How to Make a Retro Style Event Postcard from Scratch

by . July 12th, 2012

Spicing up an upcoming event or celebration can be achieved using postcards. They can be used as invitations or after- party souvenirs. Achieving the postcard’s full potential can be done 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 be focusing more on the creative use of typography in making postcard designs. Note that you’ll be supplying your own text or event details in this tutorial.


Before we start the creative process, we will be needing 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.

To add some retro and vintage look on our design we will be using an old paper texture background.

Typography is the main focus for the design so we will be needing some awesome fonts from DaFont. Download the following:


Make sure to install 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 come up with 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 New Layer. Take note that all the text in here are just dummies; you can place whatever text you want according to the event you’re celebrating. Using “Lobster” font, type your shoutout on the top left part of the canvas.  I used dark gray color value (#333333).

Put two lines underneath your shoutout with the same gray color using the Line Segment Tool . Use 1 pt for the stroke.

Add 4 more lines and place them like this


Step 4


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



Step 5


Add some objects on 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 like more vintage/retro.

Press “A” and highlight the whole object. Copy it (CTRL+C) then 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]

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