How To Make Postcards in Photoshop

One usually sends postcards to show friends and family the beautiful places you've visited. You can send the usual fare available in souvenir shops, but you'd make a bigger impression if you make your own postcards using Photoshop. Don't forget to bring along your digital camera before you set out on your tour. You'll need that to take the photos you'll turn into postcards.

Open the photograph in the application.
Use the File menu and Open option, locate the folder, select the image and click OK to load it in Photoshop. Alternatively you can use Adobe Bridge, an associated file management program within Photoshop, to locate and load the image.

Resize it to postal service standards.
Chances are the photograph you're going to use isn't in the dimensions recommended by the postal service. The US postal service qualifications for First-Class Mail card rates are a rectangular shape and a minimum dimension of 3.5 x 5 inches or a maximum of 4.25 x 6 inches. One way to resize the image to these standards is to access the Canvass Size option under the Image menu. When the Canvass Size dialog box pulls up, enter the appropriate dimensions. Another way is to use the Crop tool. This is helpful if the photograph is larger than the required postcard dimensions.

Make some adjustments.

With the photograph in the correct size, you can now apply any of several image adjusting features. Unless you've taken the perfect shot, there's always some correction you might need to do in terms of contrast or color. Remember though that it's not always a matter of making the image clear or sharp. Sometimes a greater impact might be made by turning a color photo into black and white. You can try to skew the orientation to lend the image some candidness or reduce its size against the background to create a white border. How you'll apply the editing tools will largely depend on your concept. These features are all accessible under the Image menu.

Input text.
Some postcards have text overlays of greetings or just simple captions of the photographed location. Use the Text tool to place your greeting or personal message on the photo. Click on the tool's icon, and then click on the photo. When the blinking cursor appears, type in your text. Use the Text tool's options menu to adjust font style, size and color. You can use the Move tool to drag the text into a more appropriate position and orientation.

Print out the postcard.
Under the File menu, choose the Print with Preview option. This will show you how your postcard will exactly look on paper. The dialog box will also provide you with printing options such as paper size and quality which you can set before clicking on the OK button. Remember to load your printer with postcard stock in the exact dimensions you defined earlier for your image. Postcard stock is usually available in office supply stores.

Photoshop can give users the power to create their own visual documents. All you need to make a personalized postcard is a workable digital camera and some familiarity with the application's editing tools.


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