FAQ

Ordering

What kinds of payment do you accept

We currently accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover

Do I need to start an account to get my job printed?

Yes, and no. Customers of Shortprinter.com don’t need to have an account to get their jobs printed. We keep records of all jobs printed, and if you request it, we can save your credit card information and UPS or FedEx shipping number for future orders. If you’re re-ordering, there’s a good chance you’ll talk to the same person who processed your first order and they’ll remember you.

You do however need to register on our site to order through our Online StoreFront.

Is my information secure?

Yes. We don’t give anyone else your information. We don’t sell to third parties. We wouldn’t want anyone doing that with our personal information, so we’d never do that to you. For more information see our Privacy Policy.

Can I get a sample of my document sent to me before I print the whole thing?

Yes, but we do charge a $25 proofing fee for running off a single print. We’re really good at matching colors though, so you might not even need one. Please supply a sample if you’d like us to match your other materials.

My document isn’t a standard size. Can I still get it printed?

You bet. The largest sheet we can print is 13”x19”(only certain papers available in this size), and if it will fit on that sheet, we can print it, cut it, score it and fold it just like any of our other products. If you have any questions just give us a call or include special instructions in the notes section of our order form.

Does the pricing include bleeds?

For the most part, bleeds do not affect our pricing as almost all of our jobs are printed on larger sheets and trimmed down. So, that means that there is a cut charge on most orders. You might save some pocket change if you’re running 8.5 x 11s with no bleed.

Do you print stationery, like letterheads and envelopes?

Yep.

File Preparation / File Transfer

How do I send my print-ready files?

There are several ways to get us your files. If you’re ordering without getting an estimate first, just fill out the instructions box and upload your file in the upload portion at the end of the form. If your file is larger than 5mb, or you’ve already received an estimate, the Uploader Thingy is the perfect tool for you. This will allow you to send us a file of up to 250mb. Just fill in the basic info and reference your estimate number if you have one. The upload process may take a while depending on the size of your file and the speed of your Internet connection. If neither of these work for you, or if you’ve been working with one of our staff specifically you can email the file to info@shortprinter.com or your customer service person’s email.

What kind of file formats do you accept?

We prefer high resolution PDF files with fonts and images embedded, but we also accept native files.

Our online store will only accept print ready files such as PDFs, JPGs, and TIFFs. Your file will be converted to PDF prior to printing.

If you are sending a native file such as InDesign, Illustrator or Publisher please include all fonts and linked graphics in a compressed folder with the file. You will need to use our ‘Uploader Thingy’ to send native files.

Should I compress my file before sending it?

If you are sending a PDF file, there’s no reason to compress it. Our Uploader Thingy can handle files up to 250MB, and if your file is larger than that just give us a call to arrange FTP usage. If you’re sending native files, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Publisher or Freehand files, either use the package option in the design program, or make a folder with all of the fonts and images and make a zipped folder. In any event, it’s best to send us just one file or folder, instead of multiple files.

How do I compress my file to send it?

In Windows, create a folder that has all of the files you need to send (linked images, fonts or multiple pages if sending separate pdfs) and right click on it. Choose “Send To” and then “Compressed (Zipped) Folder.” This will create a folder with a .zip extension that contains everything we need to print your job.

On a Mac, create a folder that has all of the files you need to send ( linked images, fonts or multiple pages if sending separate pdfs) and control click or right click on it. Choose “Create Archive of “…” and this will create a folder with a .zip extension that contains everything we need to print your job.

What’s the difference between RGB and CMYK color space and why does it matter?

RGB = Red, Green and Blue
CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black

Computer monitors and other screens emit color as RGB light. While monitors emit light, paper absorbs light or reflects specific wavelengths of light. So on a printed piece of paper, cyan, magenta and yellow serve as filters, subtracting varying degrees of red, green and blue from white light to produce the color we see. Both RGB and CMYK can only produce limited ranges of color in the visible spectrum and the range isn’t the same for both. So the same art displayed on a monitor might not match that printed on paper.

Our printing process uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black toners to create the color for your piece. When things get printed, they get converted to cmyk whether they were created that way or not. So if your artwork was created using the RGB color space, let us know because there are certain color profiles we can attach to your artwork to convert to CMYK more accurately.

What is bleed?

Bleed is the area that gets cut off the outside of the piece to make the color run right off the edge of the page. If you’d like your document to bleed, please include 1/8” of color around the outside for the bleed areas and add crop marks.

What is your safe area; what’s a safe area?

Our safe area is 1/8” from the outside of the sheet or document edge. Safe area is the area of the page that text and images can be placed so they aren’t too close to the edge of the sheet. If text and images get too close to the outside of the sheet, or out of the safe area, there’s a danger that something will get cut off.

Do you have templates to help me design my files correctly?

Yes we do. Our templates page has templates for all of our most common print items. They show the safe area, bleed area, trim lines, fold lines, score lines, regulations for postage, and anything else that’s important to making your project look it’s best. Just download the template and place it on it’s own layer in your design file, check to make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be and then either delete or turn off the template layer before sending us your files.

What should my image resolution be?

Image resolution should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). The resolution is too low for images taken off the web in most cases.

Will you print documents created in Word, Publisher or PowerPoint?

Yes. However, when documents are created in these programs, all fonts (non-standard fonts) and images must be included in a folder with the document. If fonts aren’t sent with your file, when we open it a default font will be substituted without us knowing, and the document could come out looking much different than you intended.

With PowerPoint, most images will be low resolution images, because that’s a program that’s designed to display things on screen, not to be printed from. In most cases text will look just fine, but we can’t guarantee image quality when printing from PowerPoint.

When sending us a publisher file, use the “Pack and Go” feature under the file menu to pack all fonts and images with the file. This will also create a file called unpack.exe, which should be placed in a folder with the document folder that “Pack and Go” created and zipped. This is very important, because without that unpack.exe file we won’t be able to open your document. And if that file isn’t in a compressed (zipped) folder it won’t get past our upload system since it is an executable file, which our system automatically rejects because these are sometimes used to transmit viruses.

Printing / Production

What kind of printing does Shortprinter do?

We provide high quality short run printing very quickly and accurately. We’re able to give our customers the high quality they demand in the tight timeframe they are often forced to work in. Our company was founded and is run by graphic designers, so we know what it’s like to have a client demand that their small custom project gets done and not have a reliable source to get it printed. Things that aren’t possible with most printing companies are things we do everyday. Smaller, smarter runs of more customized marketing materials are a sure way to get more return on your marketing dollar, and we provide a way to get just about anything printed in smaller quantities in amazingly high quality.

Will you match a previously printed sample, or one I printed on my own printer?

If we’ve printed the job already in the past, we’ll always do our best to give you a consistent product. We’ll pull old samples of the job and do whatever we can to match what you got the last time. If you have something you’d like us to match we’ll gladly do our best to match it, but we can only guarantee our best effort. It is up to you to get us that piece to match, and it may slow down the printing process if we have to wait for it.

What papers do you offer?

We’ve tried and tested several different papers and settled on the best fit to our equipment for each type of premium paper. We stock Cougar Smooth, Futura Gloss, McCoy Silk, Starwhite Pearl, and several others. There isn’t a no-name 20# bond in our shop, because we believe that high quality printing starts with high quality paper. We’re pretty picky people and we want everything we print to be acceptable to us as if we were the designer. If you need a certain paper for your project, give us a call and we’ll see if we can get it for you (extra charges will apply).

Can you print my file with bleeds?

Yes. If you want your document to bleed, include at least 1/8” of bleed around the outside of the document edges and crop marks in your PDF.

Do you offer black only printing?

Yes. While our specialty is high-quality color printing, we can also print your black-only pieces with the same quick turnaround and attention to detail. Just give us a call to get an estimate for black-only printing.

What types of bindery/custom finishing you offer?

We offer cutting, folding, scoring, saddle stitching, perfect binding, spiral binding, laminating, drilling, corner rounding and just about anything else you can think of. If your project requires something you don’t see here, give us a call!

Can I get variable data printed on my job?

Yes. We can print variable data in full color from your list on to your piece. Variable Data setup and run charges will apply. It’s best to call and talk to us when sending in a job with variable data so everyone’s on the same page, and everyone’s on the correct page as well.

If my job’s getting printed so fast, will the quality be good?

Yes. Our company was founded and is run by graphic designers, so we’re really picky people. We take the time to make sure every job is at a level of quality that would be acceptable to us as if we were the designer.

Shipping / Delivery

How do I know my order has been shipped?

If you’ve provided us with your email address, you will receive an email from FedEx or UPS when your order ships that will provide you with all the pertinent information regarding the shipping of your project.

How quickly will my order ship?

Most orders ship within 1 business day of us receiving print-ready files. If we get the order before noon central time, there’s even a good chance it will ship out that same day. And if not the same day, the next day for sure. If there are problems with the file, though, such as lack of bleed, missing fonts, etc. there will most likely be a delay in production until we get print-ready files.

What kind of shipping methods do you offer?

We ship UPS, FedEx Express and USPS. Our standard shipping is UPS Ground. If you’re in town, we deliver for a small fee.

Can you mail my job for me?

Yes. We’ve partnered with a mailing house to give you the best possible mailing rates. Please call and talk to us if you’re interested in having us mail your pieces.

How should I lay out my piece to fit in with postal regulations?

Just download the template from our templates page, and that should show you exactly how your piece should be laid out. If you don’t see a template for your piece, just give us a call and we’ll make one for you.