Printing Services FAQ


Will I lose quality if I send JPEGs instead of TIFFS?

The JPEG format is a very efficient method of saving files that was specifically developed with photographs in mind. It takes into consideration how the human eye views images and determines what information can be removed from the file with the least amount of visual "loss".

When you are working on a file in PhotoShop (or your preferred software), you do NOT want to use JPEG, as the "lost" information can be critical to performing common techniques such as sharpening, blurring, dodging, burning, etc. You want to be able to work with as much information as possible. By definition, JPEG loses information right off the bat. Use a lossless file format such as TIFF or PSD for your working files.

That said, after you have finished your editing, JPEG is a perfectly acceptable way to save your image and send to a lab for printing. When saving, use the highest quality level of JPEG as possible (Level 10 in PhotoShop). There will be NO perceptible difference between a print from a JPEG and a print from a TIFF.


What resolution does my image need to be to print at a certain size?

Technically speaking, there is no minimum or maximum resolution that is required for any size. However, the higher the resolution of an image, the better. It's that simple.

There are a number of considerations when trying to determine how large you can print an image of good quality:

  • Viewing Conditions: What do you plan to do with this print? Will it be placed in a photo album? Will you be hanging it on the wall? In what room? What is the lighting like in that room? How far away will the image realistically be viewed from? These are all considerations that you should take into account when determining the optimal size of your print. In a home setting, most prints will be viewed from at least a few feet away, which actually gives you a lot more flexibility with the resolution. On the other hand, a print hung in a tight hallway may always be viewed up close, in which case you will be able to clearly see the artifacts of a low resolution file.

  • Paper Choice: Matte materials with texture, such as our Smooth Fine Art and Canvas materials, are a little more forgiving of low-resolution images. The texture tends to hide artifacts better than a non-textured, high-gloss image.

  • Image Contents: The subject of your photo can also be a consideration, though it is difficult to give generic guidelines here. Suffice it to say that some images simply fall apart when the resolution is too low. Others are surprisingly forgiving. Our staff works with images all day every day, so if you are wondering about your image, just get in touch with us and we can help guide you.

Below is a chart listing the ideal resolution for various sizes. This number is not a rule, but rather a guideline for achieving 'optimal' quality at a given print size. If your resolution is higher than the number listed, you are good to go and will have great print quality! If your resolution is lower than what is listed, it does not mean that you cannot print at that size, but be prepared for less than optimal quality.

Print Size

Optimal Resolution (pixels)

Minimum Resolution (pixels)

Wallets 625 x 875 250 x 350
3.5x5 875 x 1250 350 x 500
4x6 1000 x 1500 400 x 600
5x7 1250 x 1750 500 x 700
8x10 2000 x 2500 800 x 1000
8x12 2000 x 3000 800 x 1200
11x14 2750 x 3500 1100 x 1400
12x18 3000 x 4500 1200 x 1800
16x20 4000 x 5000 1600 x 2000
16x24 4000 x 6000 1600 x 2400
18x24 4500 x 6000 1800 x 2400
20x24 5000 x 6000 2000 x 2400
20x30 5000x7500 2000 x 3000
24x30 6000 x 7500 2400 x 3000
24x36 6000 x 9000 2400 x 3600
30x40 7500 x 10000 3000 x 4000
32x40 8000 x 10000 3200 x 4000
32x48 8000 x 12000 3200 x 4800
40x60 10000 x 15000 4000 x 6000

I do not see the exact size print that I need listed on your pricing table. Can you print custom sizes?

Yes! The prices listed on our pricing table simply represent some of the most commonly requested sizes, but we can print custom sizes as well. Simply Contact Us for a quote!

Do you offer darkroom printing services?

No, we do not offer darkroom services at this time.

Do you print photos containing nudity or violence?

We are a family-friendly retail store with workstations that are within public view. With that in mind, we reserve the right to refuse service on any media that we find to be inappropriate for the work environment. We absolutely WILL NOT accept media that is sexually explicit or graphically violent in nature.

What are "Giclée" prints?

Giclée is simply a term that refers to prints that made on an inkjet printer. Long ago, inkjet prints had a stigma attached to them when the technology was first emerging and the prints did not look great. As the technology improved and inkjet printing became preferable and more economical for many photographers, many people used the term Giclée to avoid the formerly bad reputation of inkjet prints. They are, in fact, the same thing.

I've heard that inkjet printers do not print 'true' black and white images. Is this true?

Sometimes. Most inkjet printers use most, if not all, of the colors available when printing a black and white print, even when you have selected the black and white print settings in your print dialog. However, there is expensive, specialized software available (called a RIP) that can allow you to print using only black inks. There are very few scenarios where this is really necessary though. Black and white prints made on the latest inkjet printers have exceptional quality.

What file formats do you accept?

We can accept nearly any photo file format. Some of the most common file formats include: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, tiff, psd, pdf, ai, eps. We do not accept RAW files of any format.

Do you change/edit my photos before you print them?

It depends. If you have already done your own editing at home, simply let us know that you wish for the image to printed as is. Sometimes the photos you give us look great right out of the box. If we notice any problems, we'll get in touch with you to see if you'd like us to do any corrections before printing.

Do you ever crop my images?

Most cameras create images that are a 2:3 ratio (e.g. 4x6, 8x12, etc). If you need a print such as an 8x10, either the image can be stretched (which usually looks really funky and bad) or you need to crop part of the image. As you print larger and larger prints, this becomes more noticeable, so you want to take care to select your images, sizes, and crops appropriately. If you don't tell us otherwise, we will use our best judgment to crop your image to the print size you have ordered. Our priority is to maintain the main subject of the photo at the expense of background or distracting elements. If you need help cropping an image, please Contact Us.

What colorspace should my files be sent in?

We accept any colorspace as long as it is embedded in the file. Typically, you want to use a, industry-standard space such as Adobe RGB 1998 or sRGB. PhotoRGB is also acceptable, but please realize that the PhotoRGB colorspace is much larger than any monitor or printer is currently able to reproduce, so there is really no reason to use this space other than for archival purposes.

Images sent to us without a colorspace embedded will likely print differently than how you saw it on your screen.

Canvas Prints

What is a 'gallery wrap'?

A 'gallery wrap' refers to the process of stretching canvas so that it wraps around the outsides of stretcher bars (ours are wooden). The canvas is secured to the back of the stretcher bars and the image itself typically has some 'give' to it.

The canvas material that we print on is stretchable, just like typical artist canvas would be.

How good is the quality of the print on canvas?

The canvas material has a definite woven texture, and so you can lose some of the fine detail and sharpness of the original image. However, modern canvas material is specifically made for printing photographs. Colors remain very vivid and the image retains very good detail and clarity. The textured effect is definite but subtle. It will not overpower your image. If your original image is soft or lower resolution, oftentimes the weave of the canvas actually does a good job of 'hiding' the shortcomings of the original image. If you are wondering whether a specific image would look good on canvas, just get in touch with us. We do this everyday and have a great sense of what will or won't work well.

Can canvas prints be mounted?

Yes! Canvas prints can be mounted to any substrate, including our foamcore and gatorboard options. They can also be custom matted and framed.