Photo and Image Guidelines
You can use an image that you have scanned, downloaded from a digital camera, or retrieved from a photo CD to create your own card cover. We do not recommend using images created for or taken from the internet. They are generally not print quality images.
Please read the following instructions carefully.
The quality of your printed card is a direct result of the quality of the image or photo that you supply. For best results, start with a clear, shadow free, high-resolution image. It is important for you to preview your image carefully as we do not proof them before printing.
There are at least two components to measuring the quality of a digital image:
- The image resolution - or the number of pixels in your image file. The larger the number of pixels, the more information there is for us to use when printing. When you upload your image, we'll display your image's resolution.
- The subjective quality of the image. This is not something our system - or any computer - can measure. If the image is out of focus, over exposed, poorly composed or contains too much contrast, it may still rate high on the resolution meter but it may not look good when it is printed. If you are unsure, we recommend that you order a single card as a sample for yourself before you send it to others. You will be able to order more cards from your Previous Orders as long as you are signed in to your account when you place the order.
Your color image file must be formatted as a RGB JPEG file to successfully upload. If your image is black and white, it should be a Grayscale JPEG file for true black and white printing. We do not recommend composite images of both color and black and white. The black and white portion of your image will print with a color tint.
We recommend that the image dimensions for a 5 x 7 card without a border (full bleed) be 1500 x 2100 pixels.
Provided you have followed the pixel dimensions outlined above, the resolution of your image will be 300 dots per inch (DPI). If you are using text in your image, we recommend a resolution of 600 dots per inch (DPI) therefore, double the pixel count. Your pixel dimensions will be at least 3000x 4200.
Note: You should keep all fine detail, such as text, 1/4 inch from the edge of your image to avoid having any detail removed.
The file size must be less than 4 megabytes. If your software permits you to choose the compression quality, choose the highest quality possible while keeping the file size less than 4 megabytes. We don't recommend applying compression with a quality rating of less than 9 (by Photoshop's settings). If you need to go below 9 to achieve file size, consider reducing the pixel count rather than applying additional compression.
Pay close attention to the preview image of the card. Images that are incorrectly oriented in your preview will not print correctly. Make sure that your image does not appear upside down, or horizontal (landscape) if it is meant to be vertical (portrait). The image will not automatically rotate! If your preview does not look right, please do NOT submit your card yet. You can rotate your image in common photo software (Kodak Picture CD, Adobe Photoshop, etc).
Note: Large files may take a long time to upload or may not upload at all, depending on the speed of your internet connection and/or the file size limits set by your Internet Service Provider.