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Minted.com is a snazzy site featuring designs from independent artists from all over the world. As such, it provides great looking greeting cards, invitations, stationery and much more.
From the homepage, you can browse the range of cards available by clicking on one of the tabs near the top of the screen (comprising 'wedding', 'baby & kids', 'stationery', 'party', 'business' and 'holiday'. Hovering over one of these will bring up a number of tabs narrowing down the range of cards; e.g. the wedding tab can be further narrowed to go straight to wedding invitations, save the date cards and other wedding accessories. The greeting card categories aren't always that logically arranged and certain products appear in unexpected places (e.g. you'll find calendars in the holiday section). So, you might have to spend a little time browsing. An alternative to using the tabs to guide your browsing is to enter keywords into the site's basic search engine. Also on the homepage are featured products and designs that might catch your eye.
The range of cards available is good, although you'll find some notable omissions including birthday cards. It's not clear why this might be, as other items such as birthday invitations can be purchased. It may be something to do with volume; you're more likely to buy a number of invitations, whereas cards are mostly bought singly. Whatever the reason, it's a little frustrating that these obvious gaps exist. For other occasions and events there is plenty. Weddings are especially well catered for, as are baby-related cards. For example, in addition to wedding invitations, you'll find save the date cards, enclosure cards, thank you cards, menu cards, wedding cards, place cards, wedding programs and more. You'd never believe that so many different kinds of cards would be required, even for a wedding, yet it's all here. The design of the site is such that, in addition to browsing cards by type, you can browse by designer and eco friendly products. You can also customize products by uploading photos. The upshot of all this is that the range of products within a given category is extensive to say the least. It isn't really possible to put a number on it as the customizable nature of some designs makes for almost limitless possibilities (as long as it's not a birthday). Because of the nature of the company (a global community of independent designers and artists), there's also great quality and variety in design.
Creating a card is a fairly simple process, once you've made the difficult step of choosing from a diverse range of designs. The prices aren't especially cheap, and you have to be careful when personalizing cards, as the costs can really add up when adding extras. There are lots of embellishments you can use to personalize your cards; you can select different types of paper, envelopes, envelope liners, insert personal messages, add extra text boxes and a card backer, etc. If you miss something obvious (e.g. creating a message for the card) the card designer prompts you to do so. This means that you shouldn't forget anything obvious. At any rate, you get to preview your design from all angles before it's finalised. There doesn't appear to be an option for saving half-finished designs, only finished ones, which you can then review through your account. Another plus point is that you can mail your cards internationally, rather than just within the US.
In terms of other features, you'll find a blog section where you can pick up card etiquette tips, meet Mint.com designers and find out more about what's going on on the site. There's also a really detailed help section on the site, with a large FAQs page. There's also phone, fax and email support if the FAQs list doesn't help.
Minted.com is bound to impress with its range of quality greeting cards and stationery products, despite some puzzling gaps in its range. Whilst not being the cheapest site around, there are many ways in which to customize their great designs to create items with a real 'wow' factor.
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