E-cards: saving our planet but destroying our souls?
The debate over physical vs digital cards is particularly revived at Christmas time. Sticklers for traditional pen and paper harp on about the sentimentality of receiving something tangible. Those in favour of E-cards realistically point out that after Christmas, physical cards only add to the unnecessary clutter in our lives. So, which is best?
Let’s look at the benefits of an E-card. For starters, it’s free. We’re shelling out a fortune over Christmas; do we really want to add to this by spending an extortionate amount on cards and stamps as well?
Next up is practicality. A physical card awaiting you on the doormat gives a nice, warm feeling, and decrypting the handwriting on the envelope is always exciting. After Christmas, though, the looming black bin bag makes you feel reluctant to throw the card away. What do you do with this mass of (now unwanted) sentimentality? With an E-card, you click, smile and move on.
In addition to this, an E-card is environmentally friendly. Refusing to condone the cutting down of ancient trees for the sake of something that will have a lifespan of just a few weeks makes you feel like a good citizen.
So, what’s the downfall of E-cards? A potentially very bad design that can outstrip most shop bought cards. We’ve compiled a list of some of the worst culprits to show you just what we mean.
First up is this from BDI. Cliff was pretty disheartened when receiving this: “Let’s wish you a merry Christmas in the subject line then really let you down with the content. Where’s my snowman? No reindeer? COME ON!”
This next card is an example of attempted humour. Reindeers being compared to flat tyres…questionable taste.
Here, we are offered the generous Christmas gift of a self-promotional video. A video from Blur is always nice but still, the overall impression hardly screams festive joy and merriness.
This card sees Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass meet a London print company and undergo a garish makeover.
This card is too confusing. Even if the colourful tulips challenge the British perception of a white Christmas, “The client wants the opposite of Christmas in July” just doesn’t make sense.
Unfortunately, the “Elf-ed” gimmicks don’t actually work, and kisses on the end of the message will make the British public run a mile. The domination of Downton Abbey is also both confusing and depressing – is this what we’re supposed to be associating Christmas with nowadays?