Christmas is just around the corner, and we thought it was the perfect time to put together a quick guide on creating augmented reality postcards. This will be a helpful guide for designing and sending cards in general, as we’ve selected two worldwide services that you can use throughout the year depending on your needs.

To create a personalized AR postcard, you must use at least two multiple platforms. However, our step-by-step guide will help you combine the strengths of different providers and seamlessly create cards in minutes.

Contents

  • What you’ll need?
  • Creating a postcard with Canva
  • No-design ready-made templates with MyPostcard
  • Adding AR to your postcard

What you’ll need?

  1. A marker image (unique postcard design or photo—explore best AR marker tips here)
  2. AR content that’s going to feature on top (video, gallery, 3D content, etc.)
  3. AR creator where these can be combined (create.overlyapp.com)
  4. A service for printing and posting the card

Option 1: Design your AR postcard from scratch and make the entire card your AR marker

You can either design your postcard from scratch or insert your photos within an existing template. You can also draw a complete DIY card and take a photo of it. This photo can be uploaded to create.overlyapp.com to awaken your drawing.

Skip to the next step if you want a simple ready-to-post template and service suggestion for those.

If you’re doing the work from scratch, you can use any design tool that you prefer. However, many platforms out there let you create unique designs without needing an art degree. We’re using Canva for our guide. The platform is already hitting the mark with the correct postcard sizing (148 x 105mm) and offers you numerous designs that you can adapt. 

I’m not a designer, and I prefer using ready-made designs. The image in front of the card will be my AR marker. I will not make the entire card my AR marker as the number one rule in creating AR designs is that each marker image has to be unique. 

 

In a nutshell, stock photos and popular design icons should not be used. This poses a risk for duplicated marker content. While the AR technologies can spot duplicates, the software cannot differentiate what content should be retrieved.

Below you see I’ve revised the design. I have replaced the featured photo with one from my gallery. The same exact image will also be uploaded to create.overlyapp.com and serve as my AR marker.

 

I have also removed any large-format ready-made icons or design elements from the design, so there is no risk that the AR app could interpret something else as the marker.

 

I’ve personalized the back and included Overly app credentials, so the recipient knows they must scan the card to see an additional message.

Send postcards off to print

Canva offers a superb opportunity for you to create the design and arrange postage right there via the platform. There may be some limitations to worldwide delivery, although they do cover Europe and the US (I will offer an alternative delivery option below).

Once you’ve sent your postcard to print, skip to the AR section.

 

Option 2: Upload your photos to a postcard service

If you don’t want to create your own design and just wish to opt for a personal photo card, you can use your local postcard provider or Google a service near you.

 

Alternatively, you can opt for companies that provide world-wide delivery. One such option is MyPostcard with cards starting at just a couple of dollars with free shipping. They print, stamp and mail all your cards internationally, worldwide from anywhere.

 

 Once you’re in you can just click to create a photo postcard on the left. 

You’ll be presented with lots of options here. As we’re not designing anything but rather opting for a classic photo postcard (the photo will be our marker), we’re selecting the first option.

All you have to do now is upload the same photo file that you will use for your AR marker image. I’m using the below photo for this example. Please note that the entire picture is going to be my AR marker. I will not adjust its shape, size or add any design on top of it. It is vital that we use the same file in this instance and don’t adjust it.

Once uploaded, you’re prompted to write a greeting.  While we could insert visual augmented reality instructions in Canva, here we have to use text to let people know it is no ordinary card. Don’t forget to do that. Invite people to download the Overly app and experience your AR message.

Once all these steps are complete, you can send the card off.  In the meantime, let’s create the AR marker and add content to it. No matter which option you choose for design and postage, the following steps are all the same.

Add augmented reality to your postcards

While the postcard is getting printed and delivered, you can tend to your AR project. Log into your create.overlyapp.com account and create a separate folder for your Christmas greeting projects.

Once you’re in, all you have to do is upload the same image you used for your postcard to the system. Do not change any dimensions at this point.

Once the uploaded files are open in the creator, they are turned into marker images. I have uploaded the same image I used when designing in Canva. The right proportions are in place, and all I have to do is choose the content I want to add on top of the card.

For this example, I’ve chosen a video greeting. After less than a minute, my video has uploaded and I can adjust its placement.

Note, I’ve chosen a personal home video for this example that may be relevant to the person receiving the card. However, you can add personalized greetings, 3D experiences, image galleries, utilize buttons to gather donations and more. Wherever your imagination takes you.

 

Once everything is ready, I can hit publish. The very instant, the postcard is ready to come to life once scanned with the Overly app. I’ve pasted this postcard below as a demo case study that you can scan and explore in your own time. If you have any questions or need further guidance, get in touch with our team via chat or leave a comment below.

Steps

1. Get Overly app for mobile

2. Scan this image with the Overly app

3. Experience magic

Scan this image with the free Overly app

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