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FAQ > Direct to Print vs Custom Prints - what's the difference?

Direct to Print vs Custom Prints - what's the difference?

Custom vs Direct to Print Service At a Glance

Direct to Print


Custom Prints

  • A straightforward, quick and easy to use service
  • You prepare your files for printing.
  • We provide guidelines you can follow to prepare your own files
  • This service uses the exact same archival inkjet printers, inks, and papers available through our custom printing service but does not include scanning, retouching or proofing.
  • You needn’t make a special trip to drop off your files - just upload and order, and wait for notification that your project is complete!
  • Prints are available up to 60" wide by any length.
  • Turnaround time typically within 4 business days
  • Orders can be packed to pick up or shipped
  • Work directly with our master printmaker (in person or remotely) to create the best possible fine art prints.
  • One round of proofing and an 8 x 10 test print or magnification strip is included in every order. 
  • Additional proofs can be made for $20 each
  • Begin with your high resolution digital image files. Or have us scan or capture your originals or make drum scans of your film.
  • We work closely with you to match and realize your prefered density, contrast, color balance, sharpness, etc. 
  • After file setup is complete, your master files are archived in studio for easy reprinting. They are also delivered to you on DVD or via our WeTransfer page


Direct to print service is our straightforward, easy to use printing service for files prepared according to our file submission guidelines.  There is no retouching, test prints, scanning, or proofing included with Direct to Print orders, which is why using the Direct to Print service is less expensive than our Custom Printing service. If there's an issue with the prints as a result of something you did in the file preparation, you'll need to readjust your files, and make another print at your cost. This includes, but is not limited to: brightness, contrast, color balance, image resolution, focus, sharpening, dust/sensor spots, and cropping. We encourage you to test before ordering large prints, or ordering a large print run - simply upload your files for Direct to Print orders, and order a smaller size print using the same paper you'll choose for your final prints. 

Custom Printing is our specialty. You work directly with our master printmakers to create the best possible fine art prints. We handle all the image editing and color adjustments, file clean up and optimization, and preparation for printing. Drum scanning is available for an additional fee. Proofing is critical - a test print or magnification strip is included to review appearance and sharpness before producing the final prints. Your files are archived in your user account for easy re-ordering. Custom Printing allows you to tap into our fine art printing skills and technical expertise, and help you realize your artistic vision. 


Trusted Art Seller

This presence of this badge signifies that this business has officially registered with the Art Storefronts Organization and has an established track record of selling art.

It also means that buyers can trust that they are buying from a legitimate business. Art sellers that conduct fraudulent activity or that receive numerous complaints from buyers will have this badge revoked. If you would like to file a complaint about this seller, please do so here.


Verified Returns & Exchanges

The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this business has provided a returns & exchanges policy for all art purchases.

Description of Policy from Merchant:

DEFECTIVE PRINTS: If you receive a defective or damaged print, please contact us within 7 business days of the delivery of your order and will replace the defective item(s) at no cost to you. Please Note: We are unable to replace a print if the issue is a direct result of the file submitted with your order. That being acknowledged, we will always replace items with issues resulting from materials and/or workmanship. If you have any concerns please contact us. SHIPPING DAMAGE If your order is damaged in transit we will replace the order and process any shipper damage claims. We ask that you provide digital photographs that clearly show the damage to the packaging and contents within 7 days of delivery. We will replace the order upon receipt the photographic verification of damage. In certain instances, the shipping agent may request to visually inspect the damaged packaging and contents. Please be sure to retain the items and their packaging until you are notified that they are no longer needed.


Verified Secure Website with Safe Checkout

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Verified Archival Materials Used

The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this Art Seller has published information about the archival materials used to create their products in an effort to provide transparency to buyers.

Description from Merchant:

We are an accredited Hahnemuhle Certified Studio for Digital Imaging. We use only genuine Canon or Piezography inks. We offer a curated selection of fine art and photo papers from Hahnemuhle, Epson, and Canson that have excellent print longevity performance. Our mounting adhesives and substrates are acid-free. All frames are custom built from sustainably sourced hardwoods and have closed corners.

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File specs

How should I prepare my files and what file formats do you accept?

We accept Jpeg, Tiff, PNG and PSD. Please send uncompressed .jpg or .tif files. Be sure to flatten them and remove any alpha channels prior to uploading.

My file is over 100 megabytes in size! How do I send it to you?

No problem, you can use our large file upload page.

What resolution should my files be?

We prefer to receive files that are 300dpi at the size you want them printed. However we can make great prints from files as low as 150dpi. Please do not increase dpi to 300dpi if your file was not created at that size to begin with - this usually has a negative effect on print quality. We have a step-by-step file preparation guide for your reference. If you’re unsure, contact us.

We do examine each and every file before printing so if we thing your file will not print well we will contact you before printing. 

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