Postcard Sizes and Definitions


Continental size: 4X6 inches (15 cm X 10.5 cm)
Many of the new cards you purchase today are of this size

Regular (or Standard) size: 3 1/2 X 5 1/2 (9 cm X 14 cm)
Many of the older cards are of this size.

Oversized: Anything larger than a continental size.
Mostly 5X7 inches, but some can be found in larger sizes. Although this size of cards is popular with postcard companies and tourists, many collectors do not want them because they are more expensive, not easily filed, cost more to mail, and harder to trade with others. The advantage is ofcourse the more detailed view of the scenes shown on the cards.

Modern size: These are about 6 1/2 X 4 3/4 inches.
They are often classified as a smaller type of oversized card.


Chromes: These are modern glossy cards and are most prevalent among traders. They are the most common type of card you will find on postcard racks today. Chrome refers to a process used to make the cards. The chrome cards were first published in the 1950's and continue to be published today.

Linens: These are antique, non-glossy postcards. They were made from the 1930's to 1950's and were available only in the regular size. Linens are an antique card with a non-glossy finish. The card paper has an appearance and feel of linen cloth. If you look closely you can see they have a woven look to them and the colors look as if they were painted. The paper they are printed on tends to yellow somewhat with age. Most of these cards were printed in the US by the Asheville Postcard Co. and can only be found in a smaller regular size.

Real Photos: These are a reproduction of real photos. The card is a real photo on one side and on the other a postcard. Real photo postcards can be old or modern. While the old real photo cards were made in the regular size, the newer cards tend to be chromes because these are mostly reproductions of black and white photos.

White borders postcards: These cards were printed in the early 20th century before the linen postcards and were in regular size only. They were made up until the 1930's. White border cards are easily recognized due to the white border, unclear view and were not printed on linen like paper. Most of the time they will have a stamp box that reads "Place once cent stamp here". This type of card is becoming increasing rare and are almost always used.

Old Greetings: Antique holiday and special occasion greeting cards which were produced in the early 20th century in the regular size and can be quite valuable. They were made especially for occasions like Christmas, Easter, Get well soon, birthday, etc.

My Postcard Collection ~ My Preferences

Postcard Traders Info ~ Useful Postcard Links

History of the Postcard ~ Postcard Storage Ideas

Postcard Sizes and Definitions ~ Round Robins and How they Work

Tips For Trading ~ Where to find cards

Back to Michelle's Postcard Pages Index

Hosting by WebRing.