General Guidelines for Printing and Submitting Plastic Postcard Art

When laying out artwork for plastic postcards, it is good to keep in mind how the postcards are produced and to keep in mind where the art will be cut.

 Unfortunately the die cutting process is not precise so we ask that you include:

1. A .125” (1/8 inch) BLEED, or background art that extends
beyond the intended die line.
2. A .125” (1/8 inch) BUFFER. The BUFFER is the space between the die line and the LIVE area.
It is critical that important information like type or logos not encroach on this BUFFER area, Or they run the risk of being cut into when the printed sheet are die cut.

Check the Following Before Submitting Your Final Postcard Art:
  • All art must be in CMYK Color Mode. When creating BLACK backgrounds, use a rich black color mix of 87 cyan, 52 magenta, 52 yellow and 100 black.
  • Accepted File types are Illustrator and Indd CC and earlier.
  • Print ready PDFS are not recommended when ANY variable is used.
  • A print ready file should include: The INDD or AI file, PDF reference, links and fonts

**Artwork created in Photoshop, Microsoft Office programs such as Power Point, Publisher or Word will NOT be accepted. PDFs will NOT be accepted when variable text or images are included.


All images should be “LINKED” rather than “EMBEDDED” so needed adjustments can be made. Send the linked files at the time artwork is submitted. All art must be in CMYK Color Mode and 300 DPI.

Variable Text Guidelines

Variable Text are fields that will change per card (first and last names, addresses, etc.). All variable data must have angle brackets “<” before and after “>” each field. Make sure all variable is on its separate layer in the art file and that you have left enough room in the variable field to allow for long names that may be in your variable database.

For Example:
<First Name> < Last Name>
<Address > <Address_2>
<City>, <State>  <Zip>

***Please note variable text cannot have any special effects (drop shadows, glows, leading, kerning, outlines, diagonals, etc)

Fonts and Card Text

Include ALL type fonts when you send the job. Or, convert all type in the document to outlines (note that converting type to outlines renders the documents type uneditable, so it is better to include all fonts and not outline since sometimes last minute changes are needed at press.) Please avoid providing text as raster images unless special effects are being used.

File Transport

  • Email ~ Please Do Not Send Files Via Regular Email if they are over 5MB.
  • ~ set up a free account, where you can then email us electronically.


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business postcard printing

Call for a FREE Marketing Consultation:

☎ 800.928.7670

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 7:30am – 4:30pm PST
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