Saturday, July 23, 2011

All 6 postcard designs in my etsy shop: Sandbook article

I'm honored to have been asked by magazine for pen pals and swappers to be featured in an upcoming issue of their magazine. I've been in touch with the very accommodating Raia, and she suggested a lot of great possibilities. Since I'm so excited about all my new postcard designs that I'm selling in my etsy shop, I jumped on that option. I'm writing this blog post to double as a magazine article, featuring all 6 of my postcard designs. A lot of my blog readers have asked if I designed these postcards myself, and it seems I haven't been as clear as I could have been, so let me proclaim it here: these postcards are all of my own designs, using either vintage graphics or my own photographs that I manipulated using GIMP graphics software. The genesis of these postcards stems from me searching etsy for snail-mail related postcards... and when I didn't find what I was looking for, I decided I'd just go ahead and design them myself! The six postcard designs, all printed professionally by Vistaprint, are as follows.


1. "Solitude and good company: Lord Byron letter-writing quote postcard"

I have always adored this quote by Lord Byron -- in fact, it's the very first item I put on this website when I was designing it a few years ago! -- and decided it was high time to design a postcard that featured it. The quote is at the bottom in white script on black, below a photo I took of three wonderful vintage stamps from the 1974 "Letters Mingle Souls" issue.

The text reads:
Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.
-Lord Byron


2. "I jump for joy over snail mail!"

When I found this graphic of a girl dancing on a snail, I knew I had to put it to postal use.

Does a good letter bring you joy? Do you jump up and down with excitement when you pull promising snail mail out of your mail box? Okay, maybe there aren't too many of us who are THAT geeky over mail, but you can show your love of good old fashioned snail mail with this vintage graphic of a girl dancing on a snail. What's not to love?


3. "Vintage Postman postcard"

Reproduction of a beautiful vintage postman illustration. Meta mail, anyone? Check out his snappy uniform. Look at his bountiful bundle of packages and letters - and he's offering a letter to you!

Snail Mail: Not Deat Yet postcard

4. "Snail Mail: Not Dead Yet"

Don't you hate it when someone says "snail mail is dead" or "no one writes letters anymore" or something like that? I do! I put those sentiments to work in my slightly creepy, goth-inspired, Monty-Python-quoting design. The postcard reads "Snail Mail: Not Dead Yet" alongside a black-and-white graphic of a skull holding a letter, accented with a red seal on the envelope.

To get a letter, write a letter postcard

5. "To Get a Letter... Write a letter"

The phrase "to get a letter, send a letter" predates my generation by many years, but it is a great motivator for anyone who wants to receive more mail. If you want it coming in, send it out! I have seen this on vintage labels as far back as the 1950s. The slogan on this postcard is slightly modified to match the vintage graphic of writing hands; it reads "to get a letter, write a letter." I hope it motivates some letter writing and postcard sending!

E-mail: when you care enough to send the very least postcard

6. "Email: when you care enough to send the very least"

For this design, I have faithful blog reader (and etsy customer!) Joe Chapman to thank. He suggested this pithy phrase in a comment after I debuted my Snail mail: not dead yet postcards.

So... in response to all those who have fallen into the habit of emailing thank-you notes, or corresponding via email instead of proper snail mail, this postcard thumbs its nose! The postcard reads "E-mail: when you care enough to send the very least" set inside an ornate baroque frame, with the email "@" symbol highlighted in the internal frame.


All the postcard backs have the vintage postcard graphic design as shown above...

Stamp in stamp frame

..and the frame on the back is a perfect fit for the current design of 29-cent postcard rate stamps, the correct postage rate if you're sending domestically within the USA. (I realize a lot of the readers of Sandbook are from outside the USA, so I hope the frame fits some of your own postage stamps nicely, too!)

By the way, I used some of my own fountain pens and stamps to "pose" in photos with the postcards... the etsy listings include only the postcards, and not any fountain pens or stamps. All the postcards measure 4.25 x 5.5 inches, and they are sold in packs of 5 for $5 USD; shipping rates vary by country. Each design has a high-gloss image side, and the writing side has a more matte finish that is great for writing with any kind of pen, including fountain pens.

My 6 postcard designs, as of July 7, 2011

They are also available in combination packs of postcards so you can mix and match your favorite designs. You can get any combination of the 6 designs:
Snail mail: Not Dead Yet
Vintage Postman
To get a letter... Write a letter
Email: when you care enough to send the very least
I jump for joy over SNAIL MAIL!
Solitude and good company: Lord Byron letter-writing quote

...just make sure to specify in "notes to seller" how many you want of each design.

I hope some of you have as much fun with these as I did - I have certainly been enjoying sending them off myself!

Thanks to Raia and magazine for this opportunity to crow about my postcards. I hope Sandbook readers might check out, and my blog readers might take a look at the great Sandbook blog, too!