Monday, May 24, 2010


Or Moo?

So, I'm getting married, and wanted to make custom invitations, which would basically be a different greeting card for each guest, made from photos we took over the years (not photos of us, but photos we took during walks and trips - it's one of the things we've been doing and enjoying from the start).

I remembered Flickr was working with a printing service provider, remembered it was called Moo and began investigating if they're what I need. For once, I learn Flickr had "been busy pushing hard their printing relationship with Snapfish". I still want Moo and check out their site and what they can do. Their website looks great, they can ship from the UK which was a great advantage to me... BUT our invitation text didn't fit. As to-the-point as our text was, we needed more words to fit on the Moo greeting cards. I even used their contact/feedback form to inquire whether there was anything I missed trying to edit the text. I did get a prompt reply saying that unfortunately it wasn't possible.

So I felt I got stuck with using Snapfish, a service that seemed to be preferred by Flickr now. It was rather difficult to find the template we needed (it is Full Photo 5x7 folded Greeting Card), but then it was a nice surprise that we could edit in our text as we wanted. For the back of the card, we added a rsvp note with contact info to confirm presence, and we needed to use the smallest font for that, but it was still fine. SO, Snapfish it was!

We uploaded the photos, and then figured out how to make all of our ~25 different invitations. We had to make them... one by one. It would have been excellent to be able to make one - put the photo, add in the text, save as a template and then just go and change the photo for the rest. But, we made them... one by one. Oh, and the flash text editor they've got doesn't allow for entering diacritics, so I wrote the text separately and then pasted it in - that turned to be OK, since the text needed to be entered every time and pasting was a way to ensure the text was consistent and correct. The size for the text, and alignment, needed to be specified for each card. I can't stress how annoying the creation of (you'd think... just) 25 cards was.

A good thing was that we did get the proper discount for number of cards (I was worried that it only applies to 20/50+ identical cards, but it applied no matter what the photo of each card was). Paying and specifying actual order details went as smooth as with any other service that respects itself.

12 Days later ( USA - Romania), we received the cards, paid no extra fees at the postal/customs office (package marked as gift), and they were of excellent quality. We loved them and so did every future guest of ours.

If they didn't have a rather shitty (pardon my French) editor for these cards (the entire website is much of a let-down for this era of the web, if you asked me) and if they shipped from EU as well, I'd be more than happy to have them as a favourite provider for my other printing needs (photos or postcards for the Postcrossing project, for example). But I'll try Moo next.

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