Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stock Postcard Design Templates

A breath of fresh air has made its way to the land of stock postcard templates.  Just take a look at the consistently good designs offered by the folks at Inkd.

At Inkd, there are dozens of designs from which to choose, in a wide range of themes.  No longer are you limited to second-rate themes that appear a bit corny or trite.

Best of all, the design work is very good.

Michelle Tippett' s Capital Investments Corporate Postcard at Inkd:

The Inkd Team's Dry Cleaners Postcard Template:

Nino's  Plumbing Service Postcard  at Inkd:

Jalene Hernandez' s Cheery Home Cleaning Postcard  at Inkd:

aarongrieve19's Playful Culinary Services Postcard Template  at Inkd:

Jenna Ebanks'  Kayak Rental Postcard Template  at Inkd:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good Design to Kickstart the Economy

It all starts here, with a blank sheet and an idea.

Good design helps engage the reader. It should not only get the attention of their mind, but it should help involve them emotionally.

A good design has the power to do great things.  It can draw attention to important issues, promote a point of view, recruit people to promote change, and yes, can help get an economy rolling again.

That's what went through my mind when I came across designer Jacqueline Rivera's recent postcard design to promote green jobs for the California Construction Academy.

It also made me think that the path to a vibrant economy starts with fresh thinking and thousands of micro projects like this.   I 'd like to thank Jacqueline for letting me see that.

Here's the postcard design from Jacqueline Rivera for the California Construction Academy at UCLA:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Doing Good with Postcards

Who says you can't change the world with a postcard?

The folks at Joshua One Six are a collaborative of designers who do advocacy using their communication and branding expertise.  Call them designers -- or storytellers.   Either way, they're great at using quality photography, type and other design tools to help convey their message, on everything from websites to postcards.

Their postcard designs below are used to help raise awareness, and money, for a primary school in Kenya and the non-profit group Love By Action :

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kudos: Stacey Herr

This week, I'd like to call attention to the work of designer Stacey Herr.

Stacey's postcard design, to promote a 5K fund raiser at a local church, was spot on.

She uses 1) a compelling image and 2) simple copy to draw the eye and tell the story.

Postcards are like miniature billboards.  And designers who understand that will consistently develop winners.

Nice work, Stacey!

Monday, May 21, 2012

10 Ideas for Alumni Invitations

There can be a lot riding on an alumni postcard design. Having effective reunion invitations can make or break a milestone event.

Like in most design, to be effective you need to focus on a few core things: the audience you're trying to reach, the message you must give, and an action you'd like as a result.

We've collected a range of designs, from traditional to modern, to show how alumni groups have attacked this challenge.

Westminster College alumni postcard invitations:

McMaster Alumni Association postcard design by Valerie Kozina:

The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law alumni announcement:

Albany Law School Reunion Weekend postcard:

UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Day postcard:

University of Virginia Black Alumni Weekend postcard:
A bold, graphic approach for an alumni invitation from Artpace:

A colorful. yesteryear graphic for the Connecticut College save the date, from designer Brandon W Mosley:

A traditional reunion postcard for Ohio State University Moritz College of Law from designer Andrea Reinaker:

A colorful. graphic reunion postcard à la Andy Warhol from designer Thomas Haus for Wellesley College:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

ThoughtWorks Re-discovers Postcards

The ad universe is blowing apart, right?  Social media and web design is so different from old media like billboards and postcards, right?

This week, I came upon the website for ThoughtWorks, an 'atypical' software firm that shows how the same design principles that work for postcards, can work for a web page.

Take a look at the site's eight banners that scroll across the homepage.

Each banner is tasked with calling attention to an issue, and piquing your interest to find out more.  Each banner is, essentially, a postcard.

I was so impressed with the quality, and the diversity of the concepts, I added some drop shadow and present them to you here, as postcards.  (They may not be postcards, per se; but they certainly are their progeny.)

For a postcard designer, they certainly are inspirational.

Technology Radar discussion of tech trends
from ThoughtWorks:

Building Suncorp's Continuous Delivery Initiative
from ThoughtWorks:

Creating Which? Cellphone Comparison Website
from ThoughtWorks:

Developing Competitive Advantage for McClaren
from ThoughtWorks:

Joint marketing website for Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
from ThoughtWorks:

Mobile Health for Women
from ThoughtWorks:

One-day training for Amazon Web Services
from ThoughtWorks:

Working with Rackspace Hosting
from ThoughtWorks:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Farmers Market Postcard Designs

If you want to see the ultimate grassroots marketing in action, look at your local farmers market postcard campaign.

Postcards make a lot of sense for these organizations since they're affordable, they reach a targeted audience and yes, they can convey a concise message through a well-crafted design.

There are plenty of Farmers Market postcard designs out there.  The ones I'm drawn to are those that convey the excitement of the outdoor market, show the diversity of fresh produce and local foods, and remind me of the joys of participating in a community outing.

Here are some of the best Farmers Market postcards I've recently come upon:

Carrboro Farmers' Market (design by Courtney Smith):

Farmers Market Postcard design
Postcard Magnets (that's a postcard with a magnet attached)
sampler from

postcard mailer for farmers market

The classic 'wish you were here' look
Sprouts Farmers Market (Eastlake):
Farmers Market Postcard design for Sprouts Eastlake

Vintage look for Omaha Farmers Market (design by Nicholas Burroughs):

Farmers Market Postcard design for Omaha

The wonders of color from the Village of Richfield, Ohio:

Farmers Market Postcard design for Richfield Village

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Invites and Postcard Designs

OK, call me a sucker but show me a clean, bold, simple design and, voila, I'm in love.

Have a look at designer Michelle Bersani's work for Performance Harley-Davidson open house postcards.

It grabs your attention.  It's easy to understand.  It includes the look and feel of the classic Harley branding.

And in a world where you have less than ten seconds to make your point, it does that with time to spare.

Love it!

Performance Harley-Davidson invites from designer Michelle Bersani:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Job Training Program Postcard

So you need to design a postcard that will create interest in your school's job training program.

What do you do?

Well, if you're like most.  You fill it with lots of pictures of smiling students and colorful campuses.

On the other hand, you could stand out from the pack and create a design that is serious and professional.

Designer Tim Scheman uses a monochrome blue palette, lots of bullet points and thoughtful graphics for recruiting students to the Met Center at St Louis Community College.

I think the postcard design works because those who are interested in job training programs are likely to be serious themselves -- not looking for glitz and frills.  The no-nonsense design conveys a "we're here to learn" message.

College Job Training Program postcard design by Tim Scheman:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Postcards and the Psychology of Color in Marketing

It only makes sense that color has an impact on a design.

Someone looking at the psychological impact of color in marketing just needs to look at the roots: nature has used color to attract pollinators and distract attackers for, well, a very long time.

Sure, there is a lot that effects what we think when we look at a postcard design, but of all the cues we consider, color can be one of the strongest.

As noted in KISSmetrics, retailers in North America (yes, location matters) use colors to convey messages to their customers:
  • red conveys 'energy'
  • blue conveys 'security'
  • orange conveys 'aggressive'
  • pink conveys 'romantic and feminine'
  • green conveys 'wealth' (or 'earth friendly'?)
  • black conveys 'powerful and sleek'
There's even an inter-industry association -- the Color Marketing Group -- that works on forecasting international color trends. Their slogan is says it all:  "Color Sells... and the 'Right' Colors Sell Better! "

Since a color choice could impact response, there's a lot riding on selecting the appropriate color for your postcard design.

Up and coming designer Alex Masica explores the 'color in advertising' issue with a set of dramatic 'sunburst' postcards designed to promote his full-service design house.

His postcards, in green, red, purple and blue, each state the same message.

Or do they?

Postcard Design in Green:

Postcard Design in Red:

Postcard Design in Purple:

Postcard Design in Blue:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rule No. 1 for Good Postcard Design

Nearly every time I hear there are rules for designing postcards, I discover that these rules can be broken.

That said, there are a few rules that you probably don't want to mess with.  Here is #1:

The designer needs to make a connection with the audience he/she intends to reach.  

This basically boils down to: "you need to understand who you're speaking to, before you speak."

Take a look at a series of postcard designs created for Poler.  Poler makes outdoor gear for outdoor people -- not the outdoor type who wants to conquer the world, but for those who like enjoying the adventure.

So photographer Benji Wagner and artist Nicole Lavelle created a promotional postcard series which reflects that.

The cards were printed by Print Pinball on a thick, uncoated duplex paper that's white on one side and chipboard on the other.

There's no high gloss printing and no high impact sales pitch.  Just a reminder of what any Poler customer can appreciate: that it's good to be outdoors.

Poler Postcard 1: Climb a Tree... Go Outside

Poler Postcard 2: I Feel Best When...

Poler Postcard 3: Morning Fog...

Poler Postcard 4: Afternoon Sun...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine Postcards to Make A Message

We can all take a lesson from Valentine's Day.

The purpose of a Valentines postcard design is to grab attention, and say what you want to say in a very convincing way.

It's really the same purpose for most postcard designs.  But at Valentine's Day, there's more on the line.

The Valentines postcard designs we highlight here are all effective for several reasons.  They all make a bold, dramatic statement visually.  They stay on message.  And they all take advantage of the medium -- the card itself -- to convey a message that is fresh, authentic, and yes, heartfelt.

The postcards designs are expressed simply, like the Valentine postcard you make yourself.  But don't try this at home, unless you're skilled with wooden type, die cutting and letterpress.

Many of these Valentines postcards are each a product of a skilled, precious craft, that we all need to preserve:

A set of Valentine postcards by b.impressed at the felt & wire shop. The XO design is printed on light pink paper with traditional letterpress.

Normally, the Post Office doesn't like odd shapes stuck onto the mail it processes.  So Danielle Goates turns her non-compliant design into a photograph, and that becomes the postcard.  Her studio is sundayHatch on Etsy.


A set of six Valentines cards from Colette at Rawart Letterpress on Etsy.  Big and bold are what postcards are all about.  And nothing is bigger and bolder than what comes from a letterpress.


Not sure how well this would hold up without an envelope, but I love the concept!:  two red hearts crocheted and applied to a postcard.  They're from Isamo Crochet on Lovely Clusters.


And if you're the kind of person who prefers live Christmas trees (so you can re-plant them later), consider the Valentines postcard designed by Anne Passo and available at lovi at merchant4 . The card becomes a small crafts project with 'some assembly required:'  the balsa pieces pop out and a heart is formed.

A set of Valentine postcards by Sarah Parrott Bianculli at the Parrot Design Studio on Etsy. The Hugs and Kisses design is printed with sheer white ink on recycled A2 chipboard. Very simple, and straight from the heart.