Saturday, 11 July 2020

Don't Forget to Send Greeting Cards!

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, then you already know we are living in strange times with the epidemic that is plaguing the world. The states are shutting down again, and the stores that are still open will suffer even more because of the lack of merchandise being produced. The small businesses in my neck of the woods are hurting badly by the crises. The store shelves are bare and only the necessities are being restocked. And, no, this doesn’t include greeting cards.

I know the very last thing that should be on our minds is greeting cards. But, I am a person who likes to send out greeting cards to friends and family on their birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. It is something I picked up from my late grandmother, who always made sure not to miss one birthday.

Where I live, there are only three stores to buy greeting cards at - Walmart, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree. I prefer the latter because of the bigger selection and cheaper price, but because of the current events, finding a good card has been hard. Many factories are working with limited employees or have closed altogether, which has resulted in fewer products being produced and shipped. With a several birthdays, Grandparent’s Day, and a few other holidays just around the corner, I fear I won’t be able to find greeting cards in my area soon.

My best option would be to design my own my cards and print them on cardstock, which I already own. Years ago, I owned a nifty greeting card software (Maybe Hallmark?), but sadly it’s not compatible with Windows 10.

There are free greeting card templates you can download to use on Word or Open Office. Or you can just use the Canva website. All you need is a good font or fonts to use on the card. The fonts pre-installed on computers are generic, so you need to find unique fonts that will make the card look professional. The best place to get script fonts is from Font Bundles.

Font Bundles has a slew of font bundles and collections at a decent price, such as the Fantastic Bundle collection for $5, Designers Font Bundle for $9.50, and Summertime Font Bundle for $7.20. You can also purchase individual fonts. They have any and every font style imaginable, including handwriting ones. The fonts are available in OTF files and the old TTF files. The OTF files work well in many programs, including Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop CC, and CorelDRAW. Warning: Only install one format per font, as it can cause problems for the programs.

FYI: Font Bundles has several freebies fonts, but you must create a "free" account to download them.

It will take more than just a stylized font to make a greeting card. You will also need a standout image or illustration. Not unless you’re an artist, you will need to either hunt down a free image or purchase one. To save you time and money, many Font Bundles collections come with illustrations, such as in the Designers Font Bundle. (See the image below.)

Last (and the hardest), you need to come up with a perfect saying or message for the greeting card. Yeah, you need to use your creative juices for this one. No, you don’t have to be a poet and the saying doesn’t have to rhyme. The saying could be a religious quote, a heartwarming story, or something that’ll tickle your funny-bone. Whatever the saying is, make sure it comes from your heart, as it will mean more to whoever is receiving it. (Tip: Use a grammar and spell check before printing a card. Nobody wants typos on a greeting card.)

Also, don’t forget to buy a box of envelopes that are the correct size for the greeting cards, such as size A6 (4¾” x 6½”).

At first glance, a greeting card might look like a worthless piece of paper, but receiving a simple card can mean the world to so many people, especially in these catastrophic days we are all living in. Many of us, especially the elderly, are self-quarantining with little to no contact with the outside world, so this is the perfect time for us to send greeting cards to others.

Everyone needs a little reminder that we’re appreciated and sending a folded cardstock can brighten up anyone’s day.

Do you send greeting cards to family and friends? Have you ever made homemade greeting cards? If so, please leave a message in the comment section?

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