top photo, we did eventually get the shot. What you are not seeing is the hundred photos that led up to that moment. Including some of Sam demonstrating how it should be done!

Well, here, you can have a mini-collage:



Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot
Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot
Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot
Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot Photo Card Creations outtakes from photo shoot


It was like shooting Calvin. Astonishing that we finally got this shot, no?



Photo Card Creations photo shoot winner picture toddler christmas wrapping paper


And, yes, I know his hair was hilariously messy. But after all that, I wasn't going to redo the shoot!

All right, sorry for that little detour. Back to the review!

My experience with the website of PhotoCardCreations.com was overall very positive. I thought finding the category Photo Card Creations deckle edge full photo cardI wanted and selecting the type of card I was interested in was … well, I was going to say "easy," and of course it was hard to choose, but the navigation itself was easy! I appreciated the function along the sidebar that lets you narrow your search by style, such as flat cards, folded, no photos, multiple photos, etc. They have a "quick view" popup feature for each design so you don't have to click through to see it larger. And I really appreciated the feature at the bottom of each individual card's page title "you might also like …" that suggests similarly designed cards.

You often have even more choice than the sample shows, because, as with my card, many designs can be turned either horizontally or vertically, depending on the picture you want to use.

Photo Card Creations interior thank-you Christmas cardOnce you decide on a design, it's time to personalize it, first with the text you want. There are several font choices. For us, we thought they were geared more toward weddings or formal announcements, because a lot of them were fancy. I actually did like a lot of the more script-y fonts, but they didn't work for a thank-you card from a child, so we chose one of the plainer options.

Taking a cue from our previous thank-you card experience, we chose to pre-inscribe a basic thank-you message on the interior so we could fill in the blanks after the presents were opened, and then have Mikko sign and decorate. Ok, mostly decorate.

After you choose your text, layout, envelope, and shipping options, it's time to submit your order, and only then do you email your photographs to be added in to the proof, which is emailed to you separately within several days. It took approximately four business days for my emailed proofs to arrive in my inbox, and the stated turnaround time is 1-3 business days.

I'm much more used to being able to see an immediate onscreen proof, where I upload my photos manually and can adjust text and layout and cropping as I see fit before submitting the order. Then again, Sam and I have a graphic design background and are comfortable with that. The advantage to Photo Card Creation's hands-on system is that a graphic designer literally designs the card for you, so if you're not handy with uploading photos and arranging text, that can be a big benefit. For instance, the graphic designer will ensure your photos are at a high enough resolution to actually print properly, not just look good on a screen. They can also work with you to customize pretty much everything about the card, and keep mailing you proofs until you're satisfied. Even though it was a little nerve-wracking for me not to be able to lay it out my way, I can see how this system actually has a higher value for the one-on-one care you're receiving.

Photo Card Creations Christmas ornate flat cardWhen I received the proofs, everything looked basically fine. They'd fit my photo to the card size perfectly, cropping it to my specifications. The only thing I wasn't happy with was that the words "Thank you!" on the front were in black and being lost against the busy wrapping paper in the photograph. I wrote and asked if it could be changed to white, and they went one better by changing it to white outlined in black, so that the words popped a lot better. Getting the revised proofs was immediate, and I was able to approve my order.

Our order shipped six business days from my approval by USPS Priority Mail, so I received it two days after that. All in all, it was a reasonable turnaround time for custom cards. Just be careful to start your holiday, invitation, or announcement planning with enough wiggle room for Photo Card Creations b/w baby thank-youthe custom printing, including revising the proofs if necessary.

When the cards arrived, I was very happy with them. As I mentioned, the pictures I have of my cards are from my cell phone, but let me assure you the colors are bright and saturated and crisp. We chose the white linen finish, which gives it a lovely textured feel that, I think, makes it feel more custom and special than a card you could print yourself at home. The quality of the folding and edges is top-notch. The envelopes are included and work great.

Now I just have to wait till Christmas! My family is going to love seeing Mikko's happy face popping out at them.


BUY IT!

Photo Card Creations logoYou can order the same sort of cards we did, or choose from among the many, many designs at Photo Card Creations. I don't know how to say this without sounding snooty, but I really think their designs are a step above many of the other photo card sites, in that they're all undeniably stylish. I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.

Prices start at $1.75 a card, so it is an investment, but it can be worth it for those special occasions. You can save more if you order in quantities over 100. You can fully customize any of the pre-made designs with your own photos and text and, for some cards, color scheme, or you can design your own card from scratch or work one-on-one with a graphic designer to create the perfect card for you!

Photo Card Creations carries Birth Announcements, Wedding Invitations and Announcements, Graduation Cards, Birthday Party Invitations, Bar & Bat Mitzvah Invitations, Thank You Cards, and Holiday Cards.

Before you order, feel free to request sample cards to get a feel for the quality, printing, and style.


WIN IT!

For your own chance to win 25 photo cards (an approximate $62 value) from Photo Card Creations, enter in the comments below! Contest is open to U.S. only.

MAIN ENTRY: Visit Photo Card Creations and tell me what design you love!

Leave an email address in at least one of your comments if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. (You can write it like this to foil spambots: mail (at) hobomama (dot) com or similar.)


BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning (leave a separate comment for each so I can count them all):

RULES:
  • Contest open to United States mailing addresses only.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so I can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let me know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don't have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • I will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave an email address in your comment if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. If I can't reach a winner or don't hear back within a couple days, I'll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let me know: mail {at} HoboMama.com

Contest closes October 26 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.


Disclosure: Photo Card Creations sent me 15 free cards for review.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If I don't like a product, I won't be recommending it to you.
That's how I roll. See my full disclosure policy here.

119 comments:

Wehaf said...

I love the double happiness design. :)

urchiken at gmail dot com

Wehaf said...

I would get some cards made that were blank inside and use them as regular stationery.

urchiken at gmail dot com

Jamie said...

Love the Making Spirits Bright Flat Ornate Shaped Card for Christmas! These are ABSOLUTELY a step above other card places- thanks for sharing with us!

Jamie said...

I subscribe to hobo mama via RSS feed.

Jamie said...

I would use my cards for holiday cards I think... or maybe birth announcements??

Jamie said...

I follow you on Twitter- @SuddnlyStyAtHme.

TopHat said...

My favorite design is the square quad jigsaw folded card. :)

hrfarley at gmail dot com

TopHat said...

I would definitely use them for Christmas!

hrfarley at gmail dot com

TopHat said...

I like you on Facebook.

TopHat said...

I subscribe to your RSS feed.

TopHat said...

I also follow you on Twitter. TopHat8855

shelbers434 said...

I like To Be Jolly
Flat Designer Card
snugles4433@hotmail.com
shelby

scottsgal said...

I like the winter elegance holiday card
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I'd use these to mail as family christmas cards
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I learned they typically ship in 1-3 days
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

like photos on facebook
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

like you on facebook
msboatgal at aol.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

I LIKE THE Square Quad Card "THANK YOU'S" kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

WILL USE THEM FOR CHRISTMAS GREETINGS kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

FOLLOWING YOU ON GOOGLE FRIEND AS "kytah00" kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

RSS SUBSCRIBER kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

FOLLOWING YOU ON TWITTER USER NAME "kytah00" kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

LIKED PHOTO ON FACEBOOK VIA ANGEL JACKLYN facebook.com/kytah00 kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

LIKED YOUR BLOG ON FACEBOOK VIA ANGEL JACKLYN facebook.com/kytah00 kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

NETWORKED BLOGS FOLLOWER facebook.com/kytah00 kytah00@yahoo.com

Wendy said...

I love the Joyful Wishes
Flat or Folded Designer Card! Thanks so much!
babiesgottahaveit at gmail dot com

Wendy said...

Following Photo Card Creations on Twitter. @BabiesGottaHavT

babiesgottahaveit at gmail dot com

Wendy said...

Following HoboMama on Twitter @BabiesGottaHavT
babiesgottahaveit at gmail dot com

Steph said...

I like the Joyful Wishes folded card. Thanks!

Steph said...

I would use these for Christmas cards.

Steph said...

I follow HoboMama via Google Reader. Thanks!

Baby Pickel said...

1/I love the "Square Quad Jigsaw" Design!! How precious! (Baby Announcement)

pickelfacebook@live.com

Baby Pickel said...

2/I commented! -http://photocardcreations.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/08/new-holiday-card-designs-for-2010.html

Baby Pickel said...

3/I'd use them for "thank you/Holiday" cards for all of those who have helped Baby Pickel succeed this past year!! :)

pickelfacebook@live.com

Baby Pickel said...

4/I'm following you on Google Connect!!

Baby Pickel said...

5/I like you on Facebook!

Baby Pickel said...

6/Following you on twitter!

Handle: pickelclothing

Baby Pickel said...

7/I like Photo Card Creations on Facebook!

Facebook: Pickel Palm Coast

Amber said...

I like the square quad card. Thanks!!

Kathryn said...

I like the Square Quad Jigsaw Card !

kathrynbaby2004@yahoo.com

Ryan said...

I like Snowy Holiday!

wigget said...

i love the Lovely Day Flat Designer Card

wigget said...

i would probably use them for birth announcements

wigget said...

i learned they offer an option to create my own card from scratch

Kristen said...

I like the Square Triple Ornament card.

couponboss at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

I would definitely use this to get Holiday cards.

couponboss at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

I learned that if you order holiday cards by Oct 31st you can get 10% off.

couponboss at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

I follow on GFC

couponboss at gmail dot com

selinda_mccumbers said...

I like the square quad jigsaw folded card!

Thanks,

selinda_mccumbers at yahoo dot com

Witch Mom said...

lillitushahar (at) gmail (dot) com

Entry #1:
I like the modern holiday card here:
http://www.photocardcreations.com/cards/christmas-cards/Square-Quad-Jigsaw-Card/345.html

Entry #2:
Followed HMR through Google connect.

Entry #3:
Liked you on FB.

This will be our baby's 1st holiday season, and we hope to win to send distant relatives photo cards this year!

Amber said...

I'd love to win the square triple cards!

amberlowmiddleton at gmail dot com

Lacey said...

i like the holiday ribbon ornate card
travelinglacey[at]gmail[dot]com

Dee said...

Love the "Joy" cards

bukaeyes said...

I love the Joy To The World Folded Designer Card
bukaeyes@aol.com

bukaeyes said...

I follow on your blog on GFC as bukaeyes
bukaeyes@aol.com

bukaeyes said...

I follow Photo Card Creations on Twitter as bukaeyes
bukaeyes@aol.com

bukaeyes said...

I like Photo Card Creations on Facebook (Betsy Hoff)
bukaeyes@aol.com

bukaeyes said...

I follow you on Twitter as bukaeyes
bukaeyes@aol.com

bukaeyes said...

I like you on Facebook (Betsy Hoff)
bukaeyes@aol.com

bukaeyes said...

I tweeted this
http://twitter.com/#!/bukaeyes/status/27850045779
bukaeyes@aol.com

TBTorra said...

I love all of the round holiday ornament cards!

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I'm subscribed to the Photo Card Creations blog.

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I commented on this post: http://photocardcreations.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/08/new-holiday-card-designs-for-2010.html

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I would definitely use the cards for the holidays. I never send cards and this would be a great incentive to start!

TBTorra said...

I learned that Photo Card Creations has an option for eco-friendly cardstock as a paper choice. How fantastic!

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I follow Hobo Mama Reviews via Google Friend Connect.

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I follow Hobo Mama via Google Friend Connect.

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I follow @pcc21 on Twitter. (@nerdmomma)

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I follow @hobomama on Twitter. (@nerdmomma)

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Nerdmomma/status/27925974976

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I like Photo Card Creations on Facebook. (Lauren Allpress)

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I like Hobo Mama on Facebook. (Lauren Allpress)

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

TBTorra said...

I have the Hobo Mama button on my blog: nerdmomma.blogspot.com

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

1

TBTorra said...

I have the Hobo Mama button on my blog: nerdmomma.blogspot.com

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

2

TBTorra said...

I have HoboMama.com in my blogroll: nerdmomma.blogspot.com

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

1

TBTorra said...

I have HoboMama.com in my blogroll: nerdmomma.blogspot.com

lauren.allpress at gmail.com

2

lllportland said...

I love the square quad jigsaw cards! what a great gift!

Dee said...

I LOVE the Tree Trimmings card!

Dee said...

I follow your blog!

Dee said...

following you on twitter

@twoofakind

Dee said...

following them on twitter

@twoofakind

Dee said...

your newest fan on facebook

Dee twofakind

Dee said...

their newest facebook fan

Dee said...

just followed you on networked blogs!

Laura said...

I'd use the making spirits bright for my Christmas cards!

Thanks,
Laura

laurasu82 at yahoo.com

Red said...

I follow your blog and I like this design

http://www.photocardcreations.com/cards/christmas-cards/Winter-Wonderland-Scalloped/661.html

Red said...

I follow you on Twitter and I like this design
http://www.photocardcreations.com/cards/christmas-cards/Winter-Wonderland-Scalloped/661.html

Sara said...

I really like the Cheerful

Folded Designer Card

seraphou at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I like the "splendid flowers" thank you card design the best.

-Heidi

writeme at heidimail dot com

Anonymous said...

I would use the cards to thank people for the wonderful housewarming presents my husband and I recently received.

-Heidi

writeme at heidimail dot com

scottsgal said...

I like the Noel holiday card
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I'd use these as christmas cards
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

I learned they ship in 1-3 days
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

like photo on fb
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

like hobo on fb
msboatgal at aol.com

Angelene said...

I would use it for Christmas Cards

22bmommy2 said...

Visited the site, beautiful cards! I liked the Christmas card designs "Snowflake" and "Linen Cardstock" and Square Triple Ornament"!

22bmommy2 said...

I would definitely use these cards for Christmas! Lovely cards! creedamy at yahoo dot com

kikster1218 said...

love the jigsaw design :)

pulchrabliss at hotmail dot com

kikster1218 said...

i would use them as holiday cards.. lots of people would love seeing our family's faces during the holidays! :)

pulchrabliss at hotmail dot com

kikster1218 said...

hobo mama followed via google reader

pulchrabliss at hotmail dot com

Concern said...

i like the joy to the world scalloped cards
lizi serrano /mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

signed up for their blog
lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

I would use the cards for my christmas cards I personalize them every year!
lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

I learned they ship within 1 -3 days lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

like u on gfc andrew duffell lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

signed up for ur emails lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

i like u on facebook lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

like u on network blogs lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

like them on twitter lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

like u on twitter lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

retweeted off ur post http/twitter.com/mustang203
lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Concern said...

like them on facebook lizi serrano / mustang203@msn.com

Sarah Says said...

Awesome giveaway! Christmas is on my mind, so I love the "To Be Jolly" card design here: http://www.photocardcreations.com/cards/christmas-cards/To-Be-Jolly/643.html

Fingers crossed, would love to win!
http://bit.ly/95txld

Sarah Says said...

Totally forgot to leave my email from my comment 10/26 @ 1:28pm

sarahw at pmamediagroup dot com

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I like the Winter Classic Ornate card. dramaqueensmum at gmail dot com

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I follow Photo card creations on Twitter. (dramaqueensmum)

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I follow you on Twitter. (dramaqueensmum)

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

Tweeted. http://twitter.com/#!/dramaqueensmum/status/28849479573