Postcards aren’t just something you send to show off a vacation destination. They’re a powerful asset that can help you get more business, sell products, or even increase attendance at an event. The choices you make will have an impact on how effective your postcard design will be.
In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know in order to create top-notch postcards. We’ll walk you through postcard design elements, how to create a postcard with Shutterstock Create‘s design tools, and then leave you with a few lasting tips for making your best postcard yet.
How Is a Postcard Design Different from Any Other Creative Designs?
Postcards have to be short and sweet. There’s only so much room to include graphic elements and space for just a few lines of text. That makes this design a bit more high-pressure than other creative designs.
The images and messaging you choose need to be strong so that they draw eyes and help people understand what you want to say right away.
Postcard Design Requirements
You know you want to create a postcard, but what actually needs to go on it? Thinking through this before you jump into any online editing tool will help you get your design done quickly and confidently.
Here are five postcard design requirements to consider:
What’s the point of the postcard you’re planning to send? Is it to announce a new product or serviceask people to attend an event, or to stay in touch?
Start by figuring this out before you go any further in the process.
Who’s going to be receiving your postcard? If they’re familiar with your business, that may impact your messaging.
If these are people you’ve never interacted with before, you’ll need to be even more mindful of your design choices so that your postcard makes an impression and encourages them to read it.
Visuals are important but don’t focus so much on them that you forget to include a compelling message. To do that, you need to include three primary components:
- Headline: Highlight the main purpose of your postcard with a catchy one-liner.
- Offer: What are you trying to share with the recipient of the postcard? Why is it valuable?
- Call-to-action: What step does the person need to take next if they want to take advantage of your offer?
Before you can finalize your design choices, you need to know what the size of this asset will be. This becomes even more important if you’re planning to print your postcards and mail them out.
For most postcards, you’ll want to choose one of the following sizes:
|4 ″ x 6 ″||384 x 586|
|4.25 ″ x 5.5 ″||408 x 528|
|5 ″ x 7 ″||480 x 672|
|5.5 ″ x 8.5 ″||528 x 816|
|6 ″ x 9 ″||586 x 864|
|6 ″ x 11 ″||586 x 1056|
|6.5 ″ x 9.5 ″||624 x 912|
If you’re planning to distribute a digital postcard, the only thing you need to do is make sure you send it in a format that will allow people to easily receive and view it.
If you’re going to print it, you’ll need to make choices about the paper finish and weight. Both impact the experience that people have when they pull it from the mailbox.
How to Create a Postcard Online
Creating your own postcard without professional tools or design knowledge can be overwhelming. You may have an idea about what you want it to look like and say, but how do you turn that vision into a reality?
It’s easy to create your own postcard with Shutterstock Create:
- First, open the Shutterstock Create editor and click Templates. Search “Postcards” in the Templates sidebar. Select your favorite template to preview it in the Editor.
- Click Images. This will allow you to search for photos or upload your own.
- Customize the template with fontsgraphics, and effects.
- Click Download on the top toolbar to export your design as a JPG or PNG.
Want to start from scratch instead? Just use a blank canvas.
Quick Postcard Design Tips
Once you have the basics down and you start creating your postcard, you can spend more time on specifics that will make your design more effective.
Take inspiration from these postcard ideas and tips:
1. Include Your Branding
You put time and effort into your brand and to make an impression, so you need to show your logo off everywhere, including on any postcards you send.
Feature it prominently to ensure that everyone knows exactly where the postcard came from.
2. Carefully Choose Colors
How do you want people to feel when they look at your postcard? Colors impact our moodso the ones that you choose matter.
Colors also play a big role in what captures our attention and the elements of design that we remember.
3. Make Text Easy to Read
Getting your point across is difficult if you choose a complex font or include text that’s too small. Don’t get so creative with the design choices that you end up creating something that isn’t useful.
4. Add Your Own Photos
If you want your postcard to be like no other, include photography. This is particularly useful for business owners who are looking for new customers or clients.
Don’t ignore the power of direct mail. It’s still effective, even in our increasingly digital age. Start with a postcard template and get creative to make sure your message reaches the right people, at the right time.
Cover image via StonePictures.