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User guide and help for designing your personalised photo cards

This is where you can get some basic help for getting started with your card designs.

It is not a complicated job but you can do some preparation beforehand which will make a lot of difference to the results you get.

If you have any skill with a picture editing application, then you can prepare your images and fix any rotation and cropping before uploading them.  Be sure to always save them at the highest quality you can.  We only accept JPEG images at the moment because these are what your camera most likely produces by default.

If you upload very large raw images from your camera, it might take some time to load the card designer and preview pages.  If you try to make the images too small, then there may not be enough resolution to get a high quality print result.   Of course, you may only have some low quality images available and its entirely up to you what images you use.

Here is what you need to do.

Step 1 - Choose a design

From the home page, you can choose one of the available categories.  That will take you to the card design chooser.  You can select different sub-sets of cards using the left menu items.  You can also get to this page with the Choose a design item on the left menu.

Select a design that is suitable for your project.  The card designer starts up right away.  If you had come back to this page and just wanted to go to the card designer, click on the Next > button at the top right of the screen.

Step 2 - Design your card

Now you can start working on your card.

On the left of the design area, you can control various style settings and upload your pictures.  On the right you will see the template for the design you selected.  Text areas are shown as a yellow shaded box.  The picture wells are shown with a place holder image.

The first thing to do is choose whether you want a flat or folded card.  You can switch between these and both designs are remembered by the system.  In fact whenever you do anything, the changes are stored for you so that if you come back later, everything should still be just the same as you left it.  As you switch between the flat and folded formats, you will see the 'flippers' change.  These are navigation buttons that reveal the different pages in your card design.  A flat card has just two.  A front and back.  A folded card has four.  The front and back are glossy finish and the inside pages are matt.

You can choose various text styling and fonts for the text.  Each page can be styled differently.

Below the text styling boxes you can see the picture box.  You can load up to 6 images here.  You need to upload your images before you can add them to a card.  You only need to upload one if that's all you need.

If you are taking pictures on a modern mobile device, you may need to correct the rotation of the image before uploading it.  We try to read the EXIF data that the device embeds in the image and do the right thing but sometimes the orientation of the image is not coded correctly.

Once you have uploaded an image, drag it across to the picture well on the template. As you drop it there, the picture well will become selected and highlighted with a coloured border.  Below the template the image control sliders will appear.

Your image is automatically sized to best fit the picture well as you drag it in.  If you did some preparation beforehand, you will have made a picture that is approximately the right shape.  However, you can drop a tall image into a wide box and it will make its best guess to fit it in.  You can slide the image around in the picture well and scale it up with the slider.  You might need to do that to position the faces nicely.

You can also use the rotation slider but you need to be careful not to leave visible edges.  If you rotate, you will probably need to scale up so the picture fully covers the space.

If you try to scale the image too much, the face icon will scowl at you to indicate that the image quality is getting compromised.  It will still print but if you scale up a lot, the resolution will degrade.

When you are happy with your picture setup and you have entered all the text you want on each of the pages, click on the Next> button to go to the previewer.

Step 3 - Preview your design

This preview is quite close to what your finished card will look like.  Check to make sure that everything is right.  Especially check that you have everything spelled right and that any dates are correct.  It is your responsibility to confirm this.  In fact you cannot go to the next page unless you do.

Step 4 - Quantities & envelopes

Now you can choose how many cards you want to make.  You can also choose what sort of envelopes you want.  Special envelopes cost just a little bit more but they make your card look really great.

You can add the job to basket and go back to the design stage and make another or continue into the basket and checkout process to complete your order.

Step 5 - Your shopping basket

This page a has a lot of intelligence built in.  You might have arrived at it directly by clicking in the banner.  If you did, then you likely have a job in progress but don't worry, you can get back to it and continue editing.  Nothing has gotten lost along the way.

Here, you can save jobs for later and bring them back  into the basket.  You can choose alternative delivery options and fast track your order.

If you have one of our special offer codes, you can validate it here to see what discount might be applied.  If you do that, you must continue on to the checkout and payment pages to claim that discount.  If you leave this page, the offer code will need to be entered again, next time you arrive here.

When you are happy with the order and all your card designs are included in the basket, you can go on to the checkout page.  Only the jobs in your basket will be ordered.  The ones you saved for later will stay in the system until you come back and put them in a basket.

Step 6 - Address details

We are nearly done.

This is where you enter your address and personal details.  Although we don't process your payment on our system, we do pass these details to the Secure Trading system for them to verify against your payment cards.  They will expect the card to be registered at this address.

We would be delighted if you wanted to join our mailing list.  This will happen automatically unless you uncheck the box.  You can check or uncheck the box at any time whenever you order or access the contact us page.

It also helps us to know where you found out about us.  Please choose an appropriate option for that.

When you are done, click on the checkout button and proceed with your payment via Secure Trading.

Now you are done

Provided the payment is accepted, the job will be routed into the production system where our team of printing elves take over and manufacture your cards.  They will send them to you as soon as they are made.

That's it - all finished.

It wasn't very hard was it?

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