When Apple (s aapl) released its official Cards app, I was curious what the final product would look like, so I promptly designed a simple one and sent it to myself (or actually my live-in girlfriend). The final product arrived Wednesday, and I took the liberty of opening it a little early to show how it turned out for anyone else mulling a purchase.
Apple prints the address of sender and recipient on the envelope for your card. You can either enter this info manually, or select it from your address book. It uses a font resembling handwriting, which helps enhance the effect that you didn’t just get a corporation to print this card and send it for you. By default, it staggers the recipient address line-by-line, which at first confused me, until I realized it was only another part of the overall personalized look.
The printed envelope is definitely eye-catching, and uses a heavier, dimpled stock that impresses more than your average plain white envelope. The writing even looks a little like it was done in ballpoint and bled into the paper a bit, and it uses a real stamp instead of one of those prepaid automatic postmark things.
As promised, the cards from Apple’s Cards app are printed on premium, heavy cotton paper, and they feel really well made. The letterpress printing process results in a textured image or pattern for Apple’s preset template design elements — you can run your finger over these and feel the letterpress relief, as well as see it up close.
Apple puts only your customized text and the design of your choosing on the card, as well as any photo you might add or take yourself from within the app. There’s no logo anywhere, and no indication of where it came from, even on the back where you’d normally find such identifiers.
For paper stock that’s definitely not your average photo printing paper, pictures printed on the Cards cards turn out looking pretty good. I used a photo taken on my iPhone 4, and you can see the original and the printed result below.
It’s definitely better than what you could achieve just printing out your own photo on a card using your average inkjet at home.
The final verdict
These cards won’t disappoint any friend or relative lucky enough to receive one from you. And for letting me send personalized greetings without having to resort to activities I haven’t indulged in for years, like finding a stamp, licking said stamp, and finding a mailbox, I give them very high marks.