I recently tried Printic, a photo printing app that allows you to have images from your iPhone printed for $.99 and shipped for free with or without a custom message to the recipient of your choice. Originally launched in France, the company has opened a shipping facility in Berkeley, Calif., so they’re able to get prints to U.S. users within about three days.
Once you download the free app, you can select images stored on your phone or from an Instagram or Facebook account, crop them and add a message to the recipient if you choose. The app stores addresses, so once you’ve added a few, it’s fairly seamless to send them off to friends and family. Pics arrive packaged in an attractive little orange envelope and have the look of mini vintage Polaroids.
With so many images living solely online these days, it was refreshing to actually hold a few special ones taken quickly via Instagram in my hands. They’re the perfect size to tack up on a corkboard over your desk or slip into a wallet (okay, I carry a pretty large wallet), and I especially liked the fact that I could use the app to share images with the people in my life who aren’t big Instagram or social media users (i.e. my kids’ grandparents).
Two other use cases I can see holding special appeal for the fashion-minded:
Wardrobe reminders: stylists or individuals could use Printic to keep track of specific looks as reminders either of outfit combinations that work especially well or to illustrate looks to clients who’d like a physical image to remind them of what to pair with what.
Mood boards: Sure, you can arrange all your inspiration images online using any number of tools, but nothing really beats physical snapshots on a board. I could see Printic prints being really useful for anyone collaging images alongside magazine tears and other ephemera to encapsulate a look and feel for creative projects.
And then there’s the use case I discovered yesterday, as my two-and-a-half-year-old son climbed up onto my desk and grabbed my stack of images, declaring, “Mama, these are cards!” It’s a simple one: in a world when it would be all too easy for kids to grow up thinking pictures live only on phones and tablets and computer screens, there’s something nice about reminding ourselves that images don’t have to exist merely virtually, but can also be nice as a tangible parts of our lives, too.
More digital style…