2007 when choosing a holiday card, many people choose a snapshot of the home, usually printed on a flat sheet paper with greetings.
Now, the online photo service is upgrading the humble photop card
By selling exquisite folding cards, up to 10 digital snapshots can be displayed on smooth, high-brightness cards
Good quality paper stock.
A custom card may just be something for those who can't decide on a perfect shot.
Instead, they can upload their photos to a website and insert some favorites in one card, for example, a card opens like an accordion and shows six panels --
For example, everyone can see different fascinating views of the newborn baby.
Or they can choose a traditional folding card that accepts a collage of seven small photos on the cover, which may be enough to show everyone in the family, including cats and dogs. Kodak Gallery (www. kodakgallery. com), Shutterfly (www. shutterfly. com)and Zazzle (www. zazzle. com)
Cards printed on thick paper are provided, as well as calendars and gifts such as mugs decorated with digital photos.
Zazzle also offers custom American stamps-
The image of dogs, babies and family members is particularly popular.
As the order grows, the cost of advertising per card decreases, and most orders include envelopes, often in multiple colors.
There are hundreds of original greeting card designs on the Kodak Gallery website.
A square card of the snowman unfolds to display photos in the center panel ($2.
79 by 11 to 25).
Two-sided accordion card, two panoramic photos or 10 personal photos can be filled in ($3.
11 to 25 each 29).
The card looks elegant and strong enough to stand firmly on the mantel.
There are also many solid cards on the Shutterfly website, including collage cards of various styles ($1.
79 each of 21 to 50).
People who do not want to stamp, address and mail their own cards can upload their address book, for example, the palm of their hand
Helds and Shutterfly will do the job at 49 cents per card.
Jeffrey Housenbold, chief executive of the company, said about 70% of the company's customers are women, more than half of whom are mothers.
"Women are usually people who play the role of a family historian or chief memory officer," he said . ".
Alan Block, an analyst at InfoTrends, a mass Weymouth market research firm, said the potential market prospects for greeting cards and other custom photo items are broad.
In 2006, online photo service providers earned about $0. 45 billion.
About 40% of them were bought from photo items, Mr. Block said.
The 40% cards account for about a quarter and will soon become more popular.
"We see that folding cards are one of the fastest --
"The growth part of the photo commodity market," he said . ".
"Once customers see them, they fall in love with them.
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To help with love, some online photo services websites have signed agreements with Target to allow consumers to see cards on shelves and purchase gift certificates that can be redeemed online for cards and other items.
For example, during this season, the Kodak Gallery will offer boxed gift certificates at the Target store, which can be redeemed for 11 accordion cards and envelopes ($35. 99).
AdvertisementI has tried both Shutterfly and the Kodak Gallery site PC and Mac.
Both sites are easy to use.
Their software found the photos stored on my computer and transferred them to their website.
Then I drag the photos in place with different designs.
I chose the Kodak Gallery. $1.
11 to 25 each 29)
There is a personalized photo on the cover;
They received the mail soon.
Colorful and elegant paper.
To send the card in a stylish way, I logged in to Zazzle and put the same image on a stamp that I used for the front of the note card.
Zazzle sells personalized stamps of three sizes ($14. 95 to $18. 20 heads 95-class stamps).
Bobby Biver, chief executive of ZAZZLE, said ZAZZLE is proud of quality control.
I found this first. hand.
I ordered stamps three times and got emails twice
Message about the mistake I'm going to make-
In one case, I chose a title for the stamp and did not show it well in a dark background.
Customer service also through e-
Timely and helpful mail.
Personalized cards and stamps are now on my desk with only one question: I love them so much that I don't want to be separated from them by mail. E-
Email: New York Timescom.
A version of the article appears on page BU34 of The New York edition with the title: When the greeting card becomes a photo album.
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