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Frequently Asked Questions - Printing

1. Why use American Frame for your art and photography printing?
We’ve created a turnkey print and frame service geared toward the professional artist and photographer, but easy enough for hobbyists and DIY decorators. Simply upload your digital file to our Art & Photo Printing interface. Next, select a size from our display of ‘recommended sizes’ for printing based on the file size, or create a ‘custom’ size. Then, make your selection for printing. We offer a variety of fine art papers, photographic papers, stretched or rolled canvas, and prints on Plexiglas® or aluminum. Finally, if you want your work framed, design it all together and we will quickly process your order. Prints on papers and canvas generally ship within 2-3 business days. Specialty printing on Plexiglas and aluminum require up to 3 weeks for processing.
2. What kind of files do you accept?
We accept JPEG and TIFF files up to 100MB, in the RGB color space. If the image was created using multiple layers in your editing software, please be sure to FLATTEN or MERGE the layers into one before uploading. For more information, please see our tutorial on File Preparation.
3. How should I send you my image for printing?
Our easy upload interface is designed to work with all the current browsers plus one version prior. If you are having difficulty uploading and have access to an FTP, contact us so we can coordinate receipt of your file. If FTP is not an option, you can send us your image(s) on CD, DVD or a jump drive to: Customer Service, American Frame Corp, 400 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH 43537.
4. What kind of printing process do you use?
We use Epson Stylus 9800 & 9900 Pro wide-format printers with 8-color ink technology and a variety of fine art papers designed for high quality art reproduction on a custom basis. These printers utilize an intricate spray process known as "Giclee" which allows for the detail of the original image to be transferred to print. The Epson UltraChrome K3 and HDR archival inks achieve superior color expression on a wide variety of media. With improved pigment density and a soft, uniform resin coating, sharp image reproduction can be accomplished, along with significant light and water resistance. Just as important as our technology is our expert printing team, educated and experienced in fine art printing and committed to producing superior quality results for our customers. Read our testimonials to discover what others are saying.
5. What types of printing media do you offer?
Photo Papers:
Pricing

Epson Premium Luster 260 Photographic Paper
  • Heavy bright white resin coated photographic paper with a luster E finish
  • Engineered to offer an extremely wide color gamut, with maximum ink coverage, and a high D-Max, for a true photographic reproduction
  • Produces vivid life-like images that rival those of traditional silver halide prints, making it favored among photographers. Traditionally used for wedding, portrait, and school photography. Also excellent for general purpose photography and art reproduction
  • 260 gsm weight, 10 mil thickness
  • Durable, photographic feel, 97% Opacity
  • Epson archival rating: Over 40 years with UltraChrome inks

Epson Premium Glossy 250 Photographic Paper
  • Heavy, bright white resin coated photographic paper with a high gloss finish
  • Engineered to offer an extremely wide color gamut, with maximum ink coverage, and a high D-Max, for a true photographic reproduction’
  • Produces vivid life-like images that rival those of traditional silver halide prints. Favored by photographers for black and white as well as color photography, and artists for fine art reproduction
  • 252 gsm weight, 10.4 mil thickness
  • Smudge and water resistant, 97% Opacity
  • Epson archival rating: Over 40 years with UltraChrome inks

Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl 260 Paper
  • 100% Alpha Cellulose paper with an ultra smooth pearlescent finish, and metallic sheen
  • Reminiscent of the ultra-smooth and slick sandstone surface of the famous bike trail in the desert plains of Moab, the paper’s high gloss and unique sheen make this ideal for everyday prints with a twist
  • The scratch-resistant coating produces vivid color reproductions as it captures the original beauty of an image with its metallic pearl enhancement. Black & white images shine as well producing deep dark blacks and ultra-bright highlights. Designed for photographers seeking to enhance their images with a metallic look, transforming an image into a life like, almost 3d quality
  • 260gsm, 12mil thickness
  • Acid free, water resistant, resin coated, neutral PH, with OBA content present, >97% Opacity
  • Archival rating not available

Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk 310
  • A true baryta paper developed for inkjet technology, with a smooth satin surface
  • Features a pure white, premium quality, alpha-cellulose paper, with the same barium sulphate coating of traditional silver halide photo papers to offer the look and aesthetic of the original darkroom baryta. Exceptional tonal range and gamut,
    with creamy whites, and deep velvety blacks
  • 310gsm weight, 12.5 mil thickness
  • Acid free, OBA-free, 95% opacity
  • >250 years framed with UV filter / >200 years framed under glass / 70 years displayed unframed (Bare-Bulb)

Lasal Photo Matte 230 Paper
  • Professional grade of photo paper with a bright white, smooth matte surface
  • Featuring the highest possible d-max and color holdout with excellent image sharpness and vivid color density
  • A beautiful all purpose photo paper, perfect for photography, portraiture, gallery and exhibition prints, fine art, portfolio pieces, presentations, posters, graphic art reproduction, as well as signage and professional layouts
  • 230 gsm weight, 11 mil thickness
  • Acid and lignin-free Pulp, 86% Opacity
  • Archival rating not available
Fine Art Papers:
Pricing

Epson Hot Press Bright Paper
  • Heavy, bright white base, with a hot press smooth matte surface
  • Acid and lignin free, pH buffered. High D-max and extremely wide color gamut and black density, perfect for artists and photographers looking for a smooth fine art finish
  • Ideal for color photographs with high detail, or prints with varying contrast. Excellent for black and white photographs, fine art reproductions, limited edition prints, presentation prints for display purposes and exhibitions, albums, greeting cards, digital art
  • 500 gsm, 17 mil thickness
  • 100% cotton hot press, 98% Opacity
  • Epson archival rating: Over 60 years with UltraChrome inks

Hahnemuele Photo Rag 308 Paper
  • Heavy, bright white, smooth matte surface
  • Meets the highest industry standards regarding density, color gamut, color graduation and image sharpness
  • Ideal for archival printing of black and white (best) and color photographs, fine art reproductions, limited edition prints, presentation prints for display purposes and exhibitions, albums, greeting cards, and digital art
  • 308 gsm weight, 19 mil thickness
  • 100% rag, 98% Opacity
  • Acid free, lightfast and extremely resistant to ageing (100+ years)

Epson Somerset Velvet Paper
  • Heavy, velvet textured paper, with a radiant white surface
  • Acid free providing vivid color reproduction with high black density and the highest resolution output
  • Produces prints with a museum quality appearance, good for fine art reproduction and stylized artwork including pastels, acrylic, watercolors, oil, colored pencil, chalk, and charcoal
  • 255 gsm weight, 19 mil thickness
  • 100% cotton rag, 95% Opacity
  • Epson archival rating: Over 62 years with UltraChrome inks

Canson Infinity Arches Aquarelle 310 Paper
  • Heavyweight, natural white, highly textured watercolor paper, with a distinct mould-made cloud-like surface
  • Specifically coated to be water and scuff-resistant, this genuine 100% cotton rag watercolor paper delivers an excellent color gamut, saturation, and precise detail, for a stellar inkjet printing performance
  • The warm white tone lend subtly to photographic reproductions and renders art reproductions accurately and beautifully. Ideal for all wet painting techniques: watercolor – especially for effects with hard-edged colors and smooth washes. Also nice for gouache, tempera acrylic, and pastels
  • 310 gsm weight, 23.4 mil thickness
  • Internally buffered, acid free and OBA-free
  • Epson archival rating: Over 67 years with UltraChrome inks
  •  

Canvas:
Pricing

Epson Exhibition Canvas Matte Paper
  • Smooth, bright white, fine art matte finished canvas
  • Exceptionally vibrant, with deep blacks and a wide color spectrum that can be used for any type of art including giclee fine art and photo printing. The elastic polymer coating resists cracking, making it great for gallery wrapped stretching
  • 395gsm, 23mil Cotton-Poly Blend
  • Acid free, Lignin free, high tensile strength, non-reflective surface. Archival rating not available
  • Laminating or coating is highly recommended for maximum UV protection and scratch resistance. Laminate choices are UV Matte for a soft finish or UV Luster for a higher sheen look. Protection required for stretched or dry-mounted canvases
  • Can be shipped stretched or rolled. Stretching requires lamination. Rolled canvases can be shipped uncoated

Plexiglas®: ALLOW 4 WEEKS FOR PRODUCTION Pricing
  • 4mm thickness (approx. 3/16")
  • 100% UV safe
  • Printed with proprietary European inks
  • Protective coating guards against scratches and boosts opacity
  • Perfect for light filled spaces
  • No framing required: White wooden hanging mechanism floats art 1 1/4" from the wall

Aluminum: ALLOW 4 WEEKS FOR PRODUCTION Pricing
  • 2mm thickness (approx. 1/8")
  • 100% UV safe
  • Printed with proprietary European inks
  • Perfect for eliminating glare and achieving and industrial look
  • Pre-treated with a white powder coating so colors translate accurately
  • No framing required: White wooden hanging mechanism floats art 1 ¼” from the wall
6. May I order samples?
Absolutely. Free paper, canvas, Plexiglas® and aluminum samples are available upon request.
7. If I order a print only without a frame, what kind of border size do you include with the print? I’d like to sign my work before framing.
We routinely add a 1” border to pieces printed on a fine art paper, and 1 ½” to canvases that are ordered rolled without being stretched or laminated. If you would like a larger border on your print, simply add it to your image in Photoshop or other image editing software before uploading it for printing. If you do not have that capability, just state your preference in the ‘Order Instructions’ section during checkout and we will contact you with the final size and price of your image before proceeding to production.
Note: ** If you are creating a frame treatment for a print you would like to sign before assembling, please make sure to incorporate your required border around the image area as part of the image data so that any mat boards you might order for this print are cut with the properly sized openings. Questions? Contact us.
8. How can I take a picture of my artwork so that it is the best quality for you to print?
We’ve created a video to answer this question. If you are not comfortable with photographing your artwork yourself, consider hiring a professional. Local customers: we invite you to bring your work in and we photograph and color match to the paper of your choice. Contact us if interested.
9. Do you provide ICC printing profiles so I can soft proof my image before I send it to you?
Yes. Please visit our Printing Profile & Installation Instructions page. We also provide an in-depth tutorial on Soft Proofing.
10. Do you preserve embedded profiles in digital images?
Yes, all embedded profiles are preserved when printing.
11. How do you handle color matching
For color to be correct, it is important that your digital file or scan is an accurate representation of your work. Best results are achieved with a properly prepared file. There is an abundance of technical data available online concerning color calibration and ICC Profile settings for the interested reader.
For the rest of us, we keep it simple. When color is critical, we recommend ordering a proof on the paper or canvas of your choice. Since papers differ in the way they absorb ink and reflect light, your selection will affect how the final color of your work is perceived. Proofing not available for prints on Plexiglas® or Aluminum.

Color Proof: For $7.50, we will print out an 8 x 10 full image color sample on a specific paper of your choice for your approval. When you receive your proof, simply contact us with your approval and we will proceed to print your order. If you want to make additional changes, or corrections, you can make them with your personal image editing software and then resubmit the new image for print. If you are not comfortable with editing the image yourself we now offer 3 retouching options found under the options tab for printing (see question 11 for more information on this option.)

Resolution Proof: Likewise, if you’d like to check the resolution of your image at a certain size, we will take a small portion of your image and print it at 100% on an 8 x 10 sheet of paper for your evaluation. A resolution proof is unnecessary if you follow our sizing guidelines in the upload process.
Keep in mind that the majority of the images we receive are printed successfully without a proof sheet. This step is only recommended for the discerning artist and photographer who is trying to adjust color to meet a specific, accurate vision of the work being printed. Proofing choices will be presented in the ‘Options’ tab in the printing workflow.
12. I am a novice and would like some extra assistance with photo retouching. Can you help?
Yes. After you’ve uploaded your image for printing, follow the steps for paper selection, and then see our ‘Options’ page within the workflow. Three different levels of retouching are available including a FREE basic retouching selection for simple things like changing your photo from color to black & white or removing red eye. We will keep your original image and your edited file with any changes made for future reference and reprinting needs. Remember to please include specifics in the Order Instructions section at checkout so have details on your editing requests.
13. How quickly can I expect my order?
Print orders typically ship within 2-3 business days except for specialty prints on Plexiglas or aluminum which may take up to 3 weeks. In a rush? Tell us in the ‘comments’ section at checkout and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request. Keep in mind, during the peak holiday season, almost every order is a rush so during that time of year we do need to process orders on a first come, first serve basis.
14. I have a large order I’d like you to produce. Do you offer any discounts?
Our volume discount structure is as follows and is programmed into the website.
  • 12-24: 5%
  • 25-124: 10%
  • 125 – 249: 12%
  • 250 – 499: 15%
  • 500 – 999: 18%
  • 1000 or over: 20%
Also, be sure to apply any current coupon codes that might help you reduce your price at checkout. These will give you extra savings over and above your volume discount.
Still have questions about printing? Contact us. We look forward to assisting you.