HOW TO DESIGN A POSTCARD
You may have wanted to send a postcard to the family or friends while out on a vacation. It could have been a simple hi or an elaborate marketing tool. Good thing is that you don’t even need to be a skilled graphics designer to create a captivating postcard. You can create your own postcard with just a sufficient level of creativity in three simple steps.
Step 1: Get free postcard templates
The first thing to do is to download a postcard template which often comes in two types: layout and design. The free design templates give you more creative freedom because they lack a design element and comes in the best color mode, size and resolution for your postcards. They also come with guidelines on how to position your custom design.
Free postcard template designs give you less creative freedom and may not be properly formatted depending on where you obtain them. Design templates are already designed for the purpose and only require you to swap the content into the required place. Their convenience comes at a cost of creativity. Anyway, you should download the templates to create professional postcards without incurring the costs that come with the professional designer.
Step 2: Customizing the design
Once you obtain free postcard designs, you embark on the creating your postcard design. Begin swapping the text and photos if you have design templates. Having a layout template is a great opportunity to excel entirely with a custom look. You can obtain stock photos, clip arts, symbols, borders and other graphics from the internet to finish up your custom design. It is recommended that you use personal photos on your postcards. In case the postcard is meant for your business, ensure that the pictures on the postcard depict what your business is offering such as the products and services at hand. Your clients will be impressed if it looks that way. Another trick involves adding a humorous point that has something to do with the service or product you’re offering, an incentive, a hook or any other call to action. Be sure to use contrasting colors but limit them to just 2 or 3. The maximum fonts you need to use should be two to keep the postcard simple. There are no clear limits on what you should do but one postcard will for sure look better than others. Therefore, you have all the freedom to experiment with different filters, colors, and layouts to get a perfect look.
Step 3: Printing the postcards
After design and customization, you can now proceed to upload the postcard to the postcard printing company, enter your printing preferences and order a preliminary printout that will help you double check for errors, typos and other things that may require changes. If everything is Ok, you can order the final prints. Once approved, the company will print them and send them to you using your convenient delivery option.
Creating a design process before starting any project will guarantee satisfactory results for you and your clients.
Your role as a designer is to help your customer sell their products and services. Your aim is to make the viewers of the postcard understand the message put across by your client and reap sales as a result. It is good to always have your system readily set to ensure speed and create an organized outlook regardless of whether you are a web designer, programmer, graphic designer o otherwise.
1. Initiating the project
Accumulating all the information you need should be a priority during the design process. You can achieve this by skyping the client, meeting face-to-face or using a questionnaire. It is the information gathering process when you get to understand your client’s objectives which are essential in helping you in narrowing down to finer details that you can include on the postcard. This process looks tedious but it has the following benefits:
. It helps the client understand what they need from the project
. It is your reference point for your project
. The design brief tends to have a variety of topics but here are examples of excellent starting points:
. The corporate profile – the summary of what the business entails
. Market position – a product/service evaluation in relation to completion posed
. Communication task – the “message” in the message and the means it is being conveyed including taglines, photography etc.
. Target market – the demographics – an outlook involving the age, gender, geography, lifestyles, employment, income etc of the customers targeted.
. Objectives – the results that are desired by the client
. Schedule/deadline – a plan dictating the procession of the project
It is reasonable to request a deposit that covers the project’s first half.
In this step, you embark on the project after meeting the client and understating the tasks s/he wants to be executed. Review the material presented to you and begin your research thereafter. You will have to put into consideration such factors as competitors, product/service differentiators, market trends, the future and the past history of the business. This stage is too much involving but it is worth the effort. There is nothing disappointing like designing captivating logo only to realize that it is already in use elsewhere.
The strategy can vary widely depending on the project’s scale. It is highly recommended to lay out a strategy before writing anything. Strategizing is a great opportunity to analyze and evaluate the research completed and deciding on functionality and design criteria.
A strategy can involve a simple theme portrayed across the marketing material. Before taking a creative direction, it is important to take the strategy to the client to approve or disapprove it.
During the development stage, you embark on creating preliminary design concepts that are based on the strategy developed in the previous stage. Here is a list of the most effective development concepts:
. Mind mapping – a diagram portraying ideas, tasks, and words contained in your central idea. It endorses brainstorming during planning and organizing activities.
. Storyboarding – serves to pre-visualize an animation or motion picture by organizing illustrations in a sequence
. Free writing – The process of putting your ideas on paper and expounding on them later.
. Layout creation – sketching the layouts from various inspirations in various combinations until an appropriate direction is reached
You can create a variety of different concepts using the above methods. You will have to pick just one option from as many different options as possible.
5. Refinement or presentation
Create a pdf of the prototypes and present them to the client. The client will return the feedback directing you how to proceed based on audience and objectives. At this stage, the designer is expected to make changes on the designs as per the request from the client and add last minute touches.
6. Production and launch
Once the design ahs has been approved, the designer implements the project, which may involve both web and print. The materials can be handed to a third-party depending on the media or the project which includes;
– Media outlet
– Launched on the internet
This is the last stage of development where the finished project is handed to a satisfied customer. You can now proceed to submit the invoice.
The solid step by step design process of finishing a design project helps you in cultivating a close relationship with the client and removing the guesswork from the whole process. The client ends up with a memorable product as well.