If you've never purchased an instant download file or are not very familiar printing processes it can feel a bit daunting to take this on - mix in some pregnancy hormones, babies and children taking up your brain space, or stress of being a first time aunt and needing to put on the perfect baby shower and you might feel like giving up before you've even started. But it can actually be a really easy and fun process to see your prints come to life!
Here's a foolproof guide for getting your prints just right followed by a few helpful FAQs. Let's get started!
1 - Get the goods
All of our files are meant to be printed so they are delivered to you in the highest quality file possible, aka a "high quality print PDF". Perfectly named, right!? Once you complete your purchase you'll be offered a download link and also sent an email with a download link. This file is totally ready to print - easy peasy!
2 - Decide how you want to print
Our cards are meant to be printed on cardstock and using a commercial grade printer will get you the best results - the deepest color and crisp printing (no faded areas) which will make them pop in your photos! So unless you own a fantastic printer and are determined to cut the cards yourself, I suggest going with one of the following options:
An office supply printing shop.
Like Staples, Office Depot, Fedex/Kinkos should give you acceptable quality prints (some locations will be great, others just ok) and for a nominal fee they will cut them for you (along the crop marks), or you can cut them yourself. Be prepared, it can take a long time to cut 30+ cards individually.
Online services like Vistaprint and moo.com
There are so many of these popping up online as it gets easier to accept orders via their websites. They'll print, cut, and ship them right to your door. The quality should be pretty good (make sure to check reviews), and fairly quick turn around. I'll work on getting a list of online vendors that I trust will print our cards well and get some general pricing info for you too. Coming soon!
A local professional print shop.
This option will likely give you the best quality prints, offer endless custom options and you'll know exactly what you're getting as they'll often do a test print for you. I also find these shops the most willing to work with you to print your files efficiently to get the best pricing (they can print 4-8 cards on one sheet and cut them with a machine all at once - so efficient!)
3 - Send the printer your file(s) and print instructions
At the bottom of each product listing we have printing instructions for you to copy and paste to send to your printer via email or to show them when you're at the printing shop making it easy to get the job done right. Here's the general gist:
This file includes x# of cards with the final cut size of y" by z". The file includes a 1/8" bleed and crop marks. To print them most efficiently, please gang up multiple cards per printed sheet. Print in full colour on uncoated card stock.
And now for some print FAQs
Q - What is a bleed and crop marks and why do the files need them?
A - Printers can't actually print right to the edge of the paper. So to allow a design to go right to the edge, we need to include an area where the design extends beyond the area of the final piece. That way when we cut the card down to it's final size using the crop marks (tiny black horizontal and vertical lines that show you where to cut), the design goes right to the edge.
Q - Why is it important to print on uncoated card stock?
A - Coated papers add gloss to the final printed piece. Any gloss will add glare and so we want to avoid that, especially for prints that you're taking pictures of (milestone cards), but also for art prints that you'll be framing behind glass too. Card stock will prevent your piece from damage like creases/bent edges and allow the card to sit firmly flat on any surface (again, definitely what we want with the milestone cards!)
Q - What does it mean to "gang up"?
Have additional questions? No problem - shoot us an email, or DM us on Instagram or Facebook if that's easier.