The solution to humdrum holiday cards? Digital

Sending greeting cards is a lot of work. You write personalized notes, address envelopes, lick stamps…and if they're holiday cards, you're doing it all during the busiest season of the year. Many of us have turned to the Web and sites that let you create custom cards using digital photos. But these services can be expensive, and sometimes lack a polished graphic style.

The demand for cards, however, is still there - especially online. Take a look at these card facts:

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A company in Australia aims to bridge the gap between time-consuming traditional cards and costly digital ones - all without compromising on customization and design. The newly launched Canva holiday card creation tool positions itself as the solution for delivering "Christmas cards in style." Upload a photo or pull one from your Facebook profile to personalize your card; everything can be customized, from card style and layout to text, background color, and background design (there are dozens to choose from, and you can overlay one on top of another to create your own). The cards can be distributed by email, but there's also the option of sending them directly to family and friends by way of Facebook or Gmail.

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The vast majority of combinations are free; the others cost just $1. These are holiday cards for pros and wannabe graphic designers alike, particularly appealing to those who want an expert Photoshop effect without the lengthy tutorials. Canva's tool brings together the talents of top photographers, designers, and illustrators to offer quality designs that anyone can use.

Of course, the real beauty of digital cards is that it's never too late to send them. Do it now, or wait until Christmas Eve, because neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep digital cards from reaching their destination.

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