TechnologyTell

The Festive Mac: Christmas card creation tools for Mac and iDevices

Sections: Graphics / Design, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Mac Software, Miscellaneous / Other, Originals

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You can make custom personalized Christmas greeting cards on your Mac or iPhone using iPhoto or one of the several third-party greeting card creation applications available.

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Christmas C@rds HD – The Christmas App for the iPad

After last year’s success of Christmas C@rds for the iPhone, Hot Chili Apps is expanding their Christmas Card Edition. From December 2010, digital postcards can be designed on the iPad in HD quality and in a complete new look. Christmas C@rd HD will be an eye catcher for visitors of the Christmas App Store this year due to its design and special features.

Christmas C@rds HD

Christmas C@rds HD are e-cards. The user has a choice of various graphic elements for designing his own Christmas card to his individual taste. 36 brilliant C@rd templates are available in HD. They can be decorated on the iPad with personal photos or texts as well as one from 18 stickers. The application is very easy to use because its functions are supported by iPad’s ingenious features.

Hot Chili Apps’ Christmas C@rds for the iPhone have received a lot of recognition in 2009: the Appstore supported it immediately by choosing the app for its Christmas promotion. The Financial Times picked Christmas C@rds from one of the five best Christmas Apps and Apple made it part of his cross-European print campaign for iPhone.

Christmas C@rds HD Samples

Christmas C@rds HD combines latest technology standards with classic design style in high-definition picture quality. The app offers ideal conditions for an atmospheric Christmas card design like a traditional paper postcard with postage stamp and patina or a luxurious writing desk top made of cherry wood. Another novelty is an easily manageable overview of the templates at one glance apart from many other innovative design templates.

Price: $3.99

Product [Christmas C@rds HD]

helloCards

helloCards is an iPhone and iPod Touch app with a databank of 170 stock cards across 20 different categories, plus you can add your own photo, enter your personal message, and send via email.. They have something for every occasion. To customize the greetings, personal text and images can be embedded very quickly and easily. There are no usage limits on helloCards, they can be sent everyday, all day long. The $1.99 price tag is all you need to pay, send as many cards as you like—there are no hidden fees or usage limitations.

helloCards for iPhone

helloCards isn’t just about price. With everyone finding less and less time for themselves and their families, it is also a fast alternative to hand-writing cards and envelopes, applying stamps and going to the post office. People are able to personalize the helloCards with text and stock images or their own embedded photos quickly and easily, which is a huge selling feature. Once the card is made, it is sent to the recipient’s inbox via the built-in email application.

To sample this product, there is a free version for people to try, called helloCards Lite. It works the same as the full app but has a smaller card library.

Price: $1.99

Product [helloCards]

iCarol 2.0

Portable Arts’ popular iCarol application now lets users send virtual Christmas carols to other iCarol users or to friends through eMail. Each iCarol contains high quality music and provides lyrics (in case you want to sing along). Holiday images flash in the background, and users can also set up their virtual yule log while the music plays.

iCarol

In addition to sending virtual carols, users can turn off the music and use iCarol as a source for lyrics, or turn off the lyrics and simply use iCarol to play the music during the holidays. Users have a choice of over 20 high quality recordings including Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Deck The Halls, Angels We Have Heard On High, Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies, Silent Night, The Wassail Song, Joy To The World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Christmas Tree, The 12 Days Of Christmas, and many more.

Price: $0.99

Product [iCarol]

Macintosh

Christmas Free Mail Stationery 1.0 and Christmas Stationery Pack

aMac Island’s € 2.85 Christmas Pack 2010 for Apple Mail contains six new models to announce Christmas. These themes are variable in length and are also multilingual, as the title may be changed as you wish.

 Christmas Pack 2010

The companion € 2.85 Christmas Stationery Pack contains 10 fully new models to announce Christmas time.

Christmas Stationery Pack

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.5 or later
  • Mail 3.5 or later
  • Intel processor

Product [Christmas Free Mail Stationery 1.0 and Christmas Stationery Pack]

HappyHolidays!

HappyHolidays! makes it easy to create personalized photo cards. Use your digital photos, add a personal message and you have the perfect photo card. Use HappyHolidays! to create your annual holiday card for family and friends

Happy Holidays Christmas

Save money using HappyHolidays! over ordering pre-designed photo cards from a photo center. You can print your HappyHolidays! photo card at any photo center that prints digital photos because HappyHolidays! allows you to save your photo card as a 4×6 jpeg photo file. Printing 4×6 prints is very inexpensive—as low as $0.12 each with no minimum order. Pre-designed Holiday Cards can cost as much as $0.84 per card with a required minimum 50 copy order! You can save over $35 by printing your own HappyHoliday! designed 4×6 photo cards. In addition, you can create many variations of your holiday photo card—personalize the photo or the message for each card!

With HappyHolidays! you are not limited to a set number of characters and lines for your personalized message, unlike most pre-designed photo cards that you order from photo centers. Stylize your message any way you want. HappyHolidays! works like a word processor allowing you to set text attributes (font, color, size, alignment) of your message. HappyHolidays! provides you more freedom than when you order pre-designed photo cards from photo centers. HappyHolidays! also offers image manipulation controls which allow you to crop and resize your image.

Export your photo card as a hi-res JPEG file and print as a normal print at any photo center. Print your photo card on any photo printer. Email your photo card to family and friends.

With HappyHolidays! you are not limited to having your personalized text message in English only. You can write part or all of your text message in any language supported by Mac OS X.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Price: $10.00 shareware

Product [HappyHolidays!]

Sophie’s Cards 5

Sophie’s Cards 5 is a powerful greeting card creation software application, incorporating an extensive database of photographs and greeting messages (including extensive libraries of 792 photographic images and 730 text greeting messages, many of them original), in eighteen categories (with some crossover), plus 20 informal fonts. Sophie’s Cards also allows you to import your own photos or art images and compose your own text. Imported pictures should be about 8×10.5 and no more than 72 dpi.

However, you probably won’t want to import photos at least, because one of Sophie’s Cards’ most impressive features is the incredible library of photographic images. They are uncredited, but the photographer or photographers are true artists, and the images are superb—more than a few of them arrestingly beautiful. The selection is eclectically varied in subject matter and mood, so you should have no problem finding just the right image for any occasion and recipient. The program’s developers aren’t kidding when they say you should never have to send the same card twice. The challenge is deciding among so many excellent alternatives.

The beauty of a program like Sophie’s Cards is that making your own greeting cards with a computer and color printer can save you money if you send a lot of cards, and perhaps more importantly, allows you to create personalized cards with just the right image and sentiments expressed.

Sophie's Cards Formet UI

The cards created by Sophie’s Cards are very classy and professional-looking, complete with thumbnails and information about the front panel image on the back, along with attribution of the verse/text selections used, and a Sophie’s Cards logo.

The program will print to standard 8-1/2 x 11 paper, but of course will work best with proper card stock paper such as available from Avery or Epson, for which size configuration options are provided in the menus. You can keep track of cards that you have sent with the Card History feature.

You can specify landscape or portrait oriented cards with full or small photos, and with or without cover text. There is also a custom envelope printing template with fields in which you can enter “to” and “from” addresses with your specified font, size, font color, and text alignment. You can also import addresses.

The built-in content library makes Sophie’s Cards one of the biggest applications you’re likely to have on your Mac. The online installer file download is 525MB, which makes it impractical for bringing down on a dial up connection, which the developer explicitly does not recommend. The installer fits nicely on a CD, which is how my review copy was delivered. Demo CDs are available. Of course, if you have broadband, online downloads will be no problem.

System requirements:

  • Power PC G3, G4, G5 or Intel based Mac
  • 256MB of RAM
  • Mac OS X v10.4.8 through 10.6.x
  • 1GB of available hard disk drive space
  • photo quality inkjet printer
  • CD-ROM drive for CD versions of Sophie’s Cards

Price: $39.95 demoware

Product [Sophie's Cards 5]

Funtastic Photos 1.0.2

Funtastic Photos is Ohanaware’s amazingly easy to use photo editor for Apple Macintosh computers. Funtastic Photos features some of the most advanced photo editing technologies, such as Non-destructive Photo Editing. This amazing technology allows non-permenant manipulations to made to a photo, these changes can then be altered or removed at any time. The edited photo can easily be ‘rewound’ back to its original state, regardless when or how much editing has taken place.

Funtastic Sepia

Funtastic Photos makes photo editing simple with 1-Click Styles. A single click can fix problems and enhance the photo in ways never imagined. Funtastic Photos ships with 50+ 1-Click Styles which provide some original, unique and cool photo effects. Printing photos at home will never be the same. Funtastic Photos offers a range of inspiring layout designs, including amazing picture collages (or photo mosaics to some), addictive photo cubes and…greeting cards.

Funtastic Photos is a combined Photo Editor and Photo Sharing tool. Having the Photo Sharing built-in to Funtastic Photos makes it real easy to quickly edit a photo and share it online using e-mail, attractive Fun Cards, and direct uploads to the most popular photo sharing sites such as Facebook, Picasa Web Albums, MobileMe & Flickr. A trial version of Funtastic Photos can be downloaded from Ohanaware’s website.

Funtastic Photos UI

For the entire month of December Ohanaware are offering 20% off everything in their online store. This includes Funtastic Photos Single User, now $27.99 (USD and before tax). The family pack is now $57 (USD and before tax). Ohanaware are also offering a 3 for 2 Gift Card Pack, where you can get 3 gift cards for the price of 2, and then 20% discount on top of that! Happy Holidays From Ohanaware. Funtastic Photos 1.0.2 is a FREE update to all existing Funtastic Photos customers. This new release can be downloaded from Ohanaware’s website.

System requirements:

  • Power Macintosh G4, G5 or Intel based Macintosh computer
  • Mac OS X v10.4 or later
  • 512MB RAM

Price: $34.99

Product [Funtastic Photos]

Print Explosion Deluxe 3.0

Print Explosion Deluxe is an easy, fast way to create one-of-a-kind custom greeting cards, signs, banners and more. It’s easy to use, so you don’t need to be a computer whiz. And with more than 8,800 ready-made professional designs for virtually every occasion under the sun, you don’t need to be an artist either. Print Explosion Deluxe was designed exclusively with the Macintosh in mind. So you know it works like a Mac program should. And that puts Print Explosion Deluxe in a class of its own.

Print ExplosionPrint Explosion Deluxe’s easy-to-use interface will guide you through the process from concept to finished product in a matter of just minutes. It is ideal for first-time publishers and professional designers alike because it contains rich graphics, layout features, and text effects not found in many other programs at ten times the cost.

Optimized for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, Print Explosion Deluxe 3.0 features an enhanced user interface, thousands of new projects and complete integration with iTunes and iPhoto. You can even use the new mail merge feature to automatically personalize and send greeting cards to people in your Mac OS X Address Book.

Create one-of-a-kind custom greeting cards, signs, banners and more. With more than 8,800 ready-made professional designs for virtually every occasion under the sun, you don’t need to be an artist either. Print Explosion Deluxe was designed exclusively with the Macintosh in mind. So you know it works like a Mac program should. And that puts Print Explosion Deluxe in a class of its own. Print Explosion Deluxe’s easy-to-use interface will guide you through the process from concept to finished product in a matter of just minutes! It is ideal for first-time publishers and professional designers alike because it contains rich graphics, layout features, and text effects not found in many other programs at ten times the cost.

Print Explosion will pay for itself in no time. You’ll save a bundle on greeting cards, labels, and other projects, not to mention the hours spent trying to find that perfect card.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2 or later
  • PowerPC G3 (or faster) or Intel Core processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • DVD or CD-ROM Drive

Price: $49.95

Product [Print Explosion Deluxe 3.0]

The Print Shop 2.0.5

The Print Shop is a complete greeting card creation and editing tool. Import your own photographs directly into The Print Shop from Apple’s iPhoto and then fix, edit and enhance them using The Print Shop’s built-in Photo Workshop. Crop in shapes such as circles, hearts and stars. Adjust color, brightness, contrast, and sharpness. Fix flaws and get rid of red-eye and scratches. Apply custom effects such as pixelate, noise, emboss, antique, and more.

Now you can get the precision you need with rulers, grids and guidelines. It’s all tied together in a handy Layout Palette that includes “snap to” functionality and the most common alignment tools.

Create a multipage project from 2 to 32 pages. Great for making annual reports, family newsletters, sales materials, menus and much more.

There are now more than twice as many Special Edges and Transparent Effects to turn your projects into masterpieces.

Thousands of photos and fine art images on a separate Art CD.

No more fussing with navigation: Just open iPhoto, select as many photos as you like, and drag them all at once into your project.

No more spoiled off-center label printing with the new Precision Print Alignment “Nudge” feature which lets you get set it just right.

Now you can get the precision you need with rulers, grids and guidelines! It’s all tied together in a handy Layout Palette that includes “snap to” functionality and the most common alignment tools.

Mac OS X 10.4 users can take advantage of Tiger’s Spotlight search capabilities to search for documents made in The Print Shop by project type, text in text blocks and headlines, and even by Avery label.

In addition to Avery you can now use CD Stomper, NEATO and Memorex CD and jewel case stock.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2 or later

Product [The Print Shop 2.0.5]

FontMarketplace.com

FontMarketplace.com is introducing specially-priced sets of fonts with matching Microsoft Word templates for Hanukkah Cards, Christmas Cards and other holiday projects.

American Text Font

Ascender Corporation, a leading provider of advanced font products, today announced two new consumer font packages for the holidays available exclusively from its fontmarketplace.com website. The Hanukkah Card Kit and the Christmas Card Kit each contain five selected holiday-themed fonts matched with five expertly-designed Microsoft Word greeting card templates.

The packages are priced at $4.99 with a single user license and are available for immediate download from the fontmarketplace.com website. Each kit is available with an automated installer for Microsoft Windows XP or Vista, or as a compressed .zip file for Mac OS or other systems.

The Ascender Christmas Card Kit contains a wonderful set of Certified TrueType fonts that are well-suited for Christmas and all year-round matched with five Christmas Card templates ready for customizing in Microsoft Word. The five fonts are: Artcraft, Centaur Swash, Colonna, French Script and Thor.

Price: $4.99

Product [FontMarketplace.com]

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One Comment

  1. Charles:
    If you're going to string together a bunch of press releases, the least you could do is edit them first. Good grief.

    Son of Squidward