How to Make the Best Corporate Christmas Cards for Your Business

Although the amount of mail generated by the UK has slowed in recent years, sales of greeting cards, and specifically Christmas cards, show few signs of decline. The British public spent more than £1.7 billion on Christmas cards in 2017, according to the Greeting Card Association, and while ecards have become a popular way of spreading festive cheer, the long-standing tradition of the humble Christmas card has yet to wane. Indeed, it’s a custom that can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when civil servant Henry Cole printed the first batch of commercial Christmas cards in 1843. The idea of sending Christmas cards gained popularity throughout the Victorian era, eventually extending to companies and businesses, who sent Christmas cards to generate goodwill and promote their brand. 

Fast-forward to 2019, however, and while business Christmas cards are still sent, they are quite often discarded. How can you ensure that your own company’s cards will be remembered, and maybe even kept, just like Disney’s? If you’re responsible for the company Christmas cards this year, don’t be anxious: this is our festive guide to producing something truly special for the most important people in your company and industry. So fold that card, seal that envelope and lick that stamp: the best corporate cards will be yours this Christmas! 

‘Tis the Reason

Let’s face it: ecards are much more economical, but it’s hard to beat the tangible satisfaction of receiving hand-delivered, personalised cards. Overall, the benefits of sending them outweigh the costs and cons, as corporate cards can be a creative way of promoting your brand and boosting staff morale. But before you post a single card, you need to outline YOUR reasons for making business Christmas cards; what exactly are you trying to achieve? Establishing a goal will help to shape the design of your card and influence the direction your Christmas card campaign will take. 

The reasons for sending company Christmas cards are abundant, and your cards may satisfy more than one of the following goals. For example, corporate cards are not always recognised for what they are: a marketing endeavour which seeks to improve one’s perception of the brand or company. While it may come across as overly desperate or tacky to include a specific reference to your business’s success or a recent achievement, you can at least include your logo or colour scheme to remind the recipient of who’s responsible for the exquisite card! Holiday cards can also help to strengthen relationships between employers and employees, companies and clients: while a simple card might not work ‘magic’ per se, it’s an opportunity to thank some of your trusted partners and colleagues for their work and custom. 

At its most basic, a Christmas card is a time-honoured tradition, and many businesses make a point of sending them every year. If you do the same, it will help to mark your company as an established, reliable enterprise, with experience in the industry and respect for old customs.

Who Who Who!

Now that you’ve committed to sending corporate Christmas cards, it’s time to set yourself some parameters. While it’s tempting to order more cards than you need, it’s more effective to plan exactly who will be getting a card this year. Draw up a list of the most vital people in your contact list, beginning with your on-site employees and colleagues, and calculate how many cards you will require. Then consult any lists you have of your off-site associates, and make sure that their addresses are up to date. If you’re unsure, contact them and ask them to confirm their details; this might even allow you to signal, ahead of time, that you plan to send a card, allowing them to return the favour. This will open up a chain of communication that could have dwindled in the past but which may prove useful in the future, and to do so in a fun, informal way.

With this in mind, you may want to extend your contact list to all and sundry, in the hope that this will rekindle custom or ignite interest in your wares. However, it’ll probably come across as disingenuous to send cards to clients about whom you know little. Instead, send the cards to more viable prospects, and ideally, directly to the employee with whom you have had the most interaction. This will ensure that your card is handled with more respect and care – rather than sending it to the company director, who may hardly know you! Beware, too, of the cut-off point for Christmas post. Don’t procrastinate: leave enough time to design, write and proof the card, rather than having it come down to the wire. Some companies and offices might close early for Christmas, in fact, and it would be polite to allow them time to respond, should they wish to send you a card in return! 

Looks Like Christmas

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of the card is what it will actually look like: the presentation will attract the most attention and comments from your recipients. If you’d rather not labour too much over the design, you could commission a professional artist to create something for you. There are numerous designers on social media that you can enlist to create a corporate card for you, taking much of the pressure off you and your team. Another option, and a particularly fun one, could be to have a competition within your company to design the best card, or maybe even a calendar! Using their drawing, photography or Photoshop skills, you can assign your employees the task of trying to produce the best card; you could even split the staff into teams so that the task is more manageable and enjoyable. The prize could be something like a Christmas hamper, or an increased bonus: something that will help to rally the troops around one festive goal. 

Printing photos on your card is a particularly popular idea. Set one day aside for your employees to come in wearing costumes, or Christmas jumpers, and take a group photo of everyone in full regalia! One of the other things a photo Christmas card can do is to convey an impression of what it’s like to work at your company, and if the staff look like they’re having fun or the work environment looks pleasant, it may well help your brand. Think about the industry in which you work, too. If you’re a magazine, store or website, you’ll want something fun and uplifting; on the other hand, if you’re a law firm or medical organisation, you should opt for an understated and professional look. 

Festive Reading

The final component of the perfect company Christmas card is the message. Your greeting will emphasise the strong connections you have forged with your colleagues and clients throughout the year, and because of this, you should avoid printing a generic message on each card. The act of handwriting is, in our digital age, almost a lost art, which is why it will add a personal, old-school touch when you sign your own name or include a unique note. It needn’t be long – you’ll probably have hundreds of these to write – but even the shortest salutation will display warmth and attentiveness.

Of course, if you’re going to write individual messages, be sure there’s someone around to monitor them in some way! Be careful of using humour, for example, because something that’s funny to you might not be to others. A message that looks forward to the New Year, or which thanks the recipient for their time that year, is perfect: it’s positive and encouraging, while still making some allusion to your business connection. Obviously, check the spelling and grammar of your card to make sure that it sounds articulate and professional, and you’re almost done!

With these questions answered, you’re now prepared to print and produce your card. The most important thing is, once again, to start early: it’ll take time to design, print and write high-quality Christmas cards, aside from the time they’ll spend in transit. The process is time-consuming, but that’s exactly why it’s worthwhile: you’ll show your customers and staff that, even when it comes to the humble holiday card, your business goes the extra mile.


How to Decorate Your Student Room

Hordes of falling, multicoloured leaves; fresh, crisp mornings; the return of rush-hour bedlam. Uni is beckoning. 

Whether you’re a first-year newbie shaking with excitement and trepidation, or a postgraduate veteran delaying the impending reality of the working world, you’ll be spending loads of time in your student accommodation this coming year. 

Revamping your university room decor can be fun and undoubtedly rewarding but finding time between meeting up with friends, organising your study supplies, and acquainting yourself with your local pubs environs, can be difficult.

Having inserted the key and unlocked the door, explore this roomful of affordable yet stylish ideas – they’re sure to save you time revolutionising the interior design of your new residence.  

Home Is Where the Art Is

Although treating your university bedroom like a blank canvas may be a tad extreme, having an open mind is essential. Posters are a relatively inexpensive way of expressing your personality – some university campuses host poster sales regularly, while you can create your own online as well. Additionally, feel free to let your artistic inclinations roam free by mixing and matching your favourite prints or photos to transform a bare white area into a soothing, thought-provoking gallery wall. 

For those looking to infuse their room with travel vibes, maps can strike the perfect balance between being decoratively aesthetic and sating those wanderlust instincts. Vintage or modern, colourful or monochrome, your map can easily be incorporated into your design specifications, acting as the ultimate conversation starter with any guests.    

Remember, however, that you’re not only confined by your room’s four walls, but by the fine print on your lease agreement. Make a lasting impression on your landlord, and not their walls, by using command strips to hang up any posters and photos. These removable wall mounts are available in various sizes, so you can put up anything from an eye-catching tapestry to your dressing gown without leaving a trace behind on the wall when you leave.

Cushion the Blow

If you’re moving out for the first time, you’ll make several mind-blowing discoveries: for instance, your dinners never actually cooked themselves and your clothes never magically washed themselves either. However, while those tangible benefits will be missed, your immediate challenge will be to import some of that intangible cosiness and character into your student room decor. 

Throw blankets are a great starting point: what better way to conjure up a warm, snug atmosphere than introducing something that makes you warm and snug?! Combining functionality with an injection of colour and texture, throws can transform a boring desk chair or a non-descript bed into treasured, inviting spaces. Add further personality with a photo cushion or two, and suddenly, those empty voids which had you longing for home are filled by welcoming reminders of the way life used to be. 

For those with looser purse strings, consider adding a statement rug to provide comfort against those barefoot walks on a cold, hard floor. But take note: while it may seem contradictory, a bigger rug, one which partly runs underneath the bed, will draw the eye wider and make a small space seem larger – ideal for when your nocturnal cramming routine has you suffering from bleary-eyed claustrophobia.   

Let There Be Light

Even the best-designed dwellings can be subdued by poorly-lit spaces. Furthermore, lighting can also profoundly influence mood levels – too bright, and it can disrupt circadian clock rhythms that negatively impact upon sleep quality; too dim, and how are you expected to read those endless streams of revision notes? 

Consequently, your lighting choices should be able to cater to your uni room’s dual functions: sleep and study. You can rejuvenate your place’s character by mixing up an array of floor and table lamps to create different lighting levels, while lampshades are a great way to enliven bare bulbs or instil a little colour into a space. 

Introduce some glow to your living quarters by hanging up a set of fairy lights. Superbly versatile, they can be draped around a mirror or perched on a wall to illuminate your night-time sanctuary. What’s more, you can explore your creative side by pegging polaroid prints to your assortment of lights, and stringing them across your room for that classic dreamy feel. Once complete, be sure to showcase your innovation on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook… Whatever your preferred social media platform, your followers are sure to be impressed!

Become a Plant Parent

While those mammoth study sessions may prevent you from getting outdoors, bring some nature indoors by becoming a plant parent. Houseplants help to purify the air and regulate humidity, and the sight of greenery has been shown to make us feel happier. Even the act of regularly tending to plants is said to help relieve acute stress

In reality, it’s never been easier to develop your green fingers – low-maintenance, long-living varieties, such as snake plants and aloe vera, need only be watered occasionally without requiring massive amounts of sunlight. Furthermore, most herbs can be grown inside, and it can be quite rewarding to watch seedlings of basil, thyme, or parsley sprout up, engulfing your room in beautiful scents. Don’t forget the added bonus of some extra flavour to your meals as well! 

Room for Manoeuvre

Ultimately, the person who best knows how to decorate your student room is…well, you. So why not bring some of that individuality to your living space? Unleash your creative impulses by adorning the walls with a washi tape design, or by re-using those empty mason jars and glass bottles as vases or ornamental candle holders

However, if you’re the more organised type, dividers are a simple, inexpensive way to bring order to a socks and underwear drawer. And while some of these picture-perfect desk decor ideas are virtually impossible to achieve on a daily basis, developing a ‘keep, reuse, dispose’ decluttering policy can ensure that your creative ingenuity will not be overwhelmed by excessive hoarding.   

With exams complete and the Christmas festivities imminent, you’re standing on the threshold again, looking back at the place you’ve got to know so well. You see? There’s no reason why that warm, fuzzy feeling of homeliness can’t be fostered even within the constraints of a lease. So go for it, challenge yourself to break free, and add those personal touches to your university room decor. Because ultimately, a home isn’t where the deeds are; it’s where the heart is! 

Why You Should Play Board Games and Tabletop Games

Did you know that board games and tabletop games have their origins in ancient Egypt? Almost 3,000 years ago, in the Middle Kingdom and Early Dynastic periods of Egyptian history, people played board games like Mehen, which used lion and lioness-shaped counters and marbles. The most popular board game was Senet, a draughts-like game which involved moving pieces from one end of the board to the other. Meanwhile, dice games were played in ancient Greece and Rome, and our Western version of chess has its origins in the East, in games like xiangqi and shogi, which are still played today. From mahjong to Monopoly, board, card, and tabletop games have a long and storied history.

In the 21st century, gaming has become synonymous with computer and video games. But, as the above examples show, the best board games predate, quite significantly, online, PC and console gaming. For board games to have endured this long demonstrates their health and educational benefits, as well as the fun, convivial atmosphere associated with playing some of your favourite games. In the article below, we’re going to elaborate on some of the virtues of board games and explain why they’ve enjoyed a resurgence as of late. With autumn drawing in and the nights getting colder, it’s time to pick up 2 cards, collect £200 when you pass GO, and discover if it really was Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the candlestick…

They’re Good For You 

Every board, card, and tabletop game has a set of rules, directions and win conditions, yet these rules are not typically visible at all times throughout the game. Players are expected to absorb, memorise and manipulate these rules and victory conditions in order to participate and succeed at the game, and this requires critical thinking and good memory skills. Board games are particularly good for children’s cognitive development, as they help to foster motor, maths and communication skills. Drawing pictures, rolling dice, and building towers helps to refine kids’ hand-eye coordination, and calculating scores, penalties or Monopoly money helps them to practise some basic arithmetic.


Board games also reinforce more sophisticated skills. Your reasoning and problem-solving abilities are tested by games that ask you to deduce answers or eliminate possibilities with logic (as in Guess Who, or Cluedo). Most significantly, many tabletop games, like Dungeons & Dragons, inspire you to create your own narrative and are therefore a way of unlocking your creative and storytelling potential. In these long-form games, players must invent characters, choosing their weapons and abilities, and ultimately adopting the persona of that character in subsequent sessions of the game. In particular, the ‘Dungeon Master’, the organiser and narrator of the game, must design a scenario that the other players will enjoy, making it a social, imaginative experience. A smaller, more localised example is that of Rory’s Story Cubes, a game designed by Belfast-based Rory O’Connor. In this game, players must roll a set of dice with pictures on them – they could be animals, characters or activities – and then invent a story incorporating those elements. This is a fun way of relieving both boredom and writer’s block, and there’s even a Batman version!  

They’re an Alternative to Technology 

As we’ve said, many people associate gaming nowadays with video games and esports, and the popularity of these hobbies can’t be understated. However, if you’d like some respite from online gaming and 100-hour role-playing games, then it might be worth digging out a deck of cards or quiz questions for an old-school gaming experience. Video games CAN improve hand-eye coordination and reaction speed, like board games; but they’re also quite sedentary experiences and often require countless hours to complete. Playing a board game is a finite, contained act, with a definitive end in sight, and thus it’s easier to sneak in a full game when time is of the essence. 

Furthermore, with British adults spending, on average, 24 hours a week online, board games are a way of switching off, both figuratively and literally. Board games aren’t reliant on data, broadband speed, bandwidth, or an online subscription, meaning that a game can be played practically anywhere. Indeed, the tangible, tactile act of rolling dice or arranging counters seems rather unique in our digital age, where other forms of entertainment, like CDs and DVDs, are being replaced by their virtual equivalents. 

From a design perspective, it’s also easier to create your own board game, as they require less money and IT expertise to create! According to Quintin Smith, because prototypes are easy to make – you can create a mockup in your own kitchen – “when you buy a board game, what you take home and play is the original concept precisely as it was in the designer’s head.” Many board games have also received significant funding on Kickstarter, so the prospect of having people play your very own board game, someday, is not beyond the bounds of possibility. 

There’s Something For Everybody 

Games like Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and Risk are still popular, but now, more than ever, card, board, and tabletop games are diverse, catering to multiple different tastes and audiences. Alongside the old favourites like Jenga and Yahtzee, some newer board games rival them in popularity. For example, Catan, a game in which you work to settle an island, is now so popular that it’s used in some US business meetings as an ice-breaking or team-building exercise. For those who like interactive, thrill-a-minute games, Hasbro continues to publish perennial Milton Bradley favourites like Buckaroo! and Mouse Trap, and the degree of luck involved in these older games only adds to the fun and spontaneity. 

Some of the biggest card games include Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Magic: The Gathering, each of which incorporates a collectible element. Players can trade cards with each other in order to expand their collection and create a personalised deck with which they can compete against other gamers. This makes the game an ongoing social experience, and people discuss tips and strategies even when not actively playing the game. There exist other card-related games that are more condensed and accessible, of course. In Boss Monster, players must build mazes and dungeons in order to trap and ensnare adventurers, and in Love Letter, players must compete to be the first to deliver a love letter to a princess. This latter game comes in multiple different variants, including a version based on The Hobbit

They’re a Social Experience 

Board games are, generally, a social experience. We tend to associate board games with childhood and with family; with a time when siblings, relatives and friends hadn’t moved away for work or uni. With Christmas coming up, it’s an ideal time to relive those days, and that post-dinner slump could be the perfect incentive to source your favourite games from childhood, whether it’s Operation, Pictionary or The Game of Life. Not only are they a relaxing way to spend your time – they’re not as stimulating as video games, so they’re quite therapeutic – but they require face-to-face communication. Players must work together, or against each other, and the competitive or collaborative experience can strengthen relationships, offering new insights into people’s personalities. 

In 2019, a growing number of people are embracing the nostalgia of the tabletop game. The UK now boasts a significant number of board game cafés, where, for a nominal fee, you have access to prodigious collections of obscure games – as well as food, drink and company. The upsurge in the amount of people rediscovering the joy of board games has meant that conventions are being held regularly, too: events devoted to board, card, and tabletop gaming are taking place all over the UK and Ireland. If you’re interested in learning more about the best board games, would like help tracking down a particular item, or even just want someone to play with, these gaming shows are a great place to start!

Well, it looks like the game is over, the results are in, and the winner is… board games! With the above benefits in mind, it’s your turn to continue this millennia-old tradition. Get some friends together, buy some drinks and snacks, and hunt down, once and for all, those missing Connect 4 counters. You’ve got nothing to lose!


Business Card Ideas: Make Yours Stand Out From the Stack

Business cards are a tried and tested means of getting your information across and have had outstanding success for decades. While it’s easy to throw together a basic business card, you risk losing the uniqueness and quality that will actually grab your audience’s attention. So if you want to really wow your recipients the next time you whip out your details, follow our tips to make your very best business cards.

What to Put on Your Business Cards

As a general rule, less is more. This may sound counter-intuitive but hear me out: most people these days will ask if you’re active on social media and pages like Facebook and LinkedIn are fast becoming the first point of contact between business and client. Let’s face it, time marches on and it’s better to march with than against it. By leaving out your fax, landline number, address and homepage, you’ll free up space for the most important details. Include your work number and email address, and make your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn icons clearly visible. For those operating within an artistic field, sites such as Pinterest may also be useful to add here. To get the full benefit, make sure you regularly update your social media pages with content to keep your audience interested.

Get Visual

If you work in a traditional field like finance or legal, it’s a safe bet to choose a simple but stylish template that exudes trust and professionalism. Whereas more creative industries may want to be more daring. Also keep in mind the psychological impact colours can have on a person. For example, blue, pink, green, grey and tan can be calming. Whereas bolder colours like red, black, orange and yellow can energise an audience. If you’re looking for on-trend templates, our creators have created business cards with popular patterns such as marble, floral, watercolour and more. Finally, don’t forget to include your company logo to help create a recognisable brand image.

Lights, Camera Call to Action!

To turn a curious recipient into a convinced customer, we recommend adding a call to action to your business card. This can be anything from a promotional code to simple phrases such as ‘Call now’, ‘Find out more’ or ‘Don’t miss out’. To make this interaction more swift and convenient, replace your website address with a unique QR code – then people can simply scan with their mobile device and be directed immediately to your page.

Shape & Size

Simply selecting a different size or shape template is an easy way to create unusual business cards. Our UK/Euro (8.5 cm x 5.5 cm) card sizes are perfect all-rounders that provide you with a classic scale and appearance ideal for solicitors, bankers, medical professionals or tradespeople. Looking to make a larger than life impression? Try our Mighty (8.9 cm x 6.4 cm) cards. These are great for fitting in those additional details without compromising the spatial integrity of your card. For those who prefer the compact look, our Mini (7.6 cm x 2.5 cm) cards will grab attention with their longer horizontal shape. While all of our sizes are winners, my personal favourite has to be the Square (6.4 cm x 6.4 cm). This unique size and shape will truly wow and is perfect for interior decorators, architects or those with a flair for design.

Don’t Cut the Corner

You can’t argue with the traditional square cut corners of an old-school business card. They let your card line up nicely with any other cards in a wallet or purse, and to stack after a big function or event. But adding round corners to your business cards will create a slightly unusual and softer appearance.

Pick Your Paper

Choosing a paper type requires some consideration. Our two base models, Standard Semi-Gloss and Standard Matte, offer a bright white, semi-gloss finish and a light, eggshell white, uncoated finish respectively. Premium Black paper comes with a dark, smooth finish, ideal for contrasting designs or minimalist works with light-on-dark visuals. Premium Thick offers a 32 pt. thickness (240 lb weight) and has an eggshell white finish and a soft cotton texture. Premium Pearl, which provides a soft, shimmer white, coated finish is ideal for wedding planners, event organisers or beauticians to name just a few.

Customise Your Cards

If you’ve found a design you love for your business card but want to make it that bit more special, then our easy-to-use customisation tool will see you right. Choose the font that best suits your style, upload images of your staff, premises or latest work and create amazing patterns.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your original business cards, so don’t be afraid to try out different styles, paper types, colours, themes, patterns or sizes. Whatever way you decide to market yourself, we wish you the very best in all your future business endeavours!

How to Make Your Own Christmas Wrapping Paper

Gift giving is one of the most personal experiences people can engage in. A personal present shows that you know what your friends and family are interested in, that you listen and that you know what they appreciate. Whatever gift you decide on, you can make it even more special with personalised wrapping paper. Read on for some handy info on how to make your own custom Christmas wrapping paper on Zazzle! Before we get into the how-to, here’s a breakdown of our wrapping paper finishes.

Selecting a paper type can be a tough choice, but ultimately it comes down to how you want your gift to be presented. Do you want the wrapping to feel smooth to the touch, have texture or glossy photo finishes?

Matte – This 60 lb weight matte paper produces a soft surface and dull finish, while the colour won’t pop it’s perfect for contrast and getting a nice effect from two opposing colours.
Glossy – This glossy finish creates a slight shimmer that’s ideal for printing photos.
Linen – This 24 lb weight paper is textured with a crosshatch pattern similar to linen so will give your gifts an air of luxury.
Tyvek – This lightweight paper is very rip resistant so is perfect for protecting your packages and ensuring they arrive in amazing condition around the globe.

How to Personalise Your Wrapping Paper

With our design tool you have millions of options on how to print Christmas wrapping paper. Either start from scratch or, for an easier option, pick a wrapping paper template from one of our creators. Here are some ideas!

Photos –  Dig out old Christmas snaps and make your or your recipient’s face into some fancy gift wrap.
Initials – Put an initial as a monogram on your wrapping paper; make it a centre point for your festive design.
Name – Add a first or family name to make your gift wrap even more special.
Interests – Does your recipient have any special interests? Maybe they love animals, or play music or a sport. There are plenty of designs on Zazzle that are tailored towards things people are passionate about.


Christmas Wrapping Paper Templates

Here are some of our wrapping paper favourites, ready to make your own:

Create a festive collage with this design. Add photos of your friends and family and you can also adjust the initial.

Collage Christmas Wrapping Paper

This one will give the family a few laughs. This comical design allows you to add photos to animal portraits, as well as names and initials.

Photo Reindeer Christmas Wrapping Paper

Add a range of photos into the Christmas tree frames on this festive gift wrap. Personalise further with names in the red trees.

Christmas Tree Photo Wrapping Paper

Change this classic slate grey and gold antler design by switching the monogram to the letter of your choice.

Antler Monogram Initial Christmas Wrapping Paper

Add an initial to be surrounded by this beautiful holly wreath design.

Holly Wreath Monogram Christmas Wrapping Paper

Another one for the animal lovers, this adorable polar bear design can be personalised with a name. Perfect for kids!

Polar Bear Kids Name Wrapping Paper

Personalise every aspect of this Christmas gift wrap: the monogram being held by the elf, the family name, the greeting and the photos used.

Elf Monogram Christmas Wrapping Paper

Decorate your gift with this modern wrapping paper design. Change the monogram between the pictures, edit your season’s greeting and the names and the year. Don’t forget to change the photos themselves!

Modern Photo Christmas Wrapping Paper

Adding your details is just the beginning. If you want to play around with the designs, you can select ‘Click to customise further’. This brings you to the Zazzle design tool, which allows even more personalisation. Change filters, background colours, tile or pattern the picture, add your own text boxes or your own images.

Well, that’s a wrap! Have fun making your own Christmas wrapping paper!

How to Design Photo Christmas Cards: Our Top Tips & Templates

It’s nearly Christmas and you know what that means? Getting those address lists at the ready and sending your Christmas cards! I’ve been preparing for this since last year, saving all those funny photos, matching Christmas jumper pics and even shots of my dog modelling. Choosing the right picture for your photo Christmas cards is pretty important, but knowing which templates to use for different photographs is even more so. So, if you’re new to designing photo cards, or want to get it right this year, follow my top tips!


What to Consider When Picking a Photo

Colour

Colour is a significant factor when designing your photo Xmas cards. If the photo is too dark, you may not see all that’s going on in it, and if it’s too light, some elements may become lost on the card. This is especially true when printing photo Christmas cards as ink tones can vary. Of course, don’t let this stop you in your tracks completely; you can use a photo filter to darken or lighten your photograph. Be sure to have your photo bursting with Christmassy colours if you want to show off the family’s matching Christmas jumpers. If this Christmas is reminiscent of an anniversary or celebration, you could even turn the photo black and white instead.

Black and White Family Vintage Christmas Card


Collages

If you just can’t decide which photograph to use, consider combining a couple of them. Zazzle has lots of photo collage Christmas card templates to choose from. Use two photos, three, four or more – the choice is entirely up to you. If you have more than one photograph, consider using a theme to tell your story, like a different activity for every year. Alternatively, dedicate each section to a member of the family.

Photo Collage Christmas Card


The Best Templates for the Best People


The Whole Family

There are a couple of ways to cater for the whole family this Christmas. If you’ve got a big family photo you want to feature, then use all the space available coupled with a bit of text. You can save any other messages for the inside of the card. This template is perfect for the annual ugly Christmas jumper or matching Christmas shirt photo. If you’d like each member of the family to stand out, choose a photo collage with lots of segments for lots of photos. Include snaps of the family together having some fun and dashing through the snow!

Photo Collage Family Flat Christmas Card


The Married and Merry Couple

Is this the happy couple’s first Christmas together as newlyweds? Celebrate in style with a cheerful ‘Married & Merry’ Christmas card; you could use loving snaps from the big day. Moved into your first home together? Get a photo of you two cosying up in your best Christmas pyjamas with a cup of tea or hot cocoa. You could use a half and half photo template. Half the card would be of you two, and the other half would be decorated with text announcing you’re ‘Married & Merry’ or ‘Our First Christmas as Mr & Mrs’. If you just got engaged, you could announce that instead and add in a photo of the amazing moment it happened.

Married & Merry Christmas Card


Baby’s First Christmas

Blessed with a bouncing bundle of joy this Christmas? Need somewhere to put those adorable pictures? Put your baby in the spotlight  with one of our ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ cards. If you have yet to take Christmas snaps, put some felt reindeer antlers onto baby’s head for the most adorable photo Christmas cards ever.

Wreath Baby's First Christmas Card


Festive Pets

Okay, technically, pets aren’t people, but they’re part of Christmas as much as us humans. There are so many ways to include pets on Christmas cards. Give them their own square in a family collage or dedicate a whole card to your dog or cat with our pet Christmas cards (there are lots of Christmas pet costumes for a reason). If you’ve got the perfect photo, you can fill the front of the card with it and add a season’s greeting like ‘Bark Humbug’ or ‘Happy Howlidays’.

Happy Howlidays Christmas Card


What to Consider When Adding Text


Text over the Photo

When picking a template for your photo of choice, it’s important to take note of the colour of your photo and any text over it. If there are lots of whites in your photos, then a white or brighty coloured font would blend in with the background and be difficult to read, so choose a darker one instead. Whereas a picture with a dark background will need a brighter font. If your photo has lots of colours, no matter if they’re all bright, all dark or a mixture, it’s best not to add text over the photo, so choose a template with the text to the side instead.

Happy Howlidays Dog Christmas Card


Text to the Side

If you have an announcement or want to put your message as a large block of text, choose a template with text to the side or under your photo. It’s nice to match the style of the text with the theme of the card; for example, if the photo is of your newborn, you could use a fun and bouncy font. Another good tip is to try match the colour of your font with the colours in the photo. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, it looks beautiful.

Rose Gold Baby Christmas Card

I hope that helps get you started designing your Christmas photo cards! Good luck and Merry Christmas!

The Dark Knight 10th Anniversary – Our Favourite Batman Moments

This summer it’s ten years since the release of The Dark Knight! As big fans of Bruce Wayne and the city of Gotham, we’ve compiled our favourite Batman moments from the epic trilogy!

1. Batman Begins  “I’m Batman!”

Having waited so long to see our hero back in action, Christopher Nolan introduced a new style of Batman. The fantastic opening scene in Batman Begins displays this new mix of ferocity and craftiness. Batman battles a gang of thugs down at the docks, but remains unseen until the last moments. He then grabs the crime boss, Falcone, from his car. Falcone yells “What the hell are you?!” to which he receives a hair-raising response in that deep, husky voice: “I’m Batman.” A brilliant opening scene to welcome back Batman!

2. Batman Begins – Call For Back-Up

It wouldn’t be Batman without a few bats! Bruce chooses the bat as his symbol based on a frightening experience he had as a child, so representing the power to overcome fears and facing them head on. We see the relationship he has with these flying rodents come to a head when he is surrounded in Arkham Asylum, with what would appear to be no way to escape. However, then Batman pushes a small button in his heal. This engages sonar, causing a cloud of bats to swarm the building, and creating the perfect cover for Batman to make his escape. Epic Batman moment complete!

3. Batman Begins – “Why Do We Fall…”

Alfred acts as Bruce Wayne’s loyal and diligent housekeeper, guardian and best friend. In an emotional scene, we see Alfred bring Batman back to Earth that reminds us that, behind it all, Bruce is a complex individual. As we see Wayne Manor burning, there is a powerful exchange between Bruce who feels defeated: “I wanted to save Gotham. I failed”. To this Alfred quotes Bruce’s late father and offers some hope in an exciting ending to the film: “Why do we fall Sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up”. I can feel the tears welling up already!

4. The Dark Knight – Bank Heist

The opening scene to the second installment of the trilogy really sets the tone for the whole movie. In a bank heist, we are introduced to The Joker and his cronies creating chaos in the city of Gotham. With the bank manager close to death, he asks the criminals what they believe in. The Joker pulls off his mask to show a much scarier face and says: “Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger.” We can already tell we’re in for a story of madness.

5. The Dark Knight – Gate-crashing The Party

At a party hosted by Bruce Wayne, we get to see some classic violence and madness from the Joker and his goons. With The Joker on the hunt for Harvey Dent, they gate crash the party. We see Batman put Harvey in a sleeper hold and carry him, while The Joker begins to interrogate Wayne’s guests. The attention is then brought to Rachel Dawes, Bruce’s love interest, as The Joker brings a knife to her mouth and tells the chilling tale of this scars. As the tension is mounting, Batman returns and the fight begins. Close one Rachel!

6. The Dark Knight – Revealing Dent’s Dark Side

Here we see Harvey’s dark side introduced. The first indication that something is wrong with Gotham’s White Knight is when he questions one of The Joker’s henchmen, Shiff Thomas. Shiff gets the coin flip several times with a gun held to his head, until Batman swoops in and stops Dent. Batman warns the D.A. that if anyone were to see what Dent was doing, belief in the White Knight and Gotham would begin to crumble. Is all hope lost for Harvey Dent?

7. The Dark Knight – The Interrogation

The interrogation is probably the best Batman scene of all three movies in this epic trilogy. The Joker being cross-examined by Batman. The conversation between our protagonists is sharp, as The Joker queries Batman’s ethic. Here we see Batman really lose control. Batman pounds his enemy with hit after hit, as The Joker just laughs, giving the perfect scene of terror and suspense. The Joker once again unleashes his madness and says: “You have nothing to threaten me with, nothing to do with all your strength”, and continues to laugh. I have Goosebumps just thinking about it!

8. The Dark Knight Rises – Bane Hijacks A Plane

After the epic second installment, the third film needed to start with a bang! Well it certainly did with our introduction to Bane, Batman’s latest adversary. After Aidan Gillen’s character allows three hooded thugs onto his plane, he begins to question them about a secretive character that is known by the name of ‘Bane’. Naturally Bane is one of these hooded thugs. Here Bane’s charismatic side is unveiled with his witty response to a question about his mask. However, we also see his very violent side as he easily eliminates of his rivals and pulls off an unbelievable mid-air hijacking. What a start!

9. The Dark Knight Rises – Breaking The Bat

This next scene is a shocking one! Throughout this entire journey we had believed that Batman could beat anyone. But now we see Bane demonstrate a brutal spectacle of strength on The Dark Knight. Bane doesn’t seem to have to put in much effort as he knocks Batman to near death, before terrifyingly breaking his back. Bane walks away as we wonder how our hero is going to come back from this ruthless attack!

10. The Dark Knight Rises – It’s All Over

The closing moments of this impressive trilogy were always going to be an emotional. With no way to stop the bomb from destroying Gotham, Batman hauls it far over the bay, where it safely explodes. While we all wonder if Batman is gone for good, the final scene shows Alfred in Florence where he sees Bruce. We’re left to decide whether Bruce survived the bomb and was in fact happy in Paris with his love, Selina. It’s an immensely satisfying ending to a one of the best trilogies out there!

So that’s our top 10 Batman scenes from The Dark Knight Trilogy! There have been so many epic moments through these three movies. So if we’ve left one out, why not leave us a comment or share your favourite moment down below!

You can also pick up all these fantastic products of Batman memorabilia and more in our official Batman store, right here on Zazzle.

7 Ways to Use Rubber Stamps

One simple stamp, so many possibilities! When you think of rubber stamps, most people think about stamping paper products like invitations and cards. You’re not wrong! Investing in an address stamp will certainly save you a lot of time handwriting the back of envelopes. However, personalised rubber stamps can be used for so much more. With different types of inks and surfaces, the options are endless.

Here are our favourite ways to use rubber stamps for craft projects, or to just make your life easier.

1. Do you own a small business? Make your mark by branding all your stationery and packaging with a rubber stamp. Simply create a business stamp with your logo or contact information and print on everything from your envelopes to invoices. It’s also an easy and affordable way to brand items like paper coffee cups, paper bags, labels or loyalty cards.

2.  If you love to make batches of jam every year, bake cookies for Christmas or are even experimenting with a home brew, use rubber stamps to turn your efforts into gifts or items ready for sale. Customise one of our ‘Made by’ stamps with your name and print on jam jar labels, stickers, tissue paper, boxes or whatever you use to wrap up your wares.

3. Go one step further by using stamps to decorate actual homemade goods! It’s easier than you’d think. Simply dip your stamp in food colouring or icing and carefully print onto baked items. You could add seasonal shapes or messages for holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day, or someone’s name for a birthday! This method works best with smooth fondant icing.

4. Tired of your children losing all their clothing and other miscellaneous items at school or day care? Create a stamp with your child’s name and a phone number to ensure these items get returned to the rightful owner. Stamp on labels or directly inside text books, on pencil cases, rulers and lunch boxes. Use fabric ink and you can even mark clothing and bags.

5. Fashion your own temporary tattoos! Just remember to use washable ink. Perhaps your child wants to dress up as biker or pirate for Halloween or to show off tattoos just like daddy has. Or maybe you’re organising a hen party and want to brand the crew as the ‘Bride Tribe’. Butterflies, stars, tigers and typography, add anything to create your own custom tattoo stamp.

6. Are you planning an event and want to personalise the party supplies, but on a budget? Create a stamp with your name, monogram or the date of the party and print onto inexpensive napkins, paper plates, favour tags, party bags and place cards. Personalise our wonderful wedding rubber stamps to make your mark on all the little details of your big day.

7. Stamps are also handy in other crafts. Dip in fabric ink to print a pattern on a sewing project or use to mark an outline to stitch when embroidering. Or use without any ink at all to just imprint a name or message onto homemade soap or candles.

Do you have any more ingenious ideas for rubbers stamps? Share away below.

Our Favourite Statement T-Shirts this International Women’s Day

What does being a woman mean to you? Does it mean being confident? Does it mean being strong? Does it mean loving yourself unconditionally? Being a woman means so many different things to different people. Throughout history and today, fierce and feisty female heroines have paved the path for women worldwide.

Today is International Women’s Day and this year it is focused on highlighting the gender parity gap still very much present between men and women. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, the gender gap is not getting any smaller. Data suggests that the gap is, in fact, widening and gender equality is moving backwards. Armed with the hashtag #PressforProgress and nothing but passionate gusto, today women (and men) all across the globe will be calling for active progress in closing the gender gap.

As women, International Women’s Day isn’t the only female empowerment celebration we got to embrace this year. Last month, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Representation of People Act in 1918. This act enabled a number of women over the age of 30 to vote – a monumental historical event. However, progress was still to be made as it was only women who lived in a house or were the spouse of someone who lived in a house that could vote at this time. So, after years of women fighting for equal social, economic and political rights, are you ready to join the action?

On Zazzle, we’ve seen more and more of our creators and customers making a statement with slogan t-shirts demanding for change. They may be wearing them today, and hopefully all year long. Here are some of our favourites.


#PressforProgress HashTag International Women’s Day T-Shirt

Gender parity won’t happen overnight, but positive gains can and are being made every day. Continue to highlight this year’s hashtag #PressforProgress and the importance of staying motivated with this typographic tee.

#PressforProgress International Women's Day T-Shirt

Venus Symbol T-Shirt

Subtle but still strong, this Venus t-shirt sends an unmissable message. Embrace your gender with the globally recognised female symbol.

 Venus symbol t-shirt

Circle of Women T-Shirt

Sometimes all you need is a symbolic way to get the point across. Stand tall and proud with your sisters and remind them that together, anything is possible with this colourful shirt.

Circle of Women T-Shirt

Strong Woman T-Shirt

Too often, women have heard the word ‘weak’ to describe the female gender. This design reminds the world just how strong they are, with a sense of humour.

Strong Women T-Shirt 

We Should All Be Feminists T-Shirt

Fighting for Women’s rights needs to be embraced by the whole of society to succeed. This stylish statement tee gets straight to the point.

We Should All Be Feminists T-Shirt

Empowered Women Empower Women T-Shirt

So many strong women offer inspiration to others. This graphic t-shirt supports just how important their work and example is to the movement for change.

Empowered women, Empower Women T-Shirt

International Women’s Day Celebration Tee

International Women’s Day is a time to show love and support to women from every background, regardless of race, ethnicity, political standing, sexuality and religious views. This design shows how today they all stand together.

 International Women's Day T-Shirt

 

These are just a few of the statement t-shirts we see trending every day. If you have a striking image or inspirational quote to share, create your own slogan tee with our design tool and spread the word. Whatever way you decide to celebrate International Women’s Day today, make sure your voice is heard.

 

Wedding Trends To Watch Out For

As spring begins, so will the wedding season and a whole new bunch of wedding trends to get excited about. While classic wedding themes will never go out of style, a touch of a trend can set your day apart and make it more individual to you. So now that chalkboards and burlap are behind us (mostly), what will be the dress, stationery, reception, food or décor this year? From ultra violet to see-through table settings, there is lots of fun to be had. Get in there first with our guide to 2018 wedding trends.

Ultra Violet

Pantone of the year always plays a part in setting wedding colour trends. In 2018 it’s all about ultra violet, a deep blue-based purple with cosmic or even regal undertones. It might seem a bit bold, but sprinkled throughout your wedding – in the invites, table settings, bouquet ribbons or bridesmaid dresses – it can add energy and depth. The whole purple palette is trending too, from lavender to lilac.

Ultra Violet Wedding Invite

Midnight Garden

In 2018 we’ll be seeing a shift away from soft pastel palettes to the dark and dramatic. Rich and moody hues like burgundy and deep purples will appear in floral arrangements even mixed with berries and boho details like feathers. With a dark fairytale feel, this wedding trend works well for winter – it would look stunning against the snow. Set the tone from the beginning with dark floral invitations.

Greenery

Last year’s Pantone of the year, greenery, was a huge hit and in 2018 it is only set to grow. Not only is this trend visually beautiful but it’s budget friendly too. Try lush plants like ferns, eucalyptus, vines or succulents for stunning shapes or herbs like lavender, rosemary or thyme to even perfume your venue. Use to line your aisle, on the table tops and in bouquets. You can illustrate your theme on your stationery and other details like napkins or favour bags.

Greenery Wedding Invitation

Heralded Crests

Monograms have long been a chic way to personalise your wedding, on invitations, cakes, napkins and programmes. But now couples are going beyond simple initials and commissioning more whimsical letter art with floral flourishes or even heraldic style crests. On Zazzle you can print yours on everything from save the dates to favours.

Black Magic

Straight from the fashion pages, this trend is bold but beautiful. We’ve seen high-end wedding gowns with black accents, black bridal crowns and bridesmaid dresses. If you don’t fancy a dark wedding dress, you can still try black ribbons, invitations or favours. Black table settings like table cloths, place mats or napkins also look stunning paired with gold cutlery.

Black Wedding Napkin

Fun Food

From food-stations to trucks, eating is becoming more and more of an experience at a wedding. Unlike a sit-down meal, informal food means more mingling. It’s also a fun way to show off your personality by choosing the foods that mean a lot to you – from your cultural heritage to favourite guilty pleasures. Dessert tables offering a whole range cakes also go down a treat. Add some more personality to your food stations with personalised paper party supplies like plates, napkins, cups and more.

Copper

Move over rose gold, copper is this year’s must-have metallic. Perfect for an autumn wedding, copper accents such as cutlery, lanterns or even tables and chairs create a warm and cosy glow. It pairs well with dark colours like navy or a paler blush pink, but also with marbles or concrete materials for a more industrial look.

Copper Wedding Sticker

Transparent Touches

Mid-century design is having a moment, and with it we’re seeing the use of see-through materials like acrylic, Perspex and good-old glass. From glass marquees to floor-to-ceiling windows to see-through dancefloors, clear décor is modern and fun. It lets the light in and quite simply makes your space look bigger and brighter. These minimalist materials also put the focus on what they are displaying or holding, from colourful cakes to bright bouquets. Try serving the bubbly on Zazzle’s acrylic trays.

Written In the Stars

From the actual moon, sun and stars to mythical astrology, celestial themes are set to trend in 2018. There are many unique and beautiful ways to add a celestial vibe to your wedding, from fairy lights and disco balls to star sign favours or crystal-encrusted headdresses. While constellations and phases of the moon can create stunning graphics and interesting names for table plans. We think this trend is truly out of this world.

Celestial Wedding Invitation

Typographic Signs

Typography is nothing new but couples are being more and more playful with their words. Wedding signage spelling out your last name, nicknames, favourite quotes or an in-joke adds a fun and personal element to your wedding décor. They can also be repurposed in your home as a memento of the day. Wood or acrylic wall art or neon signs, will all make the transition from your wedding to walls.

Geodes & Crystals

There are plenty of ways to rock the geode trend on your big day. The beautiful colours and curvaceous shapes in these rock formations work beautifully printed on the invitations, table cards, plates and more. Couple are even ordering geode wedding cakes in jewel colours and encrusted with sugar crystals.

Geode Agate Wedding Wine Labels

Bold Backdrops

Wedding arches have long created a focus for the ceremony and of course the photographs, but in 2018 some new shapes will set the scene. Full-circle wedding wreaths are not only on the invites, but in the actual wedding. Whilst geometric backdrops like A-frame arches or diamond shapes are also being spotted in on-trend ceremonies. Bold backdrops elsewhere in the venue add a personal element and photo opportunities, from flower walls to commissioned murals.

Rehearsal Dinners

A longstanding tradition in the USA, rehearsal dinners are starting to take off in the UK and Ireland. Everyone is bound to be spending the evening together anyway, so why not make it a bit more of an occasion by preparing invitations and menus. Plan a dinner or drinks party somewhere special or even just a few down at the local. Remember it’s supposed to be fun, but not so fun you are still out at 2am…

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

The Great Indoors

Let’s face it, the weather can’t be trusted. So rather than refreshing the forecast every few minutes, why not go indoors. Your inside reception doesn’t have to be a castle or manor house. Industrial loft-style spaces, museums ad even pubs are becoming more popular. Select a space that played a part in your relationship – where you had your first date or where he proposed. Low-key venues strip away formality and make guests your guests feel at home so you can just enjoy each other’s company. Better than a soggy wedding dress any day.