Print Tips
Custom Postcards: Design, Applications and Printing Tips
  by:  |  Jul 7, 2014



Define your Intentions

Before starting with your design, you should define your purpose for creating postcards. Do you want to stay in touch with someone, promote your business, or announce an event?

Know your Audience

Design with your audience in mind. You should first know who they are. Identify which group of people you will be targeting. From there, tailor your postcard according to what this group specifically needs.

Pay Attention to Your Text

Since postcards provide very little space for design elements and text, make your message short and direct. Use simple phrases or sentences that are straight to the point.

Make use of Photos/ Graphics

The use of images, patterns and other design elements on your postcards create a stronger impact to your postcards.

Tips for your Postcard Content


Photos/ Images

    • Relevance

Use images that are relevant to your message. Avoid making use of unnecessary images. Also, find a memorable photo so that your postcards will bring impact to anyone who receives it.

    • Resolution

Using high-resolution images is a must for photo postcards. The ideal resolution for printed images is 300 dpi. If you want to increase a photo’s resolution, you need to reduce its size and vice versa to have a good quality output. *For more helpful tips, visit: UPrinting’s Printing Resolution Guide

Font/ Text

    • Font Style

Font size and style are significant when it comes to designing your postcards. Choose a legible font size and style; text is as important as the images on the card.

    • Resolution

Postcard text should have 400 dpi resolution. Like photos, text should have high quality for your postcards.



Choosing the right color for your design is necessary. You need to make sure that your colors will be eye-friendly. Here are some color combinations you can try for basics:

    • Analogous

This one uses three colors which can be found next to each other on the color wheel. Usually, one of the three colors predominate the other two.

    • Complementary

These are colors which are opposite to each other on the color wheel. This combination is perfect when you want to make something stand out. The color contrast is high — use wisely on your design.

    • Monochromatic

This one uses different saturation and lightness of a single color. It creates a soothing effect, and is best for simple and minimalistic designs.


You can choose from different cardstock weights when ordering postcards — the higher the point, the thicker the material. You can have these cards coated or uncoated, depending on the design and purpose of your cards. The use and distribution of your prints determines if they should be glossy or dull. If you’re still undecided, use the information below as reference:


13 pt. Cardstock, Uncoated Paper

  • Thick cardstock with smooth uncoated surface
  • Paper from sustainable sources, 30% recycled content
  • Natural paper fibers may still be visible
  • Has a great writing surface
  • Ideal for company branding and high-end marketing materials

14 pt. Cardstock, Gloss AQ Coated

  • Thick cardstock with gloss finish for sharper and brighter images
  • Aqueous (water-based) coating adds scratch and scuff resistance
  • Can withstand tougher wear and tear

14 pt. Cardstock, Dull Matte Coated

  • Stiff, thick cardstock with a non-gloss finish for a classic and elegant look
  • Non-glossy surface provides better writability but testing is recommended
  • Paper from sustainable sources

12 pt. Cardstock Gloss Front, Uncoated Back

  • Medium weight cardstock with a gloss aqueous coating on front and uncoated on back
  • Uncoated side can be written on using any pen
  • Paper from sustainable sources
  • Requires scoring prior to folding



Working with custom postcards gives you the liberty to choose the material, design and size of the prints. You can use your own image and design to meet the purpose of your cards. Postcards are widely used as tourist souvenirs, business promotion tools, and as greeting cards during the holidays. These flexible prints can also be used as:

Product Information Cards

Postcards can be used as rack cards to provide information about your products and services. You can also hand them out as card flyers in high foot traffic areas.

Graduation Announcements

Postcards are perfect graduation announcement cards and invitations.

Baby Shower invitations

Use baby photos and playful designs to make unique baby shower invitations.

Save the Date Cards

Save up on fancy invitations and send out simple but sophisticated save-the-date cards.





Photo Collage

Put four different photos together on your card by positioning one on each corner. Put a stamp on the middle for accent. To create a modern look on your cards, try using different photo sizes. You can fill in spaces with borders and text.

Photo Effects

Create postcards out of Instagram photos! The image filters can give an artistic feel to your cards.


Traditional postcard designs are usually made up of photos with minimal graphics and text. But there are modern layouts now that are focused on typography — this can be used in different applications like invitations and save-the-date cards.

White Border

Add a white border on your image for a neat, vintage style layout.


Cartoons can make your postcards stand out with their fun and childlike feel. You can use this technique in designing postcards for kids (e.g. kids’ party invitation or baby showers).


You can produce simple yet stunning postcards with this style. This is ideal for businesses sending out postcards to their customers or other companies.

These are simple ideas you can work on, but there are countless ways to be creative with your postcards. Be imaginative and have fun making your design.

Article Sources:

Color Theory via: Tigercolor

Paper Types via Kenward Designs

Image Sources:

Silvia Sala via photopin cc

Color Wheel via Color Wheel Pro

Storm Crypt via photopin cc

Sarah Parrott via photopin cc