A Guide to Standard Postcard Sizes for Mailing
by PrintPlace - Published on August 1, 2017 - Updated on August 31, 2023
With the number of sizes available for postcard printing, it's easy to get overwhelmed and confused. This guide helps you sift through the details and find the best postcard size for your direct mail marketing.
First Things First – What Is the Standard Postcard Size?
The 4” x 6” postcard is the go-to choice of most marketers because aside from being handy, it qualifies as USPS First Class Mail. If you plan on signing up for direct mail services for your custom 4” x 6” postcards, you are allowed to customize not just the number of pieces and the type of postage, but also the recipient list and the mailing date.
Standard Postcard Sizes and Their Best Uses
Without further ado, let’s break down your options for standard postcard sizes here at PrintPlace, along with expert advice on where they are best applied.
If you plan on sending quick thank you notes, exclusive promos like discounts or coupons, or just targeting readers who are either always on-the-go or have short attention spans, these postcard sizes will do the job.
|4.25" x 5.5"||This is our smallest size offering for custom postcards. It has just enough space for one large image and call-to-action.|
|4" x 6"||This is slightly larger than the first one so there’s more space for visuals.|
|4.25" x 6"||If you require more breathing room for your copy, this option offers more width and length to accommodate it.|
First-Class Mail ® is USPS’ solution for marketers and business owners who want to send out postcards in bulk without breaking the bank. To enjoy this service, you would need to order your custom postcards in any of the following sizes, for a minimum of 250 pieces:
|5" x 7"||This option is just a bit bigger than our smaller postcard offerings, but it’s still compact enough compared to our larger alternatives.|
|4" x 9"||If the focal point of your postcard design is a stunning artwork or if you have a lot of information to share with your recipients, this size is perfect for you. It offers enough landscape space for text and graphics, so your layout does not end up looking crowded.|
|6" x 8" or 6" x 9"||If you want to stand out right off the mailbox, you’ll never go wrong with these size options. Your postcards will surely stick out from the pile and are more likely to catch the attention of your target customers.|
|5.5" x 8.5"||This option is for marketers or business owners who want to discuss their products or services in full detail. This postcard is as big as a letter-sized page folded in half.|
|6" x 11"||Our largest postcard size that’s eligible for First-Class Mail ®. This takes up almost as much space as a letter-sized sheet of paper.|
If you need to extend your reach and target a specific community, you can deliver EDDM® postcards based on a list filtered according to income, age, or household size. You're likely communicating with these individuals for the first time, so you'll need enough space to provide specific details. Consider these extra-large options:
A Few Tips on Designing Your Custom Postcard
Once you have chosen a standard postcard size, the next step is to layout your design properly so the finished product comes out the exact way you want it. To ensure an accurate print job, take note of these areas:
Safe Zone – This encompasses all the essential elements of your postcard design. Do not leave out anything integral outside this area.
Trim Line – This indicates the sides we'll cut to achieve your chosen postcard size.
Bleed – This is where you will extend the postcard's background color or image. It goes beyond the trim line so that the final print does not show any white edges.
If you want a file that shows where the above areas start and stop, download any of the templates below and open it in your preferred software application:
Choosing the Perfect Postcard Size With PrintPlace
Sending a message through postcards holds a timeless charm, but selecting the appropriate size is integral for effective communication. Our comprehensive guide has navigated you through our array of standard postcard sizes, highlighting their benefits and suitability for various marketing campaigns. From the compact 4" x 6" postcard to the attention-grabbing 6" x 11", PrintPlace has you covered.
Not sure which size is right for you? Experiment with both small and large dimensions to gauge your audience's response. Order your custom postcards from PrintPlace today and make every message a delight to receive!
Postcard Printing FAQs
The following sizes qualify for the USPS’ First-Class Postcard Rate:
- 4.25” x 5.5”
- 4” x 6”
- 4.25” x 6”
The larger sizes listed below qualify for the Standard Letter or First-Class Letter Rate:
- 5” x 7”
- 4” x 9”
- 6” x 8”
- 6” x 9”
- 5.5” x 8.5”
- 6” x 11”
The following instructions are applicable to custom postcards:
- Select the 4” x 6” size on our online calculator.
- Expand “Advanced Options” at the bottom of the online calculator.
- Check the Mailing Services box. Note: Adding a custom trim will make this service unavailable. Mailing services are available for standard postcard designs.
We offer the standard 4” x 6” and 5” x 7” postcards. The 4” x 6” is ideal for First-Class mail, while the 5” x 7” can be mailed in the Standard Letter and First-Class Letter rate. We also offer larger sizes such as the 6” x 9” and 6” x 11” for custom postcards.
Select your preferred turnaround time or the number of days to produce the order. This will determine how long it will take to print your postcards.
After proceeding to checkout, you will select from several transit times as your shipping method choices. You pay less for 2 to 3 days transit, but you can also select a one-day transit for a higher price.
Custom postcards come with add-ons like rounded corners for smoother edges, perforation for special discounts or coupons, and a smaller trim size to tailor the design’s overall look. Check out this helpful article for more information on customizable postcard printing options.
Below are the common choices available for printing postcards:
- 10 pt. cardstock is the lightest and most affordable option. Recommended if you don’t mind customers folding the postcard.
- 14 pt. cardstock is an affordable, lightweight material that’s easy to carry for those on the go. An uncoated, writable side is also available for this material.
- The 16 pt. cardstock is highly recommended for those after a heftier weight and feel to their design.
The 17 pt. cardstock is the thickest option for custom postcards. It offers an elegant, writable texture normally seen on wedding invitations.
Yes, we offer printing on both sides of the postcards. If you need both sides to be writable, select the 14 pt. cardstock uncoated as your paper type. Designs with a colorful front can select the 14 pt. cardstock uncoated back for one writable side.
The 17 pt. cardstock is also available if you want a slightly thicker cardstock and writability on both sides.