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.

Perhaps one of my best designs
Perhaps one of my best designs
Simple card with monochrome style
Simple card with monochrome style
A couple of nice PhotoShop images
A couple of nice PhotoShop images
My current QSL
My current QSL

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.

First work with PhotoShop on the Tower
First work with PhotoShop on the Tower
Lots of PhotoShop work on nearly every image
Lots of PhotoShop work on nearly every image
Very early card
Very early card
One of my first QSL cards courtesy of my employer at the time.
One of my first QSL cards courtesy of my employer at the time.
My very first effort at a QSL card
My very first effort at a QSL card

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.

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Nice cards Jim! I’m always let offset printing my cards. But it is true that it’s more expensive and less flexible then printing them yourself.

    I must admit the offset printing guys help me out with the design. Something you clearly don’t need. Great design!

    73, Jim

    • Thanks for your nice comments, Jim. From looking at your website I can see that we have many things in common — Elecraft and Apple, for starters. Great write ups on your own adventures in ham radio. I look forward to seeing you down the log! 73, Jim

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