The tourist industry requires hundreds of thousands of picture postcards to be printed each year to cover the demand from tourists for picture postcards to send to family and friends showing the towns and cities they have visited during their vacation. The demand for picture postcards worldwide runs into millions and some printing companies specialize in this one aspect of printing. It can be a lucrative source of income for both the retailer and printer, but there is considerable competition and only the best quality postcard printing on to good quality glossy card are acceptable to tourists and visitors.
It is not only picture postcards depicting iconic images, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, Big Ben, or white sandy beaches with turquoise blue sea, etc., that tourists demand but museums, galleries, airports, and similar outlets all have picture postcards available showing their particular activity or business. Many tourists or visitors are happy to take their own images whilst on vacation especially with the almost foolproof technology of ‘point and shoot’ digital cameras available. However, there are still multitudes of people who cannot take a good picture using a camera and, for these people, postcard printing is one way that they can take home perfect pictures to bring back the memories of their vacation.
There are many more uses for postcard printing than just for the tourist industry. For instance, an individual or business that moves location needs to let their family, friends, or customers and suppliers know their new location. A simple and cost effective way is to send an eye-catching themed colored postcard with a picture and message on the front and your new address and contact details on the reverse. Some print companies take all the hard work and worry about notifying every person or business in your address book of your new details by designing, producing and also posting the postcards direct to your contacts leaving you free to get on with the hard work of physically moving location.
Postcard printing is also a quick and easy way of sending short messages through the post but this has now largely been surpassed by the advent of email and text, but there is still a call for this because not everyone owns, or wants to own, a computer or mobile phone – not yet anyway!
The process of picture postcard printing requires using a special type of card called Postal Bristol that is especially manufactured for the purpose. It has a smooth surface on one side, suitable for writing the address of the recipient on with a pen or pencil. The other side, where the picture is reproduced, is coated. The coating is a finishing process that improves the finished surface and helps to enhance the gloss, opacity and whiteness of the paper.
When a postcard is manufactured for writing on only, both sides are left without a coating so that the message can be written on one side and the address of the recipient on the other.