In the digital age, where emails and social media dominate communication, sending postcards remains a cherished tradition. Whether it’s for personal use or a marketing campaign, understanding postcard sizes, design, and the printing process is essential.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of postcards, from their sizes to creating captivating designs and ensuring a flawless print job.

What is a Postcard

A postcard is a small, printed or illustrated card typically made of stiff paper or cardboard. It usually features an image or photograph on the front side, with space on the back for a message, postage, and the recipient’s address.

What is a Postcard
What is a Postcard

Postcards are used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Tourism and Travel: Postcards are often used to showcase picturesque views and landmarks from various destinations. They serve as souvenirs for tourists and are sent to family and friends to share travel experiences.
  • Communication: People use postcards to send short messages or greetings to friends, family, or acquaintances. They are a simple and cost-effective way to stay in touch, especially when a full letter is not necessary.
  • Invitations and Announcements: Postcards are used for inviting people to events such as weddings, parties, or exhibitions. They can also serve as save-the-date reminders.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Businesses use postcards as a marketing tool to advertise their products or services. Postcard marketing is a direct and tangible way to reach potential customers.
  • Art and Collectibles: Collectors often seek out vintage or artist-designed postcards. These cards can be considered works of art and are collected for their historical or aesthetic value.
  • Education: Postcards can be used in the classroom as a teaching aid. They may feature maps, historical images, or educational content related to a particular topic.
  • Awareness and Fundraising: Nonprofit organizations may use postcards to raise awareness about their causes or to solicit donations. These postcards often include images and information about their missions.
  • Cultural Exchange: Many international exchange programs and pen-pal arrangements use postcards to promote cross-cultural communication and understanding.
  • Scrapbooking: Postcards are commonly used in scrapbooking to add a visual element to memory books and albums.
  • Personal Expression: Some individuals create and send postcards as a form of artistic or personal expression. They may be used to convey emotions, share creative work, or simply brighten someone’s day.

Understanding Postcard Sizes

When sending postcards, it’s crucial to be aware of the various size options available. The standard postcard size, also known as the “Letter” size, is 4 inches by 6 inches (10.16 cm by 15.24 cm).

Understanding Postcard Sizes
Understanding Postcard Sizes

However, postcards come in a range of sizes to suit different purposes. Here are some common postcard dimensions:

Standard Postcard (Letter Size):

  • Dimensions: 4″ x 6″ (10.16 cm x 15.24 cm)
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:2
  • Ideal for personal greetings and simple promotional messages.

Oversized Postcard:

  • Dimensions: 5″ x 7″ (12.7 cm x 17.78 cm)
  • Aspect Ratio: 5:7
  • Offers more space for creative design and larger messages.

Jumbo Postcard:

  • Dimensions: 6″ x 9″ (15.24 cm x 22.86 cm)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2:3
  • Great for marketing and promotional campaigns, allowing for more information.

EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) Postcard:

  • Dimensions: 6.5″ x 9″ (16.51 cm x 22.86 cm)
  • Aspect Ratio: 13:18
  • Ideal for targeted local advertising, especially with EDDM services.

Custom Postcard:

  • Tailored to your specific requirements.
  • Provides complete creative control, but may have higher printing costs.

Choosing the right postcard size depends on your goals. Smaller sizes are perfect for personal use, while larger ones are more suitable for marketing materials and detailed designs.

What are the differences for the various postcard sizes?

Postcards come in various sizes, and each size has its own unique characteristics and potential uses.

What are the differences for the various postcard sizes
What are the differences for the various postcard sizes

Here’s an overview of the differences for various postcard sizes:

Postcard SizeDimensions (inches)Characteristics and Uses
Standard Postcard4″ x 6″– Common and versatile size.
– Suitable for travel memories, greetings, marketing.
Oversized or Jumbo5″ x 7″ or 6″ x 9″– Larger, attention-grabbing format.
Postcard– Ideal for event invitations, promotions, details.
Miniature Postcard3.5″ x 5″ or smaller– Compact, lightweight for brief messages.
– Great for minimalist communication.
Square Postcard5″ x 5″ or 6″ x 6″– Unique square shape for creative designs.
– Popular for artwork, photography, and visuals.

This table provides an overview of the different postcard sizes and their key characteristics and uses.

Designing Engaging Postcards

Creating a visually appealing postcard is essential to grab the recipient’s attention and convey your message effectively.

Designing Engaging Postcards
Designing Engaging Postcards

Here are some design tips to consider:

1. Color Palette:

Choose a color scheme that resonates with your message. Bold and vibrant colors can make your postcard stand out, while softer colors create a more serene feel.

2. High-Quality Images:

Use high-resolution images that are relevant to your message. Avoid pixelated or blurry pictures as they can deter recipients.

3. Typography:

Select easy-to-read fonts and consider the hierarchy of your text. Make the most crucial information prominent and legible.

4. White Space:

Don’t overcrowd the postcard with information. Leave enough white space to make the design visually pleasing and easy to digest.

5. Branding:

Incorporate your logo and brand colors to ensure brand recognition. Consistency is key to building trust and familiarity.

6. Message Clarity:

Your message should be clear and concise. Avoid jargon or lengthy paragraphs. Use bullet points or headlines to break up the text.

7. Call to Action (CTA):

Include a compelling CTA to prompt recipients to take action. Whether it’s a discount code, a website link, or a QR code, make it easy for them to respond.

8. Testing:

Before printing a large batch, test your design on a small scale to ensure everything looks as intended. This can save you from costly mistakes.

The Printing Process

Once you have a stellar postcard design ready, the next step is the printing process. Whether you’re printing postcards for personal use or a marketing campaign, it’s crucial to choose the right printing method.

The Printing Process
The Printing Process

Here are some options:

1. Digital Printing:

  • Ideal for small to medium-sized print runs.
  • Offers quick turnaround times and cost-effective pricing.
  • Suitable for full-color designs with various finishing options.

2. Offset Printing:

  • Ideal for larger print runs.
  • Provides consistent and high-quality results.
  • Allows for precise color matching and customization.

3. Online Printing Services:

  • Convenient for individuals and businesses.
  • Offers a wide range of paper options and finishes.
  • Often provides design templates and proofing options.

4. In-House Printing:

  • Suitable for small quantities and on-demand needs.
  • Requires investment in printing equipment and expertise.
  • Provides complete control over the printing process.

Before selecting a printing method, consider your budget, quantity, and desired quality.

Digital printing is excellent for shorter runs, while offset printing may be more cost-effective for larger quantities.

Final Thoughts

Understanding postcard dimensions, designing captivating postcards, and choosing the right printing method are essential steps in ensuring the success of your postcard project.

Whether you’re sending postcards to loved ones or using them as a marketing tool, a well-designed and professionally printed postcard can leave a lasting impression.

If you’re new to postcard design and printing, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance or use online printing services, which often offer templates and expert guidance.

By following the tips and information provided in this guide, you’re well on your way to creating postcards that will be cherished and effective.


What are the standard postcard sizes?

The standard postcard sizes can vary, but a common size is 4 inches by 6 inches (10.16 cm by 15.24 cm). Other standard sizes include 5 inches by 7 inches (12.7 cm by 17.78 cm) and 6 inches by 9 inches (15.24 cm by 22.86 cm).

What is the most common postcard sizes?

The most common postcard size is 4 inches by 6 inches (10.16 cm by 15.24 cm). This size is widely used for sending personal and business postcards.

What is the minimum size for a postcard?

The minimum size for a postcard typically follows postal regulations and can vary by country. In the United States, for example, the minimum size is 3.5 inches by 5 inches (8.89 cm by 12.7 cm).

What is the maximum size for a postcard?

The maximum size for a postcard also varies by country and postal regulations. In the United States, the maximum size is 4.25 inches by 6 inches (10.79 cm by 15.24 cm).

What are the dimensions of a typical rectangular postcard?

A typical rectangular postcard is 4 inches by 6 inches (10.16 cm by 15.24 cm), which is often referred to as the standard size.

Are there different postcard sizes for international mail?

Yes, international postcard sizes can vary from country to country. It’s important to check the specific size requirements and regulations for the destination country when sending postcards internationally.

Can I create a custom-sized postcard?

Yes, you can create custom-sized postcards. However, custom sizes may result in higher postage costs, so it’s essential to check with your postal service for any restrictions or additional charges.

Are square postcards a common size?

Square postcards are not as common as rectangular ones, but they are used for special occasions or creative designs. A common square postcard size is 5 inches by 5 inches (12.7 cm by 12.7 cm).

What is the aspect ratio for postcard sizes?

The aspect ratio for postcards is typically close to 1.5:1, although it can vary slightly depending on the specific size. For example, the 4×6-inch postcard has an aspect ratio of 3:2.

How does the size of a postcard affect postage rates?

The size of a postcard can affect postage rates. Larger or non-standard postcard sizes may incur higher postage costs, so it’s important to check with your postal service for rate information.

Are there specific size requirements for postcards used in bulk mailing?

Yes, there are often specific size requirements for postcards used in bulk mailing or direct mail campaigns. These requirements may vary by postal service and location, so it’s advisable to consult with your local postal authority for guidelines.

Can I send oversized postcards through regular mail?

Oversized postcards may be sent through regular mail, but they might be subject to additional postage charges. It’s best to check with your postal service for size and postage requirements.

Do postcard sizes vary in different countries?

Yes, postcard sizes can vary from one country to another due to different postal regulations. It’s essential to confirm the specific size requirements for the country you are sending postcards to.

What size should I use for photo postcards?

For photo postcards, you can choose a size based on your preferences, but common sizes like 4×6 inches or 5×7 inches work well for showcasing photos.

Are there size restrictions for postcards when designing them for online printing services?

Online printing services may have specific size requirements for postcard designs. It’s recommended to check with the printing service for their guidelines and templates to ensure your design fits their specifications.

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