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Postcard Printing: 6 Important Lessons You Need to Know

Postcard printing: 6 important lessons you need to know

Postcards are a highly effective form of direct mail that can introduce your brand to new customers and keep existing consumers excited and informed. 

At Troi Mailing Services, we stress the importance of effective postcard design to make an impression on recipients. However, never overlook the printing quality of your postcards.

Choosing a high-quality printer is essential. Nonetheless, you should know a few things before sending your postcard PDF to Troi Mailing Services. Please remember six critical lessons to guarantee the best possible result.

1. Pay attention to file size and quality.

The best quality printing comes from the best quality artwork. Therefore, you must choose the correct file size, resolution, and format. Otherwise, you might be bitterly disappointed when you see the proof! 

If you want your postcard to engage recipients and generate results, it needs to look professional and captivating. While the design does play an essential role in shaping the impact of your direct mail piece, printing is equally important. 

After all, an excellently crafted design can be ruined by formatting errors. For example, a small file size with a low DPI will never print well.

At Troi Mailing, we recommend high-resolution PDFs from Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. The resolution should be at least 200 DPI. Any artwork extending to the artboard’s edges should “bleed,” as in, go beyond the final cut size of the postcard.

Before printing, take a look at our Print-Ready Checklist under Resources.

2. Understand Canada Post and USPS guidelines.

Canada Post and USPS have specific postcard sizing, layout, and indices requirements. You must follow these guidelines when designing and printing your postcards so that they can be processed and delivered.

Canada Post

  • Postcards must be rectangular and between 90mm x 140mm and 120mm x 235mm.
  • Postcards must have a minimum thickness of 0.009 inches and a maximum of 0.016 inches.
  • The maximum weight for a standard postcard is 50 grams.
  • The postal indicia must be in the upper right corner and be between 19mm x 36mm and 39mm x 73mm in size.
  • The postal indicia must also be bilingual and appear on each item mailed.
  • The delivery address should be on the front side of the postcard.
  • The return address should be in the top left corner on the front side.


  • Postcards must be between 3 ½” x 5” and 6 ⅛” x 11 ½” for standard postage rates to apply.
  • Postcards must have a 1” x 1” space in the upper right corner on the front side where the stamp is placed.
  • The return address should be ¼” from the top left side of the postcard.
  • If there is no barcode in the address block, it will be printed across the bottom of the postcard near the right side corner.

3. Leave enough space for mailing information.

Always include ample space for mailing information when designing your postcard. All postcard layouts must have blank spaces for the delivery address, return address, and indica, as USPS and Canada Post require. 

Plus, it makes sense. If you want your postcards to reach their intended destinations, they need to be appropriately addressed.

Nonetheless, this is a common mistake, particularly if you’re new to direct mail. Many business owners get caught up in the excitement of designing their postcards and then neglect to leave enough room for mailing information.

4. Always use both sides of the postcard.

If you only use one side of the postcard, you’re missing out on a critical opportunity to communicate with your customers. You must make the most of valuable real estate on both sides of the postcard. Using all available space maximizes your message and increases your chance of success.

Compared to other forms of direct mail, postcards offer the least space for your message and information. Therefore, making the most out of every centimetre is especially important. Thoughtful design and concisely crafted copy also plays a role in this. 

However, you are selling yourself short if you only use one side of the postcard. Two sides double your chances of making an impression and converting.

5. Matte or glossy? Choose wisely.

When printing your postcard, you have two options: glossy or matte. Each of these finishing options has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to weigh your priorities and requirements and choose the right one for your postcard campaign.


Glossy postcards look brighter and more vivid, and images tend to pop. Therefore, postcards that feature many colours or artwork are often better suited for a glossy finish. In addition, glossy postcards are more durable and longer lasting because of the extra coatings.

However, glossy postcards often have a glare, which can make it hard to read text. It’s also impossible to write on glossy postcards. If you want recipients to write on their postcards, choose an uncoated card stock with a matte finish.


Matte printing paper and coatings are better suited for designs with subdued colours. Text is also easier to read on matte postcards because of the subtle shine. Critically, matte paper is easy to write on. 

6. Thicker cardstocks are more durable.

Durability is an important thing to consider when printing postcards. After all, you want your customers to receive postcards that look as good as they did when they were first printed. Opting for a thicker card stock is a great way to ensure your postcards will hold up in the mail. 

Furthermore, thicker postcards feel more important, expensive, and valuable than thinner ones. Your recipients will feel the difference when sorting through their mail. Thicker card stocks cost more to print, yet the investment is well worth it.

Troi Mailing Services: Postcard Printing in Toronto

At Troi Mailing Services, we work closely with Timeline Printing on all printing projects. We have over 35 years of industry experience and a proven track record of success. We also have a rigorous proofing process to ensure your files are set up correctly before printing.

To learn more about postcard printing in Toronto, call Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or contact us here.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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