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While one can enjoy postcards for nothing more than the pretty pictures they provide, many find that a deeper understanding of their nature enhances the experience of them. The outward simplicity of postcards can be very deceiving. They were produced in a great variety of manner and for as many different reasons. Pictures however are not chosen arbitrarily; graphics and style are closely tied to the art movements of their time, pallets and techniques were dependent on technological advances in printing and photography as well as scientific theories. Social, political, and economic factors all played important roles in postcard imagery. Knowing the how and why of all these interrelated facets is often beyond even the most experienced collector. Too often when we look at old postcards we are puzzled by or misinterpret what we see. In this section we will attempt to bring many of the hidden aspects of postcards into clearer focus through a series of guides as well as providing general information. Additional guides will continue to be posted to this page and existing guides will be updated when new information or images become available.