For my first assignment, I need to design a series of three postcards (size A6) that say something about me:
- Who I am
- My wider cultural influences
- My interests. I’ll design the front of each postcard and use the back to say something about what this image means to and why I’ve chosen it.
I know myself, once I’m researching my interests, techniques and design ideas i can’t stop and step back. I, therefore start researching the general topic of postcards first. What is their history, where do they come from and what types of postcards are mostly used?
With that in mind, I will move on and try to make sense of myself. Mind mapping my interests and cultural influences. After some Design Inspiration and Research, I should have enough material and understanding of the subject to start designing.
02 Research: Postcard History
The earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted in Fulham by Theodore Hook in 1840. The illustration shows a colored caricature of Post Office scribes seated around an enormous inkwell. Probably as a practical joke on the postal service. Postcards without images were issued by the Post Office in 1870 and were printed with a stamp as part of the design. From the first postcard sent in 1940, it took 30 Years until in a soldiers training camp in France started to print postcards with an image on one side and text on the other. Printing technology advanced in the nineteenth century, which helped the postcards popularity rise. The standard size postcard has remained untouched.
Common postcards from the late 19th century included scenes from British and French colonies, and also scenes from Morocco, Egypt, and India. There aren’t a lot of subjects left which weren’t covered by a Postcard somewhere in the past. The variety of subjects was mainly driven from travelers searching souvenirs or business’. The US Government granting the words “Post Card” to be printed on the back of privately printed cards pushed its use even further.
Postcards are no longer the stuff of vacation greetings.
Thanks to e-mail, messaging and social media, postcards have entered different forms of correspondence. You can get one from a company trying to sell you something, your Boss or family members. What remains is the special feeling when you get one. The message gets transported personally and is usually still written by hand. In its most basic form. It’s mailing without an envelope.