We allow you to submit a variety of digital files, from complete press-ready PDFs to orders where we scan and build from materials and instructions that you supply.
In order to produce the best possible postcard, we strongly recommend that you review our Preparing Materials page. All files submitted to us will be evaluated for quality. If we find that one or more of your files is below our minimum guidelines for quality, we will either ask you to resubmit replacement files, or sign a waiver indicating that you are aware that the file is below our recommended quality and wish us to proceed regardless. Please note that while your first resubmission is at no cost, each additional resubmission will result in an additional charge of $25.
Resolution is the most common quality issue. We recommend that your image be 355 ppi at final size. Images for which the resolution is less than 200 ppi will result in a resubmission/waiver request.
We highly recommend compressing your graphic files, although it is not required. Both Windows and MacOS computer systems have built in methods of compressing files into the .ZIP file extension. Some people prefer third party software such as Winzip, 7zip or Stuffit to accomplish this task. For instructions on how to compress your files, click here.
- Allows for a faster file transfer by reducing file sizes in most cases.
- Reduce the number of steps required to upload by bundling multiple files together into a single compressed file
(Exception: Mailing list can not be bundled with graphic files).
- File corruption is less likely during file transfer (Note: Corruption can still occur, it is simply now a reduced risk).
If you must upload a file without using compression, all files uploaded must have the extension as part of the name (Example: file.qxd, picture.tif, logo.eps). Without the file extension, our computers may not recognize the file type, causing the file to appear corrupt (Note: Font files have an increased likelihood of corruption during upload when not compressed).
Submitting Font Files
Many fonts do not upload properly if not compressed. All older Macintosh font formats (Type 1 and TrueType) will not be viable if uncompressed. Windows versions of these formats and the newer Open Type Format (.otf) are lesslikely to be corrupted, but compression is still recommended. Because it is impossible for us to predict which fonts will not upload properly, we recommend compressing all font files prior to uploading them. If you do not have compression software, and do not wish to download or purchase compression software, please contact Customer Service (800.959.8365 ext 6205) for instructions on how to get your font files to us.
Naming Your Files
Most computers will allow you to assign just about any name to a file that you want, however certain characters can cause problems during upload that will prevent us from receiving the file. To avoid problems, please name your files using following guidelines:
File names should only contain:
- letters of the alphabet A-Z
- numbers 0-9
- the underscore ( _ ).
File names should not contain:
- Spaces (My File.jpg)
- Special characters ( “,”!#@/ etc..)
Examples of good file names:
Examples of unacceptable file names:
- First image.tif
- My postcard!.jpg
- Layout revision #2.qxd
If you upload a file that includes spaces or special characters, you will likely see the progress bar move to 100%, yet the file will not show up in the folder. If this happens, double-check your file name.
File Extension Warning
If you are not able to compress your files prior to uploading them, you may still upload each individual file that you need for us to build your card. It is important, however, that all files that you upload have the file extension at the end of the file name. Without the file extension, there is a strong chance that the file we receive will be corrupted during the upload process.
A file extension is typically three characters at the end of your file name preceded by a period (.) (i.e. image .tif or layout .qxd). Some programs add this extension to the file name automatically, and others default without it. Most allow you to turn this option on and off. No matter what, if you know the extension, you can always add it yourself by renaming the file and adding it to the end.
A firewall is software that acts like a protective barrier or filter between your computer and other computers on the internet. Universities, government offices and most large business have some type of firewall protecting their computers from viruses and hackers. Additionally, many people buy firewall software for their personal computers, and some computers even come with built-in firewall security.
One feature common to all firewalls is that they can be set to disallow certain forms of communication or sharing of data between a protected computer (you) and computers on the other side of the internet (us). Whenever a file is ‘pushed’ or uploaded to an FTP site such as ours, there is a sharing of information between our computers and yours. If your computer is behind a firewall that prohibits certain data sharing, you may find that you are unable to upload files to us. We cannot control if your firewall accepts or rejects our upload protocols. If you find you are having problems with your firewall, contact your Network administrator, or consult your users manual for your firewall to temporarily turn this function off to allow you to upload your files. Other solutions include using a computer with unrestricted access to upload files.
Like any web-based technology, our upload system works best with certain web browsers, but not so well with others. We recommend that you use the newest version of either Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Macintosh’s Safari. Using other less common browsers may cause upload problems. AOL‘s built-in browser will likely cause problems. If you experience an upload problem while using either a non-Explorer or non-Safari browser, we recommend that you try it using a recent version of Explorer or Safari. If you are using Explorer or Safari and are having problems, verify that you are using the most recent versions of the software.
Transfer speed is determined by several factors: internet connection (broadband vs. dialup), file size, and even time of day (on some networks). If you have a fast connection (Cable / DSL modem, T-1 etc…) and have compressed your files, it should take a few minutes. If, on the other hand, you have a slow internet connection (Dial-Up service provider such as AOL), a large uncompressed file, or a flaky ISP, please consider mailing us a disk overnight. You can determine the approximate quality and speed of your internet connection.