QSL cards can be made with any image design or word processing software that can handle text and images, including Adobe Indesign and Illustrator, CorelDraw and QuarkXPress. In addition, some sites, such as RadioQTH.com, offer online tools for customizing QSL cards.
A QSL card is a personalized calling card that is traded among ham radio enthusiasts to acknowledge the receipt of radio transmissions. They are typically 5.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches high and are exchanged through the mail as postcards. If the design includes background colors or images, designers using a professional printing service should include a 1/8 inch bleed, or overlap, in the margins.
A QSL card should include the operator’s call sign, name, address and the details of the transmission. Transmission details include the call sign of the station contacted, the date and time of the transmission in Coordinated Universal Time format, the band or frequency, mode, and the Readability Strength Tone code. Leave space on the reverse side for adding a mailing address and postage.
Ham radio enthusiasts often customize the appearance of their QSL cards with personal photos, graphics and other design elements. The online tool at RadioQTH.com offers an option to add a portrait or background image.