Reading List

Saturday, 15 May 2010

To plan or cram?

After last week's post I had some correspondence with design guru Stephen Bayley. (Thanks for the card Stephen!) For him, postcards' magic rests in the writerly discipline needed to communicate in such a confined space.

Thinking about it, I reckon there are broadly two camps of postcard writers. Those who embrace Stephen's challenge, standing back to concoct messages with impact. And those who dive straight in and cram as much onto a card as possible.

Typically, it's the planners who conjure up the star messages. But sometimes, the crammers triumph too. Through the intricacy of their efforts, their postcards can assume a beauty which deserves celebrating.

Two cards this week. One from each camp.

PS To have a proper look at the crammed card, click on the image of it above.

PPS Although postcards had been around since 1870 in the UK, it was only in 1902 that the Post Office allowed the address side to include both address and correspondence. Only then was the current challenge set. Postcardese is very grateful.


  1. The ultimate crammers were those who wrote their message in two parts, the first horizontally as usual and the second written on top of the first after rotating the card 90 degrees. Surprisingly the messages are easily readable. I'll try to remember to send you a copy next time I see one.

    There are also those who run out of space mid sentence ....

    Kind regards as always

  2. The discipline of the psotcard is like expressing everything in a 14 line sonnet.

  3. Linda, I'd love to see a horizontal-vertical message. Let me know when something turns up! And send it in

    Viridian. I completely agree. In fact, I think I've got a few complete poems on a couple of cards. Actually, there's already one on here:

    But yes, sonnet messages - that'll be worth a post in a week or two.