Spread Cheer with AR Christmas Cards that Stand Out

Jens Bäckvall, PM @ Hololink

In this article I'll go through how to find a good card, what formats to use and how to add your QR code to the card before printing it. And finally I'll tell you how to get it printed and sent online so that you can manage the whole process from your computer.

Choosing a Christmas Card Design

You'll first need a card that you can use as your target image. We've selected 3 websites that let you download free Christmas Cards for printing at home:

  1. Canva has a lot to offer and you can customise them on their site
  2. You can find loads of great designs and images on Pixabay
  3. Homemade-gifts is a site that has a lot of cards that are set up for printing

There are of course loads of other options out there, or you may want to use a design or photograph of your own. But, when choosing a card, be aware that very simple cards with few details won't work as well for AR as designs that have loads of detail. You can check out our article about target image best practices here.

Just download the card as a png or jpeg and add it to your Hololink as the new target image by simply dragging and dropping it into the preview modal as described here.

Creating the AR Experience for the Card

Now you're ready to add AR to the card. Anything is possible, from a dancing Santa to presents opening themselves or a special video with a greeting from you.

In the examples section of the Hololink editor, we have several examples of Christmas cards, so the next step is to take a look at those and find something that inspires you. Once you've done that you can simply change the content of the example you have chosen to fit your idea and design. Or if you want to create your experience from scratch, take a look at our Academy section to get started or just dive into the editor and experiment. We've made it intuitive and it's easier than you may think it is.

Here are a couple of the ideas that you'll find in the Examples section:

1. A Hidden present that opens up revealing a dancing Santa Claus

  1. A 3D landscape with a Christmas tree and a snowman growing out of it
  1. A present that reveals Whamageddon 😆

Publish Your Hololink

After finishing your AR design in the editor, you need to publish it so that you get a QR code that can be added to your printed Christmas card. It is important to note that if you use the QR code shown in the preview, it will only work for 2 hours. This is why publishing is important as the QR code you get when publishing works for ever.

You can either free publish your Hololink or Pro Publish. When choosing free publish, your AR can be viewed 25 times per day. If you want unlimited views per day, you'll need to Pro Publish. To do this, upgrade your team by clicking the upgrade button in the navbar:

When you've published, you'll be able to download the QR code, either from the editor or from the email that you receive once the Hololink is published

Add your QR code to the card

Now you'll want to add the QR code to the final design before printing your cards. Use the QR code that you have downloaded after publishing and add it to the card using your favourite image editor like Photoshop, Pixelmator, Canva or whatever you like using.

The QR code can be added to both the front or the back of the card before sending it to the printer or printing it yourself.

If you're using one of the print and send services mentioned below, be aware that not all of them allow you to print images on both sides of the card, so if you're using one that doesn't, you'll want to add the QR code to the front of the card.

Printing & Sending Your Postcard

There are 2 main options when printing and sending your card.

The first one is the traditional approach, where you simply print the card yourself or get it printed in a print shop, whereafter you send it with a postage stamp just as you would any other letter.

The second approach is a lot more convenient. There are now quite a lot of companies that offer you the possibility of you uploading your card and adding text and address to it online. They then print your card with text and address and send it out. This means that you can get everything done from your home, including AR creation, design, printing and posting.

Here are some examples of companies that offer the print and send service. It's important to note that Hololink is in no way affiliated with any of these companies and we have simply chosen some examples based on geographical location and ease of use.

  1. In Denmark CEWE let's you create cards and send them with multiple layout possibilities
  2. In Sweden, but available in English and sending to the whole world, Postnord has an excellent postcard service
  3. German company Mypostcard has a multi-lingual editor and sends cards to anywhere in the world
  4. English company Postsnap is available in English, sending your cards worldwide

There are probably a lot of other similar services, so if you know of other options that you prefer don't hesitate to tell us about them.