While the concept of an e-card is anathema to paper lovers everywhere, I do confess to finding them [sometimes] useful. If you can't send an actual, physical, beautiful card, I guess an e-card is the next best thing. The most important thing is to let someone know you're thinking of them, no matter how you do it.
E-cards are like regular cards in that there are so many cheesy, schmaltzy and over-the-top designs it's unbelievable. If I see one more Blue Mountain design I'm going to rip my eyeballs out.
Personally, I like the notion of designer email stationery rather than an e-card you have to retrieve off of a website. The only place I've seen this is at iomoi - let me know what other designers are out there.
I remember seeing Iomoi's ecards years ago, and I'm glad to see they're still at it. They offer a range of designs and their interface is simple and easy to use. You choose the font and type color and they'll even check your spelling. They also sell original - paper!- stationery products and address labels.
What's Good: super simple, good personalization options
What's Not: designs can sometimes be on the cutesy side
Unlike Iomoi, who offer e-stationery, SpreadingTheLove offers e-cards that the recipient has to view on their site [like Hallmark, American Greetings, etc.]. They play the "green" card by positioning emails as environmentally friendlier than paper greetings, and while they probably have a point, I'll never give up pen and ink.
I can't quite figure out what their deal is. Their mailing address is Spain, their phone number is from London and their prices are in dollars. Go figure. They offer a lot of designs by many different artists, which I like, but their site design is crap. I get a headache just looking at it, which is a shame because they have some interesting functionality.
I particularly like the option of scheduling the email for up to a year in the future. I can see someone who is hyper-organized [not me by a long shot] sitting down one afternoon and creating birthday emails for the next three months. God love 'em. The site also allows you to store addresses and offers a reminder service for key dates you don't want to forget.
I couldn't test it though, because I kept trying to send myself a free card - as advertised on the site - and they kept telling me I had to subscribe first. Um, I thought free meant... free... silly me.
What's Good: good range of clever, and different, designs; clever functionality
EXPECT TO SEE PLENTY OF Blue Iris this year, in everything from advertising to cosmetics to fashion to home décor, says Pantone Inc.
In naming it as the color of the year, Pantone says the purply-blue is just what an unsettled nation needs to calm down. "Combining the stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple, Blue Iris satisfies the need for reassurance in a complex world, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement," it says.
"As a reflection of the times, Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspect of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast. Emotionally, it is anchoring and meditative, with a touch of magic. Look for it artfully combined with deeper plums, red-browns, yellow-greens, grapes and grays.