How to Design a Postcard in Photoshop

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Postcards are a quick and colorful way to keep in touch with your friends, family and acquaintances. The images on a postcard are often the best way to represent the places you've visited and the people you've seen. Although postcards are easily purchased, creating your own postcards gives you the freedom to add a more personal touch to your messages. You can create your own postcards in Photoshop with images already in your collection.

Front

  • Create a new image by clicking on "File," then "New." Change the drop-down boxes from pixels to inches. Change the height to 4 and the width to 6. Change the resolution to 300 pixels/inch.

  • Open the image (or images) you want to use by clicking "File," then "Open." Select your image. Crop the image by choosing the rectangular marquee tool on the left side of your screen. Start on one side of the image and drag your mouse down and across until the image is cropped to your preference. Release your finger from the mouse. Go to "Image" at the top of your screen and select "Crop."

  • Resize the image by clicking "Image" and selecting "Image Size." For a single image postcard, adjust the height to 4 inches and the width to 6 inches. You can also resize the image smaller if you do not want the image to take up the entire postcard. For multiple images, repeat this process, but choose a smaller size for each image. One popular postcard style consists of four equal-sized images in each corner of the postcard.

  • Select the entire image by clicking "Select," then "All." Click on "Edit" and select "Copy." Minimize the image and return to the blank document. Click on "Edit" and select "Paste." Use the move tool on the left side of your screen to move the image around the document. Repeat this process with additional images.

  • Add text to the postcard by clicking on the text tool on the left side of your screen. Select a text color by clicking on the colored rectangle below the toolbox. Move the color slider to choose a color, then click on the color box to change the shade. Click "OK." Change the font and text size by clicking on the drop-down boxes at the top of your screen. Change the anti-aliasing method by clicking on the drop-down box and choosing "Strong" or "Sharp." Never choose "None."

  • Click on the area of the postcard you want to add text to, and type in the desired word or phrase. Use the move tool to adjust the position of the text. Add a border around the text by selecting "Layer," then "Layer Style." Click on "Stroke." Choose "Outside" in the drop-down box labeled "Position." Move the slider to change the size of the stroke. Click on the red rectangle to change the color of the stroke. Click "OK."

  • If you have multiple images, you can create dividers between each. Go to "Layer," then select "New" and "New Layer." Click on the shape tool on the left side of the screen. Choose the line tool at the top of the screen. Adjust the size of the line by going to "Weight" and changing the pixel size. Change the color by clicking on the color box below the toolbox. Click on outer edge of the postcard and drag your mouse to create the line. Release the mouse. Use the move tool to move the line around the postcard. Repeat this process for additional lines.

  • Flatten the image by clicking on "Layer" and "Flatten Image." Save the image by clicking on "File" and then "Save As." Save the image as JPG or PNG for the best quality.

  • Print the postcard by clicking on "File" and "Print."

Back

  • Create a new image by clicking "File," then "New." Change the drop-down boxes from pixels to inches. Use the same height and width as the front of the postcard.

  • Use the line tool to draw a vertical line down the center of the image, leaving a small amount of blank space above and below the line. Use the move tool to drag the line toward the right, dividing the postcard at the two-thirds mark.

  • Use the line tool to draw three horizontal lines on the right side of the postcard. These are the address lines.

  • Flatten the image by clicking on "Layer" and "Flatten Image." Save the image by clicking on "File" and then "Save As." Save the image as JPG or PNG for the best quality.

  • Flip the printed front of the postcard over and feed the paper back into your printer. Print the postcard by clicking on "File" and "Print."

Tips & Warnings

  • Postcards that are only going to be posted online can be a much smaller size. Choose pixels rather than inches and try using 800x600 or 600x400.
  • If you only want to use one image and it is smaller than 4x6 inches, do not resize it larger. The image quality suffers when you enlarge an image. Center the image or use multiple images instead of trying to fill the entire postcard.
  • The back of the postcard is optional. Try drawing lines with a ruler on the back of the postcard instead.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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