Hands down, we prefer the PDF/X file format. It’s designed for printing, and specifically press-printing. The standard (at least X-1a) gives us all the information we need to create top-notch printing from your artwork. You can create PDF/X files in Adobe programs like Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign as well as in Corel programs like Draw or with open source programs like Scribus or Ghostscript. You still need to format your graphics to be at least 300dpi and we prefer that you use the CMYK color scheme instead of RGB, but if you’ve set all that up in your PDF document and then you save it in the X-1a (or later) style, it will make our job a lot easier.
If you can’t create a PDF/X file, a high-quality or press-quality PDF will work, just make sure that you use the high-resolution graphics and CMYK colors or the end result might not look like you intended. [w1]
We also accept TIFF files (which are uncompressed image files) but you must flatten all the layers first. So if you’re creating your artwork in Photoshop or another layer-based image editing program, you must flatten everything into one layer before you save it as a TIFF file.
We’ll take JPG files (which are compressed image files). They only have the one layer, so your image editing software will force you to flatten everything before you can save it. Remember that we need graphics that are 300dpi at the full size of the artwork. So if you’re using JPG files and you need to increase their size, you can only expand your image to the point where it is 300dpi and not any further.
If you are using vectored graphics you can send us an EPS file which keeps the graphics vectored throughout the process, just note that you must embed any fonts that you use within the EPS file when you save it. Vector graphics can be resized without losing resolution, so you don’t need to worry about diminishing resolution if you expand your graphics. If you are mixing text and vectored graphics, the EPS file format is going to serve you (and us) very well.
If you have any questions you can always call 877.405.3949 or visit our Help Center.
In order to purchase from PrintPlace, you need to create a free user account. We only use the information collected to keep in touch with you and get your order to you. We won’t ever sell or distribute your data; period.
If you don’t yet have an account with us, you can click “My Account” in the upper right portion of the website to create one. At first we just need your name and email address. You create your own password and that’s it. We’ll send you a confirmation email with your login information and automatically log you in.
Once you’re ready to place your order we’ll need to know the payment information. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express – we’ll need the billing address for the card and the shipping address for the order if you use a credit or debit card to pay. We can also process wire transfers, money orders and cashier’s checks, if you want. You’ll still need to provide the shipping information, but there won’t be a billing address. You will need to call customer service to walk through the steps of saving your order and getting the money order, transfer or check to us. You can reach us toll free at 877-405-3949.
If you are ordering a direct mail job, we’ll also need your mailing list so that we can address all the pieces. When you’re checking out, choose “Direct Mail” for the shipping method, our Mailing Services can either provide a mailing list for you at a reasonable cost, or you can upload your own Excel or CSV file. Once you check out you’ll be able to upload your mailing list. After we process your list, we will inform you of the total postage cost. All those options are available in the My Account section of the PrintPlace website.
We need to have all the details in place before our software can create an electronic proof. That means we need to know all of the paper options, the page count, the size and trim of the paper, any folding options you might want and if you have special cutting or perforating needs on your order. All of those options are selected when you check out through our online shopping cart and then a job number is created for your specific order. You then upload your artwork and our software renders an electronic proof you can preview.
However, we’ve created detailed templates that you can use to see exactly how your artwork will appear when it’s uploaded to our system. You can download the template for your project here. Once you’ve got the template, you need to use it to prepare your artwork, we include PDF files, Adobe Illustrator files and JPG files for each size and format. We have both PC and Mac files included.
When you open the template, you’ll see three lines on the outside edge. The red line shows the bleed zone, the blue line shows the trim and the green line shows the safety zone. These same lines will appear on the proofs that are created once you place your order and upload artwork, so using our templates allows you to preview how your files will look without having to place your order first.
If you want artwork and graphics to extend all the way to the edge of your page, known as full bleed, make sure they go all the way to the outer red line. We’ll trim the print job on the blue line, but the trim may shift 1/16th of an inch (that’s industry standard), so as a safety precaution you shouldn’t have any text or important graphics outside the green line.
On any folded templates we’ll also have dotted lines showing where the folds will appear and the different panel sizes. Note that the panels may be slightly different sizes to accommodate the folding process. Trust the templates- don’t try to make all your panels the same size if the template is showing different sizes, that was intentional and your artwork needs to reflect it so the finished product comes out looking right.
When you finish previewing your artwork with the templates provided, don’t forget to delete the template layer before you submit the final artwork to us.
Have a custom trim? We can send you guidelines for setting up your artwork to accommodate any custom trim size. Give us a call; we’d love to help. Contact us at 877-405-3949 or online here.
The term, “proof” simply means that you get to see evidence of the printing job as it will look in its final form. It’s your chance to make sure you like the way our special proofing software formatted your artwork for our presses. It’s also your last opportunity to check over your artwork for any mistakes before you’re committed to hundreds of copies. We offer both electronic proofs and hard copy proofs, depending on what your needs are.
Electronic Proofs – This is a high-resolution PDF that has been formatted for printing on our presses. If necessary we will adjust the color scheme to the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key or black) that we use when printing. We will show you the bleed line, the trim line and the safety zone so that you can ensure your artwork will print the way you want it to. Note that the bleed, trim and safety lines will not print on the final document.
Hard Proofs – We can send you a hard-copy proof for color matching. Hard proofs aren’t always necessary, so we don’t require that you use them, but if color matching is essential, then it may be worth the time and cost to order a hard proof.
You select the proof type from the main order screen. We send hard proofs by next day air as the only option so we can get your print order completed as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to pay the cost of shipping for the proof, regardless of whether or not you accept it.
We guarantee our quality and we promise that you’ll be 100% satisfied with your order. What we can’t guarantee, though, is that your order is free from typos and other errors. It’s up to you to examine the proof and ensure that there are no errors in the artwork. We’ll print exactly what you send us, so please send us exactly what you want printed.
No, we don’t close our eyes and throw a dart at the map to decide where to send something. Blind shipping lets you enter your return address on something that we print and ship. It’s the perfect way for you to provide your customers with the service they want without letting them know where you buy your printing. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you can offer to print and ship business cards to your customer and they will only ever deal with you. When you select blind shipping, your return address appears on the shipping label, not ours.
Steps to ship blind:
- Place your order as normal: Log in to your account at PrintPlace.com, choose the product and options you want and then add the order to your shopping cart. Enter the shipping zip code to calculate the cost and choose your shipping method.
- Click the checkbox below the recipients address to enable blind shipping.
- Enter the address of the recipient (if you’ve shipped to them before, you can just choose them from your Address Book in the dropdown menu).
- Enter the return address as you want it to appear on the package (or choose your address from the Address Book dropdown list).
- Click the box at the bottom if you want to receive samples of the product at the blind address you just entered (the cost will appear to the right).
- When you’re done, click “Check Out” and proceed to paying and uploading your artwork.
We never include an invoice in our print order boxes (you can always print one from your account page on our website), so you don’t have to worry about your customers getting mixed messages. Everything will appear to have come from you and have your name on it.
We take all of the major credit cards (and debit cards with the same logo on them): Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. And we can securely process them online so you can get your order going in just a few minutes. If you want to get that rush order printed and shipped today, we need you to use a credit card to process the transaction.
But, just like you have custom print orders, you might also have custom payment needs. We’ll accommodate you as best we can. We can process money orders, wire transfers and cashier’s checks for your payment. We do not accept company or personal checks.
All you have to do is checkout as normal to enter the shipping address and the type of shipping you want. This will generate the correct total that you can use to cut the cashier’s check or prepare for the money transfer. Then call or email us to process your payment method. You can call 877-405-3949 or contact us through the Help Center. We’ll change your payment status to Pending so that the order will remain in our system until we receive payment. We’ll also give you instructions on how to complete the transfer or where to send the cashier’s check. Once we’ve received payment, we’ll send you another email letting you know that you can upload your artwork and continue with your ordering process.
Note that if you’re processing a Direct Mail order with a money order, cashier’s check or wire transfer, we offer a 5% discount on the postage costs. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can help you process your order in the best way possible.
We have templates available for every product we offer from booklets to table tents. You can find all of our templates on our Template Page. When you click through to select the type of product, you’ll then see a list of additional options for that product. For example, if you click on the Brochure option, you’ll see a list of all the sizes and all the folding options. We start with the flat, non-folded template and give you all the sizes of paper you can choose. The remaining templates are sorted according to the folding type.
To choose the right template:
- Select the type of product you want (i.e. brochure, flyer, poster, postcard, etc.)
- Select the type of fold you want (for products that can be folded)
- Select the size of paper
- Click on the link to download the templates for that product, fold-style and size in a compressed folder (ZIP).
Once you have the template folder on your computer, open it up. Inside you’ll see a few different types of files. We provide PDF files that you can open using your PDF editing software, Vector files in the EPS format that you can open with vector editing programs like Adobe Illustrator and JPG files that you can use in any image editing program. Our templates are software independent, so you can use any operating system or editing software that can handle the industry standard files.
Depending on the product you chose, you might see several different files in the ZIP folder. We’ll provide you both landscape and portrait format templates, if your product and size calls for it. We’ll also give you the inside and outside templates if it’s a multi-side design. Don’t worry too much about how to deal with everything, though. Inside the ZIP folder is a PDF with instructions on how to use the template you have and, if you get stuck, you can always call us at 877.405.3949 or visit our Help Center.
You can cancel your order any time before your order is sent to press. If you need to cancel, call our toll free customer service number at 877-405-3949 or you can access our Help Center for online assistance. The bottom line is, give us a call and let us know what’s going on as soon as possible. If you need to cancel or change your order, let us know and we’ll work with you to the best of our ability. Everything that happens in the ordering process prior to you approving the proof copy can be canceled, but as soon as you approve the proof, the order is designated as ready for press.
Refunds are available if we haven’t started production on your order; contact us either through the website or a customer service agent.
In the ordering process there are points where you make a commitment:
- Select your product and options – No commitment. You can see the price before you decide on anything.
- Add to cart – No commitment. You can keep shopping for other items and we’ll hold on to your selection
- Checkout – Commitment. You must create a PrintPlace account and log in to the order form. You will be charged for the price of the order at the time you check out. You can still cancel, if necessary and we’ll refund the money to your original method of payment.
- Upload artwork – Commitment. You can change your artwork if you don’t like the proof copy.
- Send to Press – Commitment (full order price). You can’t cancel the order after it has started printing. The automated system will continue to process the order to completion. You can contact customer service to change the shipping method, if you want.
Note that there is, technically, a $15 cancelation fee, according to our terms of service, but contact us if you need to cancel and we’ll work with you as best we can.
When it comes to address changes, UPS charges a fee for shipping address changes after an order has been picked up but not yet received. This fee is passed through to the customer.
We’ll charge you as little as possible to get your order to you in the time you need it. We’re only going to charge you shipping, not any extraneous handling fees. We ship via UPS and charge you only what they charge us. You can choose ground shipping and get your order in 1 to 5 business days after your order gets picked up from our facilities.
We’ll get you your order when you need it. We have several different turnaround options for printing speed and all the UPS shipping options as well. If you need your job expedited, we can print it the same day you order it (provided you upload your artwork and approve the proof by 12pm Central time). Then, if you choose next day shipping from UPS, you can have your order in your hands just hours after you send it to press. Of course that kind of expediting costs extra.
Finally, we guarantee our service. We guarantee the quality, we guarantee the price, we guarantee that your order will be on time, we guarantee you can talk to someone and we guarantee you’ll be 100% satisfied. If you have any questions, just call us at 877-405-3949 or contact us online, we’ll offer you the best printing at the best price in the time you need it.
We can print your postcards for you to mail or you can take advantage of our mailing service to do the work for you. Customers appreciate direct mail offers, and postcards are one of the least expensive ways to get the offer to them. The average cost for mailing a 4-by-6 inch postcard is just $0.268 (less if you have a valid US Postal Service non-profit permit). Including the cost of printing and processing you can reach 250 customers for less than $1 each (and the price per customer will drop as you increase the quantity). That makes direct mail post cards one of the most cost effective marketing tools you can employ.
Start by choosing the type and size of postcard you want. The standard size is 4 inches high by 6 inches wide, but you can choose sizes all the way up to 6-by-11 (postage will go up to about $0.403 each for First Class or $0.279 for Standard). You can even choose your own custom size, if you have a specific design you’re looking to produce.
- Tip – add a perforated section to your postcard for a coupon.
Select all the options you want for your design, such as the paper, coating and cutting (you can have rounded corners to make your cards stand out in the crowd). When you’re ready, you can add the job to your cart (if you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one at this point, it’s free and easy).
Check out, when you’re done shopping. You’ll have a chance to choose the shipping method – select direct mail from the options. You still need to enter a shipping address though, it’s where we’ll send any extra post cards that don’t go out to people on your mailing list.
Pay for the print portion of your order (you can pay with a credit card or by money order, wire transfer or cashier’s check). Once you’ve paid for your printing, you can log in to your account and upload your artwork and mailing list. We’ll take an Excel file (.xls or .xlsx), comma separated value (.csv) or a text file (.txt) for your mailing list. We’ll process through the addresses and figure the postage charge.
Pay the postage through your account on PrintPlace.com. You can, again, pay with a credit card or money order, wire transfer or cashier’s check, but if you do use a credit card to pay for postage there will be a 5% service charge added to the total price.
When you’ve approved the proof of your print job and all your postage is paid, the order will print and ship at the speed you chose in the options. It’s a fast, easy and inexpensive process that lets you reach out to your valuable customers in an effective way.