[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Dad’s Halloween Card

October 26th, 2015 by Benj Edwards

Personalized custom homemade Print Shop Halloween greeting card - circa 1984-85Happy Halloween from 1984

My family has this way of saving everything. Not through conscious, organized preservation, but by virtue of never throwing anything away.

In that vein, I was digging through some old papers at my mom’s house after my father passed away in 2013, and I came across this homemade Halloween greeting card.

From the looks of it, my dad made the card for me and my brother using Broderbund’s Print Shop on the family’s Apple IIc. It is printed on a single sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper; one is supposed to fold it in half twice to achieve a gatefold design with a front, inside, and back. Click the image above to see the whole thing unfolded — the other side is blank.

As for who colored it with crayons, I’m guessing I did (perhaps my dad or brother did it neatly, then I gave it a once-over with a brown squiggly line). What a great momento from the home PC era. Happy Halloween!

[ From Personal scan of homemade Halloween card, ca.1984-85]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever made a personalized greeting card using your computer? Tell us about it.

6 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Dad’s Halloween Card”

  1. Moondog Says:

    I still make them. They normally say, “Money is tight, times are hard, here’s a home-made birthday card.”

  2. Chester Says:

    ONE? Me and my dad got so excited (him with custom cards, me with doing anything with a computer) that we had increasingly sophisticated custom cards done every year for his ever-growing list (which I mantained in an AppleWorks spreadsheet that was used to print the labels for the envelopes with the mail merge function on the word processor). It was a shame that The Print Shop didn’t have any sort of integration or mail merge function, but we changed them one by one, to keep the messages and elements personalized.

    I remember one year we got print ribbon on different colors for our Epson (LX-80?), and I got quite skillful at pausing the print right when the first part had finished, swapping the print ribbon cartridge and resuming before the software timed out. That was the future, we knew technology could not go any furhter! 😀

    His friends and family may have noticed the lack of diacritics (Portuguese, as most Latin-derived languages has a bunch of “ç”s, “é”s and the like), but got mostly impressed with the novelty (or told us so, ensuring we didn’t get frustrated). The IBM-PC compatible that succeeded our Apple II clone brought PrintMaster, which had more features, but didn’t “feel” as fancy to my pre-teen eyes.

  3. Chester Says:

    Worth mentioning one can play with The Print Shop (although it won’t print, as far as I’m concerned) directly on a browser, via The Internet Archive + MESS: https://archive.org/details/The_Print_Shop_1984_Broderbund

  4. Geoff V. Says:

    Thanks Chester!

  5. esm8m Says:

    I always made cards thanking people for buying my Girl Scout cookies on some card shop program on Windows. I credit that technique for my continued (and even increased!) success in selling cookies even after I lost my little kid cuteness.

  6. Ant Says:

    I still use these softwares like The Print Shop/Master. These days I use HP Photo Creations and Avery DesignPro. They’re OK. I haven’t found any good ones. Are there any good ones for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X?

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