As a premier Indianapolis G7 Master Printer, HPG prints all kinds of printed pieces. But postcards large and small seem to be a staple of summer, and at HPG, we print lots of them.
Just a few days ago, HPG blogged about postcard size, USPS postal rates, and size restrictions. Today we’re adding to that and talking about other important issues relating to postcards; address panel size and color contrast. These two considerations are frequently overlooked during postcard design, and they are vitally important for mailing success.
About postcard color:
The postal service uses a scanner to read addresses on all mail. However, if there isn’t a distinct contrast between the address and the background color of your postcard, the scanner will not be able to read it. Although your card may still be deliverable, you will be charged a non-machinable surcharge (meaning your cards must be manually read). If you want to use a background color on the face of your postcard, the mailing department of HPG recommends that you test it first. We can help you do this.
Address panel size:
Again, since postcards are scanned by USPS machines, when you design the face of your card, you must allow sufficient area for the address, barcode and automation information – so that “non-machinable surcharge” won’t be added. To comply, in general, your address area should be at least 4 inches wide by 2.75 inches tall. It’s good to know this so you can do a little math as you design your panel size – and save postal costs.
Of course, there are some exceptions to both color and panel size recommendation, and sometimes a subtle design change in space, font or background color can make a big difference in your rate.
The mail team at HPG will be happy to send a sample to the USPS and get approval before you get too far with your design.