Posts Tagged ‘TinyPrints’

TinyPrints Foil Card Review

One of my favorite traditions is sending and receiving holiday cards. I managed to be on top of things this year since I hired a photographer to take family photos in the fall. Since I love reviewing all of the various card companies I end up ordering a few from here and there, so just like last year, friends & family you may receive a different card design from one another :)

I just received my TinyPrints cards that I ordered for review and unfortunately they are a bit disappointing. I’m so bummed!  I’ll be contacting customer service to see if they can resolve my problem, but in the meantime please enjoy my review!

Tiny Prints Now At the Shutterfly Site

Tiny Prints and Shutterfly are both owned by the same company, but Tiny Prints is the higher end offering from the company. Looks like they’ve changed up their product line and they are no longer offering Letterpress or Custom Foil options. They were gorgeous and so unique but very expensive. They are still offering Foil and Glitter options though, which I am happy about! They have finally merged sites so you can now find TinyPrints cards on the Shutterfly site and your order confirmations are sent by Shutterfly. However, even though they have merged, promotions are computed separately. For instance, Shutterfly has a free shipping offer right now for Shutterfly orders of $49+ but TinyPrints is offering free shipping for TinyPrints orders of $10+.

Designs

I ordered a Foil card and a standard card to review this year. Cards must be ordered in multiples of 5, with 10 being the minimum order. I wish they allowed any quantity to be specified. On the other hand, there are tons of different trim options and paper options, and you can even choose square or rectangular shaped for almost every design. I love that you can really customize the card to your preferences!

It is so easy to pick a card via the card visualizer. I love that I can see what designs work best with my image at a glance. Then it’s super easy to drag and drop my image onto the card and customize the text.

shutterfly-gentle-branches-foil-card

Quality

I’ve always been pretty happy with Tiny Prints quality, but this year the Foil Option I ordered did not meet my expectations. The design I chose was called Gentle Branches by Petite Alma. This card has some foil accents around the border in the nature illustrations and the Merry Christmas in the center of the card is also foil stamped.

Unfortunately, of the 10 cards that came, all of them suffered from missing foil “ink”. As you can see in the photos, the Merry Christmas lettering is not filled in. In addition, there are foil dots around the frame which suffer from the same problem. The dots aren’t as big of a deal because they just look like little bubbles, but the unevenness of the Merry Christmas does not look good to me. The design isn’t supposed to look distressed!

tiny prints foil card review

Tiny Prints Foil Card Review – See the foil “ink” print problem in the bottom card

In addition, the top card in my pack of 10 has a diagonal line near the top it like it was scored with a machine. I can’t tell if it was printed that way or if it is a physical mark. Either way it’s only the top card so it was not part of my image and shouldn’t be there.

Tiny Prints Foil Card Review

Tiny Prints Foil Card Review – Diagonal Line Across My Card!

 

The paper quality is nice and thick. I’m happy with the color rendition as well, though I’ll have to compare it to the other cards I ordered to truly tell if the color fidelity is true.

I’m going to contact TinyPrints to see if they can reprint these for me because the foil quality is really unsatisfactory. I’ll update the review when I get a response.

Shipping

This year, shipping was incredibly fast though it could be because I ordered early. I made my order late night on Sunday, November 12, I got notified that they were in production and shipped out on Monday, November 13, and I can see from the tracking information that the cards were tendered to UPS on Tuesday, November 14 and delivered to my mailbox via USPS on Friday, November 17. I was happy with the turnaround time this year, as sometimes the Mail Innovations (UPS + USPS partnership) can be really slow.

Overall

Pros: Lots of gorgeous designs, particularly in the premium options. Tons of options for trim and paper. The paper quality is beautiful!

Cons: Tiny Prints imprints their mark on the back of the card. Shipping starts at $4.95 for standard cards, but shipping for premium cards is $8.95. The foil did not turn out right with my cards. Let’s see if this is a one time problem and if their customer service can fix this.

Quality: The paper quality is great. The cardstock is nice and has a slight texture and sheen. As stated above, the foil has issues but let’s see if that is just a one time problem.

Have you ordered your cards yet? What company did you use and were you happy with them? 

Custom Photo Holiday Card Review – Shutterfly vs. Tiny Prints

Hi and Happy Holidays!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We were all sick this year so we stayed in and focused on getting well.  We missed our usual Thanksgiving dinner with friends so I am doubly excited for the holidays when we will see them again.

I wanted to shift gears a bit and review some holiday photo cards. I was way more on top of things this year so I was able to order my cards well in advance and will hopefully get them all out by the first week of December!  I am usually a huge procrastinator and have been known to send them out December 22 or 23.  Oops!

I ordered from 2 companies this year so that I could sample a few different products.  I ordered from Shutterfly and Tiny Prints.  They are both owned by the same company but the target market and price point is a little higher at Tiny Prints.

Software

Both Shutterfly and Tiny Prints have similar software.  You upload your photos and you can drag and drop into a ton of different designs.  You can filter down the hundreds of designs by style of card (flat or folded), size of card, number of photos and the type of greeting you want to send (Christmas vs. Holiday vs. New Year).  The hardest part for me was to choose which photo I wanted to send as our main image.  Once I had that decided the rest was easy — I just had to choose which design fit our image the best.

Ordering Quantity

Shutterfly cards seem to have 2 different ordering styles. There are some which must be ordered in sets of 10, and there are some where you can order the exact quantity you need.  The card style I choose could be ordered in any quantity.

Tiny Prints cards come in sets of 5, with 10 being the minimum order per card style.

Pricing

Both Shutterfly and Tiny Prints seem to always have some sort of special deal happening. Shutterfly lets you add any number of promo codes to your account and then it has an engine which will determine your best price.  Typically, you are allowed to combine one percent-off code and one dollar-off code.  For instance, you can combine a 30% off cards coupon with a $10 off cards coupon.

Tiny Prints allowed more than 1 promo code in the checkout page.  I didn’t come across a limit, but I did find that many promo codes conflicted with each other so I couldn’t combine them.

Regular price for 10 holiday cards starts at $22.90 for Shutterfly and $26.90 for Tiny Prints (with both vendors providing a cheaper per card price if ordered in larger quantities), however as I’ve stated above, there is always some kind of sale happening.  A more realistic price to shoot for is around 30% off–I’ve seen those sales often, and often even 40% or more is possible. Shipping starts at $7.99 for Shutterfly economy shipping and $5.99 for Tiny Prints economy shipping.

Delivery & Packaging

For an order of 25 cards made on 11/29, I was quoted the following:

Shutterfly’s estimated delivery window was 12/6-12/11 for economy shipping ($7.99), 12/8-12/10 for standard shipping ($11.99), 12/5 for expedited shipping ($19.99) and 12/4 for rush ($31.99).

Tiny Prints’ estimated delivery window was 12/9-12/10 for economy shipping ($5.99), 12/8-12/9 for standard shipping ($9.95), 12/5 for expedited shipping ($14.95) and 12/3 for super rush ($24.95).

When I made my initial orders, the cards actually took a really long time to arrive.  I made my Tiny Prints order on 11/13, it was printed 11/20 and it arrived at my home on 11/26 — a full 2 weeks after I made the order!  I am not sure why it took so long to print because it was actually before the Thanksgiving holiday.

For Shutterfly, I ordered on 11/9, they were shipped out 11/10 and arrived on 11/14–a total of 5 days from order date which was great.  In fact, this was much quicker than the delivery of the photobook I had ordered in the same order!

My Shutterfly order came in a paper mailer.  My Tiny Prints order came in a sturdy box.  Both protected the cards but the envelopes from Shutterfly had a slight crease in the corner where they had jammed up against the mailer edge.  No big deal, but I thought I’d mention it.

Tiny Prints Box

Tiny Prints Box

Shutterfly Paper Mailer

Shutterfly Paper Mailer

Product & Paper

Both the companies delivered a beautiful product.  Ultimately, I was happy with both of them, but here are a few details that I noticed.  The family portrait I chose printed well on both cards.  I think I have to give the slight edge to Shutterfly though.  I think it just came out a little clearer there, but it is almost too close to call.

Shutterfly had a few cards which had some color transfer onto the back of the card where it was white.  I ordered a foil printed card and I think the foil is a beautiful accent.  It really makes the card feel a little more special.

Shutterfly Foil Card

Shutterfly Foil Card

Color transfer smudges

See the pink arrows for where you can see color transfer smudges

Tiny Prints cards were printed on really nice thick paper.  I ordered 2 sets of letterpress cards and was happy with one set but mildly disappointed with the other.  The 2 designs I ordered were Naturally Happy and Joyous Tradition.  Naturally Happy had the deep indentations (I googled this and it is called “bite”) so the tactile experience of running my fingers over the print was what you’d expect from letterpress.  Joyous Tradition was printed with very shallow bite.  On the other hand, because Naturally Happy had such a deep bite, it showed through on the back.  I ordered my wedding invites in letterpress and didn’t have this problem.  Granted, wedding invites cost a wee bit more than Tiny Prints, but it is something to consider if you’re thinking about ordering Tiny Prints letterpress cards.

TinyPrints Letterpress Card Detail

Tiny Prints Letterpress Card Detail – Joyous Tradition.  The letterpress bite was impossible to capture since it was so shallow.

TinyPrints Letterpress Card Detail

Tiny Prints Letterpress Card Detail – Naturally Happy. You can see the letterpress bite in the flowers near the bottom.

Shutterfly vs. TinyPrints Paper Comparison

Shutterfly vs. Tiny Prints Paper Comparison

Overall

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with both sets of cards and companies.  I wouldn’t use either company without a really great coupon or sale, as it gets to be quite pricey to order 30+ cards.  I thought that for the price I paid, the Shutterfly cards were a better “deal” though the Tiny Prints cards were certainly more luxurious.  They definitely appeal to slightly different price points and I think its great to have options whether you’re making an order for holiday cards or birth announcements.

Are you ordering holiday cards this year? Which company is your favorite?