Frequently Asked Questions About Art
These refer to color modes available on your software program. RGB (red, green, & blue) are the primary colors of light. Mixing these three colors in various combinations can produce hundreds of thousands of colors of light. Computer monitors always display in RGB color mode. Printing requires ink pigment instead of light to produce color. Offset printing uses four colors – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black – also known as CMYK. Similar to an artist's palette, mixing these four ink colors can produce hundreds of thousands of colors. PMS, also known as Pantone or spot colors, are specific colored inks. PMS colors are not created by mixing CMYK ink pigments. If your artwork is created using RGB or PMS colors, our system will convert the colors to a CMYK equivalent color during the proofing process. Not all RGB and PMS colors have a CMYK equivalent, which can cause significant color changes from your original file to your proof. We recommend creating your artwork in CMYK color mode to minimize the color change.
Offset printing uses 4-color inks, C (Cyan), M (Magenta), Y (Yellow), K (Key or Black), also known as CMYK. The ink is applied in layers to produce the final colors. Like a painter's palette, mixing the 4 inks can produce hundreds of thousands of colors. PMS or spot colors will be converted to the closest CMYK equivalent color during the proofing process.
If the color is critical, we recommend that you order a hard copy proof to accompany your print job. PrintPlace.com calibrates our presses every day to ensure consistent color reproduction. Although we accept RGB files we recommend converting your graphics to CMYK to set color expectations to what a printing press can actually produce. RGB images are assigned AdobeRGB unless tagged with a custom profile. CMYK files are always assigned Gracol2013.
Rich black is a color combination that will produce a deep, dark, full black off the press. Almost any color combination can be considered a rich black as long as there are 100% black ink and at least 1% of at least one other CMY colors. Our recommended rich black combination is 60% Cyan, 40% magenta, 40% Yellow, 100% Black.
The proof is sized to the finished cut size of the job specifications that were ordered. When the artwork does not appear sized correctly, verify your receipt to confirm the purchased size. The artwork should measure ¼” larger than the height and width of the size ordered to allow for bleed.
The most common reason artwork shifts on the proof are that the artwork is not set up or centered correctly on the original file. The proofing engine finds the center point of the artboard/canvas and places it in the exact center of the trim size. We recommend using our layout templates or read our "Setting Up Your File" document for helpful information on setting up your file with or without the templates. Note: In the case of an EPS file, our system uses the bounding box for centering purposes. Saving an EPS file as a PDF usually corrects the shifting problem. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for assistance.
The lines on your PDF proof show where we will trim and fold your piece. The blue line is the final trim line. The red line is the bleed line. Any background image or color should extend to the red bleed line. The green line represents the caution zone area. Any text should stay inside the green caution zone line. The green/yellow dotted lines show where we will score and/or fold your piece.
There are two reasons a proof will not show fold lines. Either folding was not ordered or the job was ordered with custom trim. If you are expecting your piece to fold and you do not have green/yellow dotted proof lines, please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7 am-8 pm CT) for assistance.
You can upload .pdf, .tif, .jpg, or .eps files. We recommend .pdf files.
Bleed is a printing term for artwork that is going to, or bleeding to, the edge of the finished piece. We require a 1/8” bleed on all sides to ensure that when the finished piece is cut down to the final size, if the paper shifts slightly, the edge will still show color. Your online proof shows the red bleed line, the blue trim line and green caution zone line.
Caution zone is the space between the design and the trim line. We require a 1/8” caution zone on all sides to ensure that when the finished piece is cut to the final size, your design will not end up too close to the edge of the finished piece. Your online proof shows the red bleed line, the blue trim line, and the green caution zone line.
Resolution refers to the crispness of an image. Resolution is directly based on the number of dots per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). Computer monitors require only 72dpi to display a crisp image, for digital printing a minimum of 200dpi is recommended, and for offset printing 300dpi is recommended. Viewing your PrintPlace.com PDF proof at 300% will give you a good rendition of how the image will appear on the finished printed piece.
In order to meet USPS mailing requirements all mail pieces must have a: 4" wide by 2" tall white space in the bottom right corner for the barcode and addressing purposes. The mailing panel may not have a border or background color.
- 1” by 1” white space in upper right corner for the indicia.
- Return address on the same side as the mailing panel.
If your artwork includes dotted lines as part of the design, we will perforate on those lines. Otherwise, please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) so that we may note your job appropriately and post a custom proof to your account showing the correct perforation location.
Your proof will show green/yellow dotted lines for the standard folding option you selected. We can adjust the fold lines to meet your needs. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) so that we may note your job appropriately and post a custom proof to your account showing the correct folding requirements for your job.
We print book pages in spreads, however, for proofing purposes we require each page to be built as a single page with a 1/8” bleed on all 4 sides, then combine the individual pages into a multi-page PDF. For example, a 12-page book will require a 12-page PDF file to be uploaded. For books built-in design programs such as InDesign or Quark, set up your document to the finished size of your book (measure the front cover when closed) with a 1/8" bleed and export the PDF with bleed on all sides. For books that do not have crossover pages, set up your pages as single pages with a 1/8" bleed then save your single pages into a multi-page PDF. Crossovers are when images or text cross over 2 facing pages. For books with crossovers, we recommend using a design program such as InDesign or Quark. Please contact our art department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) if you need additional assistance.
Our layout templates are not interactive; they are for design placement only. Depending on the software program you are using, open the PDF or JPG file in your software program on a separate layer or to set up guidelines. Use the red (bleed), blue (trim), green (caution zone), and green/yellow dotted lines (folding) to set up your artwork layout. Any background image or color that is meant to go to the edge of the finished piece should extend to the red line on the layout template. Any text should stay inside the green caution zone lines. If your piece is folding, your artwork should line up perfectly with the green/yellow dotted lines. Be sure to use the correct template for the front and back sides for all folding projects. Some designs do not require a layout guide. Try our "Setting Up Your File" tips for general information on setting up your artwork.
Design and File Correction
We require press-ready artwork in either a PDF, TIFF, JPG or EPS file. Tips to set up your file and layout templates are available to help you set up your artwork using many different software programs. Our art department is available to answer questions and to help with your artwork. For a nominal fee, the art department can do minor file repairs to existing artwork. Please call our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for assistance.
The art team acts as an extra set of eyes that will review your proof for common technical issues to help ensure you receive the best possible finished product. If we find any problems, your job will be placed on hold with an explanation. You have the option to correct the problem or to waive the hold status and move the job into production. There are no further reviews of your artwork once you waive the hold status. The job will print as it appears on the proof. We offer a “No Art Check” option, upon request, that would limit the art check to restricted material only. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for additional information.
We require press-ready artwork in either a PDF, TIFF, JPG, or EPS file. If you need assistance on how to save your artwork to one of these file formats, please call us at 877-405-3949, M-F (7 am-8 pm CT). Our art department will be happy to help. In some cases, the art department may ask for your native files which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, you can design a product, mailer, or shipping box using the 3D online design tool. Here's how to access it:
- Go to your preferred custom box product page.
- Input your specifications before selecting “Design Your Product Box Online.”
- A flat layout of the box exterior will appear based on your specifications. Here you can add different elements to complete the artwork. A 3D preview will show how your box will look with every update.
See the full FAQ for custom boxes here.
The standard art check is a free service we provide to help ensure you receive the best possible finished product. The art department will review your proof for common technical problems. If they find a potential problem, they will place your job on hold. An automated email will be sent and your account will show the hold status with an explanation of the problem(s). You will have the opportunity to reject the artwork and upload revised artwork or waive the hold status. Although you may not skip the art check process, you can contact us by phone, chat or email and request that the art department expedite the art check so that you may waive the hold status right away. A “ No Art Check” option is available in some cases. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for more information.
Almost all software programs will allow you to generate a PDF file. The option may vary depending on the software program you are using, but generally, if you go to the “ File” tab on the menu bar, you will find a “ Save As” or “ Export” or “ Print” option. Select “ PDF” as the file type and follow the software program instructions to create the PDF. Select the option of "High-Quality Print" or "High Press Quality". Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7 am-8 pm CT) if you need additional assistance.
Artwork is available for direct re-order on the site for 12 months. Some artwork is archived after 12 months. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7 am-8 pm CT) if you are looking for artwork that is no longer available on the site.
Frequently Asked General Questions
We do not currently offer design services. We require press-ready artwork in either a PDF, TIFF, JPG, or EPS file. Tip sheets and layout templates available to help you set up your artwork using many different software programs. Our art department is available to answer questions and to help you with your artwork. For a nominal fee, the art department can do minor file repair to existing artwork. Please call our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for assistance.
We offer Net 30 terms on a limited basis. Please contact email@example.com for information on our minimum spending requirements and to request an Application for Credit form. Our other payment options are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Cashier's Check/Money Order, and wire transfers.
We offer a file repair service for our customers that may not have the knowledge, time or software to fix design problems themselves. There is a nominal fee for this service.
PrintPlace.com sends coupons, discounts, or promotions to registered customers. You can also check out our Coupons page at https://www.printplace.com/coupons for current offers.
A Next Day Mail Proof, sometimes referred to as a Hard Copy Proof, is printed on special photo paper and will show an accurate rendition of the color of your finished printed piece. You can add one to your item on the art upload page in the order process.
Our sample pack includes samples of some of all of our paper stocks and finishing options. You can order a free sample pack here.
Yes, you spend less per unit with a higher quantity order above 250. The larger your quantity, the lower you spend on each piece. We recommend bulk printing for creating high-volume orders within a limited budget.
We offer 3 coating options for all coated stocks. Uncoated stocks have no coating. Gloss Aqueous or Matte Aqueous Coating can be applied to all coated stocks. It has a semi glossy finish. Stocks with aqueous coating are writable with ballpoint or sharpie pens, but are not compatible with desktop printers or office mailing machines. To ensure writability or printability, select an uncoated stock. High Gloss UV is a very glossy finish like a glossy photo. It is applied on top of the aqueous coating. High Gloss UV coating can enhance vibrant colors or designs, but tends to show fingerprints on black or similarly dark colors. UV coating adds extra ink protection and some water resistance. You cannot write or print on UV coating. Order a sample pack to see and feel the options. (Link to sample pack page.)
We offer 8 types of paper stocks. Cover Stocks or Card Stocks - 14pt Cover, Uncoated (14UNC) is a smooth white uncoated cover stock that is easy to write on. This is commonly used for business cards, postcards or greeting cards. 14pt Cover, Gloss 1 Side (C1S) is glossy on the front and completely uncoated on the back. Greeting cards commonly use C1S stocks for ease of writing on the inside. Additionally, postcards are often printed on C1S stocks so the uncoated side can be easily addressed by hand. 14pt Cover, Gloss 2 Sides (C2S) is glossy on both sides of the paper. C2S (glossy or coated on both sides) papers have aqueous coating on both sides and are writable with ballpoint or sharpie pens. 10pt Cover, Gloss 2 Sides (C2S) is glossy on both sides of the paper. Similar to the 14C2S but thinner and therefore more economical. It is commonly used for booklet covers or folded pieces. Text Weight Stocks or Paper Stocks 70# Text, Uncoated is an uncoated stock similar to what is commonly used in a desktop printer. It easy to write on or run through a desktop printer. 80# Text, Gloss Text has a glossy coating on both sides to give a glossy appearance and good color saturation. Similar in weight and feel to a magazine inside page. 100# Text, Gloss Text has a glossy coating on both sides to give a glossy appearance and good color saturation. This stock is similar in weight and feel to a magazine cover page. Order a free sample pack to see our paper stocks for yourself.
Account and Ordering
To make changes to your job specifications or your shipping information after you have placed your order, contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT).
To change the name, email, phone number or password on your account, log into your account with the current email address and password. Once logged into your My Account page, click on the Settings tab to update your contact or log in information.
You can cancel a job as long as it has not been sent to press. Once the job has been sent to press, you can request that we recycle the job and the shipping costs will be refunded to you. Cancellations within 30 days from the date the job was ordered can be refunded back to your credit card. After 30 days, the refund will be issued as an account credit. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) to discuss your cancellation options.
PrintPlace.com can produce some custom projects that are not available on the website. You can submit a custom quote request from the home page by locating the Services tab and selecting Request a Custom Quote under the department options. You may also contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) to discuss your custom project.
We only print in quantity breakdowns as shown in the dropdown menu on the instant pricing tool.
If you are not receiving the automated email notifications, we recommend you check your spam/junk folder. Depending on the settings of your email account these automated emails may be directed to these folders. We do ask that you check your My Account page or contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for the most current information on your order.
There are 3 common reasons a file will fail to generate a proof.
- Conflicting orientations: One page is set up as a landscape and one page is set us as a portrait. Rotating one page will correct the problem.
- Conflicting page count: The number of pages being uploaded does not match the job specifications. Changing the artwork to match the job specifications or changing the job specifications to match the artwork will correct the problem.
- Incompatible PDF: The PDF file being uploaded is saved in a manner that is not compatible with our proofing system. Saving the file as “High Press Quality” or “High Print Quality’ should correct the problem.
If these solutions do not correct the problem or if you need additional information, please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mailing
Every Door Direct Mail®
We do not currently offer bundling services for the EDDM® pieces. We will ship the entire quantity of printed pieces directly to you. You will be responsible for bundling, printing and attaching the slip sheets and delivering to the postal service. EDDM® and EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL® are trademarks of the United States Postal Service.
Direct Mail uses mailing lists to get your printed product to a targeted audience. All of the work is done by us. We will print your job, inkjet the names and addresses from your mailing list and deliver your product to the post office for delivery. Mailing lists can be purchased with very specific criteria to truly target your intended audience. You can provide your own mailing list or purchase one from PrintPlace.com EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is a program through the United States Postal Service where your printed pieces are delivered to every door on a particular postal route instead of individuals on a list. EDDM mailing is more economical but requires the customer to do all of the work. PrintPlace.com prints and ships your job to you. All other arrangements will be completed by you through your local post office. To receive more information about this program, visit the USPS Every Door Direct Mail. EDDM and EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL are trademarks of the United States Postal Service.
Yes, you can upload multiple mailing lists to your print order. Each list will incur an $85.00 processing fee. You can combine the lists into one list to avoid multiple mailing list processing fees.
Our mailing services department can provide both consumer and business mailing lists. Our mailing lists are single-use lists. Request a mailing list quote here.
Pricing can vary depending on the mailing list criteria. You can request a mailing list at https://www.printplace.com/services/mailing-list-quote on PrintPlace.com.
First Class Mail: First Class Mail is processed by the post office on the same day that we submit it to the post office. Delivery of your mail pieces can take up to 5 business days. Standard Mail: Standard Mail is also known as Bulk Mail. It is the slowest but most economical way to mail through the post office. Once we deliver your mail pieces to the post office they can hold it for up to 48 hours before processing it. Delivery usually takes 7-13 business days. Nonprofit Mail: Nonprofit Mail will mail at the Standard Mail delivery time. To mail at Nonprofit rates, you must be set up with a nonprofit status with the post office and then submit a PS-3632 form to our mailing department. Please note that delivery times are set by the United States Postal Service and may vary. For political mailings, please contact your local post office for information for delivery times.
Yes, we mail out international mail. All international mail is mailed First Class and delivery times can vary significantly. We do not guarantee delivery times made by the USPS. A piece mailing to an international address must have a United States return address.
A Next Day Mail Proof, sometimes referred to as a Hard Copy Proof or HCP, is a printed proof for color approval only. It is printed on a special photo paper and is an accurate rendition of the color you can expect on your finished printed piece. We recommend ordering a Next Day Mail Proof for color critical jobs.
Your mail pieces will be delivered to the post office for mailing 2-3 business days after the scheduled ship date/completion date of your print job. If you have a specific drop date, place contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm) for more information.
United States Postal Service delivery times vary depending on the postage rate selected for the mailing. First Class Mail pieces can take up to 5 business days for delivery after being submitted to the post office. Standard Mail and Nonprofit Mail usually takes 7-13 business days for delivery once submitted to the post office. Please note that the delivery times are set by the United States Postal Service and may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping
Transit and Delivery
Transit times refer to the shipment period or how long it will take to deliver the order. This period begins after the turnaround time or printing period of your order. Transit times are not included in the turnaround time, which is the number of days it takes to print your job.
Your turnaround time is the number of days it will take to print your job. It does not include shipping transit time or mail processing time. Turnaround times are based on business days, Monday through Friday, and exclude federal holidays. Click to read our detailed information on "https://www.printplace.com/services/fast-online-printing-turnaround-times". Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7 am-8 pm CT) for detailed information on when you will receive your order.
Jobs with USPS (United States Postal Service) selected as the shipping method are shipped by DHL to your local post office and then delivered to your home by USPS standard delivery methods. USPS mail can take up to 10 business days from the ship date on your account to delivery of your product.
Yes, you can blind ship your order directly to your customer. PrintPlace.com will not appear in any way on the package or product when using blind shipping. You can select any US address in your address book or add a new one. Customs & Duties regulations will not allow you to use a Canada address as your "ship from" address.
Yes, you can ship your order to Canada. Please call us to make arrangements.
Yes, several of our customers choose to send a carrier of their choice or to use their own FedEx or UPS account. PrintPlace.com will not be responsible for labelling, scheduling, or tracking your jobs if an alternate carrier is used. To use an alternate carrier, set up your job as a will call order. Contact your carrier to make the necessary arrangements for pick up. Your carrier will need to ensure the driver has the job number(s), paperwork and appropriate labels for your order. PrintPlace.com will not provide or attach paperwork or labels to your order. This will be the driver's responsibility. For large orders, we can make arrangements for freight shipping. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for more information on freight shipping quotes.
PrintPlace.com does not require a BOL (Bill of Lading) to ship your job, and therefore does not provide BOLs. However, if an alternate carrier is used to pick up your job, the carrier may require the shipper to provide the BOL. When an alternate carrier is used, the customer is considered the shipper, not PrintPlace.com. If you are using an alternate carrier to pick up your job and the carrier is requiring a BOL, you can send the completed BOL to PrintPlace.com and we will provide it to the driver for you. Please note that PrintPlace.com may not be listed on the BOL; it should have the customer's billing and contact information. Please contact our customer service department at 877-405-3949, M-F (7am-8pm CT) for information on where to send the BOL.
Yes, you can ship your job to any address in your address book. You can also split ship your order to multiple addresses. Select from any address in your address book
or create a new one if necessary.