Paper with address lines for Postcards? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread


I want to make real photo postcards and wonder how many different papers there are with address lines. I know Ilford makes a RC paper, but I prefer fiber paper if possible.

-- Patric (, September 21, 2001


Kodak used to make a nice fiber postcard paper; I have no idea if it's still available. Check with your Kodak dealer; it's probably a special-order item if it's still made.

-- John Hicks (, September 21, 2001.

Thanks John. I called "Scandinavian Photo" here in Sweden, and they said that they have Ilford MG fiber paper with pearl surface printed on the back as a postcard paper. Strange, I have never heard about this paper before, but I ordered a 100 pack.

-- Patric (, September 21, 2001.

No, it is a RC paper. :-/

-- Patric (, September 21, 2001.

I have an advert fir the Ilford in front of me and this one calls it "MG IV RC Portfolio 10x15cm Gloss or Pearl (Back printed Postcard)"

I've been meaning to grab a box and subscribe to this... postcard list Anyone tried this?

-- Nigel Smith (, September 21, 2001.

Yes, I've used the Ilford postcard paper. As far as I know, it is MGIV RC with postcard printing on the back. Used them for my Christmas cards last year.

-- Don Karon (, September 21, 2001.

The Ilford paper, how is it to write on? Can one use a lead pencil? How's the surface on the back like?

-- Patric (, September 22, 2001.

The Ilford postcard paper is RC, so the back is more plastic than paper. Ballpoint, and marker pens work fine, pencil not so well.

I've subscribed to the Internet Postcard Trading List for a few years, and think it is great. My darkroom walls are decorated with dozens of original photographs from all over the USA and other parts of the world. Many people use the Ilford postcard paper, but many also use plain fiber based paper. I've even received Polaroid prints, and a handmade platinum print. Lots of creative postcard traders out there.

-- Chris Ellinger (, September 24, 2001.

The ILFORD post card paper is an RC paper, with a heavier than normal base (same as the PORTFOLIO line of papers). It is available in either glossy or pearl, and has the normal lines on the back for postcard use. It can be written on with ball point pens, or most markers.

I do not know of any manufacturer making post card paper on a fiber base stock.

David Carper ILFORD Technical Service

-- David Carper (, September 24, 2001.

I thoroughly searched the Kodak website; I assume their fiber postcard paper is long gone.

I've been using the Ilford paper; it's good. No problems writing on it with ballpoint; never tried it with pencil.

You could always cut down larger fiber paper to postcard size but I don't think it's thick enough or stiff enough to survive the mails. I've sent and received some postcards on DW fiber paper and they've usuall been creased etc.

-- John Hicks (, September 24, 2001.

I guess one could use a thicker, museum weight paper, and use a rubber stamp to print the address lines. Old real photo postcards often have white text in one of the corners. That can be made with a transparent OH plastic foil printed in a laser/inkjet printer, cut out and placed on the photo paper before exposing it. :-)

-- Patric (, September 24, 2001.

I do not know of any fiber base paper for postcards (Ilford postcards are RC portfolio, which is close to the thickness of FB paper but not the same...) My solution for this problem is to print on FB paper of any brand , to get it very flat and to print the lines on it using my HP inkjet printer... It makes very clean postcards.

But I also noticed that, when i take the time to realize a fine FB print to send, I do not wish to send it "bare" and to risk to have it damaged. So I generally finish by putting it into an envelope and send it within this protection... Cheers from France

-- Jean Daubas (, October 02, 2001.

Kodak discontinued their postcard paper a couple of years ago...too was a pretty thick DW+ Kodabromide paper that came in a few grades, glossy only. Towards the end of it's life, you could only get it in a couple of grades:2 and 3. I used this stuff alot and it would mail really well. You may still find some lying around old stock someplace, it's probably been about 4 yrs. or so since it was taken out of production. FWIW, they had a whole line of postcard papers over the past 75 yrs. or so...including one called "Velvet green" that was basically like Velox but with a green toned base---to "match nature's color" might want to try Luminous, not for a postcard stock, but to see if they still have their museum-weight fiber paper in production. this was like a triple-weight paper almost. you could probably make a linoleum block stamp, or just a stamp & use india ink on the reverse to mimic the writing...I use the ilford paper now & it holds up well in the mail too...

-- DK Thompson (, October 02, 2001.

Oh yeah, about the whole fiber base thing...I never let it bother me too much in just dropping them in the mail. That's part of the whole "postcard" experience...

I would often use 2 enlargers and print in black borders with masking frames, and ferrotype the prints on a drum dryer to make them a little more durable. As far as type on the print surface goes, don't confuse older postcards that may be printed by an offset press or lithography with photo postcards. I work in a museum and we have both types in our collections. There was a whole slew of photo papers that were "postcard" papers. The majority of these were DOP contact papers like Azo or Velox. It's a little time-consuming, but you can easily add white or black text (or shadowed) to a photograph using masks made out of litho film, either on a contact printer, or with a second enlarger. You can also generate another neg with the text on it as well, and either sandwich it in place, or register it somehow to print correctly over the paper...see, 2 enlargers really help here. With the contact papers, and the large negative sizes of amateur roll films from years back, the contact printers had masking frames. (this is not a piece of glass, but rather a machine with multiple switched lightsources, and a platen to hold the paper down to the neg on a glass base). The person operating the printer could use masked overlays to control areas much like dodging & burning (as well switch on & off the lamps to control density too)---they'd use a waxy paper & could tack it in place to the frame with an's realtively easy to hold an overlay in place registered this way. If it was a long roll contact printer, many copies could be knocked out...FWIW, some labs still use more modern printers that operate this way.

-- DK Thompson (, October 02, 2001.

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