Sending a postcard is still one of the most effective ways to get your work seen and tacked to an art director's board. By sending a postcard, at least four times a year (think in terms of one each season), you greatly increase your chances of being viewed.
To help with the process, we have a closed Facebook group called SCBWI-Carolinas Working Illustrator's Network where you will be able to upload your sketches and designs for feedback from others who wish to participate.
Check the bottom of this page for go-to resources and don't forget to join the Facebook group and get valuable feedback from others on the same postcard journey.
Postcard Templates to download:
Design – Make a professional impression the first time.
A postcard is no doubt, your first chance to make a great impression. You want your design and contact information to work together.
You are already a fantastic artist, but if graphic design is not your strong point, let someone help who understand design.
Upload your design to the SCBWI-WIN Facebook group for feedback from others in the group.
Choose Your Print Source.
This challenge uses Templates from Uprinting.com and Vistaprint.com, but other printers will have their same guidelines available to download. Check for promotional offers and hidden file or shipping fees.
Choose Your Postcard Size
This challenge uses a 5” x 7” template, which is larger than the “standard” of 4.25” x 6”. Templates are available for both portrait and landscape design.
Whatever size you choose, make sure you design for the final print size. If not, you might be disappointed with reshuffled results.
Pay Attention to the Printer Specifications (Printer Specs)
Read and understand your printing company’s printing specifications. Each printer has their own specs for dpi, layout, etc. The guidelines from the Vistaprint website are attached for your reference and use. The 5×7 template shows the specific lines for the safe margin and trim lines. They also require your image be CMYK and 300 dpi.
Current Postage (1/2015):
First Class Mail Postcards: 6” x 4.25” are $.34
First Class Mail Large Postcards, up to 11.5” long x 6.125”: are $.39 (Postage for a 5” x 7”)
The point of a postcard is to get people to see your work and contact you. Having your name and website on the front of the card is the bare minimum required. Use the back of your postcard to provide as much contact information as reasonably possible. Include your phone number, email address (on the front or back or both).
Postcards are usually placed on a bulletin board in the office. Print and place your design on your wall and step back 10 paces. If you can’t see your name, than chances are the Art Director or Editor can’t either.
If you want people to contact you, they have to be able to read your information. Pay attention to the design – no ant-sized fonts in tone on tone. Make it big. Make it bold. The USPS will have it’s own restrictions as to where you can print what (see the template from Uprinting.com).
Know Your Market.
Are you designing your postcard to fit your target market? There is no point to market your fluffy and stuffed to modern and plastic. Do your research before mailing.
Once the stamp goes on and it’s in the mail to the world, be patient.
Be persistent. Now is the time to start working on your next promotion for the next quarter!