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You've been hired to design a postcard after a competitor has lost the account. You want to shine so you can secure a long-term arrangement with your new client, but you're not sure what you need to do to knock their socks off. You don't want to look like the guy they just dumped, but you also don't want to go too far, too fast and risk alienating your clients. If you're not hired to revamp brand identity but instead to simply make print marketing more effective, here are five postcard design tips that make a lasting impression.
Don't settle for a plain photograph of something that is simply relevant. Instead, shoot for the stars with imagery that sets the tone and is interesting enough to turn heads with only a glance. Your audience should relate to your postcard. Tap into the powers of color and shading to accentuate key graphic elements that emphasize your postcard's message and elicit just the right sentiment from recipients.
Your postcard copy should be short and sweet. A single line or two is often enough. You can use design with text to send a clear message. Experiment with different typefaces, colors, patterns and other filters and manipulations to make your text stand out as imagery in its own right. A large attention-getting headline with a short line of offer copy and a bold, well-defined call to action is perfect for most postcards.
Whitespace is your friend. Without it, your postcard will appear cluttered and your message convoluted. No one will take a second look, much less read it and take action. When you use whitespace to give your other postcard elements room to breathe, they'll stand out as aesthetically attractive artworks that deserve attention. People like to look at beautiful things, and so a beautifully designed postcard is exactly what you need to get that crucial focus necessary to motivate response.
Oversized postcards printed at 6-inch by 9-inch or 6-inch by 11-inch are next to impossible to ignore, and so investing in an extra-large postcard is justified. Again, it is absolutely imperative that your postcard design is able to grab attention before it does anything else. This will do the trick.
Who will be printing your postcard is a decision not always left up to the designer, but you would be wise to at least request a say in the process. First of all, it helps to know what kind of paper the postcard will be printed on and what finish will be applied before you begin designing so you can perfect your color combinations. Second, the quality of the finished postcard can directly influence the impression recipients have for the quality of the products and services offered. Print your postcards on 16-point gloss or 13-point recycled matte paper stocks for best results.