Types of postcards on a table

Postcard size guide

When it comes to marketing, there are lots of items you could add to your tool kit – business cards, flyers, posters – but if you’re looking for one item that does it all, you really can’t go past a postcard. From mailers to street marketing and package inserts, the humble postcard is one versatile marketing superstar.

There’s lots to consider when choosing your postcard – content, colors, fonts and finishes – but your postcard dimensions and postcard size can also play a part in your design. We’re here to give you the lowdown, answer all your questions about postcard sizes – the standard postcard size, postcard size in inches for different postcard dimensions, and everything in between.

What size is a postcard?

If you were to ask us, “What’s the size of a postcard?” we wouldn’t have a quick answer. That’s because the dimensions of postcards can vary based on the vibe you’re aiming for, the image you intend to use, and the purpose behind creating the postcard.

Ultimately, there are no rigid boundaries here. Postcards come in all shapes and sizes, and you can feel free to choose the postcard size that appeals to you.

However, some postcard dimensions are more popular than others. The standard postcard size in the US is 4″ x 6″. These fit in most envelopes and mailboxes, making them an ideal choice for multiple uses.

  • The standard postcard size in inches: 4″ x 6″
  • The standard postcard size in mm: 102mm x 152mm
  • The standard postcard size in pixels: If you’re adding non-vector designs, ensure they’re at least 591 x 399 pixels with a resolution of 96 dpi, or optimally sized at 1847 x 1247 pixels with a resolution of 300 dpi.

Why is 4″ x 6″ the standard postcard size for businesses?

To get those lower postcard rates from the U.S. Postal Service, your postcard needs to fit their size rules. Keep it rectangular, no funky shapes allowed. Your postcard should be at least 3.5” x 5 inches and 0.007” thick. And don’t go over 4.25” x 6” and 0.016” thick. If your mailer doesn’t match these postcard dimensions, it’s treated as a letter, and you’ll be paying letter-size postage.

That’s why going for a 4” x 6” size for marketing postcards makes sense – it hits the mark for those low postcard rates, unlike the bigger options.

Postcard sizes available on the Vista website

If you’re not planning to send your postcards through the mail, there’s no reason you can’t consider different postcard dimensions.

With the help of Vista services, you have the option to print postcards in the following sizes:

  • 4″ x 6″ (the standard postcard size)
  • 4.2″ x 5.5″
  • 5″ x 7″
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • 6″ x 9″
  • 6″ x 11″

Design guidelines

We’ve got thousands of templates you can pick from to create your postcard – thanks to our amazing designers. But you can upload your own design, too. It’s as simple as selecting an image or file on your computer, but here are some important guidelines to keep in mind.

Print guidelines for postcards

Bleed Area:

  • Top: 0.15 inches
  • Right: 0.15 inches
  • Bottom: 0.15 inches
  • Left: 0.15 inches

If you’ve got a background color or pattern, make sure it extends a bit beyond the actual size of the postcard. That way, you’ll never end up with white borders, even if the cards are cut slightly off center.

Safety Margin:

  • Top: 0.15 inches
  • Right: 0.15 inches
  • Bottom: 0.15 inches
  • Left: 0.15 inches

You probably have any important text or design elements within this area, which isn’t much smaller than the actual size of the postcard. To guarantee nothing gets cut off, keep everything inside this box.

Note: These measurements are applicable to both our standard postcard size (4″ x 6″) and other postcard dimensions available on the Vista site. To learn more information, you can always check the details on our postcard product page.

More postcard design tips

Now that you’ve got your postcard dimensions down pat, here are some other things to consider when designing.

  1. Keep your design simple. Postcards are relatively small, so a lot of complicated information can overwhelm people when reading. Identify the top few things you want a customer to know, and then focus on those points. Including a strong call to action – visiting your website, following you on social, leaving a review – gives people a way to learn more once they’ve become interested in what you have to say.
  2. Stand out with photography or a logo. Odds are good that your postcard will be competing for attention with other promotional pieces – in a letterbox, on a notice board or at markets. Bold colours, a high-quality image or your logo can help your postcard get noticed.
  3. Think dual-purpose. Make your postcard work twice as hard for you. Use the reverse side for appointment reminders, loyalty stamps or as a blank canvas to showcase something about your business.
  4. Elevate with a special finish or paper. Cotton paper has a natural texture that’s best for elegant, crisp designs; our glossy stock really lets images pop and indestructible plastic is a great option for outdoor or heavy-duty use.
  5. Create a consistent look. It’s easy to use your font choice, logo and colours to create a matching business look across other marketing products, like business cards, signage and more. With a few matching products, you’re well on your way to establishing a recognisable, professional brand.
marketing materials

Postcard marketing ideas for all postcard sizes

Now that you’ve designed your perfect postcard, it’s time to put it to work. Here are our top marketing ideas:

  1. Voucher cards. Add a stamp or punch-hole to your design and reward regulars for their loyalty.
  2. Appointment reminders. Hand out a postcard after every appointment to encourage customers to use your services again.
  3. Offers and promos. Have a sale or special deal? Spread the word with a compact postcard. Pass out on the street or pop into local mailboxes.
  4. Event announcements. Planning a special do or grand opening? Make your postcard a promo vehicle and an invite.
  5. Package inserts. A postcard in every box and parcelis a great way to reinforce your brand identity. Ask customers to leave a review, encourage them to follow you on social media or tell your brand story.
postcard size guide