Technical Questions

Are ’open file formats’, like InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop accepted?

Unfortunately we can't accept any open file format since the risk of printing errors or font issues is very high.

Open file formats are formats, which have not been converted by a postscript process. Such files serve solely towards processing their respective content.
They are not intended to be exported to another computer since they are usually only linking the different resources rather than embedding them. When opening such files on a computer where those resources (e.g. fonts, plugins, images) do not exist or are existing under a different path or name, the layout will be destroyed.

Please always export your artwork to a Postscript format like jpeg, tiff or pdf. [+] [-]

Do files in RGB color mode cause problems?

The RGB color mode has been implemented for displays and screens. For offset printing the CMYK color mode is mandatory. RGB files will be converted to CMYK color mode automatically by our system, which may cause a slight color shift. To avoid this please design and export your file by using the CMYK color mode.

The RGB color spectrum is much bigger than the CMYK color spectrum and in addition to the three colors Red, Green and Blue it uses a fourth component which printed materials can't provide: the backlight of the display. For that reason a quite significant amount of colors in the RGB spectrum simply does not exist in CMYK and needs to be replaced by similar colors during a color conversion. [+] [-]

Do TrueType fonts generally cause problems?

The use of TrueType fonts will not cause problems in general, but still there is a high risk which can easily be avoided. Please simply convert your TrueType fonts to paths or outlines before exporting your design to pdf.

As a rule of thumb usually postscript fonts are used for professional printing. However, many softwares do exist which are not using these sophisticated fonts and work instead with cheaper TrueType fonts, originally only intended for screen viewing in presentations. Numerous TrueType fonts are offered free of charge on the internet and are quite often of poor quality.

To be on the safe side and avoid unexpected results just follow this important rule: TrueType fonts are only conditionally suitable for printing. If they are used, they should be converted to outlines. [+] [-]

How do I convert my fonts to paths?

All professional software is providing this option, although it may be called slightly different (convert to paths, create outlines from text, etc.).

It simply means that all text elements together with their styles are converted to vector graphic elements. Because of that, the font file is not needed anymore. However, please note that it will be impossible to edit the text afterwards, so it is strongly recommended to save an editable copy before proceeding to this step.

In Adobe Photoshop all text layers are converted automatically when exported to jpeg or tiff files. Hence, no action is required in this case. [+] [-]

Is it possible to use Word, Excel or Powerpoint file formats?

Unfortunately files from Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint files cannot be accepted for professional printing. Under certain conditions, we might be able to accept such documents converted to PDF if there are no low resolution images on it.

You’ll achieve best results when using one of the common graphic or layout softwares, for instance, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign. We even offer blank templates for these softwares to help you create a design!

Please contact our support in case you need help with converting your file or if you do not have access to any of the softwares mentioned above. Our team will do their best to help. [+] [-]

What does a maximum ink application of 300% mean?

The ink application is the sum of the four color components Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black within the CMYK color mode. The higher the ink application, the more color will be applied on each certain dot area and thus the longer it needs to dry.

In your layout software, the color channels cyan, magenta, yellow and black are usually displayed in percent. Assuming that the file is created and saved with a CMYK color mode, the total of the four color values must not exceed 300%.

If they do exceed 300%, it may cause an above-average ink application. This can cause the printed sheets to stick together when being trimmed with enormous pressure at the trimming machine. [+] [-]

What exactly is Bleed or Trimming Edge?

All modern cutting machines are working with a certain tolerance. To prevent incorrect trims and also to counterbalance this tolerance your file needs a 0.1'' (1/10”) bleed all around on each edge.

This additional margin is absolutely essential in order to avoid thin white edges which inevitably occur when large stacks of paper are cut. It is technically impossible that the sheets on the bottom of the stack are trimmed to the exact same position as the ones on the top. The trimming knife is causing slight movements of the entire stack during the trimming process which causes a certain tolerance.

It is strongly recommended that any graphic elements, which should extend to the very edge of the page of the final printed product (like colored backgrounds), last till the outer edge of the bleed. This ensures to avoid thin white lines along the edges of the paper.

All important design elements (like images, text or similar) should be placed with a certain distance to the inner border of the bleed. Doing so will avoid them to be partially trimmed off or appearing stuck to the edge of the page. [+] [-]

What Photoshop quality setting should I use when exporting a file to JPEG format?

You should always use the best quality settings when exporting files to jpeg format. However, if file size is critical you may lower the quality to 8 of 12.

The quality settings for exporting to jpeg format were originally based on the fact that jpeg files were used for many other purposes rather than professional printing. For some of those other use cases a small file size may be more important than perfect quality, for example for usage on the internet.

However, files for printing should always be exported in the highest possible quality. It is not possible to obtain maximum printing quality with low quality files. [+] [-]

Which formats can I use for my files?

We prefer PDF/X-3 documents with a pdf version of not less than 1.3.

Alternatively you’ll have the option to send us your files in EPS, TIFF or JPEG file format. However, these file formats do not support a multi page layout and you’ll have to send us one file for every page. In order to avoid any confusion please ensure the single files are in the right page order when uploading to our server. You’ll have the possibility to change the page order on screen during the upload process. [+] [-]

General Questions

Is it possible to receive single sided prints?

We put in place a standardized production in order to achieve our competitive prices. That means for some products only a double sided option is listed. In such cases please simply upload a single sided file or keep the second page of your file blank.

Unfortunately we can’t provide any discount on the price since your products will be printed with the same workflow as other double sided products. [+] [-]

The delivered prints are not as expected - what should I do?

We pride ourselves on having a very low claim rate however errors may happen. Our support team will be eager to help you and in 99% of all cases you’ll receive a solution no later than after 1 business day.

We’re always striving to produce perfect quality results. However, if the result does not meet your expectations in one or another way, please follow the steps listed below:

As a first step, please categorize the error in one of the following: Has the issue been caused during shipping or is it a printing, trimming or packing issue?

In case the package has already clearly visible damages caused by the handling during shipping, it will ease the solution a lot when also informing the carrier directly (usually FedEx or UPS) about this. Speak to the driver and ask for how to proceed in such cases.

In order to be able to work on your claim. we need pictures of the damaged boxes, goods or the issues in detail. Please ensure that we can see both on the pictures, the misprint as well as how many items are affected. In doubt please send several pictures to our support email address by referencing your order number.

After we received your email our support team will get in contact with you. [+] [-]

Order Questions

Is it possible to blind ship the prints?

Customers who signed up for an account with us will have an option on the order review page, called Neutral Shipping Labels. If you can’t see this option during the checkout, please ensure you’re logged into your account.

If this option is selected,r we’ll send all packages to the stated shipping address with your billing address as sender. All shipping documents inside your packages will be without Chilliprinting branding or mentions. Instead you’ll appear as the sender of the package. [+] [-]

Is it possible to cancel my order?

Any cancellation is still possible as long as the production of your order has not started. However, please note that cancellation fees may apply.

You will be able to see the current status of your order in your customer account. We can only accept your cancellation request during the order status "Prepress Stage". Once your order has passed this stage, unfortunately any cancellation is impossible.

The cancellation fee is $10 if you require an instant refund back to your payment method (credit card or paypal account). Alternatively, we offer store credit to your account. You will be able to use the full credit amount without any fees for future orders. [+] [-]

Is it possible to order a custom format?

Sure! We make it easy. Since our workflow is based on a standardized production, we offer the most common standard formats for each product on our website. For any custom format not listed there, please choose the next larger format and add our service on the shopping cart page, labeled “Trimming to Custom Format”.

There’s a small additional flat fee of $15 for this service regardless of the ordered quantity or product. However, please note that the ordered format must be larger in width and height.
This service for custom formatting may be added to each product in your cart.. After printing we’ll then trim down your items to the dimensions of the file you uploaded for each order. There is no need to write or inform us about the required format. We’ll get this information from your print file. [+] [-]

Problems during file upload occured - how do I send my files?

If the upload form doesn't work for you, you are always welcome to send us your printing files by email to prepress@chilliprinting.com.

In order to provide you with the best service, we offer various upload forms to transfer your data. You may use the upload panels during the checkout, in the shopping cart or at the end of the order process. Alternatively there’s also a file management option included in your customer account. [+] [-]

When will I receive my goods - how long are the delivery times?

The production and shipping time depends on the services you’ll choose during placing your order. We offer up to three different production options (Eco, Standard and Next Day) plus several different shipping services. A calendar included in the product calculator typically shows you the total turnaround time according to your current selection.

Please note that production and shipping time need to be calculated separately. Below are the standard time frames which may vary slightly depending on the product:

Next Day Production:
All Next Day orders are printed within a maximum of 24 hours. If you order today - no matter how late - your items will be shipped tomorrow.

Standard Production:
With our standard option your products usually are printed within 2-4 business days.

Eco Production:
Budget friendly, but slower processing. This is our most economic option. Production time estimates may vary between 1-2 weeks. If you’re not in a rush this should be your go to option. [+] [-]