Over the last few years I’ve had a great deal of fun designing QSL cards. I’ve posted a couple of slide shows here, both vertical and horizontal designs. From initially doing one-sided card designs, I quickly moved into two-sided. First, it gives me more room on the front for the design, and second, it gives me more room on the back for QSO details. Further, I’ve never sent a QSL as a postcard. I always include it in an envelope, along with a stamped return envelope. I’ve also migrated to using vertical cards. This has been due primarily to the images that I’ve wanted to use on the cards, mostly towers.
My layout work on the cards has all been done in Microsoft Word. The images are usually manipulated in PhotoShop, saved as PNG or JPG files, and then brought into the Word document. Finally, I output the card in PDF and send it to the printer. The printing I get done on a color copy machine at our in-house print shop at work. They do it very cost effectively, with a high degree of skill, and have excellent customer service. I usually print just 100 cards at a time. There is really no quantity discount for digital copies — other than what you can get on a sheet of paper. With this low quantity, I can make changes to the card and it is a low investment. Offset printing presses offer lower cost for high volume quality work, but the overall cost is way too high for my budget and I don’t really want that many cards at once.
The featured image shown here, the Tower and Globe, will probably be a source of inspiration for my next QSL card design. Let me know what you think of my approach to QSL card design.