How to Make a Retro Style Event Postcard from Scratch

by . July 12th, 2023

Spicing up an upcoming event or celebration can be achieved using postcards. These postcards can be used as invitations or after-party souvenirs. The postcard’s full potential can be achieved by making a catchy and remarkable postcard design. In line with this, today’s creative session will feature a tutorial on how to make a retro-style postcard design for your upcoming event.

Below is the final product of this tutorial:

This time, we will focus more on the creative use of typography in postcard designs. Note that you’ll be supplying your text or event details in this tutorial.

Before we start the creative process, we will need the following tutorial assets:

Tutorial Assets

Download the free 6″ x 4″ Adobe Illustrator Postcard Template (with mailing guides) at UPrinting’s Free Template page.

We will use an old paper texture background to add a retro and vintage look to our design.

Typography is the design’s main focus, so we will need some awesome fonts from DaFont. Download the following:

Installing the fonts on your computer before opening Photoshop and Illustrator for this tutorial.

 Step 1

Open the 6″ x 4″ Adobe Illustrator Postcard Template. 

On the Layers Panel, delete the print guide by following this

Create a New Layer by clicking the button on the Layers Panel.

Drag and drop it underneath the “GUIDES” Layer and name it “Paper texture” by double-clicking it.

Step 2

Open the paper texture file in Photoshop and lower the saturation to -50 by pressing CTRL+U. Hit OK.

Select canvas (CTRL+A) and copy it (CTRL+C). Go to Illustrator and paste it (CTRL+V).

Rotate the canvas counter-clockwise and fit it inside to create this image.

Lock it so it won’t move around as we move on to the next steps.

Step 3

Start adding the text. On the Layers Panel in Illustrator, create a New Layer. Note that all the text here is just dummies; you can place whatever text you want according to the event you’re celebrating. Using the “Lobster” font, type your shoutout on the top left part of the canvas. I used a dark gray color value (#333333).

Using the Line Segment Tool, put two lines underneath your shoutout with the same gray color. Use 1 pt for the stroke.

Add four more lines and place them like this.


Step 4

Start adding more text. Use the two remaining fonts. I used an orange color value (#ff6600) this time. Your postcard design so far should look like this:


Step 5

Add some objects to your postcard. Go to Photoshop and create a new document (CTRL+N). Hit OK. Follow the specs below.

Select Custom Shape Tool on your Tool Box.

Draw the shape below. Adding this stamp-like shape will make the design look more vintage/retro.

Press “A” and highlight the whole object. Copy it (CTRL+C), go to Illustrator, and paste it (CTRL+V).

Select “Compound Shape” and hit OK. Color it with orange (#ff6600).

Repeat the same method for the “circle” object. Now, your retro postcard design will look like this.

We are almost done! As you can see on the finished product, the texts and objects were semi-transparent. To achieve that, highlight all your layers (texts, lines, and objects) except the old paper texture background.

Select “Multiply” instead of “Normal” on the Transparency Panel. Add the remaining text.

Finally, we’re done!

You can download the Illustrator file of the finished design below:

 [Download not found]

Remember that creating an excellent retro postcard design is just one aspect of making your event successful and memorable. It takes a lot of planning: making sure the booth or venue design is consistent with your postcard, getting to know the target attendees or recipients, and more.

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