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Old Jun 10, 2009, 07:48 PM   #1
DesignerGenes
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USPS Guidelines for rounded corner postcards?

I'm currently designing a small rsvp postcard for my wedding invites. I've tried to find info on whether or not it is kosher to mail a postcard with rounded corners but I am getting conflicting results. The USPS website is such a cluster, I can't really find anything on there and several online printing companies say that it is a big no-no but I'm not so sure that info is up-to-date.

Any direct mail designers out there that have come across this issue before? Does it cost more to mail?

Normally I would just call the local post office, but I need to approve the design first thing in the AM.

Thanks...
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 07:56 PM   #2
Blue Velvet
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Quote:
Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides. Letter-size, card-type mailpieces made of cardstock may have finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 1/8 inch.

http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/201.htm#wp1042477

Quote:
1.2.1 Dimensional Standards for Cards
Each card (each stamped card or postcard or each half of a double stamped card or postcard) claimed at a card price must be:

a.
Not less than 3-1/2 inches high, 5 inches long, and 0.007 inch thick.
b.
Not more than 4-1/4 inches high, or more than 6 inches long, or greater than 0.016 inch thick.
c.
Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides. Card-size pieces meeting the standards in 1.2.1 may have finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 0.125 inch (1/8 inch). See Exhibit 1.1.1d.

It seems you're OK with rounded corners, providing the radius of the curvature is no greater than 1/8" (approx 3mm).
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 11:09 PM   #3
Consultant
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People have experimented with shipping all kinds of stuff via USPS,
such as plastic bottles, balls without containers.

Rules on rounded corners on postcard will most likely not be enforced.
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 11:47 PM   #4
DesignerGenes
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Thanks for the help.

I was looking a little bit more and i came across what the USPS calls Customized MarketMail

Quote:
Customized MarketMail (CMM) is an option for mailing nonrectangular and irregular-shaped Regular Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard Mail pieces if the pieces weigh 3.3 ounces or less and meet the physical characteristics and the dimensional requirements in 1.1.3 and the mail preparation standards in 1.4.
I would think that this would allow for rounded corners on a postcard. They have some examples on the website of some crazy die cut postcards (ie. a dinosaur) so I really don't see how rounded corners would throw a wrench in the works.

That crazy USPS. Gotta love 'em.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 03:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DesignerGenes View Post
They have some examples on the website of some crazy die cut postcards (ie. a dinosaur) so I really don't see how rounded corners would throw a wrench in the works.

It's not necessarily the shape, it's how the shape works in automated sorting and is therefore priced for mailing. If you want something to be sent at postcard rate without fail, stick to the guidelines. If you don't care about the rate because you're only sending out a couple of dozen at most, then fill your boots. When you're sending out tens or hundreds of thousands of the things, the extra few cents per item quickly add up.

Don't forget to supply a cutter with the file unless your printer has got one that can do the job.
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