Although the question of why anyone would want to continue to bother to use paper greeting cards in place of email greeting cards keeps resurfacing, the answer is rather simple. Firstly, a physical card is a keepsake in a way that a card that has been sent through an email isn’t. While an email will likely get deleted at some point, a physical card, being just a flat paper construct, will likely be kept for a long time. People don’t like to throw away products that have cost them or their loved ones money. Secondly, physical greeting cards are more meaningful because physical products take more effort to exchange, especially if one buys cards in person.
While it may appear counterproductive to have to go to a store in person to spend hours sifting through thousands of greeting cards (only to possibly never find the products one is looking for), the fact of the matter is that many people enjoy the experience, especially around the holidays, when holiday cheer is abundant by design in retail environments.
It is also undoubtedly much easier to evaluate the design of a product, whether it’s made of paper or some other material, in real life first. Like with any product, the structure (product dimensions, especially in the case of pop-up cards) and the design (e.g., embellishments, such as different paper finishes, foil, glitter, embossing, LED lights, sound, etc.) of a card wouldn’t look as good, say, in an email advert as in real life conditions. One only needs to think of the drastic difference lighting makes in how the colors of a product appear in changing rooms to realize how easily one can be misled while shopping for a card or other paper products online.
In any case, as people continue to use physical greeting cards, often continuing to buy these products in person, greeting card companies have evolved the design of their products in response. After all, the greeting card industry appears to be able to surmount its greatest challenge to date.
But what form has this evolution taken? Essentially, greeting card companies have begun to favor die cut greeting cards as the design standard for their operations for the simple reason that the greeting card industry has never been worth as much as it is today. With large gains in sight, there is a lot to lose as well, and so, differentiating one’s products to acquire a large market share is more important than it has ever been.
Although it could be said that all commercially produced greeting cards are die cut, in the context of this article, the phrase “die cut greeting cards” refers to cards that have multiple die cut design components and/or unconventional form factors made possible by advances in die cutting technology.
Ultimately, thanks to die cutting, greeting card companies have a larger variety of products. Nevertheless, being a cheap process, die cutting also enables said companies to expand their portfolios without massive increases in cost. Should you like to purchase a die cut card with many die cut components, as is the case with pop-up cards, you have millions of Americans still browsing in stores for physical greeting cards to thank for the availability of die cut greeting cards.