To be honest, my plan was to just scour all of the photo sites for the general look that I liked the best and just design my own, but... damn that brand loyalty. I do like Shutterfly a lot. I was impressed with my cards last year, the print quality of the was quite excellent and the "stationery cards" were a lot nicer than your standard glossy printout photo card. And I work in the print industry, so I'm picky.
The problem I always face is that I don't really have an excuse to be sending out photo cards. I'm not engaged. I'm not married. I don't have kids. I've sent out pictures with me and my cat the last two years. So I suppose I could do that again. Everyone loves it. Especially my cat. (I did mention that she usually gets dressed up for this occasion, right?) (EDIT: In light of recent events where she totally turned EVIL on me, I'm not sure I will be able to dress her up this year. Sigh.) Actually, you know what? I am going to do this every year until maybe someday when I do get engaged or married. It's a social statement. (Humor me on this.)
My most basic criteria is simple: I don't want a square because that involves extra postage, and I would really prefer one that only has one photo... because trying to fill up multiple photos when you're single is just awkward. I suppose I could throw in some pictures from my trip to Las Vegas. Since I actually went somewhere this year. I don't know.
That said, I had sort of built an idea in my mind of what I wanted, so I eliminated several designs that I might have otherwise considered.
Here's what was left.
[Note: there are different categories of cards to choose from... the holiday cards if you are being non-specific, the Christmas cards if you are, and the Christmas Photo Cards, which is where I think I ended up even though the link to holiday and Christmas cards both seem to be photo-related. I don't know, those were the links they told me to give you. Personally I stick with the flat stationery cards because that saves me from having to write a message AND they are nicer than your standard glossies.]
Option #1 - I like this one, it's simple, it's "Christmas-colored" (not, like, pink and orange and shit) and would lend itself well to a colored photo. Some photo cards that have a black and white sample photo make me only want to put a black and white photo in them. Not this one.
Option #2 - I like the doodle/sketch/whimsical look to this one. Again, I could stick in a color photo here and not change the overall aesthetic that I feel like they are presenting me with.
Option #3 - I like the vintage/retro look to this one, as well as the sketchy look. I don't know as though it really fits the general fun/whimsy of Kelly + a dressed up cat, but it's pretty and I do like it.
Option #4 - The more I look at this one, the less sure I am about it... I don't know. I'm not entirely opposed to blue as a Christmas color theme. I think my cards from two or three years ago were blue. I use blue a lot, actually. It's kind of my signature color.
Option #5 - This totally breaks my "no odd colors like pink or orange" policy (as well as my "only one photo" policy") but it's cute and would work very nicely if I chose to stuck one of my pictures from Las Vegas in there. Vegas is a very colorful city.
Option #6 - This also totally breaks my multi-photo policy but I love the visual of film strips. I suppose I could find or take a couple additional photos. I don't know. I'm supposed to be smart and creative, right?
So, those are the ones I have it narrowed down to. It really kind of hurts my brain to be thinking about this sort of thing so early, but I was wandering around Target the other day and they are starting to put their Christmas stuff out in full force, so... 'tis the season, I guess.
OKAY GIVEAWAY TIME. (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Three of you lucky readers will win a promo code for 25 free Shutterfly holiday cards. Here's how you enter: leave a comment telling me which option above you like the best. Because I am incapable of making my own decisions.
NOTE: If you have a blog of your very own and don't mind pimping your space out, you can get 25 free cards by signing up for the promotion here. If you want. Orrrr you can just enter this giveaway. Makes no difference to me.
POST DISCLAIMER: I was compensated 50 free cards for writing about Shutterfly's 2011 holiday cards. In case you totally skipped over my first paragraph.
Merry Christmas, bitches.