Design a Thank-You Postcard for Your Small Business | Rebecca Wilson | Skillshare

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Design a Thank-You Postcard for Your Small Business

teacher avatar Rebecca Wilson, Writer and Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Plan Your Postcard

    • 3. Sizing and Setup

    • 4. Design the Front Side

    • 5. Design the Back Side

    • 6. Exporting and Finishing

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About This Class

We all know the excitement of receiving a long-awaited package in the mail... and we all know the difference between a generic box from Amazon and a lovingly hand-packed order from a small business. The details matter when it comes to making your customer's unboxing experience memorable, and an easy way to enhance your packages' branding is to add a thank-you postcard inside.

In this easy design course, I'm going to walk you through the process of designing a thank-you postcard in Canva. You have a lot of creative freedom with your design, but there are certain elements you're going to want to make sure are included, and we'll cover them all in this course.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Wilson

Writer and Designer


Hi there! My name is Rebecca, and I'm a full-time creative. I write and design books, run a handful of Etsy shops, do some illustration and music, and most importantly, teach creative people like you!

In a past life I was a university lecturer and researcher. I loved every (stressful) minute of it, but I am so thrilled with the twists and turns that led me to my entrepreneurial life. I've been full-time self-employed and doing creative projects since 2017!

My goal is to provide practical, hands-on skills along with knowledge that can only come from experience. Everything I teach is something that I really do - usually as an income stream or as a client service. I was always told that I had a gift for explaining things clearly in a way that anyone can understand, and I hope... See full profile

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1. Introduction: One of the delightful aspects of buying from a small business is the unboxing process. Unlike big companies that ship from massive warehouses, small businesses tend to package or this by hand and often include personalized touches. These little extras can put a smile on a customer's face and can also incentivize them to continue supporting small businesses. One of the common add-ins that small businesses will include our thank-you cards, most frequently designed as postcards. They are cost-effective, easy to order in bulk, and add virtually no weight or bulk to the order that you're shipping. In this course, we're going to be walking through the steps of strategizing and designing a thank you card for your business will be designing in Canva, which is a free and accessible design tool that most small business owners are already familiar with. But don't worry if you're not as we're going to go through it step-by-step together. My name is Rebecca and I'll be your instructor for this course. I'm a small business owner myself, and I've designed dozens of these types of cards for both my own businesses and for others. I'll help you design the perfect postcard in just a short amount of time. So if that sounds good to you, then let's head into the course together. 2. Plan Your Postcard: Before we get started on the design work, Let's first look at some examples of thank-you postcards and what goes into making a good 11 of the things I think that frustrates a lot of small business owners is the idea that their packaging inserts go right into the trash or the recycling. Hopefully, when we start designing these postcards, We have to think of ways to incentivize people to want to keep the card after they discard the rest of the packaging. This means they're more likely to remember your business in the future. The two ways that I recommend doing this are to, number one, include an offer like a coupon code on one side of the postcard. So they want to hang on to it. And number two, make the backside of the card visually attractive so they might want to keep it, maybe put it on a bulletin board or even frame it. We're going to be designing a two-sided postcard in this course. And I do recommend that one side is more decorative. Let's take a look at a couple of example cards that I've designed to see this in action. Here you'll see two examples of both the front and back of postcards for small businesses. The front sides are on the top and they both include some standard information. First, we have a standard message thanking the customer. This text is pretty flexible and the tone of the message should suit your brand. Next, we have a discount code. There's no specific amount that you have to set. I've seen stores do anywhere from 2% to 40% off. You also don't have to include a coupon code if that doesn't make sense to your business. Just remember that it's one of the reasons it's worth doing a postcard in the first place. And if you don't have even a small offer, then think hard about whether you actually need the expense of a postcard in your order at all. Third, we have social media and website information. Ideally, you should have one handle across all of these platforms. And you can write it here along with the icons for the social media sites that you use. Your website is important to include so that your customer knows exactly where to go to shop with you again and possibly use the code that you just gave them. As for the backs of these postcards in particular, they both have really, really simple design styles with the same pattern from the front of the postcard as the background, and then some space for the brand logo in the middle. Now this kind of design is perfectly adequate and it works if you're in a hurry or you don't have a lot of inspiration for your postcard. But let's look at a couple of alternatives that you might want to try. These postcards follow the same principles for the front designs, but the backs are a little bit different. Here we have two images that followed the design style of the front, but has space for a little quote or a motivational saying. Ideally, this is something that relates to your brand, the industry, or the aesthetic. These kinds of images are more likely to be saved and pinned to a bulletin board, for example. Now this next example is a little bit different here because I've used pieces of clip art to create a scene related to the business, which for this example is a candle company. This is just a simple example, but you can essentially create a little piece of art that somebody might like to keep because it suits their decor or their style. Remember that if somebody is buying from your business, then they clearly resonate with your branding and imagery. By ensuring that your thank you card is on-brand, you'll be able to continue to appeal to the tastes of most shoppers. Now with these examples in mind, let's get into the next lesson and get started designing a postcard together. 3. Sizing and Setup: Before you pick the size of postcard that you're going to create, you should figure out where you're going to have your postcards printed to find it the specifications you'll need with that company. A popular option for printing postcards is vista print. This is where I've gotten my own postcards printed, so I'll be using it as an example. But I'm not affiliated with them. And I do think their quality is on par with lots of other printers out there. They do offer a lot of different postcard sizes, but the most popular ones for our purposes are four by six inch postcards or five by seven inch postcards. These are going to be the same dimensions just when it's printed slightly larger than the others. So we will go with five by seven inches as our measurement for this project. Now let's hop into Canva and create the document I've logged into my Canva account here. Now keep in mind everything we're going to do you can totally do with a free Canva account. I have a Pro account. So some of the features might highlight as available, but nothing we're going to do requires a Pro account. To get started. We're just going to click on Create a design up in the top corner and go to Custom Size. Going to switch this to inches. And we're going to do a postcard that is seven inches wide and five inches tall. I'm going to click Create new design. And here we have the Canva design space open. Now there's a few things I always like to remember to do before I get started. And first is to name our document. So I'm just going to name this small business postcard. Then because we're creating a two-sided document, I'm just going to add a page right now, so we have both pages available. Going to go right here and add a page title. So we will call this front of postcard, call the other one back of the postcard. And that way we just know which is which when we export it, because this is what the file will be named, Robert, each page in the file will be deemed. Now that we have our document ready to start designing, Let's hop into the next lesson and start working on the front of this postcard. 4. Design the Front Side: I started designing a postcard here, we have to decide what kind of business we're going to use as our example. So I'm going to come up with a fake florist business that sells flowers. And I'm just going to call it fancy florist. Now you probably already have an idea of what your business aesthetic is, what kind of graphics you use for your social media or your branding. Maybe your logo. So you may have styles, colors, and maybe even images you want to use already for this. But it's important to narrow that down, especially if you're going to be using assets from Canvas library, which is free and you can totally do that. For my case, I'm going to pick anesthetic that is feminine, light and flattery, of course. First let's get some text onto this page and then we'll decorate it. The first thing I want to do is put the words, thank you right at the top. To do that, I'm just going to click on T on my keyboard to open a textbox. I think that this text Thank you is a good opportunity to use a display font. So something very decorative. So I'm just going to highlight it and go to the text options here. Because the vibe I'm going for is feminine. I'm going to type in script and look for script font, but you may want to do something playful. I find the term funky actually results in some cool fonts on Canva. I'm going to scroll down through here and look for a script font that I like. And I like this one in particular. I'm going to make it quite a lot bigger because it's going to be the highlight of this little postcard. And I will drag and put this in the center of the page near the top. Next, I'm going to add that other texts that kinda goes with this, just extending the thanking message. So I'll hit T again. And this time I'm going to look for a font that compliments this one. Finding font pairings is an art form, so you do have to play around with it a bit, but I find a fancier font looks good with a serif font. I'm just going to type Sarah. Here. We see all these Sarah font options. And this one right here, it looks pretty nice in contrast with this fancy script. So I'll make it a little bit bigger. And just typing a little bit of complimentary text. I'll just drag this up and place it right below that text. So this is a good start. We have the thank-you part of the thank you card down. Now I want to add the offer. I'm going to put a 15% off coupon offer. So I'm just going to click on this text and duplicate it using this button right here. So it stays the same formatting. Select it all. And I'm going to type in the coupon code offer. There we have our offer. Now a couple of little notes about this. First of all, you'll want to make sure that you actually activate this code before you start printing and mailing these out. I think it's easy to forget. I like to use a code just like thank you, 15 or some sort of word. And then the number that is the percentage off, I just find that it's easy to remember and easy for customers to type in. And it's a small note. But when I first wanted to type this out, I wanted to end the sentence here right after the code and put the exclamation point there. But if you do that and put punctuation, lots of customers might mistake it as part of the code and put the exclamation point in the checkout box, which would result in the code not being found are not being applicable. So just to avoid confusion, try and not end the sentence at the coupon code. Now the next thing I want to add is a little bit of social media and contact info, and I think I'll place it down here. I'm going to copy the text again. And I'll align it over there and make it a little bit smaller this time. Just put tags on social app, fancy florist, assuming that was my handle. And again, make sure you don't add punctuation at the end. People make mistake that as part of your handle, even though on most platforms you can add punctuation. I'm just going to add that in London up this sort of box that shows up around the page is the margin. It's a suggested print margin. Now for postcards, the image usually goes all the way to the edge, but generally don't want to put any text in outside of that margin so it doesn't get cut off. In order to let people know what social media platforms you're on. We're going to want to add some icons here so they can know exactly what platforms defined you want. So we'll just hop over to the Elements tab here in Canva. I'm just going to type in Instagram. And they pretty much have most social media icons already in here. So I like to either go with these sort of rounded square ones or the perfectly circular icons for this one, because we're kind of going for that feminine look. I'll pick the circular ones. I'm just going to drag this down, make it quite small. I will line up right below the text. You can see here the magic recommendations have suggested a couple of other icons I made like I would like the Facebook one as well. I will align it up, shrink it down. And there we go. You can add as many as you like. Just make sure that you're actually on the platform is you're linking. Next. I also want to add our website, so I'm going to duplicate this, drag it right below, and type in our fake website. There we go. If your business has a local presence and you want to include an address or a phone number, you could do that here as well. I'll add a phone number in. If you had a full physical location, you might want to put it over on this side, a line to the other side of the page. But for most businesses that are shipping online, they've had mostly just an online presence. This is looking pretty good so far, not highly decorative, but there's one thing I want to show you before we move on to decorate in this postcard. You might find it handy to add a QR code to your postcards that people can scan with their phone camera to instantly take them to a website. Now, Canva lets you do that really easily, which is a great feature and it is part of the free plan. You don't need to be a programmer to use it. So we're just going to go to the sidebar on the left, scroll to the bottom and click on More. And QR code is right here. So if I click on it, you just have to enter in the URL you want it to go to and it'll generate it and insert it as a picture. So some suggestions as to what you could do here. This could just be your website for your store. I suppose you could also link a social media account if you wanted to send people to your Instagram, for example. You could also just put in the coupon code link. If you're using Shopify or another platform, you'll typically get a URL that lets you link people directly to your store with the coupon code activated. That way they don't have to forget about it. You could paste that in there as well. I'm just going to put in Google just to make this easy. It will also let you customize this QR code so you could change the color of it. I think because I'm gonna go for a feminine five, it be cute if I made this pink. There we go. Now I will generate the code and it is right there on our document. I'm just going to drag it down to the bottom corner opposite of the social information and put it there. You could also add some text around it, herbicide it saying what this QR code goes to. But most people are probably going to assume it goes to your website. So now we have this page design. Let's make it a little bit decorative. I'm going to hop over into the Elements tab again. And this time I'm going to type in watercolor because I think that would be a nice sort of aesthetic for this brand and making them. If you're using the free account, you'll want to go into the filters here on the side, scroll down all the way to the bottom and click on Free. This will filter out anything that is a premium asset that throw you off if you didn't notice and you go to export and it asks you to pay. So what I'm gonna do to decorate this isn't going to look for a background and some clip art elements that I can add in in the corners. Really liked this multicolored picture here. I'm going to drag and drop it into the back of our postcard. And it's a little bit bold, so I'm just going to click on it and then go up to transparency right here and turn that down to about 50%. That way it's a lot more subtle. And to decorate this postcard further, I see these little flowers here, so I'm going to try this in the corners. I think that would look really nice. And I'm just going to position and send it to the back. So it goes behind the QR code that I will duplicate it and use the Rotate tool right here to spin it 180 degrees so it's upside down. And then I'll put it in the opposite corner as well. Again, sending it to the back behind the text. So this isn't really basic mock-up of a postcard that you can make. And of course you can tweak it from here. Sometimes people prefer to do the decorative elements first and then the text. It just depends on your design process. There's no right or wrong way to do it. For example, I can click on these icons and turn them into that pink color that we used. Actually, I'll pull the pink here from the flower graphic. I'll do the Facebook icon, the same color. At this point, feel free to just play around with different features that Canva has to offer just to see what it looks like. For example, we could try doing lived here. Not so much or turn this neon. If this was on a dark background, I think the neon would look really nice. But we can leave it plain for now. And I think the pink, it look better as the black. Those are the basic elements of what should be on the front of your postcard. Obviously, you have a ton of creative freedom to choose the fonts, the pictures, the orientation, and whatever else you like to put on your card. You want to make it representative of your brand, and nobody knows that better than you. Now, in the next lesson, we will move on to decorating the back of this postcard to complement the front. 5. Design the Back Side: Now that we have our front of our postcard design, let's start to tackle the back. As I mentioned before, the back of the postcard is a great opportunity to create a visual that your customers will want to keep something they might want to look at, receive. You have a lot of options. Of course, you can put your logo here. You can always put your logo on the front of the postcard as well. But I think this is a good opportunity to add something a little bit different besides just your logo, although you may want to include it in a corner, smaller in addition to some artwork or picture. If you've had any really great product photos or staging photos from a shoot that you did for your business. You might want to put that here that could be really interesting and obviously on brand, an alternative that is available to anyone is to browse through Canvas stock library and see what you can create through that. It could be something as simple as a decorative background with a single graphic in the middle that was pertaining to your product. There's lots of very cute ones even here. This one right here catches my eye if you were doing something seasonal. But I think for consistency, I'm going to start with the same background that I have on the front. So I'm just going to click on it, command C on my keyboard to copy it, and then Command V to paste it. This will just add a little bit of consistency to the front and back. So it looks like it was designed intentionally. Now let's find something to put on here to make it look pretty. Given that I'm going with this watercolor theme, I'm just going to go to the search bar and just add flowers to the text. I still have the filter on here for just the free options. Does it scroll through here? There are a ton of really nice images that I could use. You can also narrow it down to just graphics seemed getting some photographs with that as well. A simple option would be just to click on something like this that already fills in with a nice array. The colors of this one don't really suit what I'm going for it. We've got more of a pink and purple and blue color. I narrow down the options a little bit by just adding the word pink in here. And I found this little bouquet, which is pretty close to the vibe of the other side. They're not a perfect match, but this is just an example. So I'm not going to labor too much over it. I wanted to get these greens a little bit more of a blue. You can go into Edit Image and pick adjust. There are lots of sliders here you can work with to make an image just a little bit more like what you're looking for. I'll pull the warmth down to make it more cool toned. And goo is change the tint. Although I find that tint is a bit of a risky one because sometimes it's a little too intense. Even though this is more on the color palette, I find it looks a little bit washed out, so I'll leave it as it was. So this is one idea that you could do something like that. And this postcard by itself could be something you want to save on a bulletin board. Sometimes people save these for things like vision boards or scrapbooking as well. So any excuse to really make someone want to save it. Another interesting thing you could search for in the Canva library is topography, because it brings up a lot of texts. And let's go to graphics here. You'll see there's lots of quotes and stylize things. So you could just add, Be yourself in here. Even over the image. We will make it black just so it stands out. And it can make that one a little bit more opaque or transparent. So not a perfect concept, but you get the idea of what I'm going for here. You can even remove that and just stick with a big quote. Some of these are more decorative as well, and you may find that it fits your vibe. Of course, remember you can also turn this and make this a vertical postcard. Just because the back is one orientation doesn't mean the front has to be the same way. If I was doing it like this, I probably would move this one up and then I would add my logo right here. Let's just add a little circle. And I will turn it white just as a placeholder for a logo. But if you can imagine, that's a nice looking back as well, an entirely different option would be to add a photo instead. So let us start a new page here so I can show you the example. I'll just add one of these topography things into adding. Then let's go to photos. You want to be careful you're using stock photos because you don't want to use an image that shows a product that isn't yours, not because it's not okay to use. The photos in these libraries are safe to use for commercial purposes. But because you don't want to mislead your customers into thinking, Hey, that vase in that picture looks great, I would like that. So aim for something a little bit more generic. Search for the word daisies here there's some great options and I'll again, I'll just click this onto Free only. You can click and drag so it fills the background. This kind of looks a bit more like a traditional postcard. I find it has that old-school vibe. If you use a photograph and maybe some handwriting like this over top, again, you could put your logo anywhere on here to complement it. Another good thing to search for is flat leg. And it will give you generally some objects on a flat surface with some whitespace, which is a good place to put text, logo, typography, graphic, anything like that. Again, just make sure there's no objects in the photo that could be misrepresented. It's something you sell. This image here could be cute because again, my theme is florist and obviously doesn't correspond with the postcard we design, but this is just more inspiration for you. And you can adjust this to go there or add a different kind of graphic in or your logo or saying anything you like. Now that we've got our back and our front design, let's hop over to last lesson to talk about exporting this and finishing up your project. 6. Exporting and Finishing: We've finally reached the last lesson in the course, and you should have your postcard all designed and ready to go. There are only a couple of small steps to finish up. We have the two pages here design in one document, and we want to download them to get them out of Canva so you can upload them to whatever website or company you're printing with. Now, whatever site that is, they might tell you what kind of file type they want. But typically it's going to be a PNG because it's a high-quality graphic. And export out of Canada.