15 Examples of Vintage Postcards

15 Examples of Vintage Postcards


Have you ever sent a postcard? Excluding the ones that teachers require for literature classes, that is. Chances are, not a lot of us has had any experience with writing and sending postcards to friends and families for any particular occasion. We have become so caught up in the modern world that we no longer value this century-old craft. But looking at a standard postcard design, especially those that bear a vintage look, it’s hard not to appreciate its beauty along with the legacy it holds.

Vintage Greetings Postcard

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Vintage Floral Postcard

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Wedding Invitation Postcard

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Vintage Wedding Postcard

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Vintage Save the Date Postcard

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Postcards Then and Now

Taking a trip back to memory lane, postcards from the early 20th century showcased historic monuments, old theaters, and famous locations that can leave anyone feeling nostalgic at the mere look of it. It gives viewers a glimpse of the difference a century can make through the use of photo postcards. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise how postcard collecting has become a popular hobby among enthusiasts and historians alike.

However, postcards didn’t start out with actual photographs on display. The earliest known photographers postcard is said to consist of a hand-painted design showing postal workers carrying out their everyday tasks. But back then, it was meant to be humorous rather than purposeful. As time passed, places such as Britain and France began making their own version of the postcard. These postcards sometimes showcased images of nude women, which soon sparked controversy among nations.

After a while, with the advancement of technology at hand, postcards were produced in color. These were printed with vivid colors and bright images, a direct comparison of the type of postcards we have today. Most of these postcards gave off a glossy finish caused by the card’s coating as well. The popularity of colored postcards soon replaced the classic black and white creations, prompting some production companies to make the big switch while forcing others to go out of business.

These days, the use of physical postcards isn’t as prominent as it was over seventy years ago. Modern-day inventions have paved the way for digital postcards, also known as e-cards, making it easier for people to stay in touch with loved ones via email or other social media platforms, taking the place of the traditional post office. Not only is this an efficient alternative, but it’s also a lot cheaper than purchasing one from the store and paying for postal services. But then again, some may argue that this method contradicts the true essence of writing and sending postcards, as it no longer holds the same value. Despite everything, we can all agree that postcards have become a significant part of our history, surviving even some of the darkest periods of mankind.

Decorative Wedding Invitation Postcard

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Vintage Travel Postcard

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Vintage Flower Postcard

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Vintage Couple Postcard

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State Greetings Postcard

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Why Are Postcards Important?

Sometimes, we can’t help but question the fuss around the general concept of postcards. Some would say that it’s no different from the standard letter writing, so why do people still give so much importance to it?

Living in the digital age, we find it difficult to fully understand how our grandparents got through each day without texting. But if we learn to look at things from their perspective, we’ll find that postcards hold so much more value than what we would have thought. The little things that we take for granted nowadays were a big deal back then, and the significance of the postcard is something that we shouldn’t look down upon.

Personal Communication

We use postcards to communicate with friends and family, especially if they live relatively far from where we’re from. But there are different types of postcards used for specific purposes as well. For instance, travel postcards are sent by tourists and travelers to share their experiences with loved ones. These postcards consist of images showcasing well-known tourist destinations and their culture. On the other hand, there are birthday postcards and holiday postcards specially designed to send greetings and well wishes for joyous occasions. The use of postcards as a medium for communication was considerably popular back then, despite the time interval involved in between sending and receiving mail.

Nowadays, postcards are forced to take a step back as technology introduces spontaneous interaction through instant messaging. It’s safe to say that postcards aren’t as favored as they used to be, but are still appreciated by some nonetheless. After all, we have to admit how guilty we are of having a soft spot for the old-fashioned means of communicating. It can be quite heartfelt and personal, a lot different than the type of interaction we get today.

Business Marketing

You might have noticed how often you get postcards in the mail from companies offering promos and discounts for their products or services. Sometimes, you could even find these postcards in between some of your favorite magazines. But there’s a good reason why companies opt to use postcards as a medium for marketing. For starters, they’re good for test-marketing before a business commits to a full-blown campaign. There’s a huge difference when it comes to production costs as well since numerous firms offer these postcards at mass quantity for a reasonable price. Furthermore, these postcards may be produced and processed at a quicker rate, which is great for last-minute scenarios.

Apart from the benefits involved in the production process, postcards are known for drawing attention effectively. Thanks to the postcard’s captivating graphics, it could easily spark interest among viewers at a single glance. It takes on a simple yet direct approach that relays information to clients and customers without much effort. And the best part is, postcards are developed from light materials, making it easier to carry around and keep for later use.

Simple Wedding Postcard

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Vintage Tourism Postcard

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Vintage Summer Postcard

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Travel Greetings Postcard

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Vintage Rose Postcard

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Tips on Making a Good Postcard

Here are six useful tips for creating a powerful postcard design:

  • Utilize space wisely. We all know that one side of the postcard is designed for writing content while the other contains an image or graphic design. While the overall appearance of the postcard matters to most people, that doesn’t mean the design of the postcard should dominate the whole material. Learn to use the space for other significant elements, without having to cram important information all in one place. Try to find the right balance between attractive and clean.
  • Think of an eye-catching headline. Headlines are important when it comes to visual impact. You’d want to prompt a reaction by creating a headline that invites the viewer to pick up the postcard and examine its details. But this would also depend on the kind of postcard you’re making. For example, wedding postcards are more personal compared to the average marketing postcards. So instead of sounding like a salesman trying to sell a product or service, you take on a different approach by being warm and sincere.
  • Make use of relevant graphics. In connection to the first tip included on this list, you wouldn’t want to waste space on your postcard, but the use of images tend to give you the opposite effect. Not to say that you should fully refrain from using images and graphics for your postcard, but you need to make sure that it has a clear purpose and that it contributes to the message you want to relay to your audience. You need to keep it as simple as possible, while still having the ability to captivate viewers.
  • Know that quality matters. Between a postcard showcasing clear graphics and one with a blurred, worn-out design, what would you choose? We all know that quality can greatly impact our decisions. “Cheap” postcards can ruin the image you want to build, often leaving a negative impression on viewers. So instead, it would be best to invest on cost-efficient yet high-quality materials to attain the desired feedback. Remember, most people can be quite particular when it comes to getting their money’s worth.
  • Go big. Want a postcard that screams “look at me” from all angles? An oversize postcard can do the trick! You get enough space for text and graphics on both sides, while still being handy enough to carry around. It’s unlikely that somebody would miss your postcard, especially since its size is large enough to earn a second look. You could achieve this by using a 6″×11″ full-color material for your postcard.
  • Print on both sides. If you’re creating a marketing postcard for your business, then it would be best to have something printed on both sides. Although one side is meant to be written on, you could always print a short message that invites the viewer to flip over the postcard. This may be necessary for certain circumstances, specifically when you want to fuel a response with what you have to offer.

Growing up surrounded by mobile devices that offer instant messaging and quick response, it’s hard not to appreciate how simple things used to be back in the day. People wait for days, weeks, or even months for a message that may never come. But postcards have become a significant part of our culture that’s impossible to shake off. After all, big things come in small packages. And postcards? They deserve a good spot in museums and history books.