How to Make a Postcard

How to Make a Postcard

Read Time: 2 Minutes

instantprint

02 Jul 2019

Looking to make your own personalised postcard? We’ve created this definitive guide to help you set up your artwork for perfect postcard printing every time. We’ve covered our customers’ favourite design programs to make sure there’s a step-by-step guide for all abilities.

 

How to Make a Postcard in Word

Setting Up Your Layout

Here’s how to set up your postcard dimensions in Word to include bleed.

  1. Open a blank document in Microsoft Word
  2. Go to Layout > Page Setup
  3. Under the Paper tab, set the dimensions to A6 (148mm x 105mm) and add 6mm to the height and width to set the bleed area
  4. Under the Margins tab, increase all margins by 3mm to account for the safe zone

 

Changing the Background Colour

To change your background colour:

  1. Go to Design > Page Colour
  2. Select a colour* using the colour picker tool

* please note that this may change slightly when we convert it to CMYK to print

 

To change your background to an image:

  1. Go to Design > Page Colour > Fill Effects
  2. Select the Picture tab to upload an image from your computer
  3. Make sure your picture is high resolution (300dpi for high quality printing)

 

Inserting and Placing Images

To add images to your postcard design:

  1. Go to Insert > Pictures
  2. Choose an image from your computer and double click to insert
  3. Drag the corners to resize or drag from the middle to place the image
  4. You can right click and select Bring Forward or Send Backward to arrange layers of multiple images and textboxes
  5. Wrap text around your image by right clicking and selecting Wrap Text

 

Inserting and Placing Textboxes

Using textboxes in word allows more control over where your postcard copy goes.

  1. Go to Insert > Text Box
  2. Draw your textbox by clicking and dragging the mouse onto your design canvas
  3. Drag the corners to resize
  4. Click and drag the centre of the textbox to reposition it on your design

 

Top tip: Try and keep one side design-heavy and the main bulk of the copy on the back – we’ll be adding a glossy coating to the design side of your postcard which will limit the ability to write on that side.

 

How to Make a Postcard in Illustrator

Setting Up Your Layout

  1. Go to File > New Document
  2. Select A6 from the Document Pre-Set
  3. Add 3mm to your margins to account for bleed area

 

Changing the Background Colour

  1. Go to File > Document Setup
  2. Tick Simulate Coloured Paper in the transparency section
  3. Click the upper colour swatch to choose a colour
  4. Click the swatch you created and drag it into an empty square
  5. Click Okay
  6. Click View > Show Transparency Grid

 

Inserting Pictures

  1. Go to File > Place
  2. Select the image you want to use from your computer
  3. Click Place

 

Adding Text

You can add text directly to your design by:

  1. Selecting the Type Tool or Vertical Tool
  2. Enter your text – you can press enter to start a new line
  3. Click the Selection Tool and drag the text to reposition it

 

If you want to enter text in a defined area, you can add a textbox by:

  1. Selecting the Type Tool and clicking and dragging to draw a textbox
  2. Then follow steps two and three above

 

How to Make a Double Sided Postcard in Publisher

Setting Up Your Layout

  1. Go to Page Design > Page Setup
  2. Set the Paper Width and Paper Height to 154mm x 111mm which is A6 with bleed
  3. Set Margins at 3mm to account for safety zone and keep all important text and images within this margin

 

Changing the Background Colour

  1. Go to Page Design > Background > More Backgrounds
  2. Click Colour to select the colour you want
  3. You can customise the fill style of the background here

 

Inserting Images

  1. Go to Insert > Pictures
  2. Choose an image from your computer and click Insert
  3. Move your image by clicking and dragging it
  4. Resize the image by clicking and dragging the corner handles

 

Inserting Textboxes

  1. Go to Insert > Draw Textbox
  2. Draw your textbox using your mouse
  3. Drag the corners to resize or drag from the centre to reposition
  4. You can change the textbox background colour and font in the Format tab

 

To make your postcard design double sided, follow these steps again so you have two pieces of artwork. When you add your order to your basket, you’ll then be prompted to upload side 1 and side 2. Side 1 is the shiny side of the postcard, side 2 is the writable side.

 

How to Make a Postcard in InDesign

Setting Up Your Layout

  1. Go to File > New > Document
  2. Set Intent to print, Page Size as A6 and select your orientation
  3. Click Create

 

Changing the Background Colour

  1. Go to Window > Colour > Colour
  2. Select the colour you’d like – we recommend working in CMYK colour mode because that’s the setting for printing
  3. Select the Rectangle Tool
  4. Drag the mouse so the rectangle covers the entire canvas

 

Adding Images

  1. Go to File > Place
  2. Choose the image you’d like to use from your computer and click Insert
  3. Drag the image with your mouse to position it
  4. If you want to resize the image, go to Edit > Free Transform and drag the corner handles

 

Adding Text

  1. Select the Text tool (looks like a T)
  2. Click and drag to draw your textbox
  3. Use the menu at the top of the screen to choose font, size and colour
  4. Write your copy

 

We hope this guide to setting up postcards for print helps you to create a design with ease! If you’re after an even easier way, you can design your own postcards online using our free templates.

Or, if it’s inspiration you’re after, here are 5 real life postcard marketing strategies we wish we’d thought of first.

 

Jennie Talbot

About the Author

Hi! I’m Jennie, and I’m the Creative Lead at instantprint. I love using my design knowledge to inspire small businesses to think outside the box when designing their print.