Everyone loves receiving a special postcard in the mail, and classic postcards in particular are always fun to design and send out.
However, if you think the fun stops there and traditional design and rectangle dimensions are the only way to go, well then you don’t know anything about postcards.
Circular postcards, although less common (at least for now), never fail to immediately catch the eye.
Plus did you know you could make your own round postcard quite easily at home? If you want to know how, just read the following guide.
Step 1. Setting up the postcard
For this tutorial, I will be use the Adobe program Illustrator. Other image editors will work fine, and you can even create a postcard in MS Word. However, the exact instructions and tools that are used might vary.
Launch your design program and create a document sized 4 inches by 4 inches and name it “My Postcard.” Give the postcard’s document a 300 pixel per inch resolution and set its color mode to CMYK.
Step 2. Making the circular template
Select the Ellipse tool. Go to the exact point where the artboard’s lines intersect and left click. When a dialogue box appears, input 4 inches for the width and the height and confirm.
With the circle selected, go to View>Guides>Make Guides. I will use the guide to place correctly graphics and text in the postcard.
Step 3. Creating margins.
Now I will give the postcard a margin. The margin will be useful to prevent important details from being cut off after printing and trimming.
Go to Object>Path>Offset Path and use a -0.125-inch value. When you are done, turn this smaller circle into a guide as you previously did in step #2.
Step 4. Adding your artwork
To add your artwork to the postcard, go to File>Place and navigate your folders for your graphics file. You can include any type of artwork, from vectors to photos, depending on your requirements and taste.
If you want to add some extra design touches, such as creating a vintage look, now would be the time.
Make sure all of the relevant elements stay inside the small circle shaped by the margin and don’t reach the outer border. Use the Selection tool to resize, rotate or move the graphics around to adjust them to the template.
Step 5. Adding your text
Text on a postcard’s front is optional, and most postcards just feature an attractive image on it. However, if you want to go a step further, you can add a personalized message. The text can be your slogan, a catchy tagline or a greeting.
Adjust your settings from the transparency palette (Window>Transparency) to change blend mode and opacity in order to have the text merge with the background.
Step 6. Making the back
Create a new document with the exact same specs you used for the front. With the pen tool, draw a straight vertical line with one pixel stroke and place it in the middle of the postcard.
Then draw four horizontal lines and position them in the right half of the postcard to create the address guides.
TIP: To make sure your file is printer-friendly, I recommend saving it as a PDF.
Rectangles are out!
Postcards can be customized to match a varied range of shapes, so don’t feel trapped by the traditional rectangle dimensions. Circular postcards are just one of the many unusual formats you can pick to make your postcard unique!
Sample artwork by zcool.com.cn. Edited in Illustrator CS4. Featured image: etsystatic.com.