Photo Card Companies & LGBT Families: Happy Holidays or Bah Humbug?

November 30, 2015 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LGBT STUFF

Where are LGBT families in Holiday photo card catalogs?

Two years ago I examined how major photo card companies failed to represent LGBT families even once in their holiday photo cards. I issued a challenge to the four companies profiled, pledging to employ the services of whichever company made the change first to be inclusive of same-sex couples/parents.

The companies I profiled were Tinyprints, Shutterfly, Minted, and Snapfish. I chose these four because they all sent me catalogs, and because they all ranked among the top photo card companies, according to Top Ten Reviews. In the two years since, I’ve received three and then two catalogs, respectively, and have indicated that in the data below. As in 2013, when reviewing each company’s online offerings, I looked at the first couple of pages of Holiday and/or Christmas cards. This generally included between 150-200 cards.

The results are a mixed bag of naughty and nice…

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THE NAUGHTY LIST:

TINYPRINTS
TINYPRINTS: Ranked #1 among photo card companies
2013: no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2014: no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2015:
no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
.

minted-logo-525x393
MINTED: Ranked #3
2013: no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2014: no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2015:
1 gay couple, no children (online)
.

Shutterfly
SHUTTERFLY: Ranked #5
2013: no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2014:
no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2015:
no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
.

SNAPFISH
SNAPFISH: Ranked #7
2013: no same-sex couples/parents (catalog & online)
2014:
no same-sex couples/parents (online)
2015:
1 lesbian couple, no children (online)
.

While I was at it, I also and checked out a few of the other companies in the same top ten list. The results were equally as dismal. Simply to Impress, Mixbook, Storkie, and American Greetings’ Cardstore (ranked #s 2, 4, 6, and 8, respectively) all failed to show any same-sex couples or parents among the 150-200 cards I reviewed on each of their sites.

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Following my original post, I was informed that a couple of the companies were planning to include same-sex couples among their engagement announcements and wedding save-the-date cards. Tinyprints, Shutterfly, and Minted all now have 1-2 designs featuring a same-sex couple. That’s better than nothing, but I’d hardly call it progress. With same-sex marriage now legal in all 50 states, I’d call it catching up.

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THE NICE LIST:

DESIGNER DADDY RECOMMENDATION #1: OUBLY

oulby-logo

Also following my original post, I was approached by Oubly, a start-up print company. After reading my article, they accepted my challenge and added two designs to their small, but lovely catalog. One each of a gay and lesbian couple, and each one featuring kids. As they are the only photo card company to show a gay or lesbian-headed family, props should be given… as well as your business.
.

DESIGNER DADDY RECOMMENDATION #2: PAPER CULTURE

paperculture

Another company I can endorse in good conscience is Paper Culture. I’ve been a fan of their products for some time, but only recently looked at their Holiday cards. Though they still fail to feature any gay or lesbian parents, I saw several different designs that used same-sex couples: five different designs showed a female couple, and two featured male couples (both of which also featured a dog). Additionally, Paper Culture has a strong commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly products.
..

PHOTO CARD HATER? For those of you that loathe the unrelenting cheesiness of Holiday photo cards, both Oubly and Paper Culture offer plenty of gorgeously designed non-photo cards, too.

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THE CHALLENGE:

I’m done issuing challenges to these companies. While two of the four now include a (as in one) same-sex couple, the two smaller printers I’m recommending beat the big boys to the punch. Yet I do want to  challenge myself and anyone reading this: don’t settle for anything but full equality for LGBTQ families, our relationships, and our community.

While some of the larger battles have been won, the smaller, day-to-day inequities are often easy to let slide. But these can also be the most effective in changing hearts and minds. Whether it’s patronizing companies that promote equality and inclusion, educating schools and teachers on how best to integrate our family’s unique stories, or being fully open and out with friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors — these are all “small” but vastly important steps toward a more equal, accepting society.

If you still plan to use one of the companies I reviewed (no judgment!), why not let them know your desire to see LGBT families in their catalogs and on their sites? Contact info for each is listed below.

If you do happen to use Oubly or Paper Culture, tell them Designer Daddy sent you!

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MY XMAS WISH: SEND ME YOUR CARDS!

My favorite part of writing the post two years ago was receiving holiday cards from LGBT families from all over the world. SO PLEASE SEND ME MORE! If your family has two dads or two moms — or if you just want to show your support of families that do — email me a JPG of your holiday photo card or a holiday family photo, and I’ll once again post it on the Designer Daddy Facebook page! Here’s the album so far.

Send photos to: daddy (at) designerdaddy (dot) com, or click the contact button on the top right of this page.

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Photo card company contact info:
Tinyprints  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
Minted  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
Snapfish  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
Shutterfly  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Please visit and like the Designer Daddy Facebook page for more family (and holiday) fun!

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comments

2 responses to “Photo Card Companies & LGBT Families: Happy Holidays or Bah Humbug?”

  1. Katie says:

    Hey I was just checking out the Shutterfly holiday catalogue for 2016. One lesbian couple without children are pictured on the bottom corner of page 15. Hopefully the start of change 🙂 my family wishes yours a wonderful holiday season.

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