Monday, April 6, 2015

Why Your Next Postcard Design Could Come From Etsy

What makes postcard designer ZeusVintage noteworthy is the web platform they use: Etsy.

The Doncaster, England designer creates custom postcard layouts for hire, or "bespoke postcard design" as they say.   And if their web examples reflect the typical fair, then we'd say 'thumbs up'.

The Etsy platform is traditionally used by artisans and craftsmen, but not so much by print designers. 

The selection of Etsy reflects a trend where print designers are looking for new ways to promote themselves digitally, and web platforms like Etsy are happy to accommodate them.

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ZeusVintage offers postcard design via Etsy:




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Recently, Amazon has started promoting local businesses and now offers plumbers and electricians.   For Amazon, print designers and graphic artists are not far behind.
 
As designers 'break out' of the traditional web platforms, one wonders if this is an experiment that will stick.   The months ahead should prove interesting, as ecommerce continues to re-invent itself.
 
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Six Super Postcard Designs On Behance

Looking for a postcard designer on the internet?  Check out Behance

Started in 2006, Behance has been on a mission to remove the barriers between creative producers and creative buyers. 

The site presents the portfolios of thousands of aspiring and accomplished artists, including photographers, illustrators, and yes, postcard designers.  

We've peered through hundreds of postcard designs saved on the Behance site.  Here are six that we especially like:

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The first postcard is from Sara de la Mora, a Spanish designer based in London.  The card was prepared as part of a Yelp competition “Yelp’s Key To London”.

I love how the bookplate design draws you in.  You're transported to the comfort of your easy chair, an Agatha Christie paperback, and bam -- you realize you're on a journey in a Yelp ad.  Very slick, indeed.

[Want more information about Sara?  Check her website here.]
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We're very impressed with the work of Yanviani Wongso, a design student from Singapore.  The postcard is effective -- promoting a gallery show -- as well as fresh and creative.  It's nice to see a designer who is playful with type, without creating a distraction, and without over powering the message.


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Christopher Charles, from Long Beach, California,  is a designer at subplex.  His postcard design for a farmer's market is interesting because it features black and white photography.  Your eye is drawn to the red, and to the copy it contains.  It shows how much can be accomplished with just a color or two.



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A postcard design from Bobby Jennings in Mesquite, Texas, shows how full color can work wonders.  Houghton Mifflin Harcort Publishing uses color and illustration to full effect -- to attract the eye, and present itself in a way that is quite approachable.



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While at School of Art at Texas Tech University, New York's Elliot Salazar created a postcard design to help promote the school's First Friday event. 

The postcard's graphics are somewhat complex and this has a positive effect.  First, you are drawn to them.  Then you spend a moment examining them.  Before you know it, you've invested yourself in the design and want to learn more about the postcard's message. 

It's quite an accomplishment to pull someone from their  daily hub-bub, and into your message -- even if its only for fifteen seconds.

[Want more information about Elliot?  Check his website here.]


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Certainly, Kimberly Wray has found her calling.  The Glasgow designer has created a postcard that promotes a prayer event for Scripture Union Scotland.  And she has done it in a way that looks casual and genuine.  This is especially appropriate for the youth audience the postcard needs to reach. 

[Want more information about Kimberly?  Check her website here. ]



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The Behance website has grown quite a bit since 2006.  In fact, it's now a part of the Adobe family.

There are thousands of artists and designers providing their portfolios -- actively offering their services -- through the site.

If you're hunting for your next designer, or looking for some design inspiration, Behance is a great place to start.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Six Stellar Save the Date Postcards

We've said it before, but Wedding Save the Date postcards are easily the most popular postcards out there. And as a result, designers have done some amazing work to capture our attention.

Here's a selection of six Save the Date postcard designs that epitomize great design. The information is clear. The cards are clever. What more could a couple ask for? 




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A fun, playful Save the Date postcard by hannahcloud design that conjures up memories of taking photos in a photo booth during a first date.


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Here's a great vintage Save the Date from serendipity beyond design that's reminiscent of travel postcards from yesteryear.


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This beautiful and mysterious Save the Date by jinaiji suggests a magical evening is in store for anyone lucky enough to be invited.
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This simple, minimalist postcard by Bespoke Prints gets right to the point. Literally.
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This whimsical design by berryberrysweet is the perfect blend of formal and casual. It features an attractive color scheme that accentuates all the vital information.
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An elegant, refined approach to Save the Date postcards, expertly crafted by Roco and Miley
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A fun, playful, and colorful design from the folks over at magnetbyMail and combines a postcard with a refrigerator magnet.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Postcards for Art Shows


A well-designed postcard is inherently visual, which is why they're perfect for announcing art galleries and events. They offer a taste of what's in store at the show, as well as insight and information about the artists. Here are four great examples:
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 This Arts in April card was created by Veronica Semeco. Its colorful design is very evocative of spring, which is great because the event is in April.

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Here's a postcard  designed to promote Kimberly Colleen Rhyan's solo show at Columbus State Community Library. Found via the Ohio Art League

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Toy Art Gallery's piece really packs a visual punch. It's a great use of contrast and enticing imagery.

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This exquisite postcard by the RNAC really shows the wonderful kinds of art you could expect if you showed up to the gallery.
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The Embark Gallery's bold neon-on-black design is sure to capture attention and attract visitors.
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This elegant postcard created by magnetbyMail also features a peel-off magnet with information about the gallery.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Postcards: The Power of Color and Simplicity


This week's spotlight is devoted to the power of color and simplicity. 

The featured postcards are quite varied: some have gone wild, while others show careful restraint. Regardless of their approach, they're all imaginative and attention grabbing. 

I hope these selections show that a little more or a little less can make a world of difference when it comes to design.

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An elegant architecture postcard that makes great use of geometric shapes and a wonderful orange/brown color palette. Design by modernpostcard.com
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This postcard by the Florida Museum of Natural History  features vibrant colors and crisp images. The butterfly's interaction with the edge of the card is clever; the wings draw attention to the copy. Found on modernpostcard.com

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This whimsical birthday party invitation by George is playful yet effective. The information is presented logically while the sillier elements are reined in by the limited colors. Found on behance.net 

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The black and yellow color scheme is evocative of warning labels and caution tape, creating a subtle sense of danger and edginess that likely appeals to the type of clientele this gym is after. Via inkd.com
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This postcard is simple, organized, and easy on the eyes -- everything an ideal website should be.  Via inkd.com

Friday, October 4, 2013

Kudos: Dlouhy Branding and Design

Often times, designers need to be brave.  It takes courage to whittle down a complex description into an effective brand message.

Too many designs are based on a "kitchen sink" strategy, where the layout includes multiple messages and the corresponding details for each.

These unfortunate, busy designs are often a result of "design by committee."  Or they're designs with purely the results in mind -- forgetting that there is a reader involved.

A great design starts with the reader, introduces an idea and leads to results.

These designs often appear simple.  But it's in the designer's whittling that much of the work is done.

Check out this week's example by the designers at Dlouhy Branding + Design.

These two postcards, used as a self-promotion, are tasked with grabbing attention (with color and boldness), asking a question ("does your brand need a facelift?") and offering a solution ("Dlouhy").

The first postcard sets the stage.  The follow-up postcard reinforces the message.

Our mind searches out simplicity and filters out complexity.  The best postcard design will avoid the filter.

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Do you have examples of a great postcard design?  We'd like to see them!  Simply use the Comments feature of this blog and let us know a little about your project -- we'll respond with how to send your images to us. Thank you!

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Card 1: "ignite."
Dlouhy Branding + Design


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Card 2: "refresh."
Dlouhy Branding + Design


Monday, March 18, 2013

Postcards for Urgent Care Marketing


It seems there's a growth industry that's appeared without much fanfare.  It's called "Urgent Care" and it's made up of hundreds of local clinics that have found a niche somewhere between the Emergency Room and your neighborhood primary care doctor.

I've come across many postcards designed for Urgent Care marketing -- promoting the clinics to their nearby communities.
 
Urgent Care postcards have to accomplish many things: explain what 'Urgent Care' means, promote the clinic, provide contact and address details, and provide a call to action.  This can be a lot of work for a little postcard.

The best strategy is probably to break out the campaign into a series of cards with simple messages.

Each of the designs shown resides somewhere on that spectrum between simple and complex.  I'll let you be the judge of which part of that spectrum is most effective.

The final design, from our own sponsor at magnetbyMail, features a magnet mailer which has some added functionality.  It includes a customized magnet that can be kept in the home or office for months or longer.


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Highland Urgent Care postcard designed by New Thought Marketing:

graphic design for marketing Highland Urgent Care







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After Ours Urgent Care as found in the NCPA Health Blog .  (The blog has a good discussion of how Urgent Care is fitting into the national healthcare discussion.):

Local Healthcare Marketing



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Immediate Care of Oklahoma postcard designed by Rick Boyd:


Marketing Urgent Care with direct mail



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A postcard for a national industry awareness campaign from the Urgent Care Association of America:


Illustration based design for urgent care outreach



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Boston Children's Hospital Urgent Care postcard designed by Micayla Boari (at Behance):

Micalya Boari design for urgent care postcard

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The Maxcare UC layout: an urgent care postcard magnet mailer from magnetbyMail.com:


magnet mailer for urgent care