Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, births, retirements, promotions, Mother's Day, Father's Day....there are plenty of moments that deserve to be congratulated, and a good way to do it is through a special card. Stay with us and find out all about greeting cards!

In the market you can find a huge variety of greeting cards, with different styles, designs, sizes, materials, formats and themes, adapted to different tastes, interests and needs. As if that wasn't enough, there are also classic, music and electronic versions.

Throughout the article we will tell you about the most important features of greeting cards, including their most valued and sold variants, their commercial costs and the places where you can buy them. This information will help you to choose the perfect model to give as a gift.




Summary

  • Greeting cards are rectangles or squares of paper (plain, folded or with envelope), with phrases, drawings and motifs alluding to a special date or celebration. They are given as gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, births, friends' day, etc.
  • In the market you can find many different types of greeting cards, among which the standard, photographic and musical models stand out. These varieties differ from each other mainly in their formats, materials and types of use.
  • When buying a greeting card, it is important that you pay attention to certain relevant issues, such as their varieties, themes, sizes, materials and designs, among other aspects that will allow you to choose the perfect model.

The Best Greeting Card: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Greeting Cards

The main purpose of this buying guide is to provide you with relevant information about the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will tell you about the most important features of greeting cards, including their advantages and those aspects that are not so beneficial.

Greeting cards can be emotional, humorous, romantic, formal, etc. (Photo: Dmitriy Shironosov / 123rf.com)

What are greeting cards and what are their advantages?

Greeting cards are printed papers with phrases and images related to a special occasion, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, births, baptisms, Christmas, etc. On the market you can find an infinite number of different motifs to choose from.

The tradition of giving greeting cards for important or symbolic occasions dates back to ancient China, as it is a meaningful and beautiful gift. Therefore, there are thousands of designs adapted not only to the different themes, but also to the style of the recipient(s).

Among its many advantages, the greeting card offers the possibility to express a sentiment in a simple and at the same time personal way, and to receive love and consideration from the sender. In addition, you will always find a variant that suits your preferences and interests.

Advantages
  • There is an infinite number of designs and styles
  • There are cards with numerous themes
  • You can find them in different sizes and materials
  • They can be emotional, funny, romantic, etc.
  • They are beautiful and ornamental
Disadvantages
  • Some are quite expensive
  • The digital variants cannot be physically stored like the paper ones

Standard, photo or music invitation cards - what should you pay attention to?

On the market you can find different varieties of greeting cards, adapted to different preferences and needs. In the following, we will detail the main features of 3 of their numerous models so that you can get to know their most important characteristics.

  • Standard:They have a message according to the occasion, pre-printed on rectangular cardboard (plain, folded or enclosed in an envelope), with an allusive image or motif. These classic cards can have different and varied styles, very beautiful, funny or emotional, but they are a bit more impersonal than other varieties.
  • Photographic: They can be printed on regular or photographic paper, and are characterised by combining the greeting phrase with one or more photographs of the recipient (or recipients). It is a very original option if you want to make a novel and more personal gift (there are also electronic variants in which you can upload photos).
  • Musical: These are similar to the standard or conventional variants, but come with a musical button that emits different allusive sounds. These varieties are a beautiful and fun option for birthday, Christmas and wedding gifts, among other celebrations, and there are also electronic versions.
Standard Photographic Musical
Materials Cardboard, generally Cardboard, glossy sheets, photographic paper Cardboard, generally
Format Paper Electronic paper Electronic paper
Main uses All types of greetings More personalised greetings Birthdays, weddings and Christmas, mainly
Main characteristics They are the most common and most used. There is a great variety of motifs They combine the congratulatory phrases with photographs of the recipient They combine the congratulatory phrases with allusive melodies

Purchasing Criteria

In this last section of the article we will discuss the main purchasing criteria you should take into account when buying a greeting card, given that it is an extremely varied and versatile product, with a large number of models, themes, styles and designs.

Varieties

Greeting cards can also be divided into written, illustrated or electronic greeting cards. Below, we will discuss the characteristics of each of these varieties, so that you can get to know their particularities and choose the most suitable one for you to give as a gift.

Written

There are written greeting cards that already have a pre-determined text alluding to the theme in question printed on them. You can also find these variants, where the illustration is not so prominent or is more subtle, with a blank space to add content and personalise the message.

Illustrated

Illustrated greeting cards give more prominence to the graphics or drawings than to the text. You will find these varieties mainly in cards for birthdays, Christmas, births, etc., but less so in formal or elegant models, which use more subtle or delicate motifs.

Electronic

Electronic or virtual cards are those that are sent online. There are specific pages where you can buy cards to give as gifts, or get them for free (the first variant gives you more personalisation options, such as personal photographs, specific images or text, etc.).

Greeting cards are a beautiful and ornamental gift. (Photo: Alexander Raths / 123rf.com)

Themed

Greeting cards have an infinite number of themes adapted to different celebrations or special occasions. Here we will mention the most common of them and we will detail their main particularities so that you can take them into account when giving them as a gift.

Birthday

Birthday greeting cards are one of the most common and commercialised, and you can get them in standard (or classic), photographic, electronic, etc. variants. The design (modern, vintage, children's, etc.), will depend mainly on the age of the birthday boy or girl and their personal style.

Weddings

Wedding greeting cards tend to be a little more formal or elegant than the other variants, although there are also models of this type with a comic or humorous approach. The option you choose will depend mainly on your level of trust with the couple and their personal style.

Anniversaries

Greeting cards for anniversaries are, without a doubt, the most romantic of all, and are characterised by love phrases and drawings with hearts, flowers, etc. You can also find simpler variants, without graphics or with simple motifs.

Birth

Greeting cards for births stand out for being tender and emotional, as this special occasion deserves it. You can find simple, pompous, naive, modern, etc. variants, as well as more standard or personalised ones (with photographs, images, etc.).

Mother's/Father's/Friend's Day

Mother's Day, Father's Day and Friend's Day are some of the most popular commercial dates for greeting cards. These variants are also usually emotional, but you can also find funny models (especially for Friends' Day).

Births are a very special occasion, which is perfect for greeting cards. (Photo: lightfieldstudios /123rf.com)

Materials

Greeting cards can be made of various materials that determine their quality and style. Below, we will mention the most important aspects of each raw material so that you can choose the option that you find most beautiful or appropriate.

  • Cardboard: This is the most common raw material used to make greeting cards, and you can find it (in different colours and thicknesses) in standard (or classic), illustrated, musical, etc. variants. This material is not used as much for formal or elegant card designs.
  • Albanene or vegetable paper: Albanene or vegetable paper is characterised by being translucent and resistant. Among its various functions, it is used for the production of more formal or elegant greeting cards (for weddings, anniversaries, communions, baptisms, etc.).
  • Photographic paper: Photographic paper, as its name suggests, is used for printing photographs. You have the option of ordering greeting cards with the image of the person being honoured in photographic shops or buying common variants that have a space with an indentation to place the photo.
  • Recycled paper: Recycled paper is paper that has undergone a recovery process that gives it a rustic, porous texture. Greeting cards made with this material are very beautiful and ornamental, so you can find them with many themes.

Sizes

In the market you can also find different sizes of greeting cards, according to the personal preferences of the person who buys and receives them. Here we will tell you which are the most common sizes so that you have a parameter of the dimensions.

  • Standard: The standard or conventional sizes (the most common and used for different themes) are approximately 10 x 15 cm, which corresponds to the classic size of photographs. This measures the simple variant, but it can also be unfolded in two or three times, doubling or tripling its surface.
  • Large: Large greeting cards are usually about 15 x 21 cm (measurements can vary) and can also be unfolded in two or three parts, which magnifies their size. They are used for various celebrations, not too formal.
  • Giant: Giant greeting cards usually measure 50 x 34 cm, although sizes can also vary. Like the large cards, these dimensions are suitable for all kinds of celebrations or festivities, but they are not usually used for elegant variations.

Formats

Greeting cards can come in different formats that give the product a particular style and in some cases amplify its size. Below, we will describe the particularities of some of the most common and marketed shapes.

Simple

Plain greeting cards are those that do not have any folds. They are generally made of cardboard in rectangular format, although you can also find some more modern versions with a square shape (very popular lately).

With folds

Folded greeting cards are the varieties that are folded and open in two or three parts (although there are also very original models that unfold in several parts forming an allusive figure). As previously mentioned, the folds double or triple the surface of the card.

With envelope

Many greeting cards come with a complementary envelope that usually has the same style as the card. While you can find different varieties and themes of enveloped cards, they are most commonly used for more formal or elegant styles, such as weddings.

Designs

Greeting cards come in many designs to suit different styles, preferences and themes. Here we will mention some of the designs you can find in the market so you can compare them and choose the one you like the most.

  • Classic: Greeting cards with classic designs are usually made of cardboard and usually come with a pre-determined text accompanied by graphics or motifs alluding to the theme. These conventional variants are somewhat more impersonal.
  • Modern: Modern greeting cards have additional elements that make them more novel and original, such as sounds, lights, visual effects, printed or added photographs, different textures and formats, witty phrases, etc., so you will have many options to choose from.
  • Elegant: Elegant greeting cards are more formal than the other variants, and are usually made of albanene or vegetable paper. They usually come with a complementary envelope and have delicate lettering and motifs, with phrases that tend to be more terse and solemn than the other versions.
  • Vintage: Vintage greeting cards have an antique yet modern style, as this design is very fashionable at the moment. They are usually made of tracing paper or recycled paper, in pastel colours, such as pale pink or aqua green, with lace, flowers and filleted lettering, very pretty and decorative.
  • Children's: They are characterised by being cheerful and colourful. You can find numerous variants with different allegorical graphics, which are usually related to the child's interests, such as their favourite children's character from series or films, animals (for younger children), etc.
  • Funny: They have phrases and drawings with comic or humorous approaches to different themes, and are usually given as gifts for different (informal) occasions. Bear in mind that you must have a certain degree of trust with the recipient to give this type of card as a gift.

(Featured Image Source: Aliasemma/ 123rf.com)

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