Promotional Postcard

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Hello, all,

First off–thanks so much for being willing to be a part of an online community like this!  I am excited to share and learn with you all.  The awesome Shel Silverstein poem on the “About Us” page has given me the courage to post  🙂

I would love some feedback on any/all aspects of this project.  I am designing an over-sized postcard for a first ‘promotional’ mailing to send to publishing houses and magazines that seem interested in work like mine.  From my research, it seems like if I want to be a freelance illustrator and I’m not promoting any particular project, sending out work samples is the way to get my name and art out there.  I have noticed that there is some conflicting information as to the format to send those samples:  some artists make ‘tearsheets’, others send out letters and examples of work attached to the letter, some do postcards,  etc.

So–would you even do a postcard?  And, if so, how does mine seem to work?  Does it meet my goal of getting my name out there and inviting potential clients to my site?  How about the visual composition/aspects of it?  Oh, the space I’ve left on the backside is for writing a little personal note to the art director.

Thanks so much!!

Stephanie

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6 responses »

  1. I think everything Karen has said is good advice. You definitely want to “Wow” an art director with one strong image (or a couple of vignettes) they’ll want to post on their board/office wall.
    And with all the digital imagery coming at us, a nicely printed piece will be appreciated and stand out.
    My rep takes care of a lot of our promotional mailings and I am advertising in Workbook (yikes to the cost…I probably won’t do it again for a while). Mela (MB Artists) is going to send out 4 different mailings over the year for us, each one focused on a theme or characteristic like: movement, characters, emotion, storybook.

    If you are looking for art directors to send postcards, you can find them here: (you may already know about these)
    The Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Handbook and
    The Graphic Artists and Illustrators Handbook

    I recently had business cards made which have been extremely helpful in networking around town.
    Best of luck to you Stephanie, and welcome to the group!

  2. I send out promotional postcards. You have to do your research and figure out which art directors want them, though. You don’t want to send something and have it land right in the trash bin because that art director is going paperless and wants it in an email. So, my mailing list (filed on note cards in a recipe box) lists what each contact is looking for. After I finish sending out the batch of postcards, I go back and contact those who don’t want postcards in whatever way they’ve specified. Usually I send a digital version of the same image that I sent on the postcard.

    If you’d like, I would be happy to mail you one of my leftover postcards from my last batch so you can see what I’m sending out. I just need to know where to send it.

    I’m printing mine through Vista Print, but there are lots of places that can print them well, so it doesn’t matter much who you use.

    As for your card, it seems awfully busy and you seem to be going for the hard-sell. I mean, everyone who sends a postcard is saying “Hey, Art Director! Look at me! I’ll do great work if you hire me!” So, I’m not sure you really need to put so much effort into saying that. Instead, well, you’re an illustrator. Show it. Plus, even an over-siized postcard isn’t really all that big. Cram too much into it and it’ll get too small to see very well. Personally, I just send regular-sized postcards.

    I’ve read recommendations to put one or two images on the front and, perhaps one more on the back. More than that gets crowded.

    I know it’s tempting to want to show them all your best work all at once, but my understanding is that it’s better to pick one or two to showcase. You can save the next-favorite for your next postcard batch. You should send them out once every 3 to 6 months, so it won’t be too long before it’s time for your next one.

    Okay, specific things on these images. I don’t really like the lined notepaper thing. It kind of distracts from the work. It makes me wonder, is she actually drawing on notebook paper?, which I doubt you are. I’d get rid of that entirely. Pick one of those images on the front (the birds, not the letter) to use and save the others for your next postcard run. Put your logo in one corner or another, however it looks right. On the back, I like your Purposeful and Playful Illustrations with the illustrated P. Put that up in the upper left corner scaled to take up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the height of the card. Then put your email, website, and phone number at the bottom of the card, underneath where you’ll sign your name. Between those elements is your space to write something personal. Put your name and mailing address in the upper left of the address half of the card, where your return address is supposed to fit. That way it serves the dual purpose of giving your address to the client and to the postman for return service. I usually get two or three cards back return to sender when I send them. Getting them back alerts me that I need to update that address. If it looks like there’s a blank space that needs something, put your logo there. Otherwise, it’s on the front side, so doesn’t have to be on the back.

    Make sure to check with whoever is printing your cards for their template. There are specific rules on where everything needs to go on that backside. The template will help you make sure you don’t position something in the wrong place.

    You drawings themselves are very nice. I just think you’re trying to put too much on what’s really a fairly small space.

    Now, a little warning. It’s quite possible that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m still a beginner here, too. I’m mostly relating the advice I’ve gleaned from my own research into the subject. So, feel free to disagree with me entirely. 🙂

    And good luck!

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