Ok, so I’m a bit of a cheapskate. I admit that I would rather print off a card for free than go out to the shop and pay a couple of quid for one. What’s so wrong with that? Anyway, up until now my ‘greetings card maker’ consisted of having to design my own using some sort of desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Publisher. Which is a bit time-consuming and ultimately, not that great for professional looking greetings cards. However, I then came across the Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe software, which is a greeting card design program that saves me time, money and effort. Ok so I’m a lazy cheapskate, but it’s the thought that counts!
Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe has actually been around for years with countless different versions. But the 2009 Deluxe version is the first that I have tried and tested. It’s not free, it cost me £30 from Amazon but it was well worth it. Really, it pays for itself in just about 10 cards.
The software itself has a fun, easy to use interface which is colourful and attractive, whilst being neat and tidy. They claim you can produce professional cards in just 3 clicks and they’re not far wrong. It’s simple, you choose your card from a gallery of literally hundreds if not thousands and print.
Upon loading up Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe you’re presented with the screen pictured consisting of several quick links to the popular occasions as well as options to load saved projects or visit what they call the ‘art studio’ to design graphics for your future greetings cards. There is also a planner to remind you of the all-important dates or deadlines for when you’ll need your greeting cards for.
Once you’re into the application, you are presented with a sidebar style menu containing links to all the different categories of cards you can think of for all the different events and occasions and it’s so easy to navigate you can find any card in seconds. There is also an option to choose upon the ‘genre’ of the card such as Christmas, birthday, humorous cards or sentimental, sweet or simple greeting cards.
After you’ve found your ideal card, you can choose whether to simply to print it out as it is, or you can add your own personal touch by editing colours and layout. You can add your own photos or messages or choose from their preset messages written for each occasion. You can add graphics you designed in the art studio as I mentioned earlier on. Basically, it’s an all-round greetings card production software package with every little feature you could need from such an application.
To summarise, Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe is a brilliant application for anyone who can’t be bothered going to the shops and buying a card. Although it rules out the excuse of “I couldn’t find any good ones” when you forget a birthday or similar event. Simply print out an authentic Hallmark greeting card in seconds. It even has that Hallmark emblem on the back so perhaps they wouldn’t even notice. If you’re really bothered, you can have some greetings card paper/card delivered to your door – or alternatively, you could also consider getting personalised greeting cards from Moonpig.