How To: Make a Summer Vacation Postcard
Show your friends and family what you are doing this summer by sending them a personalized postcard!

Design Master

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Summer is just around the corner! The days are longer and warmer, school is almost over and everybody is enjoying their free time and looking forward to actual summer vacations. One of the activities that will keep many busy in the hot summer afternoons is sending postcards to friends and family.

After a while, all postcards start to look the same, so why not make your own postcards for a change?

Not only will you be able to use your own photos to make the postcard personal, but you’ll also find this is a fun project that takes no time at all!

Let’s start by creating a new document. I want the postcard to be 5” x 7”.

I don’t want blank borders to appear in the final copies, so I am adding bleeds by increasing the measurements to 0.125” for each side. I entered 5.25” and 7.25” as the measurements and set the pixel per inch value to 300 and color mode to CMYK.

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For a summer postcard, I want to select images that reflect fun, relaxation, warmth and joy.

You can use your own pictures to make the postcard more personal, or you can browse stock image sites. Coming up with the subject for your postcard is up to you, but I suggest you choose good quality images that feature attractive, vibrant colors and beautiful scenery.

Open your image and copy it into your postcard’s document. Use the transform tools (resize, rotate, distort, etc.) to fit it properly. You can make the postcard more vivid by bumping up saturation or adjusting brightness and contrast.

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Another way to make the postcard unique is by adding your own message. Keep the message brief and clear. A simple greeting, a slogan or a punch line to go with the image is all you need.

Choose a font that will be easy to read and a color that will make the text stand out from the background. You can use your creativity to select a nice font, but make sure the look of the text is consistent with the rest of the postcard.

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Create a new identical document to the postcard one. Use the Pen tool to draw a straight vertical line a little off center. Select a one pixel hard brush and add a stroke to your path.

Create four more lines for the address – this time horizontally. Place the horizontal lines in the right half of the postcard. All you’ll have to do is flip the paper to print both sides of the postcard.

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With most inkjet printers, you can print your postcards at home. All you need is ink and double-sided card stock.

If you want glossy or matte coating, it really depends on the look you are after. Make sure to choose thick stock, not the flimsy type. Anything 80 pounds and above will do.

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If you don’t have a good printer at home, you can still have your postcards made in no time thanks to one of the many online printing services out there.

I recommend Print Place and Print Runner. All you will have to do is upload your graphics and pay for the order. They will handle the rest.

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Summer vacations are the best time of the year to relax and do whatever you want. The first step to making your vacation postcard is have fun while doing it!

Edited in Photoshop CS5. Sample image by Juhan Sonin. Feature photo source:

About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
Kristi and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:

1 Comment

  1. cute idea!