The chances are that if you’ve ever gone hunting for a last minute birthday or anniversary card, you’ll have ended up picking out a card made by Hallmark on most of those occasions, as that is probably the most recognised greetings card manufacturer in the country.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Hallmark has for some time also offered people the chance to create their own cards via the PC, and the 2009 edition of Card Studio has recently been released with a bumper pack of extras.
Once loaded, the interface is simplicity itself with the main headings (such as Birthdays, Holidays, Day By Day, Special Days) at the bottom of the menu and specialist areas (including Kid Stuff and Art Studio) at the top. In total there are 9,000+ Hallmark Cards and Projects including birthdays, weddings and anniversaries to choose from.
For the UK edition Hallmark has added 200 extra designs, including some of the cuddly “Forever Friends” series, plus there’s a further 16,000+ clip art images to complement your creations. There’s a very basic three-part sequence to follow: first, select your choice of card, then add your own unique message or photo and finally deliver it via print, e-mail or PDF.
A digital Photo Editor enables you to crop, colour enhance, fix red-eye and use effects like mosaic, oil painting, stained glass and soft edge on your imported images. If you want to do more than just create gift cards, there’s an extensive Other Projects section which include such diverse alternatives as photo calendars, photo cards, 3D photo cubes, certificates, labels, stickers, stationery and even scrapbook pages. Curiously, though, the Gift Tags option contains none specifically designed for Christmas.
One useful extra, on the other hand, is an Event Planner where you can enter all important birthdays and anniversaries and you’ll be automatically notified as the relevant date approaches. The down side is you’ll have no more excuses for forgetting your least favourite uncle’s birthday!
If you have difficulties coming up with catchy or meaningful phrases to put in your gift cards, help is at hand in the shape of the cheesily entitled Hallmark Sentiment Library, which will guide you to the perfect emotion. Our current ‘favourite’ is: “If we were cartoon characters, you’d be the one to cause my eyes to pop out, my tongue to unroll like a red carpet and a wolf-whistle sound effect…”
Contact: 01752 895100