I’ve been around the baby block, you might say, and kind of thought I had this piece written before I even started typing. Then I Googled “weird birth announcements,” you know, just to see.
Oh my god, you guys. WOW. Wow. Woooow. Some of the ones labeled as weird were actually very very cool, and some of them … we’re just going to pretend they don’t exist. I mean, who in their right mind sends out a photo of their just-born, covered-in-blood-and-vernix as their birth announcement?!
So let’s just start out niiiice and slow.
Sites like Snapfish and Shutterfly make it super easy to create a basic photo announcement, and their prices are very reasonable, especially if you are sending out a lot of them. And you can often get free shipping, which always gives me a little thrill.
Then there are the slightly more boutique sites, such as Tiny Prints, In A Baby Carriage, and Purple Stork (and approximately one jillion others. I’ve found these sites can sometimes offer a little more wiggle room creatively, so you aren’t always stuck with a boxed-in style. And while most of the designs are well within the affordable range, these sites offer a couple of different price tiers, more the way a traditional stationery store would.
Any time I see letterpress anything, it makes me wish I’d just gone ahead and gone to art school. I love it. It’s classic, without being printed, it feels both modern and a little vintage at the same time, and if you want, it is completely customizable. Dingbat Press is one of my favorite of the letterpresses out there, probably because their designs are a little more bold. Hello Lucky just makes me absolutely swoon. Dauphine, on the other hand, is very refined, very elegant. Although there is a touch of whimsy with some of the imagery, on the whole, their letterpress is more conservative, and very beautiful. And if you want something that practically no one else will have, take a look at the offerings by the artists at Etsy.
I came across Rattle-n-Roll a couple years ago and I’m so pleased to see that they are still rattle-n-rolling! These guys are awesome to work with and they put out a really amazing product – and definitely something the neighbors won’t have. They are not inexpensive, but as a special keepsake of your baby’s birth, it might be worth it. And if you want to send it as an announcement, why not have it scanned and printed on photo paper to send out? It won’t retain that original texture and quality, but it will still be something special.
Five-Star Baby will take your photo and turn it into a Hollywood-style movie mini-poster. Catchy title, all the birth details you want and even “reviews” go into the making of the poster. As the parents you will be listed as the producers in the credits, and it will be appropriately rated: T for twins, B for boy, and G for girl. The company has created posters for celebs like Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler, Kristy Swanson, and Paul Stanley from KISS. The “posters” are roughly 6x8 and aren’t too terribly expensive, so the minimum order won’t break your bank. You can also order them in sizes up to 20x32” should you feel the need to really display things.
Babynounce does poster-style announcements, but they also do cereal boxes (“Raisin’ Breanne” ?) and magazine covers with all the vitals on the birth of your little bundle. Each Nounce is roughly 5x7, depending on what you decide with the designer. They also do large posters, much like Five-Star Baby. One thing I noticed on the site that I really like is that the designers work with imperfect photos to really create the best product possible – I noticed that they were fixing bad lighting, adding highlights or modifying weird wrinkles in the background, and it made a big difference in the final product.
One of these is genius, two are kind of ... off, and one is just freakin’ weird.
GooGooGram is essentially a voice and email service for delivering the news. You make a recording, give them all the relevant phone numbers, and they robo-call your contact list to announce the birth and presumably sell them a new insurance policy that will save them hundreds each month and automatically donate to the sherriff’s department. Then you get a CD of your recording! Without ever having to lift a finger and call your grandma personally.
Next up is the Driver’s License Baby Announcement. Now, okay. I know this shouldn’t seem any more strange than a cereal box, but something about it weirds me out juuuust a little. Maybe I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt – maybe the product photography isn’t that great or the sample pictures they had to work with were a bit off. It’s a cute concept – but I don’t have any idea how well executed it is. What do you all think of this one?
Here comes weird. I suppose, in a culture where rice is as much of a staple as our cereal, this is no different than the Babynounce cereal boxes. Dakigokochi are Japanese birth announcements with the baby’s face, statistics, and other information printed on a bag of rice manufactured to approximate the new baby’s birth weight. The bags are also specially formed into a shape similar to that of a swaddled baby. These guys are apparently hot gifts in Japan – and I found a variation on the company’s website, which has the baby swaddled in a sort of Kimono. Using my impressive Google Translator skills, I checked over the Yosimaya site, and unfortunately they do not ship outside of Japan. Sorry, moms.
Ready for awesome?
Well, awesome and totally nerdy, but mostly awesome. If you have any sort of graphics and video editing skills (or a friend in the know), there is no excuse not to do something this cool:
Which birth announcement will you choose?
Video via cdalek/YouTube