Digital photographs, physical postcards

Like a lot of the digital generation while I like sending postcards and letters, I quite often forget one of: buying them, writing them or sending them. I also struggle to find a postcards that I like, that epitomise my holiday and that are, if at all possible, appropriate for the person I’m sending them to.

There is something nice about the delayed nature of a postcard. Yes, I can send a photograph instantly to someone via a myriad of photo-sharing apps, picture message or email but those methods lack the apparent thoughtfulness and extra effort that goes into sending a physical card. I’m still not very good at remembering to do all the steps though.

This is not aided by my dislike of shopping, particularly shopping in the kind of tourist tat shops that sell postcards (I don’t mind so much picking one up from the local post office, newsagent or campsite shop but that’s a different blog post).

Conveniently just before I went on holiday this year I happened to be sat near someone else’s television when an advert for Touchnote came on. I’d never really got the hang of moonpig.com but something about the way Touchnote presented themselves made me give it a try.

Touchnote have an app for your phone ( iPhone / android ) as well as a website, so, however you tend to take your photographs it should be easy enough to generate a postcard or greetings card from your pictures. On holiday of course the simplest way to do it is with your phone.

There were a couple of things about the experience that I found a little faffy, inputting the address the first time being one of them.  I struggled to get my phone to populate the app correctly so I had to do some copying and pasting. I sent two cards from my holiday (three if you count the one my 4 year old niece sent to her mum).

On all three occasions I received a pretty email from Touchnote showing me the postcard I had created and a subsequent email letting me know that the postcard had been dispatched.

Card 1:

Single image with text and address on the back.

I used this photograph of Weymouth Beach. In a nice touch, the cards have the location the photograph was taken on the back.  It was received two days later by my mother (if I’d been abroad clearly that would have been faster than regular mail but lacking the interestingly foreign stamps).

Card 2

This time I started fiddling with the settings and made a multi-photograph card with crops of some of the images I took of Beer Beach.

 There are a limited number of layouts you can use, and at the moment you can only remove the white bands round the edges on single image postcards (although I rather liked it so I left it in on mine). However you can tweak the photos and zoom in and out as much as you like to make the postcards look how you want them to.

The actual postcards

So here they are, the postcards that were printed using my photographs:

IMG_0433.JPGThe card stock is nice and solid and the image reproduction is pretty good – the photographs were taken on an iPhone 6 so I wasn’t expecting DSLR quality but they’re not bad. The printing style makes them look quite old school as well so you could imagine they’d been sat in a shop since before sending postcards went out of fashion.

Pros/Cons/&c

Pros:

  • the recipient doesn’t have to attempt to read my truly awful handwriting
  • I can pick a photograph that I took of my personal holiday experience and send it to a friend/family member knowing that they will be able to receive it in physical form
  • it’s quick and easy, I did the whole thing from my phone in about 5 minutes
  • I don’t have to remember to buy the physical postcard/stamp or post it
  • no wondering if your postcard will actually make it, and if it doesn’t you know who to complain to

Cons:

  • no funny foreign stamps
  • if you have awful weather or aren’t a particularly good photographer you might struggle to get a shot that you consider “postcard worthy”
  • it might not seem as personal as a hand written card to some older/more traditional members of your family/friendship group

Conclusion:

I will be using Touchnote again and would definitely recommend it