How does one design & make postcards for a meetup?

My son and I started Postcrossing back in October. He loves it! However I would love to have a meetup near where I live and am looking into things such as designing and creating a postcard. Of course I want to use the Postcrossing logo and have the kit and follow guidelines. How do you design and make your postcards? How do you use images? Get images? Unless it is a picture you take?
Thanks in advance. -Adam

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Hi Adam

I use canva.com to design my cards. You can upload the logo and any photos/artwork you want to use, and you can use their free graphics as well.

For any artwork you upload, make sure you own the copyright or have permission to us it.

You can find free photos to download at websites like pexels.com However, the selection is often pretty limited (most of these free sites seem to be owned by the big image libraries, and they’re trying to upsell people to buying stock photos).

Also search photo sites like flickr and check the licence for each photo (you can filter your search to photos that available to use).

And if you find a photo on a website you’d like to use, you can always try contacting the website to ask for permission - I wouldn’t try this with a business, or a professional photographer or artist, but a tourism website gave me permission to use a photo once.

Canva looks a little overwhelming when you start but it’s easy to use once you get going. In the top right, click on Create a Design, then choose postcard - this will give you the right size for your final work. Then, on the right hand panel, upload any artwork you want to use, or search their backgrounds, artwork, etc. Then just play around until you get what you want.

Some things are restricted to paying users, but the free version is fine for meet up cards.

Have fun!

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At first I would recommend to look for a printing company as you need to know how large your postcard image needs to be (it might get cut after printing). Some services even have online tools for designing which is often easier to handle for beginners, but are more limited than designing with any software. If you design it in any software keep in mind resolutions (300 DPI is the minimum for printing, else it will look a bit pixelated or blurry). And most printing companies will ask for pictures being saved in specific colour ranges (CMYK instead of RGB).
A nice free to use tool would be Photopea. It’s browser based and don’t need to be downloaded or installed. It is very similar to Photoshop, so looking for PS Tutorials is a great choice when you need help.

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I actually did my last ones in PowerPoint, then exported to PDF to upload. :slight_smile:

You just have to adjust the page size to the format you thought of printing, 4x6 or 5x7 … I used my own pictures or those licensed under CC. The postcrossing logo is in the design kit.

And as Cassiopheia just wrote, many printing services have the option to design online, but you still need pics and other files to import to your design …

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I’ve ordered meetup postcards from Vistaprint, and used their tool to create the postcard. And I’ve only used photos I’ve taken myself.

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You have some useful tipps already, here are my thoughts:

  • local print/copyshop (I assume Columbus has a college, so there should be some around campus). (supports local economy and jobs)
  • depending on your skills and ideas, there are many software solutions around. Even basic MS-word has advanced with layouting/design, or MS-paint, or LibreOffice or gimp (or of course pro-software like Indesign or photoshop)
  • photos/pictures: there’s always the option to take some good ones yourself. That also offers the chance to show/tell something very unique/personal about your city/area. It’s not the most usual way, but I’ve seen it already, so why not go all-in and let your son create/draw the image (I admitt that for some users that might be too hand-made)
  • if you can’t/won’t make the photo/s yourself, you also could ask your city’s tourism or marketing office - I assume they are open for such free publicity (and they usually have stock images for the press and agencies anyway)

Have fun and welcome to postcrossing.

(As for meetups, there is a separate discussion with helpful advice around location and ‘programme’ in the general meetup chapter; also some seasoned postcrossers in your area might have some useful info (and also interest in attending)

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Thank you for all the responses and helpful advice everyone!

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If I want an illustration, I have an artist friend who I commission to design those.
I also like designing postcards for meetups in the “Greetings from” style, if you would like something similar to these, I will happily volunteer to design one for your state and add all of the relevant meetup info for free!

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Please keep in mind, that the original designer of the Greetings from… cards is not happy about when other peole copy her idea.

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Fair enough, but there’s nothing inherently proprietary about them, It’s just using the Amatic SC font, it’s not like it’s the designer’s own handwriting that is trademarked like the Coca Cola logo is or anything. If the original designer produced designs for every country and every US state, I’d be purchasing them, but until then, I will design my own similar cards. As the saying goes, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!