Vintage Postcard Images
  ENLARGEMENT & DISPLAY OF POSTCARD IMAGES
   
Below left  is an example of how a high quality hand colored postcard image would look  enlarged (72 dpi).   The view on the right is a close-up of a  card with a different printing process.  In this one, you'll see more texture and often wider brush strokes of color, particularly in the background buildings and trees.  You can open your image file and zoom in to see how it will look in a larger size.

The 600 dpi scan creates a crisp high resolution  image in the original postcard size of approximately 5.5 " x 3.5". The enlargement of a high quality image will look more like a water color painting or tapestry, and can be a beautiful work of art in itself, suitable for framing.  You will want to talk to your printer about enlarging greater than 4-5 times the size of the original image.


Image Detail  Empire

Original Postcard Size
Approximate size of original postcard

If you are considering enlarging postcard images for framing, keep in mind that the original postcard is approximately 5.5" by 3.5". If you print at 600 dpi (dots per inch or pixels per inch), you will have a high quality image the same size as the original.   You will lose resolution as you enlarge, and I recommend not enlarging greater than 4 to 5  times the size of the original. To resize the image, you can import it into a particular project, such as a  note card or plain document, and size the image on the page.  As you enlarge the image, you will lose some resolution, but, as you can see from the example above, an enlargement of a hand colored card can be quite beautiful.   If you want to see how an image would look enlarged, open the file on your computer and zoom in.  
           Full Image Matted and Framed            Same image cropped
Above left is an example of an enlarged postcard  custom matted and framed. 
Above right is the same image cropped to fit a standard 8x10 format.


Postcards are not scaled the same as standard photographs, and will not fit a standard size frame without cropping,  matting, or leaving a white margin around  the image, but the common 4" x 6" frames (or composite frames) work well if you enlarge the original image slightly.   One idea is to group several smaller images in a  matted frame (see below).  Be sure to use high quality paper and change your printer from "Normal" to "Best"  for good results.   If you want a larger print than 8 x 10,  talk to your local printer (including any of the larger office supply stores, such as Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples) to get prices for printing your images on high quality paper.  There are also several good online sources such as Kodak Gallery.   I have found that a  laser print will closely represent the  color saturation and clarity of the original restored card.  Ink jet prints can be quite pleasing, but  present a softer image.


Need Something Quick,  Easy, and Inexpensive?

Print a single postcard image on a regular 8.5" x 11" page, and use a DOCUMENT frame.  An 8.5" x 11" page fits perfectly without trimming.   Generally, I'll size it on the page and leave a wide white margin. "Boxing" the image with a black border really makes it stand out.   This works well for a single small piece of wall art,  grouped with other art,  or displayed on a table top easel.  I recommend at least 24 lb paper, and 64 lb paper is perfect. If you use 24 lb paper, add at least two plain sheets behind it when you frame.  If you want something nicer, I recommend 64 lb paper.

Open a new document (Word or other).  Print Set Up for Landscape or Portrait (for a vertical card). Center the image on the page. Set your printer to  "Best" (or the next better quality than "normal").   With the bordered image below left,  when I inserted it into the document, I clicked on the "frame" icon on the tool bar to add a narrow black border to define the card.  Frame alone in a standard 8 x 10 frame, cropping the 8.5 x 11 page to fit the frame. A tip for doing this without measuring is to center the glass on the image and trace around it with a pencil.     You can spend as much as you want or as little as $1.00 for an 8 x 10 frame.  CAUTION:  If you are doing your own printing and are editing the original digital image with your photo software, be sure to save the new image as a new file name.  It's best to save your original high resolution images on a write-only CD before making any changes.

Single Image Framed in 8 x 10          Single Image Vertical

If you are thinking of framing two or more images as a group,  I recommend that you look for similar cards.   If you're combining cards with and without borders, you may mat them to create a group, or crop the bordered image and size to match the other card.  The great thing about digital images is that you don't have to work with the original size and shape of the original!  If you are framing a card with a full white border or a white margin on the side or bottom, you may  consider adding a border (you can do this in Microsoft Word, etc., by selecting the image and clicking on the little box in the tool bar. You can change the width of the border in that function. In the one above left, I used a narrow border just to distinguish the edges of the card.

Grouped images custom matted         composite of grouped postcard images
Above left is two similar images (although the top one has a white border) matted and framed.  Above right is similar to some of the composite wall displays that I have found for 4 x 6 images. They are attached but show the wall color between the images.  There are some very attractive and inexpensive displays like this available in most frame departments, including Walmart..



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