Standard Size of Postcards: The Ultimate Guide

standard size of postcards

Postcards are compact-spaced and smaller than letters and other direct mail materials.

Businesses can choose from various postcard sizes based on their marketing purposes and budget. It’s crucial to pick the right postcard dimensions for your marketing campaigns.

Since postcards are often distributed as self-mailers, your customers won’t need to tear open an envelope to look at them. Therefore, even with a limited budget, they are cost-effective and may be shipped in large quantities.

 postcard size

The most important factor in postcard design is size. Only the USPS-approved standard postcard dimensions are allowed. All other sizes are either categorized as flats or letters. Before choosing a size, there are many considerations to make. Pick an acceptable postcard size for your design and message that gets you the most visibility possible.

NOTE: USPS stands for United States Postal Service.

Factors to be Considered When Selecting Postcard Sizes

The most crucial aspect of your direct mail campaign may not seem to be choosing a postcard size. However, it is unquestionably a decision you should make after giving certain pertinent elements significant thought. The important considerations for choosing postcard dimensions and direct mail size are listed below.

Deliverability

If you want to ensure that every postcard is delivered without incident, choosing a small postcard mailing size is probably not the ideal choice for you. Due to their smaller size and lack of a standard envelope size, small postcards are easily misplaced in the mail. Postcards should therefore be under the standard postcard size, if not larger.

Standard-sized postcards can also be sent using first-class mail, which increases the likelihood that they will arrive on time. Therefore, standard-sized mail is the best option if deliverability is important to you.

Exposure

A larger postcard is more likely to stand out from the competition, even though the specifications for US postcard sizes state that they shouldn’t exceed 4.25″ x 6″.

You should choose a bigger size while considering visibility and distinctiveness. Large-sized mail inevitably attracts more attention than all other sizes combined.

Message

Always keep the message in mind. In essence, it ought to determine the postcard size.

  • What is the message of your brand?
  • Is there a forthcoming battle that has to be described in detail?
  • How much text should you include to make your point understood by the audience?

These are the key elements to consider when selecting the ideal postcard dimensions for your campaign.

It’s also a good idea to consider the logo placement, mailing address, trim lines, and keep-clear zones. You may fill in your message in the space left over after you’ve added these elements to create what is essentially the front side of your postcard. As a result, you could require a bigger size than you believe. A little postcard can look cluttered if it has too many words. Choose a large postcard size if you want to express a lot. Check out the detailed guide about the standard poster size.

Design

Your postcard is enhanced with more than just words. The legal postcard size allows enough space for text and visuals combined on an appropriate postcard template.

Some postcard templates need more room than others since they look crowded on a small postcard size. Either choose the postcard size and then choose a template that fits well and looks beautiful or choose a template and then determine which size suits them best. In either case, you must consider the design and layout while choosing the proportions.

  • Do you need to print your words in large, bold type?
  • Are there any additional pictures you should add?
  • Are the messages printed in bullet points or paragraph format?

Such issues could appear to be little elements you don’t need to consider. However, every tiny detail of this nature is important, regardless of the value of your investment. Your USA postcard size may need to be increased if only a few words are in huge letters.

 what is a standard size postcard

Time

The time frame we are referring to is the delivery time and the season of the year you are running your postcard marketing campaigns. It will be necessary to send large postcards utilizing the USPS marketing mail option. This mail option takes longer to arrive than first-class mail, making it a challenging decision.

Choose a size that fits inside the USPS postcard specifications if your postcards are promoting deals with short deadlines so that they can be mailed via the quicker first-class option. However, if getting your postcards delivered after a few days or weeks works for your company and timing isn’t your top goal, you can select larger postcards.

Cost

In addition to the considerations above, you must choose a size that meets your budget. Create a budget before making any decisions. Make sure you can afford to use the largest postcard size possible. What size can fit comfortably if not?

Companies with minimal resources can either choose a standard size or employ the EDDM option due to its affordability. Bulk shipping might help you save money. You can save time and send bulk marketing mail for large postcards and qualify for cheaper postage rates. There are several ways to gain postal discounts, such as pre-sorting and bulk sending, as we described, even if your postcard size doesn’t fit in the USPS postcard dimensions.

However, the price of the design, the paper, and the print will not change.

We will discuss more on postcard printing as we go on.

USPS Standard Postcard Dimensions

 what is standard postcard size

To understand the USPS-approved postcard dimensions, you must first understand what a postcard is. Any size postcard can be sent, although not all sizes comply with USPS’s standards for standard dimensions. In addition, your mailpiece must meet specific criteria to be classified as a postcard:

  • Your letter’s shape and corners should be square and rectangular. Postcards without square borders or corners are not regarded as postcards.
  • Your mailpieces must be at least 5 inches long and 3.5 inches tall. The thickness should be no less than 0.007′′.
  • The dimensions of a typical-sized postcard shouldn’t exceed 4.25″ x 6″. It should also not be thicker than 0.016 inches.
  • Your postcards will be considered as letters by the USPS if specific postcard mailing sizes are exceeded, and you will be charged extra for sending letters.

An index card can be used to measure the thickness of your postcards. Extra large postcards are treated as letters and flats if larger than the letter dimensions. Below are the USPS measurements for sending postcards larger than the standard sizes.

  • Postcards enclosed in letters must also be rectangular and adhere to the same thickness limitations as regular ones.
  • The maximum postcard size for shipping in the “letters” category is 6.125″ x 11.5″, while the minimum size remains unchanged. Any mailpiece that is larger than this will be handled as a flat.
  • These postcards shouldn’t weigh more than 3.5 pounds while being sent first-class mail. Although some foldable postcards are folded to fit these dimensions, the overall size shouldn’t be larger than the USPS specifies.
  • The term “flats” indicates large-sized envelopes, magazines, newsletters, and other materials larger than the direct mail size for the abovementioned postcards.
  • Only postcards with a minimum height and length of 6.125′′ and 11.5′′ will be considered flats. In addition, it should be at least 0.25 inches thick.
  • However, the largest postcard size permitted for flats is 12″ x 15″, and the thickness cannot exceed 0.75″.

Quick note: USPS requirements for postcards and letter thickness are put in place to prevent paper jams in their machines. Once you meet these standard postcard size requirements, you can simply drop your postcards at the post office.

Regular and Mailable Postcard Sizes

Various sizes, such as the 4″ x 6″ postcards, are most frequently used, considering the USPS postcard measurements. However, depending on the design, the majority of printing companies can handle a wide range of postcard sizes. For sending postcards, the most popular sizes are:

  • 3″ x 4″ – A postcard that is so tiny that only has enough room for a graphic and a brief message.
  • 3.5″ x 5″
  • 4″ x 6″ – These are typically regarded as the “Standard” postcard size.
  • 4.25″ x 6″
  • 4″ x 9″
  • 5″ x 7″
  • 5″ x 8.5″
  • 6″ x 9″
  • 6″ x 11″
  • 8.5″ x 11″
  • 9″ x 12″ – Extra large postcards
 what is the size of a standard postcard

The normal and most popular size starts at 4′′ x 6′′, hence the 3.5′′ x 5′′ can be referred to as small-sized postcards. Please note that the USPS only recognizes the first three USA postcard sizes listed above as postcards.

The remaining postcard sizes will all be more expensive and issued via marketing mail. As long as they adhere to the requirements on US postcard sizes, the USPS will also accept folded postcards.

 what size is a postcard

Half-fold Postcard Sizes

  • 8.5” x 6” (folded to 4.25” x 6”)
  • 10” x 7” (folded to 5” x 7”)
  • 11” x 8.5” (folded to 5.5” x 8.5”)
  • 12″ x 9″ (folded to 6” x 9”)
  • 12″ x 11″ (folded to 6” x 11”)

Tri-fold Dimensions – Direct Mail Size

  • 12.75″ x 6″ (folded to 4.25” x 6”)
  • 15″ x 7″ (folded to 5” x 7”)
  • 16.5″ x 8.5″ (folded to 5.5” x 8.5”)
 what size is standard postcard

EDDM Postcard Sizes

Before discussing the permitted postcard sizes for the EDDM option, let’s briefly define EDDM. The phrase means “Every Door Direct Mail.” As the name implies, it entails mailing direct mail products to every residence within a specific town or ZIP code. The USPS created this initiative to allow businesses to run direct mail marketing without a mailing list. Therefore, the USPS will distribute your postcards to every residence in the region if you choose a municipality or ZIP code.

Neither first-class mail nor marketing mail (formerly standard mail) applies to EDDM. The USPS offers lower rates for this program, which is a separate service. Under EDDM, there are specified postcard mailing sizes, much like the other mail alternatives. Your postcards must be at least 10.5 inches long and 6.125 inches tall.

Standard postcard sizes for EDDM shouldn’t be larger than 12″ x 15″. You can’t send your postcards using the EDDM option if your postcard sizes don’t fit inside these USPS parameters. The thickness ought to range from 0.0007′′ to 0.75′′. There should be no more than 3.03 pounds in weight. The sizes 4.25 x 11″, 6.25 x 9″, 6.25 x 11″, 6 x 12″, 8.5 x 7″, 8.5 x 11″, and the enormous 12 x 15″ are the most common for EDDM postcards. You can choose from these sizes based on your needs and price range.

The cost of printing and paper varies, even though USPS rates for delivering any size of EDDM postcard are the same.

 size of postcard

Postcard Printing

One of the best and most versatile instruments for spreading your message is the postcard printing.

Postcards are a terrific choice when you want something more substantial than flyers and bigger than business cards. With printed promotional materials like coupons, announcements, and other incentives, postcard marketing, a type of direct mail, enables you to connect with a target market.

It is a fantastic method to share information with friends and family in addition to using them for business purposes! Holiday cards, graduation announcements, invitations to baby showers and weddings, blank thank-you notes, cards with best wishes, photo cards, save-the-date notices, and many other things are examples of cards that can be used.

Selecting the ideal design and sheet weight to print is the beginning. To assist, we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions.

FAQs

What are the standard postcard sizes available?

The following basic sizes for postcards are available: 4″ x 6″, 4.25″ x 5.5″, 5″ x 7″, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 6″ x 9″, 6″ x 11″, 3″ x 4″, and 6.5″ x 9.5″. Are you searching for something unique? Additionally, All Time Design creates postcards in bespoke sizes! Folded postcards, vertical layouts, and horizontal layouts are all acceptable.

What postcard sizes can be mailed in bulk and those that comply with the mailing regulations? 

You can mail any conventional postcard size, flat or folded, ranging from 4″ x 6″ to 6″ x 11″. Sizes should be compatible with those specified by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Which postcard sizes can I mail?

Postcards in all of the aforementioned sizes can be mailed. Nevertheless, different sizes are eligible at various USPS rates (e.g., 4″ x 6″, 4.25″ x 5.5″, 5″ x 7″, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 6″ x 9″, 6″ x 11″, 3″ x 4″, and 6.5″ x 9.5″). 4 x 6 inch postcards can be mailed using the USPS’s First Class Postcard Rate. Standard Postcards that are 5 x 7 – 6 x 11 may qualify for the USPS’s Standard Letter Rate or First Class Letter Rate.

What are the postage rates that apply to mailed postcards?

Depending on the size of the postcard you choose, prices will change. For instance, a sized postcard that is 4″ by 6″ or 4.25″ by 6″ can be shipped for the First Class Card fee while flat or folded postcards are measuring 4.5″ x 6″ to 6″ x 11″ are eligible for either the First Class Letter rate or the Standard Letter rate.

Is there no way to mail out my cards if they don’t follow the USPS mailing requirements?

Customers can choose envelopes if they cannot modify the design’s layout while adhering to USPS requirements. However, postcards however, postcards will cost extra to mail with envelopes. This holds for folded cards and brochures as well.

Another option is to send a self-mailer. This involves hand-stamped each postcard and personally delivering it to the post office.

Do the standard postcard sizes have to be in a landscape orientation?

Nope! You can have your prints made in either a landscape or a portrait orientation, depending on your design. Make sure the back side complies with postal standards, such as allowing room for the postage and the address, if your intention is to mail them without envelopes.

Design Your Custom Brand Postcard Size Today

Naturally, standard sizes aren’t always the most appropriate for your company’s marketing efforts.

Postcards are fantastic direct mail material and dramatically increase results. All you have to do is utilize eye-catching postcard templates and carefully choose the postcard sizes. For your customers to turn over and take a look at your postcard, it greatly helps if it has a good design, size, and form.

All Time Design offers these templates for you to design and edit. If you still desire something more, your ideas will be brought to life by the experienced designers they have.

Start designing your postcards today with All Time Design. Sign up now!


November 7, 2022
10 min read
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