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.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Campaign Time: Best Political Postcards

It may be a sign of our times, but finding good political postcard designs isn't easy.

There is a wonderful opportunity to make a high-impact statement, when voters are looking through their daily mail.  Yet most politicians seem willing to let this moment pass by.

From a design perspective, most political postcards seem to be a condensed, cobbled version of yardsigns and brochures.

Perhaps politicians should look to creativity of Save the Date wedding postcards for inspiration.

Luckily, there are good political postcard designs out there.  I have found several:

I like the fact that this postcard delivers a message and a magnet to the voter.  It happens to be from our sponsor at magnetbyMail using a modified StockTemplates layout, but it's effective marketing nonetheless:

The Mitt Romney campaign keeps the focus on a single issue.  That's good, because you can count on about two seconds to get your main point across on a postcard:

Some of the most effective political postcard designs aren't from the candidates themselves.  Grassroots politics is an opportunity for some designers who are creating postcards to sell to supporters.

Here is a Bernie Sanders card available through Cafe Press.  So if you like Sanders you can buy a pack of eight postcards, and help get the word out to your own personal mailing list:

And just to show that you don't have to run for President to have a sharp, well-designed political postcard, check out designer Brad Thomas's card for New Haven's mayoral campaign:
Finally, consider the fact that postcards are, ultimately, little posters.  Remembering the mantra of a poster designer -- short, sweet, yet bold  -- is sage advise for a designer of political postcards.

Here's a design from the Ron Paul Swag store for a full-sized Ron Paul poster.  It's a slam-dunk postcard design as well:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Have Postcard; Will Travel.

I like what I'm seeing from designer Jerry Hernandez.

Here, he's come up with a postcard design (and poster) as part of a school Travel Abroad project, and makes good use of color and balance to help tell his story.  It's all very compelling.

I expect we'll see more good stuff from Jerry in the years ahead.

The postcard--

The poster--

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Posted: Branden's Graphic Journey

Designer Braden Wise developed a series of twenty-five postcard designs inspired by his move from the American Midwest to California.  They are crafted with vintage typography style and capture the feeling of California's golden age along with lots of tongue-in-cheek whimsy. This is a great combination of classic and contemporary, retro and trendy.

Here are five from the series.  Be sure to see the full series that Braden designed at