Many of the postcard printing tips you’ll find elsewhere are aimed at upselling pointless features, or telling you things you already know. Many printing companies let unwitting customers print “postcards” that can’t even be mailed without an envelope, which defeats many of the advantages of a postcard in the first place.
Postcards are now recognized as one of the most effective tools any marketer has in their arsenal. They’ve even experienced a revival for personal mail, especially among millennials. Given the surge in demand, it’s no wonder many printing companies are trying to get into the act. Here we’ll try to give you some pretty important postcard printing tips other printing blogs seem to ignore.
1.) Thicker cardstocks last longer and feel more important.
The thicker the cardstock, the better the card holds up in general, whether handed out or mailed. But did you know heavier objects tend to be seen as more valuable compared to light objects? This principle applies to thicker, heavier cardstocks as well. Your recipients will feel the difference, especially when they contrast your postcards with thinner ones they get in the mail. It’s always a good idea to go with a thicker stock whenever your budget allows for it.
2.) Uncoated stock is better to write on.
The people who get your cards can use a permanent marker to write on both gloss or UV stocks, but why make it harder? If you want your postcards to really be writable, use an uncoated stock, or one that is uncoated on one side. Both pens and pencils can easily write on uncoated cardstock.
3.) Avoid thin typefaces on uncoated stock.
Uncoated stock is the easiest to write on, but gives a more muted look to your cards. Ink also spreads just a little bit more on uncoated stock, making lines a bit fuzzy. For this reason, it’s best to avoid super-thin typefaces. This is especially important if the text is on a dark background as in knockout text.
4.) UV coating has design pros and cons.
Extra UV coating makes your postcard much harder to write on. Permanent marker works, if allowed to dry. However, it will smudge while still wet. UV is still worth considering, especially on the front of your postcards as it makes colors look more vibrant, and makes the cards fade-resistant.
5.) UV coating affects mailability.
If regular postcards are intended for mailing, UV coating can only be on the front, the side without the mailing panel. The USPS discourages UV and similar coatings because their automated sorters need mailpieces to have enough friction to be processed correctly and avoid costly jams.
6.) Leave blank spaces for mailing and indicia info.
USPS Indicias, United States Postal Service
Mailing space (3.5” x 1.5”) & indicia space (0.75” square) need to be left completely blank. Fortunately, we have free postcard templates available to save you the trouble of accounting for this requirement.
7.) Avoid adding rounded corners to postcards going through the mail.
USPS says rounded corners should be no bigger than 1/8” for any mailpiece. Rounded corners that are bigger get jammed in automated machinery more easily. You can avoid the risk altogether by using postcards with standard corners.
8.) EDDM® is cheaper than regular direct mail, but there is a tradeoff.
EDDM® has more relaxed requirements. For instance, if EDDM indicia is included in the artwork, UV coatings are fine because nothing is added after printing.
EDDM® uses a more generic mailing route, which may or may not be a problem depending on your intent. This generic mailing route however, makes EDDM® postcards cheaper to mail.
Some postcard printing tips and marketing ideas to further boost your campaign:
- Using Postcards for Marketing
- 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
What other postcard printing tips can you share?
Arthur Piccio is a feature writer and subject matter expert for theUPrinting Blog.