Before jumping on the bandwagon that says “postcard printing is the all time best marketing tool”, it is important that you know what postcard printing is all about. There are actually four basic aspects of postcard printing that you need to know and these are the postcard size, paper stock, design file formats and coatings. Each of these aspects of postcard printing has their important role to function in order to ensure that you get the best quality postcards ever.
The postcard size doesn’t necessarily mean that there would be only one standard size to fit all sizes of postcards. It’s because various sizes requires for different postcard printing equipments in fact a slight change in the size of the postcard may have an adverse effect on its price. And so, in order not to be shocked by printing prices afterwards it is smart to get first printing quotes. This way you will be guided on just how much your postcards will costs. Likewise, never hesitate to ask your postcard printing company on the postcard size that work best on their equipment.
There are two aspects of paper stock that you need to be aware of. Paper stocks can either be glossy or matte. If you desire to have your postcards printed in full color you will then be made to choose between a CS2 stock and a C1S stock. CS2 stock has a gloss finish on both sides while the C1S stock has a gloss finish on only one side and its other side having a matte finished. Between these two stocks the C1S was the most popularly used since the ink used in postcard printing doesn’t dry up on the gloss part of the paper stock so they resulted in printing on the matte side of the stock.
But that was a long time ago, nowadays there are already inks that easily dries on glossy stocks. The glossy stocks are far cheaper than the semi-gloss stocks and exude much character on them that’s why it is a much better choice for postcards.
In terms of the design file formats, it is important that you ask your postcard printing company the type they are accepting. Although, there are printing companies that accepts various file formats however there are still some that makes use of only limited types of software and file format in their design creation. And what these companies often do is that they would try to convert your postcard design file into the format that is accepted by their postcard printing equipment. However, there may be some problems that may be encountered during the file conversion. One of the common problems faced involves font defaults and text loss to ensure that no such error occur it is important that your postcard project undergo proofing before finally submitting your postcard design for printing. Or better yet, you may try to save your design file in a PDF format. This way there will be very minimal conversion and manipulation that have to be done in your design file.
The finishing is as important as the first couple of steps in postcard printing. There are two types of postcard finishing or coating and these are UV coating and Aqueous coating. The UV coating provides the postcard with that shiny look and feel. Especially applicable for color images which you may want accentuated. Its drawbacks are in terms of its susceptibility to finger print marks and smears.
The aqueous coating on the other hand provides for minimal shine or gloss and entails for a much faster postcard printing process. The reason for this is that aqueous coatings are quick drying therefore doesn’t hinder the continuous printing process.