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Top 10 holiday card trends for 2010

Experts at the top stationery companies sound off on what’s hot (and what’s not) for holiday cards this year.

1. Retro florals. “Like a pattern you might see on a 1970s tablecloth,” explains Erika Firm of Delphine. “The retro vibe is comforting—reminiscent of cozy family holidays.”

2. Hats. “Hats are huge,” says Mariam Naficy, CEO of Minted. “Little ones look adorable in winter has—they make the whole card so much more festive.”

3. Old-school greetings.Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays are out,” says Firm. “Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah are hot this year. Say what you really mean.”

4. Non-traditional colors. While Naficy says gray is still the “it” neutral color for stationery, Firm is feeling muted metallics, “especially when paired with non-traditional colors, like cantaloupe and avocado, instead of the typical red and green.”

5. Scripty fonts.Business Penmanship is the holiday season’s hottest font,” says Naficy. “People like the light and breezy tone it sets, but also the very custom effect it creates.” Ebony Snow Chafey of Snow & Graham agrees, saying, “I am seeing more and more hand-lettering, which to me is sort of anti-font. It’s really about a personalized look that you cannot get anywhere else.”

6. A rustic look. “Wood tones and grains are still all the rage this holiday season,” according to Melissa Foster of elum. “We used this trend as inspiration to print holiday cards on recycled chip board—it creates a unique look when paired with a modern design.”

7. Eco-sensitivity. “The origin of our papers and inks is one of the first questions new customers ask,” says Chafey.

8. Arts-and-craftsiness. “A lot of designers are expressing themselves with hand-drawn cards,” says Naficy. “It’s interesting to combine photo uploads and the modern customization features of the Web with the hand-drawn cards of yesteryear.”

9. Lots and lots of photos. “As one customer said, The more photos I can fit on one card, the better!” explains Naficy. “We think it’s a follow-on effect from Facebook and the massive proliferation of digital photography. Action shots are also big. Especially jumping . . . for joy!”

10. Ease. “More than anything, people want it to be easy,” says Chafey. “And that is why we’re seeing more wonderful options for photocards: Apple is now offering letterpress printed cards with your photo digitally printed on them; resources like tinyprints.com and snapfish.com have brought on savvy designers to make this a very compelling and simple solution.”