By Sarah Miller
While many people will use our card designs this holiday season, some are already busy (like we are) making their own eCard designs. Creating your own custom eCard imagery can be rewarding and special to your eCard recipient. For example, some of our customers will create holiday eCards with pictures of their staff volunteering for local organizations or their office/store decked out for the holidays. So if you haven't thought about creating your own eCard, think again. There is still time to dream up your idea and make it happen. It's super fun and pretty easy! (Just make sure you choose a photo or graphic design that you have the rights to use.)
Our artists use Adobe Photoshop for image editing but there are many options available. I am particularly fond of PIXLR.com. It's free and they also have a mobile application. If you like being creative, you should definitely check this out.
So, let's get started! If you haven't reviewed the tutorial for "How to Create a Custom eCard from a Photo or Digital Art," you might want to do that before reading my tips so you understand the basic process.
Here are my tips:
1. Image Start Size. When I create a new image, I use a 4x3 ratio, width to height. The maximum size is 600 pixels square; but, the CorpNote system displays eCards best in portrait orientation, 600 pixels wide by 450 high (a 4 x 3 ratio). You can always start bigger, but when you have thin lines and small text it can get distorted or unreadable when you resize your final image to 600 pixels wide. That is why it is helpful for you to create your art in the actual finished size that it will appear on a CorpNote eCard. (Note: 800 x 600 is the default image size when you create a new image in PIXLR.)
2. Using a Photo or Image. When using a photo or other pre-existing art image, first make a copy so you don't overwrite your original file, and then scale it to fit the 600 x 450 (or your choice) pixel area. You may have to crop out some of the image to make it fit the size and ratio, but this will give you an accurate idea of whether the art will look good at this specific size. If it doesn't, try using a higher resolution graphic or another graphic that will better fit the dimensions.
3. Add embellishments and text. In most graphics programs, you can add corner embellishments, corner designs and more by using the wingdings and webdings fonts. There are also tools where you can draw your own elements. PIXLR.com offers a lot of cool special effects and ready-made art elements that you can use. Designing attractive art with it can literally take just a few minutes.
4. Export your image. Our sizing guidelines are as follows or you can follow the instructions in our tutorial mentioned above.
5. Upload your finished eCard. You can upload up to 36 eCard designs of your own.
To use your new custom eCards, you can get to them from your CorpNote 'My Account' page or choose eCards > Create New from the navigation. Under the Card designs area, click the 'Custom Cards' link and you will see all of your designs. Click one to select it and start composing your eCard as usual.
Enjoy being creative, and feel free to contact us if you have questions!
For more detailed instructions, visit the following tutorials:
How to Create a Custom eCard
Upload and Manage your Custom eCards
Create a Custom Online Greeting Card Design Using Pixlr (Video)
Many of our members also use CorpNote to send their personal holiday greeting cards. Check out our brief tutorial on how to create a custom holiday card from a family photo or other photo: Sending personal eCards with a Family Photo or Other Photos
Read the next blog in this series: Using QuickSend Mobile eCards.