For all the fun and changes that photo-sharing websites have brought photographers, amateur and professional, there was always something a bit special about actually holding a pile of photos in your hand. You could pass them between friends, make copies to keep and frame, and it’s certainly a lot easier to stick a print than a computer monitor to a fridge door.
Which is probably why Moo has been such a runaway success. The company turns digital photos into cards. That might not sound very revolutionary but these cards are different. For one thing, you can create the cards using any of the images in your Flickr account (that’s your account, not someone else’s — the people at Moo don’t mess with copyright), as well as Fotolog, Vox and a whole bunch of others, including Second Life.
Once you’ve picked your pics, the images can be printed on two kinds of cards for delivery around the world: NoteCards come in a pack of sixteen with a picture of your choice on the cover, a bit of room on the back for messages, and a neat little flap that lets you stand them on the table. It’s the MiniCards though, that have really got people buzzing. These are tiny — just 70mm by 28mm — come in a pack of 100 (each of which can be different), and have just enough room on the back for six lines of text.
“We wanted them to be memorable and unique,” Richard Moross, Moo’s founder explained when we contacted him to ask why MiniCards are so… well, mini. “When you get something that’s a different size it makes you stop and notice. They’re great conversation starters. The second reason is more of an economical and ecological one. MiniCards are specifically sized to fit as many as possible on the sheet of paper that we print them on. This means we waste as little paper as possible, saving trees and reducing overhead.”
That’s the sort of combination of the creative and the practical that’s hard to argue with. Which is also how Richard came up with the idea. “I saw a huge market opportunity in the greeting and business card industry because they haven’t innovated in virtually their entire existence,” he said. “I also noticed that people today spend more and more of their time online, shaping their online identities with digital photos, virtual worlds, and social networking websites. MOO is a way for people to represent their online identities in the real world.”
It seems to be working, driven in part by the fact that the small cards are so easy to get imaginative with. Richard says that he’s seen MiniCards used to make the predictable business and calling cards but also lamp shades and keychain fobs.
And yes, he’s even seen them used to make fridge magnets (Moognets).
[tags] moo, moo minicards, minicards [/tags]