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Technical Questions

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Are ’Open File Formats’, like e.g. InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop accepted?

Unfortunately we can't accept these kind of file formats as the risk of printing errors or font problems resulting out of using them will be unavoidable.

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'Open' file formats are formats, which have not been generated by any postscript process. Such files serve solely towards processing their respective content.

'Open' files are not intended for export to another computer. They contain a number of links, for example graphics and fonts, which will be lost if you open this file on another computer. To avoid this problem, your 'open' files always have to be converted into a postscript format.

If the file is not exported by the software used to create it, various errors may occur. Some very common are, for instance, different program versions which are not compatible among each other or fonts which are missing and will then be replaced by another available font.

Do files in RGB color mode cause problems?

The RGB color mode has been implemented for displays and digital screens. For offset printing the CMYK color mode is mandatory. RGB files will be converted to CMYK color mode automatically by our system. This may result to slightly color shifting.

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Files for offset printing have to be designed in CMYK mode as this is the color spectrum in which all litho printing machines do works (cyan, magenta, yellow and key color or black).

If, however, we receive files in the RGB mode, our system will automatically convert them to CMYK. This may result in slightly color deviations which we unfortunately cannot control as we do not know the original color you wished to have.

The RGB color spectrum is much bigger than the CMYK color spectrum and additionally it uses a fourth component, which printed material can't afford: The background light of a screen. For that reason, many colors in the RGB spectrum simply do not exist in the CMYK spectrum and need to be replaced by similar colors during convertion.

It is best practise to design your layout together with all needed components (like e.g. embeded pixel images) in CMYK mode from the right beginning. Worst would be, to generate your layout in RGB mode, place CMYK elements in there and finally convert your ready design to CMYK. In this case your CMYK design elements have been converted twice and color deviations will be most likely.

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 be avoided very easy: Please simply convert your TrueType fonts to paths before exporting your design to pdf.

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As a rule, postscript fonts are used for professional printing. However, there are many programs which do not use these sophisticated fonts and work instead with TrueType fonts, originally only intended for screen viewing in presentations.

In addition, numerous TrueType fonts are offered free-of-charge in the internet and are frequently of poor quality.

It is therefore essential to observe some important rules: TrueType fonts are only conditionally suitable for printing. If they are used, they must be converted to paths.

If you are unsure on how to do that, please also read the correspondent question below in this topic.

How do I convert my fonts to paths?

As a rule, fonts cannot be embeded in open and postscript files. Only the pdf file format allows it to embed the used fonts. In all other cases or if your font is a TrueType font, you need to convert your written text elements to paths or curves.

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This is an option that any professional graphic or layout software offers. 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 to be embeded or delivered together with your layout file.
It will be impossible to change the text content later on, but it will look exactly like designed on any computer, screen and, finally, on the printed result.

When Adobe Photoshop is used and the design is exported to JPG or TIF file format, the used fonts will be converted automatically. Hence, no action is required in this case.

If you export your file to a PDF document by using any other software, the necessary fonts will be embeded in the file. Be sure to enable the adequate option in the pdf export settings. However, if you are using TrueType fonts in your design, you should convert them to paths like explained above nevertheless.

If you need more details about the usage of TrueType fonts, please read the correspondent question above in this topic.

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

We are sorry to say that any professional printing production out of these file formats are impossible. However, normally their content may be converted by our prepress team.

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Any file for professional printing should be prepared in one of the common graphic or layout softwares. These may be for instance Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign.

However, by booking our Technical Correction Service to your order we may convert your office files to printable ones.

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 put on the concerned dot area within the printing machine and the longer it needs till this colored area will dry - till a certain point where drying is impossible within the workflow process.

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

If they do it may cause an above-average ink application and can therefore cause the ready printed sheets sticking together; at latest when the items are cut in the cutting machine with enormous pressure and the sheets have not been dried completely.

What exactly is Bleed or Trimming Edge?

Any modern cutting machine works with a certain tolerance. To prevent incorrect cuts and also to counterbalance this tolerance your file needs a 0.1'' (1/10) bleed all round on each side.

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This additional margin is absolutely essential in order to counterbalance the differences which inevitably occur when large stacks of paper are cut.

It is best practise that any graphical elements which should extend to the very edge of the page of the final printed product (like colored backgrounds) last till the outer border of the bleed. This ensures to avoid small white lines along the edges of the paper.

All important design elements (like images, text or similar) should be place with a certain space to the inner border of the bleed. Doing so will avoid them to be partially cut or appearing stuck to the edge of the page.

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

In general you should always use the best quality when exporting files to JPG format. However, if file size is critical you may lower the quality till level 8.

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The quality settings for exporting to JPG format was originally based on the fact that JPG files can be used for many other purposes than professional printing. With these other uses a small file size may be more important than perfect quality, for example for usage in internet.

However, files which serve as masters for printing should always be exported in the highest possible quality. It is not possible to obtain maximum printing quality with low quality files.

Exceptionally, posters will not be viewed at close distance so the slight quality losses are not of any significance. The reduction to level 8, however, reduces the file size considerably, thus allowing you to transfer your file more quickly to our system.

Which formats can I use for my files?

In general we prefer multipage PDF / X-3 documents (PDF Version 1.3)

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Multipage PDF means that your PDF contains the front and back as separate pages in the PDF file (for magazines, every page must be saved as a single page in the PDF file)

Alternatively you have the option of sending us your files in a EPS, TIFF or JPEG format. These file formats do not support multipage. In this case you have to send us one file for every page.

If you want to upload several files per ordered product you can use the correspondent option within the file upload mask. During our automated Preflight Check your files will be combined to a multipage PDF by our system. This file will be displayed on your screen afterwards in order for you to check and confirm the result.

We cannot accept PDF / X-4 or higher versions than 1.6 as they can cause problems and an unmeant printing result.

You will find more details about possible file formats here: /Help-Center/Online-Printing-File-Formats/.

General Questions

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Is it possible to receive just single-sided products?

Chilliprinting.com is specialized on standardized production. For this reason, we have reduced the possible individual options per product and most of our products are offered with a double-sided print only.
However, single-sided prints are possible but do have no difference in price.

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If you wish to have a single-sided print only, please just order the correspondent double-sided product and upload a two-paged pdf file with a white second page. This will ensure to avoid any missunderstandings.

In general, if you provide us with a single-sided file only, our system will duplicate the first page to the missing second page and you will receive a product with front and back the same.

The delivered printings are not as expected - what to do next?

In general our claim rate is outstanding low. However, nobody is perfect so we aren't. In the most unlikely case of a legitimate claim, please get in contact with us but be sure to do some important steps before.

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We will always be striven towards producing perfect quality. However, if the result does not fit your expectations in one or another point, please follow the steps listed hereafter:

Please, as a first step, categorize the error in one of the following two options: Has the error been caused during shipping or already during printing, cutting or packing your order?

For complaints resolving out of the handling during shipping you have to take action with the FedEx driver or the FedEx hotline. Speak to the driver directly and ask for how to proceed in such cases. We will assist you in these issues but the initial step has to be done between you and the shipper directly.

For any other claim, please always check your uploaded and/or confirmed printing files before getting in contact with us. According to our experience, appearances like white lines or borders at the edge, cropped text or design elements or pages that are sticked together are normally caused through already incorrect printing files in nearly all of the cases. We will certainly accept your claims in such cases only if you booked our service Manual Data Control for the specific order position.

To avoid happenings like that in future times, we always recommend to book this kind of service together with all your orders - even if you place the order with another online printer. If we receive an order which includes our Manual Data Control service, we can always guarantee perfect prints.

Finally, if your uploaded and/or confirmed printing files are correct, please send us at least 20-30 example items to the following postal address:

Gelimas Chilliprinting Inc.
616 Corporate Way, Suite 2-3996
Valley Cottage, NY 10989

Alternatively, you can send us a scan or photo of the damage by email. Please ensure that the described error is clearly visible on any proof that you submit to us. It is also neccessary to check and proof that more than 10-20% of the shipped items do have the faulty appearance.

After we have received your samples or email our support team will get in touch with you.

Order Questions

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Is it possible to cancel my order?

In general, cancellation is possible as long as the printing of your order didn't start. However, please note that cancellation fees may be charged.

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An order can only be cancelled as long as the order status is "Prepress Stage". Once your order has passed this stage, unfortunately any cancellation is impossible.

The cancellation fee we will charge is $10 if you insist on booking back the order amount to your payment method (credit card or paypal account).
Alternatively we can offer to book the money for your order on your customer account with us in order to use it for future orders. In this case we won't reduct any cancellation fee.

Is it possible to order a free format?

Chilliprinting.com is specialized on standardized production. For this reason, we have reduced the possible individual options per product and categorized their formats to the most common ones.
However, it is possible to order an individual free format. Please read the details below for how to proceed in such cases.

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First, it is neccessary that you choose a product of the corresponding category with a size in which your final product fits completely in. This means that both, width and height of your final print, must be smaller than in the specification of the choosen product.

After selecting the paper and quantity and putting this item to your shopping cart, additional options will be shown below the list of your cart content. Please choose the option 'Trimming to Special Format' and assign it to your choosen item.

This will ensure our automated Preflight System during file upload to skip the size check and correction of your uploaded files. You will receive your prints in the size of your printing files that you have uploaded. Please note that still a 0.1'' bleed is neccessary all around on each side of your layout.

To be on the sure side, you are always welcome to additionally write us an email with your order number and the whished final format of your prints. We will be happy to check your order and files regarding your individual requirements.

Is it possible to ship the goods neutral?

Indeed we do offer this service for all registered customers. If you are interested in this option, please sign up by using our registration form.

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If you register with us and log into our website before you start your ordering process, an additional option will be shown to you during checkout. You may choose between "Standard" or "Neutral" shipping; the latter means that your parcels will be shipped with your name as sender which may be relevant if you send them directly to your customers without wanting them to see where the prints are ordered by you.

Problems during file upload occured - how do I send my printing 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.

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In order to provide you with the best service, we offer various upload forms to transfer your data. This also ensures, that your data will be checked automatically. Files sent to us per email will skip this step.

You can use one of our upload form, either at the end of the ordering process or over the link we send you by email just after your order or - if you are registered with us - in your customer account under the menu point "Printing Files".

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

As a rule, the production time is about 1 working day (for Next Day Orders), 2-3 working days (for Standard Orders) or 5-12 working days (for Eco Orders) to which the choosen shipping time of 1-5 working days must be added.

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In general, we offer our products with a choice of the following production types:

Next Day Production:
All Next Day orders are produced within maximum 24 hours. Ordering today - no matter how late - will mean dispatch tomorrow.

Standard Production:
With the standard option our products normally are produced within 2-3 working days.

Eco Production:
With this option, we are offering the most cost-effective but also time-insensitive production. Depending on your product the times can vary between 5 and 12 working days. An estimated schedule will be displayed during choosing your right product in order to give you a better feeling about the times and costs.

Please note that the production and delivery time does not commence until we have received all the correct data from you. As soon as your printed items are ready you will receive an email giving you the despatch details, like for instance the parcel tracking code.