Cheap Birth Announcements vs. Great Birth Announcements
I’ve worked with a wide variety of stationery companies, both prior to and since parting ways with Tiny Prints and Shutterfly. Obviously having good photos and a good design are important but there is a lot more that goes into making a good birth announcement, a great birth announcement. Whether you choose to get your birth announcements from us or not, we hope to give you some things to think about prior to ordering your photo announcements.
The anatomy of a birth announcement:
- Customer Service
- Optional Services
While it is our opinion that all of the above factors must work together to produce a great finished birth announcement, no two are more important than picking a great design and having great photos. While what makes a design great is largely subjective, a great design will not live up to its’ fullest potential without great photos, and vice versa. When picking a birth announcement design be sure to choose something that will complement your photos, not take away from them. While the design of the card is important, your photos should always take center stage, after all you are announcing your baby, not the designer who designed it.
If you have the means, we strongly encourage you to have professional photos taken and to use these when ordering your birth announcements. Approximately 99% of the cards you see on stationery websites, ours included, are featuring professionally taken photos. If you have a creative eye, feel free to use your own photos, just be sure your photos are well lit, and you are saving them in the highest quality setting possible. Nothing with ruin your birth announcements quicker than dark and grainy photos.
Paper is pretty important. Most sites will talk about paper thickness when comparing themselves to other online stationery stores. While thicker papers are definitely nice, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a paper is thicker it is better. A lot of times the thicker papers just don’t look that great in person or with printed photos. The basic lesson here, don’t let paper be your deciding factor when deciding on where to buy your baby announcements.
Nowadays the vast majority of baby birth announcements are printed using digital presses. Not all digital presses are created equal, so we strongly encourage you to order from sites who only partner with digital presses that use liquid ink. You will not find this detail listed on their website so be sure to ask their customer service representatives. If you ask and they do not know, this is probably a sign that they use too many print sources and have no clue who is printing your actual order.
While the rise of technology and automation has made things quicker it hasn’t always made things better. While most might find it convenient to be able to build your photo birth announcements on a website, the best results are still going to be experienced when an actual designer touches your design. If you are going with a larger online stationery store be sure they have actual stationery designers on staff who are checking your designs for any photo or text related issues prior to your order getting sent to the printer.
Ask customer service who does their printing. Ideally you want to order from an online stationery store who partners closely with their printers. Now the printer doesn’t necessarily need to be in their back yard or even the same state, but ideally you want to order from someone who utilizes as few print sources as possible. While it is convenient to have relationships with printers all over the country the reality is that not all will produce at the same level. While you might get lucky and get a good printer, you run the risk of getting your job assigned to a bad one, one that doesn’t pay close attention to the details. Not only is it the printer’s job to produce a good clean print, but they should also have good clean cuts, even borders if this applies, and to package your stationery cards in a secure manner so they arrive to you in good condition, with no surface scratches or bent corners.
Good customer service should always be an email or phone call away. If you are considering ordering from an online stationery store and they don’t have a way to be reached, run for the hills. All well intended companies will have an issue arise with an order from time to time, so you want to be sure that they can be reached if that happens to you.
Lastly, while most shopping for photo birth announcements are looking for something they can fall in love with when they see it, this isn’t everyone. Whether you are shopping with a smaller stationery site like us or a bigger player, you want to be sure they offer options. In most cases options could simply be matching envelopes or envelope liners but in other cases it might be something more extensive than that. A lot of times a design could be perfect if it would accommodate just one more baby photo or an extra line of text. Try and partner with sites who can accommodate your requests. If you are looking for something 100% custom, we can do that too, as well as other small and medium players out there.