Skip to content

Software Review: Christian Greeting Card Factory

Greeting card software is such a weird niche to me. I think partly it's generational—the act of giving greeting cards seems to be less common than it was, and more and more people (of all ages in my experience) are forgoing the act of including cards with gifts as time goes by. I think this is probably because we're more connected than we used to be. I suppose the act of using greeting cards grew from the practice of letter writing, and since that has mostly moved online, giving decorative cards seems out of touch and unnecessary, especially when we have better ways of sending each other pictures, sentiments, songs, video, etc. This is a shame in a way, because looking at greeting card art throughout the years is an interesting window into the styles and customs of the time.

That said, there's probably always going to be a card section in most stores, at least as long as gift cards remain popular and need to be shoved into something. I don't think most of us really fret over which ones we're going to buy as long as they match the sentiment we're going for, so buying dedicated software for making custom cards is going to be left to hard-core card senders only. And that of course leaves out all the folks who would simply use an online card maker, of which there are TONS. How many of you even purchase software anymore? The few necessities, like office products and the ever-growing Adobe suite, are all going subscription only, and have scaled-down free versions for people who don't need full functionality. I've purchased a few things myself for specific hobby needs, but I'm weird and I like retro stuff, so I don't think I'm a typical consumer.

So when one of my family members found the "Christian Greeting Card Factory" at a local thrift store for a whopping two dollars, we all giggled and marveled at the novelty of not only a dedicated software package for making cards, but a niche religious one at that! And of course I had to install and review it. So if you're interested in old software and kitschy clip art, click below!

Despite the fact that this software was released in 2001, it installs and runs just fine on Windows 10. Once you've run through the installer and opened the program, you get to chose what kind of project you're going to make.

Screenshot of the opening menu icons.

Don't you just love those retro icons? As you can see, there's a lot more than just greeting cards here. The options are: Greeting Cards, Devotionals, Announcements, Invitations, Stationary, Labels & Stickers, Postcards, Certificates, Electronic Greetings, Programs and Bulletins, Posters & Flyers, and Crafts. Choosing any one of these will take you to another menu where you get to narrow down what type of thing you're making:

Here's where you go after you've chosen what you want to create. Chose a category (holidays, birthdays, etc.) and subcategory (Christmas, Easter etc.) and then click on the thumbnail you like to get going.

The next menu, where you customize your project. Here I chose a devotional card and have customized it with my favorite Bible verse, Jesus wept (John 11:35)

There are a ton of pre-made designs to chose from, which you can then customize further once you get taken to the main editor window. These designs are all gloriously dated and reminiscent of the WordArt feature that used to ship with MSWord back in the day. Below is a sampling of some of the wonderful retro goodness you can find:

Clip art, crazy fonts, clashing colors galore!!!

I do unironically love these. They are not great examples of genius design, but they give me warm and fuzzy feelings for some reason.

Once you've made your choices, you'll be taken to the main editor window, where you can really customize your card, add and delete images, change the text, font, etc. This is the fun part!

Main editor window and a card I'm working on. The text is a generic religious blessing, translated into Japanese, back to English, into Chinese, and then back into English again. Result: I love you and protect you. Infiltrates other eternal treasures and fresh blood. Our prayers coexist. I've added a Biblically-accurate angel drawing to drive the point home.

A quick note on the image above: obviously the angel image wasn't part of the original software. It was drawn by user Lil_extra on Reddit and has gone viral since. This program doesn't allow you to directly import images of your own choosing--you can navigate to your own directories on your PC, but it doesn't pick up any images that aren't in the program's propriety filetype. You can, however copy and paste some things, and that's how I got that one there. I also tried c&ping text from the Cursed text generator, but it came through all jumbled (in the wrong way), so there's a limit to what you can bring in. The instruction manual says that the software is compatible with other Art Explosion products, but I don't have any of those, so I wasn't able to test this.

There's a menu on the right that will help you with all the stuff you want to add. Click the icons shown below to access, from top to bottom, Graphic Tools (add clip art, backgrounds, borders, or import from an attached scanner or camera), Text Tools (add more text or a pre-saved sentiment), Drawing Tools (freehand lines, ovals, rectangles, circles, etc. the usual), and Editing Tools (for editing selected images).

Screenshot of the four icons from the right hand side of the screen. See above for descriptions

Graphic Tools

This is probably the tool that I was most excited about. I have a soft spot for clip art from all eras, so I was eager to see what sorts of funky images were included with this package. And this software certainly delivers! There are a TON of images to chose from, sorted into categories and sub categories, and they come in all sorts of styles. Under every category, there's an additional "Fine art" subcategory, but what this really means is that the images there are more photographic and/or traditionally drawn rather than vector clip art images.

A small selection of the clip art available here. This particular category features stories from Genesis

I had a ton of fun going crazy with these. Once placed, you can resize them, group, or arrange them.

Sample card I made. I added ALL the clip arts

Text tools

These are pretty straightforward. You can edit the size, color, font, weight, and justification of any font you place, or any that are included already.

text on the inside reads: ...that I cannot make fun of it. Sucks to be you!

You can also use the vector tools on the left-hand side to color the images with different kinds of gradients, or even with patterns. The one above I've applied a swirly pattern to. There are also a few hundred fonts included on the installation CD, but the software doesn't pull from those. You'll need to install them on your system before you're able to use them in your card designs. They're pretty basic, but some of them were cute, so I nabbed the ones I liked and added them to my ever-growing font collection.

"Sentiments" are a special collection of text with an "outside" and "inside" greeting, meant to be plopped into your projects whenever you like. The program comes with over 700 of them programmed in, but you can also add your own if you want.

Drawing Tools

The drawing tools offer basic vector options that you'd find in any standard graphics program. All freehand drawings you make will be converted to a vector, which you can then change the width, style, color of, etc. You can add different arrows and patterns that are offered to them, but you can't apply textures to lines. Shapes such as ovals, rectangles, circles, etc. can be more fully customized with photos and textures. Honestly I didn't use these much, except for making solid backgrounds and such. I had more fun with the clip art images and adding custom text to everything.


Once you've made your design, it's time to print it out. The one exception to this is the "electronic greetings" category, which adds an additional option, "Send as electronic greeting..." This option ties into your system's default email program, but I don't have that set up on my PC, so I presume it plops an image in there, and then you're good to go.

I guess 2001 was before home duplex printing was common or something, because this program assumes that you're going to be flipping the paper by hand, and there's no way to change that. It was a bit fiddly, but eventually I got through and managed to make it work with my newer printer by just clicking through the prompts quickly and then letting my printer handle the rest. Unfortunately, this means that it won't print to PDF, because anything more than 1 page in length gets stuck on waiting for more input, and my PDF printers can't handle that.

You can save any of the work you've done in a proprietary format for editing later if you so wish. I personally prefer more software agnostic options, but since this software is probably aimed at folks who prefer having an easy button, that's probably not appropriate in this situation.

Final thoughts

As mentioned above, I don't think greeting card programs are for everyone. But I did have a load of fun making funny cards to send out to my family members just for fun. The program certainly delivers on what it promised it would, and is great for hobbyists and anyone who loves to play with old software.

If you're interested in trying it out yourself, it's available on the Internet Archive here:
Christian Greeting Card Factory


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options