10 Postcard Design Tips You Don’t Want To Ignore
  by:  |  Mar 4, 2011

On the last post, we discussed the basics of offset printing and what it actually means to you. This time around, we’ll tackle another sometimes misunderstood topic- postcard design.

“Misunderstood” might not exactly be the way a lot of of us might phrase it, but we do get a lot of questions about postcard design. Hopefully, this post will explain some of the more common issues many of us face when creating postcards.

Postcards have gone from being a fixture of personal correspondences to an indispensable direct marketing tool. The relatively low price coupled with great return rates make postcards a great investment for any business. But how should you design your postcards? There’s no single way to go about this, but follow a few simple guidelines and you’ll pretty much have it made!

Postcard Design Tips You Don’t Want To Ignore


Find out what your local postal service has to say about postcard specifications. It would be a shame to invest so much time on a postcard design to find out that it’s actually unmailable as is. If you’re going with a printing service, they should be able to tell you just what you need. The diagram below is for 6 x 11 postcards, but you could scale it up or down for other sizes.
postcard diagram
Keep your headlines clear and concise! Trust us, it’s much better for your return on investment. Your recipient might actually want what you have to offer, but throw your card away because its message didn’t sink in right away.


postcard design - absolut ice cream
By: Ruslan Mashkov


Eye-catching images are good. Eye-catching AND relevant images are MUCH better. If your image gets stuck in your customer’s mind, you’d want them to think of YOU. In a good light, hopefully.

Never use copyrighted images without permission or giving the artists due credit. Not only would that be unfair to whoever made the image, but it would reflect very badly on your company.

Keep it to just ONE main idea per card. Postcards aren’t very big to begin with, so you’d likely find it best to just say one thing, and say it well.

Composition. Composition. Composition. Take a look at our previous posts for a better idea on how this could be done. This is a design blog after all.

Context. Make sure your designs are tailored towards your target audience. That means if your design has girl with bikinis on it, it might not work very well if your target market includes a lot of little old ladies. Likewise, a design with macrame angels might not work so well for younger people.

Call to Action. This is the whole point of sending out your postcards in the first place! While direct-mailing with postcards usually nets a relatively high response rate in relation to expenses, it would be so much better to try what you could to fine-tune your design. An improvement of even half a percent can potentially translate into thousands of additional responses.

Banana Call To Action
Courtesy of

Weigh your printing costs. We’re a printing company and it might seem obvious that we’d advise against printing at home. Printing at home is fine, but you have to know that making a one-off or more than just a handful of prints is almost always more expensive than going with a professional printer. Home printing simply does not offer the economy of scale offered by industrial offset and digital printers. If you’re about to go on a direct mailing campaign, home printing simply makes no economic sense. At all.

That just about covers the basics! Think we missed anything? Feel free to leave a comment! If you have any more questions about postcard design, give us a call at 1-888-888-4211, or contact our Live Chat Support team on the top part of our home page.

Some posts you might find interesting:
30 Creative Postcard Design Roundup
32 Custom Birth Announcement Postcards and Greeting Cards
Vintage Christmas Postcards : 25 Festive Postcards from the USSR
Pictures of Cute Baby Animals : 30 Postcard-Worthy Cuties!
10 Beautiful Cosmetics Postcard Designs to Enliven Your Imagination