Postcard etiquette- Writing Addresses

I got some postcards printed but I’m afraid they gave the address lines on the left hand side instead of the right hand side. Won’t the sorting machines lose my cards if I were to write the addresses on the left?
Should I instead write the address on manually drawn lines on the right and the message in the box on the left?


I received cards with addresses in all kinds of places! Sometimes, it is even in the middle of the card, surrounded on all sides by text and stamps. I think as long as the address is legible, it will arrive eventually, but it might take a bit longer if it is not machine-readable.
Different countries and different postal services have different regulations how to write and send postcards, too. How about you ask at your post office? What isn’t okay to send in my country, might be okay in yours and vice versa. But once the card is in a different country, it will be forwarded, whether the card conforms to the local standards or not, as far as I know.

That is always a possibility, too. :slight_smile:

If I was in your place, I would probably just use the preprinted lines for the address, laugh about how evil I am to my postal service :smiling_imp: and how sad for the printing service that they didn’t even manage to put the address lines on the correct side, not to mention the ridiculous amount of space they reserved for the address :joy: – and write the tiny rest of the card full with tiny handwriting :writing_hand: (probably about how funny I find the back of this postcard)



Can you flip it so that the address lines are on the right? The little square would then be on the down left corner, and I would write the card id there.


Imho, to use the lines for the text and the empty space for the adress might be the best solution. The place above the boxed lines you could use for ID and your hello and weather and stuff, or for stickers.

Speaking as a distributioncentre-worker, sorting machines are not easy to understand. Some letters are read perfectly fine, the next day it’s a big drama. But every sorting centre has staff for handsorting letters/cards the machines can’t read, so if at all your card would face only a small bit of delay.
There might even be an advantage of hand-sorting: you spare your cards the machines, which can be cruel esp. to cards sometimes.

Please everybody avoid (lots of) non-postal-code-numbers near the bottoms of your cards (and also near the adress, btw). They can be mistaken for the postal-code, forcing your cards to take unwelcome detours.

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Some Finnish postcard have the EAN code there, at the bottom of the card, and some kind of card number as well, and I don’t always cover them. Postal worker here told, that if there is no country name next to it, it most likely will do no harm. Of course, he can’t be sure about other countries system.
Normally I write the id number under the date, and then to one side of the card, or to the bottom of message side. I try not to put it on the address side, and then just hope for the best.
But, good point though :+1:.

Can’t you just flip the card over?
After all it’s the writer of a postcard who gets to decide which side is up, down, left and right…
Myself I often ignore the printed lines. Many storebought Polish postcards are not divided in half for text and address, but have 2/3 of the card assigned for the address and only 1/3 for text. That actually does make sense, as the “normal” thing people here do is to just write some short greetings - like “Best wishes from Cracow from your old friend X!”. BUT as I like to write a bit more, I simply switch the card round, write my text in the space assigned for the address and put the address and stamps on the part for the text :wink:


The huge majority is most likely sorted correctly - it’s the occasional surprises that surprise me regularly (my already mentioned fave example: machine reading four numbers out of a 12-digit-ordering-code as postal code)

But, in the end, cards are most likely to arrive, in the end.


Yes, I hope so at least.
And actually I like the weird roads the postcard might take, but maybe not so much if someone is getting a card from me.
But sometimes, everything is correct and the card is still missent.

And, some postcards have the place address in the bottom of the card, I wonder if any of these cards were ever sent there :smiley: !

This community is so helpful, thanks for your prompt responses! I finally decided to go ahead with this approach; converting the box on left for text and writing address on the blank on the right.


I would return the cards to the printshop and want my money back!


Knowing myself I would get annoyed every time I write that kind of card.
(Also why I find it hard to order online, if I don’t see the writing side, or don’t get to feel if it’s glossy or not.)

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