FAQs - American Color Imaging

General Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up an account, and why is a credit card required?

Accounts can be set up a couple of different ways. You can call into Customer Service 1-800-728-2722 Monday-Thursday 8am-7pm  or Fridays 8am-5pm Central Time and speak with any customer service Representative to set up an account. Or fill out the Request Info on our website and a customer service Representative will call you. A credit card is required to bill after the order is shipped out. Your card will be charged $5.00 once you set up the account to make sure that it is a valid card, and then it will be credited back on your card as soon as it’s validated. The only time your card will be charged after this would be for a payment on an order.

What are the differences in paper types?

Press Papers come in 100# Heavyweight Linen, 100# Heavyweight Watercolor, 100# Heavyweight Elite Lustre, 100# Heavyweight, 100# Text, 100# Text Elite Lustre, and 130# Cardstock.

Photo Papers come in E-Surface and Metallic.

Call customer service to get a sample book of the paper types.

How to Change information or update credit card information.

Your account information can be changed under My Account You will be able to update your address, credit card, etc. Changing your information in the ordering software (MyACI) does not update the lab records. You must update your information on the website. If you have submitted your order prior to updating your information on the web, please inform a customer service agent that your studio has an order in the lab that needs to be shipped to the new address. All orders are shipped to the address on file when the order is placed.  If you have already placed your order but have not updated your info under “My Account“, there is a fee to reroute your package to the correct address, if it has not been delivered.

File types used for our ordering software.

The ordering software will only accept .jpg images.

The order will not go through if there are any special characters, these include: , ” ^ & * = | > ? ( ) ’ ~ [ ]

Drop Shipping.

A drop ship order is sent directly to your customer, but the invoice is sent to the studio.

Drop ship is selected in the cart, with it’s own category.

There is a $6.50 processing fee to drop ship an order to your customer. Multiple orders cannot be combined if drop shipped to the same address. Each order is processed as its own individual order.

Please note: Drop ship orders go out USPS.

Why can’t I send two drop ship orders to the same address and only pay 1 drop ship fee?

Orders shipping to an alternate address other than the studio address on file will incur a $6.50 charge per order. This fee covers labor to change the shipping information and to pull the invoice and order paperwork to send to the studio separately. The fee is not a shipping fee as our shipping is always free to our customers.

There is a $6.50 processing fee to drop ship an order to your customer. Multiple orders cannot be combined if drop shipped to the same address. Each order is processed as its own individual order.

Canadian shipping and ordering software.

Our Canadian customers will need to download the ordering software, specific for Canada. Download the Software here. The ordering software logo will include a maple leaf. This version of the ordering software offers all the same products; it just has the shipping for Canada included in the shipping methods. All orders ship via UPS. Shipping rates to Canada are calculated at $6 plus 10% of the non-discounted order total. A 5% tax is applied to the total order. No further duties and taxes will be due upon receipt of the shipment.

How to order a custom size.

You will need to order the next size bigger for the custom size ( i.e. 23”x23” print will need to be ordered under a 24”x24” print). The photograph will need to be sized as the custom size print, with a white border to fill the empty space for the size ordered. In the special instructions you will need to clarify the print size wanted and direct them to trim the white.

Watch this video to learn how to order a custom size

Can I order Artistry Packaging without ordering prints?

No, Artistry packaging can only be ordered with prints.

What a bleed is and why we need it to go all the way to the edge of a file?

The bleed is needed to account for the trim area in products. Make sure your image files extend through the bleed area. The trim area could cut anywhere within the bleed so keep all text away from the bleed lines.

What is the difference between lustre laminate and matte laminate?

The lustre laminate has sheen to it and the matte laminate is a flatter looking laminate.

How to size a gallery wrap, or how to use the edge colors, and photo edges.

Use our PSD Guides to help you size your Gallery Wrap

For solid color edges, please size your image to the size of the front of the canvas.
In the ordering software, select your gallery wrap size.
Under the options, select the solid color you want for your edges, the entire template will change to that color
Drop your image on the template. Your image will fill the front of the template, leaving the sides the solid color.

For a single image, the sides of your image will wrap around. For a 1.5 inch wrap, 2 inches from EACH side will be used as the wrap. If you need to add to your image and clone the edges, please add 4 inches to each side when making your template. For instance a 16×20 sized gallery wrap is going to need to be laid out as a 20×24 image, the first 2 inches and last 2 inches off of each side will wrap around. For a 2.5 inch gallery wrap the same instructions need to be followed, but the wrap measurements are 3 additional inches on each side. So your 16×20 is now 22×26.

If you want to have a completely different image wrap around the side, you would select the photo edge, drop your photo in the template and it will stretch to all edges, filling up the template. Next, drop the image you want on the face of the wrap, and the photo that you selected for the wrap is visible only on the sides.

What is the difference between dry mount and sintra?

Dry mount is a paper product. Sintra is a harder plastic.

What are the turnaround times for your products?

There are various turnaround times in the lab depending on the product. Please call customer service to get a better idea of when an order will ship prior to placing the order.

How do I order competition prints?

Watch our Tutorial Video about Competition Prints

One of the main tabs in the ordering software is for the competition prints. You can select from metallic and F surface (high gloss). We recommend the F surface with Sintra mount as the F surface produces the best blacks.

Self-service competition prints means you control the color/density and we will print the print as-is. For full-service we will correct the color/density and review it under competition lighting prior to shipping the product.

How do I order artwork without ordering a print?

Go to the Lab color tab and to the catalog drop down above the quantity button, select Image Back Up CD. Here you can send in images and select retouch or color correction then we burn a CD and send it back to you.

What is your recommended color space?

SRGB, embed your files in this color space.

How should we save our files?

Save them as baseline standard jpg. in Photoshop.

Calibration Information

Each monitor views a different color. You can calibrate your monitor to show how the print will print in the lab by ordering our free 8×10 calibration tests prints to see how they match to your monitor. These prints are located under the Studio/Lab Color tabs then click on Free Materials.

We suggest that you send in a B&W image, an image with a darker background, and a high key image.

These calibrations tests are not color corrected and are printed exactly as you have sent them to us. Once they are printed, our color department will mark what adjustments they would make on the print if color correction was ordered and corrected to our lab standard. We correct images based on good skin tones.

Why do prints look different when compared to my monitor

Every monitor has a different color to them. Changes in lighting or just over time can colors can change on a monitor. You can calibrate your monitor by submitting photos for our free 8×10 calibration prints and adjusting the color to the recommendations listed.

You can also order a Color Munki Calibration device from MyACI. Find the Color Munki under Photo>Specialty>Miscellaneous

How to download our ordering software, MyACI.

You are able to download MyACI from our website under Resources, click on Ordering Software. Our Ordering Software page will open with three different versions of MyACI listed. Please check with customer service to see which software is the best fit for your studio.

Shipping and Standard Overnight Charges.

Most of our orders come with free 2 day shipping Monday-Friday.

If you would like a Saturday delivery it would be a charge of $20.50 plus 17% of the order total before any sale discounts are applied if applicable.

Standard Overnight Shipping, within the US, will be a charge of $5.50 plus 17% of the entire order before any sale discounts are applied if applicable. Adding overnight shipping to your order does not rush the order in the lab. The normal production times apply and only the shipping will be expedited.

Framed and gallery wrap products both ship ground, and are not covered by our 2 day shipping policy.
Depending on the location, these products may arrive in as many as 4 days after the order has shipped. please call the lab for additional information if you have questions.

What does minimum order mean and why we charge it?

Minimum order charges are applied to each order for lab production costs. If your order does not meet a $13.00 minimum, we round up your order to $13.00. That way all costs of production are covered on all orders less than $13.00.

Resolution.

We recommend your files to be sent is at 250dpi.

What does the copyright on back of prints mean?

The first line has the order number listed, then the package number as it relates to the order form, the .jpg image name and the machine number that produced your print. The second line is the copyright, year and your studio name.

Is there a limit to characters in a file name?

Yes, 30 characters is the limit.

How do I get samples of the book covers, i.e. leathers, cloths and the Riveli albums?

You can order samples through the MyACI ordering software. Find these under Photo>Specialty>Miscellaneous

Mounting differences with bevel and standout mounts.

The bevel and standout mounts come from the manufacturer slightly smaller than the size ordered. Keep this in mind when sending in images to be mounted on these boards as we will cut roughly 1/4” on each side to have them fit the board ordered. Borders are not recommended for ordering beveled and standout mounts.

Why does the dry mount board bow sometimes?

Dry mount is a paper product which tends to bow if it is not framed right away.

How to hang a standout.

A standout mount board comes pre-drilled with holes in the back of the board. Just hang the board onto nails you have in the wall.

What are print level and order level options?

PRINT LEVEL vs. ORDER LEVEL OPTIONS:

MY ACI offers two different ways to place your studio color orders. One of them is studio color with print level options. When ordering with print level options, the options such as mounting, textures and spray are added just to that print you are ordering.

If you are ordering through the order level options, then the above mentioned options are added to the order. when ordering this way, you cannot unselect one item from the options ordered. Ordering this way is an all or none application of your sprays and textures. Mounts are added to all of the prints in a certain size grouping.

What do you use reference text for?

Reference text is for the customer use. It can be used to help find orders that are in lab if you are unsure of the order number. Studios also use this to help match up their orders once they return to your studio.