How do you format your postcard messages?

When I receive postcards, there are a lot of things I like to examine about it aside from the picture side, the stamps, or the message contents. One thing I find fascinating is the formatting of the message. When I write a postcard, most of the time I follow the traditional formatting of the message on the left hand side and the stamps and address on the right hand side. However, I’ve received postcards with all sorts of formatting.

So my question is: How do you format your postcard messages? Is it one of the formats shown below or something totally different? Is there a particular reason why you chose that format?

  1. Message on left, stamp upper right, address lower right

  2. Message written sideways, stamp and address on the right

  3. Message on the right, stamp and address on the left

  4. Message written diagonally or in another unconventional direction

  5. Message on the left, stamp on bottom right, address written sideways

  6. Stamp and address on top, message on bottom

  7. Stamp on top, message in middle, address on bottom

  8. The drawing is the message


No. 2, though I have the messages the other way around. I think I’ve just always done it that way, since I wrote cards to people from holidays. I can’t say I’m certain about this, but I think on tourist cards the image text is often written what becomes above my text, usually with a line separating the two spaces, like you have. So, it just came naturally to follow on what they started.

1 Like

No. 1 with an airmail sticker in the left corner, ID under that and date. Washi tape along the bottom and I usually use about 4 stamps. Stickers in any gaps.

Oh…and I actually live in Middle Earth :wink: Mt Doom is not far from here.


I got with option 1. I’m in the US, and the machine sorting of postcards requires that addresses be written horizontally along the long axis. I don’t think I’ve ever received a card with the address written on the left. There is an extra charge if addresses are not written horizontally, and the cards get lost more easily and take longer to arrive.

I have received cards that are written vertically–this tends to be from Asian countries. In this case I’ve seen addresses on both the top and bottom.


Usually it is a combination of 1 and 8, or 6 and 8 for me because I enjoy drawing. So I will usually draw and write some messages. Or if I just don’t know what to share, I will just draw.

1 Like

No 1. is my normal choice. It is sort of a standard here. However, the shape of the card can affect. For example, when I wrote on a card that was 10,5 × 25,5 cm, it felt most natural and more readable to write sideways (no.2, although I started writing from the middleline). Or if there is a lot of text or unusual design on the backside, that can affect. I still try to maintain the standard address and stamp format, so it is not confusing for the mail services.


Mine is like #2 example, except the message is the other way (like @borealis said). My reasoning is because:

  1. I find this is the best way to ensure I don’t smear the ink on the address side.
  2. I also find middle area to be a nice safe spot for the ID# to be written.
  3. The USA puts a barcode on the bottom of the postcard, so we are supposed to leave it blank (even though sometimes I write there anyways, and they just add a removable sticker with the barcode instead).

    But sometimes I will format like example #1 if the postcard back has a lot of other text already printed on it (describing the front image).

I sent about 90% of my cards as #1, 9% #2 (as previously stated, writing from the middle outward) and 1% #4 if the card or stamp/sticker placement or whatever inspires me to do so.

1 Like

1 occasionally 4

1 Like

1 or 8.

Address not parallel to the long side = surcharge in the US, and I feel weird when you can’t read both the address and the message at the same time. (Yes, I realize I don’t need to read my own address.)

I don’t know what the rules for addressing things are here, but I’m not going to chance it yet.


Mostly number 1, but currently exploring ways to write postcard creatively (?) (idk if it is creative) so sometimes number 4, 6, 7, 8. When I want to write a lot on the back side, I think I can manage the space for writing better if I write like in number 6. When I run out of ideas what to write, I use number 8 to draw illustration or put stickers and write something short in small space. When I choose chaos (LOL not literally chaos tho), I write it like number 4 or 7.

1 Like

Number 1 is how I do, thought now that I know about the number 4 I am really intrigued by it. I would be willing to just draw instead of write, but so far I haven’t really got profiles that have seemed to be open for drawing messages. Maybe if I figure out some great way to deliver the messages by my doodlings.


I always put the stamp in the upper righthand corner and the address underneath because I’m afraid of confusing the sorting machines if I do it differently.

The positioning of the text varies; I love decorating with washi-tape stickers and sometimes even little drawings and then I fit the text around that.

There is a tag that asks specifically for only a drawing on the back and no text, so if you feel adventurous you might want to try that! :slight_smile:


I don’t do tags, but good tip for anybody else who has been waiting for chance to draw!

1 Like

Example 1 on standard postcards. For some of the Paperchase cards which have no guide for where to place the address, then its more likely example 6. I usually turn those ones around and around to find the best way to lay it out and they are smaller than a standard tourist card so not much room for any embellishments.

1 Like

Mostly 1 because that’s how the backside of a postcard looks like in my country.
Sometimes it looks like 6 for vertical card.
I just follow how the backside looks like.

1 Like

Usually I go with No. 1. But sometimes, I do variations of 2, 4 and 8. Would be boring otherwise, no? :smiley: Sometimes, I even write in a spiral!

(I am sorry @recipient who has to decipher my writing…)


No. 1, it would never have crossed my mind to do it differently :sweat_smile: I didn’t even know it was allowed to put the address and stamp anywhere else. Maybe I’ll try a different format next time!

1 Like

Oh that’s true, I forgot about the spiral!! That is a fun option too.

Another number 2 here. But I never know where is the best place for the ID.

1 Like