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How to Print Postcards at Home

Printing postcards at home is a delightful way to share memories, create personalized invitations, or even design promotional materials for your small business. With the right approach and equipment, you can produce professional-quality postcards without the need for expensive printing services. 

Let's embark on this creative journey together!

Materials You’ll Need to Print Postcards

  • Digital Photos or Designs -  Make sure they're high-resolution to ensure quality printing.
  • Graphic Design Software - Programs like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Canva can help in finalizing your postcard design.
  • Printer - A good quality color printer capable of handling thicker paper.
  • Postcard Paper - Try one of our premium Postcard Papers or preferably a heavier weighted cardstock suitable for postcards. 
  • Cutting Tools -  A paper cutter or scissors for trimming, if not using pre-cut postcard paper.
  • Ruler - For measuring and ensuring straight cuts.

How To Print a Postcard at Home

1. Design Your Postcard

  • Open your chosen graphic design software.
  • Set the dimensions of your canvas to standard postcard size, typically 4x6 inches or 5x7 inches.
  • Import your high-resolution photo or design onto the canvas.
  • Add any text or additional graphics as desired, ensuring they're positioned well and are legible.

2. Prepare to Print

  • Load your printer with the selected postcard paper.
  • Ensure your printer settings are adjusted for the type of paper you're using (e.g., matte, glossy, cardstock) and set to the highest print quality.

3. Print a Test Card

  • Before printing in bulk, print a single postcard to check the colors, clarity, and overall look.
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the design or printer settings based on the test print.

4. Bulk Printing

  • Once satisfied with the test print, print the desired number of postcards.

5. Trim (if necessary)

  • If you're not using pre-cut postcard paper, measure and mark the paper to the correct dimensions.
  • Use your paper cutter or scissors, guided by the ruler, to cut the postcard to size.

What Postcard Specifications Should Be Followed?

When creating and printing postcards, adhering to certain specifications ensures not only visual appeal but also compatibility with postal regulations and a professional finish. Here are the key postcard specifications you should keep in mind:

Dimensions

Standard Size: Typically, postcards measure 4x6 inches or 5x7 inches. These sizes are commonly accepted by postal services without additional postage.

Large or Panoramic: For more design space, consider going larger, but ensure that your chosen size is mailable without extra fees.

Paper Weight and Finish

Weight: Opt for a heavier cardstock, usually between 270-300gsm (grams per square meter). This ensures durability and a quality feel.

See our guide on the preferred postcard weight paper

Finish: Depending on personal preference, you can choose between matte, glossy, or a semi-gloss finish. Remember that glossy finishes might make handwritten messages a bit challenging unless you use a permanent marker.

Bleed and Margins

Bleed: Extend your design slightly beyond the actual size of the postcard (typically an extra 1/8 inch) to avoid unwanted white edges after cutting.

Margins: Keep critical design elements and text at least 1/4 inch away from the edge to ensure they aren't accidentally trimmed.

Design and Color Mode

If you are printing to an inkjet printer, your design must be in RGB mode. If you are sending your design to a printing company, ask them what color space they prefer for artwork,

High-resolution images are crucial. Aim for a resolution of 300dpi (dots per inch) to ensure clarity.

Back Design

Divide the back of the postcard into two sections: the left side for your message and the right side for the recipient's address.

Ensure the right side has ample space for both the address and postage stamp.

Regulations

Before finalizing your postcard, check with your local postal service for any specific regulations or guidelines. Some postal services have restrictions on content, size, or even color that can appear on the address side.

What Are Some Quality Printers for Printing Postcards?

Printing postcards at home or in a professional setting demands a printer that can handle thicker paper, reproduce vivid colors, and offer sharp resolution. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, it's essential to invest in a printer capable of delivering postcards that mirror your design's quality. Here are some top-notch printers renowned for producing outstanding postcard prints:

Canon PIXMA Pro-200

Features: This 8-color dye ink printer boasts a wide color range and is especially adept at reproducing gradients and subtle color shifts.

Best for: Both hobbyists and professionals looking for high-quality photo prints and vibrant graphics.

See our full Canon PIXMA Pro-200 Review

Epson EcoTank ET-8500

Features: A cartridge-free printer with super-high capacity tanks. It ensures lower costs per print and can handle various paper types and sizes.

Best for: Those who print frequently and want to keep long-term costs low.

Canon G620

Features: A cartridge-free printer with super-high capacity tanks. It ensures lower costs per print and can handle various paper types and sizes.

Best for: Those who print frequently and want to keep long-term costs low.

Conclusion

Printing postcards at home is not only cost-effective but also offers a personalized touch to every card you send. With the right materials and a bit of creativity, you can produce beautiful postcards that are sure to impress. Whether you're sharing vacation memories or promoting an event, your custom-made postcards will stand out!

Last updated: January 26, 2024