Direct mail can prove extremely effective in helping you get the word out about your business's products, services, and special offers. Postcards are a popular format for these kinds of pieces, combining a reasonable amount of space with relatively affordable postage options. No matter how many postcards you stuff into your community's mailboxes, you won't gain any ground unless you've given the proper thought to their creation. Here are three things you'll need to consider as part of your postcard printing and design strategy.
1. Considering Text vs. Design
A postcard can serve as a blank canvas for any message you wish to convey, but keep in mind that your free space is necessarily limited. For example, one panel of the postcard must be devoted to the recipient's address and bulk-mail stamp or meter; that leaves just 75 percent of the remaining card for you to work with. You may feel tempted to jam as many words as possible into that space but resist the urge. Tiny text can prove frustrating or even impossible for many people to read, compelling some not to bother at all. Use a sensibly-sized font surrounded by enough negative space for easy reading. As a result, you may have to compress your written message down to its bare essentials and/or simplify your graphic design to project the effect you want.
2. Printing With Bleed in Mind
Have you ever designed a flyer or some other piece that you printed out on your home printer, only to see your design surrounded by an unwanted white border? This effect is a natural consequence of the printing process, but that doesn't mean that you're stuck with it. You can have a postcard design in which the colors extend all the way to the edges -- a technique known in the printing industry as bleed. Be aware, however, that you'll have to order paper one-eighth of an inch larger on all sides than you might otherwise use. Your postcard printing solutions provider will then trim that extra eighth of an inch away, getting rid of the white edges and giving you the bleed effect you seek.
3. Choosing the Right Color Build System
Have you ever designed a graphic work that looked gorgeous on your computer but not-so-gorgeous on paper? One key difference between these two media lies in the color build system commonly preferred. A digital design makes use of the RGB (red, green-blue) color system, which matches the three pixel colors of the screen. Designs created for print media should adhere to the CYMK color build system. The latter ensures your postcard's colors will look perfectly true when printed on a color printer, which typically uses CYMK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) inks.
Address these three considerations, and you'll be well on your way toward a successful postcard printing result. Good luck!