For all the startups making customizable stationary and business cards available on the web, we really haven’t seen much in terms of innovation: most sites have almost the same options and features, and there isn’t much you can do beyond what you can find in traditional print stores. Today that changes with the public launch of Snapily, an online store for user-customized paper goods that can add moving effects to 2D images (and they’re really cool). TechCrunch readers can get a 20% discount on Snapily products by entering the code ‘TechCrunch_Snapily’.
Upon choosing a product type (which include business cards, greeting cards, notebooks, and invitations) users can choose to either let Snapily use pre-generated templates to enhance their 2D images, or they can manually modify their images for more advanced effects. At launch available options include a pseudo-3D effect that separates the backdrop from the foreground and a morph effect that can switch between two photos. In the near future the site will also be launching a ‘mini-movie’ effect, allowing you to put a 2 second clip on a card that plays as you rotate it (Harry Potter fans rejoice). For a better idea of what the cards look like, check out the video below.
The cards use a technique called lenticular printing, which displays a new image depending on what angle they’re viewed from (we recently covered a set of maps that use the same technology). And while you can find similar products elsewhere on the web, Snapily says that nearly all of these require bulk purchases – you couldn’t just buy a handful of greeting cards or a single notebook. Snapily says it will allow users to buy products in these small one-off quantities for a price that is still in the range of traditional paper products.
Snapily is a spinoff from HumanEyes, which has offered similar products to the business market for a number of years (the company says that the lenticular printing technology has now been in development for a total of seven years).