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What are the Different Types of Greeting Cards?

By Cathy Rogers
Updated May 16, 2024
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Greeting cards are a great way to send holiday wishes and special sentiments to friends and family. Retail cards come in dozens of categories that include holidays, birthdays, romance, congratulations, and more. Used widely for Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day greetings, many other holiday cards are manufactured as well. There are also cards for Easter, New Year’s, Chanukah, Passover, Rosh Hashana, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Birthday cards are extremely popular and come in age or gender specific categories, as well as serious, humorous, and belated varieties. It is possible to find them for most any family relationship, from cousin to grandparent, spouse, or child, and even for your stepchild or brother-in-law. Also popular are birthday cards that hint about old age.

The romantic greeting card category includes those with sentiments of love, romance, missing you, or I’m sorry. Greeting cards that convey messages of congratulations are common for births, anniversaries, weddings, engagements, and other joyous occasions. Congratulations categories also include retirement, graduation, bon voyage, pregnancy, Bat/Bar Mitzvah, and baptism or christening.

Sympathy cards are available in religious and non-religious versions. Get well and feel better soon cards are also prevalent. Miscellaneous categories include those such as thinking of you, encouragement, friendship, and good luck.

A relatively new category of greeting cards are those for business or professional use. Many of the other categories, such as birthday or holiday cards, are now labeled “appropriate for work.” Other uses for business-related cards include thank you cards, announcements, or cards used for keeping in touch with customers or clients. Now that there is Boss’s Day, Nurses’ Day, and Administrative Professional’s Day, card manufacturers have created cards for these events.

As the cost of greeting cards has increased, more people design and print their own using word processing or desktop publishing software, a personal computer, and a home printer. Others choose to create intricate handmade cards. And as more and more communication is performed online, it is now possible to send electronic greeting cards.

Some card manufacturers have tried to create cards that appeal to a younger demographic as sales of greeting cards have flattened. Those cards that appeal to younger customers include chic graphics and trendy sentiments. Other popular trends include cards with unusual embellishments or unique paper styles. Because many people save cards as keepsakes, it is likely that the paper versions will be around forever.

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Discussion Comments
By anon258195 — On Mar 30, 2012

I love it when my sweetie is excited to show me another of her unique handmade greeting cards. She truly enjoys the crafting of these. She makes about 10 cents per hour and her beautiful artwork disappears in the mail but the sharing is important to her. When you receive a handmade 'art' card, appreciate what you hold in your hand.

By cupcake15 — On Aug 22, 2010

Mutsy- I sometimes send e-mail greeting cards. These are free greeting cards that are often really funny.

You can even send personalized greeting cards via e-mail. The great thing about e-mail greeting cards is that the person that you're sending it to will receive it right away and they don't have to wait several days to get by mail.

I can also cheer someone up especially if they are having a bad day.

I usually buy personalized greeting cards for Christmas. Xmas greeting cards are extra special and I like having my family name on the cards.

It takes a few weeks to have your personalized message put in the cards but it's well worth it. I love the Christmas season, and I usually go all out during this time.

By mutsy — On Aug 22, 2010

I love receiving and giving greeting cards. When I buy greeting cards, I can spend hours reading every single one of them.

The singing greeting cards are funny, but are usually more expensive. I always buy Valentine greeting cards for my husband and my kids.

That is such a fun holiday because I guess everybody enjoys receiving candy and chocolate.

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