Monday, February 27, 2006

Using Greeting Card Software

Making a greeting card is very simple with the advent of greeting card software. You do not even have to be artistic to be able to create the card. Here is how you can go about creating your own greeting cards to send out to friends and family.

First you will want to get a software package. There are so many packages out there that you are likely to find a number for any type of cards. If you are going to be making cards just to send to family, then you probably want to go low-end. Sometimes having too many options, as happens if you are making the cards for business purposes, can slow down the process. Once you have the package picked out, you need to know what type of paper you will want to get.

There are two basic types of paper: matte and glossy. The matte finish is not shiny and it feels textured while glossy is very, well, glossy. It has sheen to it and is smooth to the touch. Glossy looks nicer, but it can be tough to print a good-looking card on glossy paper unless you have the right type of printer. You also will need to make sure that the paper works for ink or laser printers, depending on which you have.

When you get home, take a few minutes to play around with the software. Do not start making the cards as soon as you sit down. Give yourself some time to get familiar with the program. Then you can begin to design the card. Think about the theme. Do you want something serious and romantic for your hubby? Are you looking for a card that will make your sister smile? Look around to get a theme that matches the message you want to send with the card.

When you are selecting graphics for the cards, you should be sure that they match the style of the card. If you have a serious card, you do not want cartoon clip art to go along with it. Unless you are a whiz at design, you really want to be sure that you stick with fewer graphics. Less is more in the graphics department for novices.

Once you have the template design and the graphics, it is time to get the font right and decide what you want to say. Some programs will come with templates that already have the words. In others, you will be able to write the words yourself. Be sure that you think hard about what you will say and speak from the heart. You also will need to select a font style. Cursive fonts are okay for some romantic cards, but they can be difficult to read unless they are large and bold. You may want to try something cute for a more light-hearted card, such as a crayon font.

The final step will be reviewing what you have done. Be sure that you have created a card that speaks to the person who will be receiving it. The card should match the personality of both the recipient and the sender, and you should make sure that the words, the font, and the graphics go together. Take a moment to review the card and see that everything works. Then you just need to print and get your card in the mail.

These types of greeting cards are very simple to make. You can create them in only a few minutes once you really get going. They are a great option for holiday cards, for example. Many people want specialized cards but cannot afford the cost that goes into printing them. By spending good money on the paper for the cards you make yourself, you can be sure that you are creating beautiful cards that people will love that will be less expensive than paying someone else.

These programs often can be upgraded. If you really enjoy making the cards, then you may find that you want to make them more often. You will get better at working with the graphics and with coming up with what to say on the cards as you go along. Greeting cards can be a fun and rewarding use of your time.
By Julia Mercer

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