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If you've ever wanted to design your own postcard to send to friends and family when on vacation, as invitations to a special celebration, just to say hi or as a business marketing tool, you don't have to be a professional graphic designer in order to craft a unique and aesthetically appealing design. All you need is a little creativity and the following tips on how to design your own postcard in three steps.
Step 1: Free postcard templates
The first step to design your own postcards is to download free postcard templates. There are two main types of free postcards templates: layout and design. Free postcard layout templates offer the most creative freedom because they have no design elements on them; instead, they come pre-formatted in the proper color mode, resolution and sizes you need for your postcards. They also have helpful guidelines so you know how to properly position your own custom design on your free postcard templates.
Free postcard design templates offer very little creative freedom and, depending where you get them, might or might not be properly formatted for printing. Design templates are already designed for you, so you need to swap photos and text to make them work. They are fast and convenient, but creatively limited. Either way, you should download free postcard templates in order to achieve a professional look without the expense of a professional designer.
Step 2: Customize your design
Once you have your free postcard templates, it's time to create your postcard design. If you have a design template, all you need to do is swap photos and text. If you have a layout template, now is your chance to shine with a completely custom look. You can download graphics, stock photos, clip art, borders, symbols and shapes from many different online resources (do a search for these items) to round out your custom design. Personal photos make great centerpieces for your postcard designs.
If you're using postcards to market your products and services, make sure you use images of your products and/or of happy customers enjoying your products and services. Or, make a humorous point that alludes to your services. You'll also want to include a headline hook, special offer, incentives and call to action.
Use contrasting colors, not more than two or three; and just one or two fonts to keep your design simple and clean throughout. There is no right or wrong; but it's true that one design might look better than another. Feel free to experiment with different layouts, filters, and colors to achieve the perfect look for your postcards.
Step 3: Print your postcards
Finally, upload your design to your postcard printing company, choose your printing options, and order a hardcopy proof so you can double check your postcard for typos and other errors before you approve the final print run. Consider it cheap insurance: it's far better to catch errors before you print than after. Once approved, your postcard printing company will print your postcards and send them to you (or send them for you if you elect to use their mail house services).