File Requirements for Printing Images at our Photo Lab
For the best results please make sure your files meet the requirements below.
In a nutshell: jpg files, 300ppi at the desired print size, sRGB color space, RGB mode. Bleed is not needed, but the image will be cropped slightly on all 4 sides (2-4mm) so do not put text or other important subject matter right up to the edge of the image.
Click the Choose Files button below to select your files and our file checker will see if there are any obvious issues.
Files are only loaded into your browser - they are not uploaded anywhere.
If you have lots of files to check it may take a while to process all of them.
Please use only numbers, letters, and dashes or underscores in your file names, and keep the total length of the filename under 45 characters.
While many other characters are ok, it is hard to list the ones that are not ok so we only recommend using a limited set of characters. Things that are known bad characters are curly quotes, letters with accents or other marks, and many of the special symbols. The issue we have with those is that our printing software will crash when it sees them.
Resolution and File Dimensions
The ideal resolution for our printing work flow is 300 pixels per inch (PPI). For an 8x10 print this is 2400x3000. For an 11x14 it is 3300x4200.
You don't have to be at exactly 300ppi, we think that 240ppi is perfectly ok - most people cannot really see the difference. You can see the difference when the resolution is below 200ppi, especially on text, that is usually the first thing that appears fuzzy. If your images are more than 300 ppi there is no issue.
If you are designing artwork and want to use one image as multiple different sizes we recommend you design it as 12x15 @ 300 ppi (3600x4500) and then you can use that image for 8x10, 11x14 (slightly narrower but not by much), 16x20 and 24x30. Those are all standard sizes that are easy to find frames for. The larger sizes will be lower ppi but on large prints (16x20 and above) that is normal. a 12x15 @ 300ppi will be a 24x30 @150 ppi which is perfect.
Your images should be saved as standard jpg's. We can accept other types like Tiff but we prefer jpg files.
The jpg extension should be spelled 'jpg' not 'jpeg' and should be all lowercase.
Progressive jpg's are Bad!
When you save a jpg file there is usually an option to make it progressive. Progressive jpg's are for the internet, and allow the browser to 'progressively' load the image starting with a really poor quality version and eventually loading the final full quality version.
Our printer software sometimes prints progressive files as one of the low quality versions rather than the actual correct version. This is frequently impossible for us to notice. Other times the progressive jpg causes our software to crash. Most of the time our system converts files to standard jpgs so this usually is not an issue any more, but it is still bad practice to save high res files meant to be printed as progressive jpgs.
Color Profile or Color Space
Your images should be tagged with a default color space/profile such as sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998. If your image is untagged/uncalibrated we will assume they are sRGB, but this can lead to some variance in color consistency.
Depending on what software you use, there may be an option to strip the color profile tag, you should not do that.
When creating a graphic from scratch we recommend that you set the color space/profile to sRGB as that is what is closest to the gamut of our printing process. You can use something else if you want, but it will end up being converted to sRGB when we print it.
A missing color profile is not the end of the world, you may not ever notice there is something wrong, but it does lead to inconsistent colors in the print sometimes, and other times it can be a problem.
Mode refers to the color mode of an image, which can be RGB, CMYK or Grayscale.
We only print RGB images.
If your images are CMYK they will be converted to RGB when we print them which may change the colors slightly.
If your images are B&W they should still be RGB - not Grayscale color mode. We will convert them to RGB if they are Grayscale, but it is better if you have them as RGB to start with as the conversion can change the way they look.
Borders and Don't Put Text or Other Important Things Near the Edge
If your image has a border around it, please make sure it is at least .25" thick. Anything thinner will likely appear uneven. When the machine makes a print it blows it up slightly so that there will not be any unexposed paper when the image is exposed. This makes the border slightly smaller. On top of that the paper path is not always perfectly centered, so one side may show a couple more millimeters of image than another. These two things combined will make any thin border uneven. If the border is thicker there is a lot less chance this will be noticeable.
The same thing applies to anything that goes right to the edge of an image - it will likely get cut off. So do not put important text or details that go right to the edge, they must be in a little (5mm is probably safe) to avoid being cut off.
Bleed is not needed, all prints are full bleed. The machine does crop the image slightly on all 4 sides though, so any important items (text/graphics) should be a bit in from the edges. This is the same as for the borders mentioned above.
Please do not send us images unless it is your original work, or you have express permission from the rights holder. If your images contain a Copyright notice from Getty or another rights holder we will not print your order and may not refund your entire invoice.
If you have your own info in the Copyright field that is fine.
PLEASE DO NOT ASK US TO PRINT IMAGES THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHTS TO.
If you have any questions about your files and their suitability for printing please send us an email and attach an image for us to look at.