QSL Card Template Guide and Specifications
design is included in the price for all of our products. However, we
understand the "do it yourself" need for many HAMs. If you are one of
those (as we are), this page is for you!
The following instructions may be used as a general guide to create your own QSL card images:
image is an illustration to use as a guide for designing a QSL card with a 5.5" X
3.5" finished size. The same general principles may be applied for cards
of any size. Please note the additional 1/4" in both the height and
width dimensions, which represents a 1/8" border on all 4 sides. This
border, known as "bleed" is the outside edge of the image that is
automatically trimmed off after the printing and coating processes are
complete. This process eliminates the possibility of having a card with a
"white edge" due to the
smallest of shift in the image files, plates, presses, or trimming
To ensure that text and important objects in images are not
trimmed off, an additional 1/8" border, called "safe area" must be
observed. Note how the callsign is placed within the "safe area" in the
Here are some tips to create your card images with high print quality:
- For high luster prints with sharp text, you should maintain a resolution of 300 dpi or more if possible. The
definitions and relationships of image resolution, size, compression,
and vector files are complex and confusing. Therefore, if you are
not sure if your images are sized correctly and high resolution, it
would be best for you to keep your images large (like they come from
your camera) and crop them to the same aspect ratio as 5.75" X 3.75" (or the width and height of the card size you desire plus .25" in each dimension), and we will compress the size to fit our template.
- Export or Save your files as PDF or Scalable Vector Graphics if possible. We can also use most file formats created in publishing and image software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Powerpoint, and OpenOffice. High resolution image files such as Bitmap (BMP), Portable Network Graphics (PNG), and JPEG (low compression/high quality settings), are also acceptable.
- Remember, Full Color on both sides is included in the price for all cards! Select text colors in the CMYK colorspace if possible.
you save your files in publishing software, convert the RGB colors of your images to CMYK if
your software supports it. If the conversion causes problems, just leave it as
- To get a
general idea of the quality of your images when you are done, view them
zoomed to 200%. You shouldn't notice much pixelation or blurring, if
any at all. Pay close attention to the edges of your text.
It sounds more complicated than it is, so let us know if you have
questions. We are happy to work with you to create your own files for
When your files are ready, you may submit them to us with your order on our
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