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How to write a postcard

Reading time: 5 minutes

In an era dominated by digital communication, why do we need to know how to write a postcard?

The charm of a handwritten postcard stands out more than ever. Whether it’s a snapshot of an exotic island or a heartfelt note from a friend, postcards deliver a personal touch that emails and WhatsApps simply can’t match. A postcard embodies a sense of presence and thoughtfulness, bridging distances with a tangible reminder that someone, somewhere, is thinking of you. The simple act of sending and receiving a postcard rekindles the joy of anticipation and surprise, making it a timeless way to connect with loved ones.

In this article, we dive into the art of postcard writing, share tips for crafting the perfect message and uncover the timeless appeal of these small yet significant tokens of connection.

Key takeaways

  • Learn how to choose the best postcard, whether it’s for a friend or a customer.
  • Explore different options for creating your own postcard, if none on the postcard stand caught your eye or represent your brand.
  • Understand how to fill out a postcard, including your message, the address and the stamp.
  • Discover postcard do’s and don’ts.

Choosing a postcard 

Are you on holiday hunting for the perfect card for a loved one? Or perhaps you’re a small business owner wanting to add a personal flair to your marketing materials? No matter the occasion, the key to choosing the ideal postcard is keeping the recipient in mind.

For a loved one, think about what makes them happy. What do they enjoy? What brings a smile to their face? It could be inspired by an inside joke or a memory you both cherish.

For small business owners, it’s all about your audience. What design would resonate with them? What would catch their eye and leave a lasting impression? Tailor your postcard to your target audience and make every send-out memorable.

Malibu postcard

Retreat postcard designed by Julia S via 99designs by Vista

Create your own postcard 

So, you’re at the swiveling postcard stand, and nothing seems to be sparking inspiration. Don’t worry! Who says you can’t just create your own postcard? 

Draw your own postcard

Grab some card stock and let your creativity flow. As long as it’s the right size and weight, and the writing is legible, your handmade postcard will make its way to the recipient just like any store-bought one. You could sketch a beautiful landscape inspired by your travels or draw something quirky that reminds you of the person you’re sending it to. Personal touches like these make your postcard truly special and memorable.

The standard size for postcard varies per location:

  • United States, 4 x 6 inches
  • Europe, A6 or 105 x 148 mm 
  • Japan and China, 100 x 148 mm 
  • Australia, 4 x 6 inches
  • South America, 4 x 6 inches
  • Africa, 4 x 6 inches

Design your own postcard

If you’re a small business owner, why not take advantage of digital design tools? Create a custom postcard that reflects your brand and speaks to your audience. Once your design is ready, you can easily upload it to Vistaprint to get professional-quality postcards. This approach allows you to combine your unique vision with high-quality production, ensuring your marketing materials stand out and make a lasting impression.

Las Vegas postcard

Retro-style Las Vegas postcard designed by BohemianSoul via 99designs by Vista

How to fill out a postcard

When writing a postcard, the general rule of thumb is to follow the traditional layout: write the recipient’s address on the right-hand side and your personal message on the left. This simple guideline ensures that postal services can efficiently process and deliver your postcard. By keeping the address clear and legible on the right, you leave plenty of space on the left for your message. 

Add an address 

It might seem obvious, but one of the most crucial steps in sending a postcard is clearly writing the recipient’s address and full name. This ensures your postcard reaches the right person without any hiccups. Be meticulous—double-check that you’ve included the country and postal code. This small detail can make all the difference, especially when sending mail internationally. 

Message ideas 

Not sure what to write for your message? We have some ideas to inspire you:

The classic 

When writing your postcard, embrace the timeless charm of the classic approach. Start by painting a vivid picture of the weather, then sprinkle in concise yet entertaining anecdotes from your holiday adventures. Finally, wrap it all up with heartfelt wishes, sending a piece of your joy and wanderlust to brighten their day. 

The small business owner 

Write a message that speaks directly to your audience while keeping your brand’s vibe alive. For instance, if you’re selling handmade candles, your postcard could share a cozy message about relaxation and self-care, reinforcing your brand’s focus on creating a soothing atmosphere. It’s all about connecting with your customers in a way that feels personal and true to your brand.

The abstract 

Tired of the norm? There’s nothing stopping you from subverting the status quo and creating something truly unique. As long as the address is legible, you have endless possibilities. Skip the traditional message and instead include a drawing, a haiku or even a secret. Imagine the surprise and delight your recipient will feel when they receive a postcard that’s not just a piece of mail, but a personalized work of art or a mysterious, intriguing note. 

Attach a stamp 

For a postcard to make its way down the street or across the world, you need to attach a stamp and drop it in a post box or take it to a post office. The stamp is crucial—it not only covers the postage but can also add an extra touch of personality to your card. Don’t forget to ask if you can choose your stamp! There is often a wide selection of designs to pick from.

For instance, if you’re sending a postcard from a coastal town, you might choose a stamp featuring a picturesque lighthouse or marine life to match your location. During holidays, you can find festive stamps with themes like Christmas trees, Hanukkah menorahs or New Year’s fireworks. If your recipient loves nature, opt for a stamp showcasing beautiful flowers, national parks or wildlife. For art enthusiasts, many postal services offer stamps with famous paintings or cultural icons.

By selecting a stamp that complements your postcard’s theme or reflects the recipient’s interests, you can make your postcard even more special and enjoyable to receive.

Aruba postcard

I heart Aruba postcard designed by aran&xa via 99designs by Vista

Postcard do’s and don’ts 

Do 

Write legibly! If the address is unclear, it could end up on the wrong side of the planet, or if your message is unclear, you could accidentally offend someone. Take a moment to check your words are clear and your handwriting is easily readable—it’s the best way to ensure your postcard brings joy rather than confusion!

It’s not vital, but it’s a nice touch to add the address where you got the postcard to give context to your recipient’s future self. This simple addition can turn your postcard into a cherished memento, evoking memories and emotions associated with that particular moment in time.

Don’t

It might seem obvious, but refrain from adding personal details to your message, as anyone could potentially see it! While postcards are charming to receive in the mail, they lack privacy compared to sealed envelopes.

Leaning Tree Lodge postcard

Leaning tree lodge postcard designed by EDSTER via 99designs by Vista

You’re ready to send your postcard

Despite the ease of digital communication, the timeless charm of a postcard never fails to delight. By using the tips and tricks shared in this article, you can create a heartfelt message that captures the unique, personal touch only a postcard can offer.