Custom Holiday Cards: Send Strategic Season’s Greetings

‘Tis the season for holiday cards, but ‘tis not the season for those cards to have generic messages and dull designs. With custom Cards and Greeting Cards, plus matching envelopes or flashy foil features, online printing with Smartpress is a present in and of itself. For small businesses and corporations, nonprofits or your own family and friends, send your glad tidings with a personalized touch… and stand out in the sea of holiday mail.


“Receiving and sending vibrant and personalized cards brings a little extra joy to everyone’s holiday season.”

Custom holiday cards


Personalized card printing


Cards: For Keepsakes & Hang Tags

Among all your other business and marketing collateral, custom holiday Cards may not be a top priority – but they should be. Whether you want to send simple greetings or seasonal thank yous, card printing with Smartpress lets you tailor your sentiments to both customers and employees.


In your choice of sizes, paper stocks and paper weights, personalized cards strengthen connections and make people feel seen – an impact that can’t be overlooked. And with coated, uncoated, recycled and specialty stocks, your custom cards will not only get noticed, but flaunted.


With her bright, full-color imagery and a design that blends traditional and modern holiday styles, Christina Kwiek’s card definitely got seen. The founder and designer of X & Co., Kwiek was looking for “a beautiful, luxe paper stock to make the cards feel extra special.”

How’d she pull it off? 130# cover weight. “The cards felt like important keepsakes you’d want to keep on your fridge,” Kwiek said. “The matte finish let the colors, lettering and illustration really shine.”


And based on the positive customer feedback from her online shop, Kwiek is sure physical cards leave a lasting impression digital ones don’t. “Receiving and sending vibrant and personalized cards brings a little extra joy to everyone’s holiday season,” she said.


Of all the ways you can customize your holiday card printing, one of our favorites is turning cards into hang tags. With our handy drilling options, you can easily create gift tags or branded tags for retail products. See? Cards don’t just send season’s greetings. When you get creative, they’re a practical business solution, too.


Design Tip: Use a flood of white ink behind your full-color photos to ensure vibrancy on unique stocks (the color won’t be muted!). As a full-service online printing shop, we’ve got more card printing FAQ right here.

Print your own holiday cards


Custom Christmas cards


Greeting Cards: For Resale & Personal Use

At Smartpress, we love giving you print options, so we offer custom Greeting Cards, too. What’s the difference between these and the cards we mention above? Frankly, not much. They’re nearly identical except for the drill hole options: you can add holes to our Cards but not our Greeting Cards.


For holiday hellos to friends and family, or showing gratitude to nonprofit donors and corporate sponsors, greeting cards give you finishing options that mean almost as much as your message. After all, that final touch makes the first impression.


You can print your own cards with UV coatings that protect your print and give it shiny or subtle sophistication, or add velvety Soft Touch laminate you’ve got to feel to believe. Explore folding options to enhance the opening experience, design with rounded corners to soften your style and add matching envelopes to wrap it all up.


For designer Samantha Scamen of Left Right Design, a single fold and matching uncoated smooth envelopes sent the right message with her Hawaiian-inspired artwork. “They’ll be available for purchase in my Etsy store, as well as several boutiques throughout the Hawaiian Islands,” she said.

And her experience printing these custom greeting cards? “I am consistently impressed by the quality and customer service at Smartpress,” she said. “The process is easy and professional, and the variety of products and options is outstanding.”


Rob Stainback, owner and creative director of BytePlate Brand, took advantage of another one of our online printing services for his personal Christmas cards. Creating his greeting cards online with double-sided printing, Stainback was able to share updates and send holiday wishes at the same time.


“Printing on all sides creates a custom feel,” Stainback said. “The print on the inside reiterates the main message and allows for a custom message to be displayed, where normal cards may be blank.”


Stainback even went so far as to create a family logo on the back. “[It] makes it feel as if the card company is yours,” he said. “That’s always fun to do in a design.”


Design Tip: Pair a unique paper stock with white ink to elevate your design. Stocks like Kraft, uncoated black and hemp provide the perfect background for white ink (and your message) to really pop. Learn more with our Greeting Card Printing FAQ.


“There should never be any cutting of corners when it comes to showing your customers you appreciate them.”

Custom card printing

Foil holiday cards


Foil: Upgrade with Shine

If you’d like your sentiments to really stun, you’ve got to go with custom Foil Cards or Foil Greeting Cards. In silver, gold and holographic, our flashy foil actually adheres to the ink and not the paper. This Sleeking™ process ensures that foil doesn’t fade – and neither does your message.


With foil printing, the opulent options are endless. Whether you create a luxe holiday theme with gold or silver foil cards or toast to a new year with fun holographic foil cards, your design can convey a stronger message than your actual words.


Take it from Eddy Litchfield, custom marketing specialist for Water Oak Marketing. With silver foil on textured felt weave stock, Litchfield’s cards spoke for themselves.

“It’s a no-brainer to use the upgraded feel of felt when you combine that with a beautiful photo and silver foil,” he said. “There should never be any cutting of corners when it comes to showing your customers you appreciate them.”


Experiment with your own foil card printing and try a styled border to frame your design, add foil accents to your imagery or really impress your recipients with a flood of foil in the negative space for can’t-look-away contrast. Litchfield says, “Foil pops and is a sure attention-getter every time!”


Artist and author Rebecca Loomis used gold foil to coordinate with some of her previous work and tie her products together.




Gold foil holiday cards




“I used gold leaf in my original artwork and wanted a way to recreate that effect,” Loomis said. “When Smartpress started offering gold foil printing, [it] meant I could produce [both] prints and products for my customers.”


And while she currently sells them on her website and Etsy, she’ll soon be marketing her cards for resale in small, local bookstores and gift shops. “As always, [I’m] impressed by the soft touch of the paper, and the precision of print, folding and package quality,” Loomis said.


Design Tip: While foil is a favorite, it’s best to avoid using it on small fonts or elements that are very thin. Get more foil help with our Foil Printing FAQ.

Print your own cards


Get Merry with Mailing

Perhaps the most convenient feature of all? Variable data printing on matching envelopes. (With all this talk of designing cards, you didn’t think we’d skimp on the sending part, did you?) Available on all of our card products, we offer mailing and addressing to make that final step not a problem.


Just ask Jordyn McLeod, design director at 360 Blue. She completed her foil greeting card printing with linen envelopes addressed to each recipient. “We loved that we were able to design the mailing address and save time by having the envelopes addressed for mailing. This helped our team significantly with meeting holiday deadlines.”

And the overall impression? McLeod said, “An important component of print is the physicality/touch of a piece when held. We loved the feel and wanted the cards to stand out by touch alone in the sea of mail people receive during the holiday season.”


With Soft Touch laminate on the cards paired with textured envelopes, she did indeed create a tactile experience!

Holiday greeting cards


Use your own graphics

Not a Designer? Meet Canva!

If you’ve gotten this far and been thinking, “But I’m not a designer. I don’t know how to do any of this,” have we got great news for you. With our partnership with Canva, you are a designer and you can do this. (Except foil… we don’t offer foil printing with Canva just yet!)


When you design online with Canva, you get both flat and folded card options in portrait and landscape orientations. Which is all well and good, but the best part – the actual designing part – is Canva’s thousands of pre-designed templates. For newbies and experienced graphic designers alike, these Canva card templates make it so simple.

So what can you do with these templates? That’s the beauty of it – pretty much anything. You can create Canva cards with literally millions of images, graphic elements, fonts, filters and more. And with the easy drag-and-drop format, you get to play with all of them as much as you like.


Upload your own images, explore entire color schemes, backgrounds, shapes, you name it. With so many options, the only challenge is deciding which ones to use.


Design Tip: Check out our Canva tips and tricks: Design with Canva: Create & Print Using This Easy Graphic Design Platform

Use your own photos

A Premium Present

Whether you’re a business owner or a stationery enthusiast, two things are essential to your holiday card printing: custom options and a seamless process. As a premium online printer, Smartpress gets it – and gives you both.


“I cannot say enough good things about my experience using Smartpress,” said Kwiek. “There are so many options for customization and the turnaround time was incredibly fast. I’ve used other vendors and none have measured up to the service and quality.”


Stainback echoed that sentiment, mentioning how rare it is for printers to “offer great opportunities for custom specifications,” while Litchfield noted how the Smartpress value can’t be overstated.

“[In printing,] what is not well understood is the time and accuracy that’s required to make a quality product,” Litchfield said. “Smartpress nailed it for my customer and I’m looking to triple my orders this year thanks to [them].”


Sounds like a happy holidays to us all.


Bonus Tip: Design the whole package with custom wrapping paper made with our Sell Sheets or Brochures. Simply select our white coated gloss stock in 80# text weight for a wrapping paper look and feel.



It’s Christmas in the City Card Design by Christina Kwiek
Goose Greeting Card Design by Samantha, Left Right Design
Merry Christmas Greeting Card Design by Rob Stainback
Mother and Child Gold Foil Greeting Card Artwork and Design by Rebecca Loomis
Merry Gold Foil Greeting Card Designed for 360 Blue Marketing Team; Art Direction and Design by Jordyn McLeod; Photography by Brittany Spivey
Silver Foil Greeting Card Design by Eddy Litchfield – Water Oak Marketing

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Print Your Own Holiday Cards

Cards & Greeting Cards         Design Online