Modern Life

Pets, filters and a touch of gold: Shutterfly shares insights on holiday card trends

As the 2017 holidays hit, the pre-eminent photo card retailer looks at this year’s trends.

By Garage Staff — December 21, 2017

If you find yourself inside an American home this holiday season, you are likely to see a display of holiday cards greeting you — either on the fridge, by the mantle or in a special wall display. And chances are many of those cards will have come from Shutterfly, which will print millions of cards this season. Thanks to a recently inked (pun intended) deal, HP printer technology is powering the printing of those cards and helping to make the season bright.

Using 29-inch format HP Indigo 12000 digital presses, Shutterfly produces high-quality, personalized products and gifts including photo books, calendars, custom stationery, and of course, holiday cards. Starting early as October, orders flood in from customers looking to spread joy to friends and loved ones with personalized cards.

“Holiday cards that include photos are the new normal,” says Beth Burkhart, Vice President and General Manager, Personalized Products at Shutterfly. And while the majority of the company’s customers are still using posed photos, Burkhart says they are seeing more stylized mobile photography and collage layouts in cards. “With the prominence of social media, folks are creating exciting holiday cards that stand out and are sure to make the mantle,” she says.

Here are a few more 2017 holiday card insights from Shutterfly.

Making room for Fido

The percentage of households purchasing photo personalized holiday cards has increased steadily over the past decade — and first-time card senders are more likely to use photo personalized cards versus generic boxed cards. While the addition of children often sparks this tradition, Burkhart says that roughly 30 percent of photo cards feature a family pet.

Turning phones sideways

“Landscape [layout] tends to be more popular than vertical cards,” explains Burkhart. In 2016, landscape designs generated 58 percent of the revenue. Burkart says the reason for this is that horizontal cards typically lend themselves to a larger photo space which is appealing.

Sorry, red and green

“This year, we are seeing more neutral color stories and rustic textures performing well,” says Burkhart of recent color trends. Red and black with gold accents is always a strong bet. “It is iconic while at the same time great when filling with photography,” she says.

Getting festive with filters

Many families use traditional posed family photography, either form a professional photographer, from a family event (such as a vacation, Thanksgiving or celebration); or, they use a collage of their favorite photos from the year. However, Burkhart says “more casual and candid” social media-style posts are creeping in. In other words, people are having fun with photos. #happyholidays, indeed!


Learn more about how HP and Shutterfly are working together.