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Frequently Asked Questions

Pricing FAQ

Why are your prices so low?

M13 Graphics is able to offer lower prices because we print orders in very large quantities, with hundreds of other print jobs on large sheets of paper which are then cut down after printing has occurred. This is also known as "gang-run" printing. This helps to reduce the costs of making printing plates and other setup fees. We pass this savings on to you!

Can you quote items other than what is listed?

We would welcome the opportunity to quote any print job that you may have. Please submit your Quote Request on our contact page.

Turnaround FAQ

What are the turnaround times?

Turnaround varies based on the type of turnaround you select and options selected when ordering.
Economy Turnaround: 3-5 Business Days
Fast Turnaround: 1-2 Business Days
Faster Turnaround: 1 Business Day
Crazy Fast Turnaround: Same Day
Most Options Add: 1-2 Business Days
All times begin from the day we receive your files, your job is paid, and sent to print. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays to not count as business days.

Ordering FAQ

Can I order 2 sets of postcards as one order?

No, even though it may add up to the same amount of cards there is twice as much work that is still involved. For example, if you want 2 different postcards, then place 2 separate orders. The price for 5,000 of one postcard is not the same as the price for 2,500 each of 2 different postcards.

Can you split print quantites?

Quantities cannot be split up due to how we print orders. For example, you cannot split up 1000 business cards into two orders of 500 different names. A 1000 business card order will be printed on a 1000 sheet press run. If you need two different names, please order two orders of 1000 each.

Cancelling a job in progress

Due to the nature of our business, we process jobs as soon as we receive them. No refunds are available on orders unless files have not been prepared for printing and work has not started. If you need to cancel an order you have placed, you must call and speak to a M13 Graphics representative to avoid ANY costs IMMEDIATELY.

How are returns and refunds handled?

All sales are final. Every item we sell is carefully inspected before it is shipped. If merchandise is defective or damaged upon receipt please contact us immediately. Should your print job contain manufacturing errors and/or defects, we may rerun and ship the job at no charge. M13 Graphics reserves the exclusive right to judge what a manufacturing error and defect is. On a case by case basis we will investigate and determine if the damage was due to negligence on our part. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 877-613-1913 during normal business hours so we can handle your request. We appreciate your adherence and acceptance of these conditions.

How do I order?

Orders should be placed completely on our website.

I don't see the size postcard I am looking for?

Select custom under print size and enter the dimensions in the appropriate fields. Please be sure to select the exact size option if your print order does not have any room for cut variance and we will make sure it is cut exact.

I was notified that my files are corrupt...

File corruption usually happens when submitting files over the internet with poor transfer speeds, or when creating very large compressed files. Transfer speed is determined by several factors: your internet connection, file size, and even time of day. If you have received notification that your files are corrupt, please upload your files again. There will be no additional fees charged. Be sure to try and successfully open the files again on your end before resending. And do not send the same compressed file, but try recompressing your files. If you continue to have problems, please consider overnighting us your artwork on disk.

Is ordering online safe and secure?

We employ a method of interaction with our visitors that does not compromise credit card information. This online system is 100% secure. A note about the Fair Credit Billing Act: Under this act, your bank limits your total loss and cannot hold you liable for more than fifty dollars of reported fraudulent charges. In the event your card is used in a fraudulent manner, you must notify your bank or card issuer immediately and in accordance with its reporting rules and procedures. We encourage you to feel comfortable using your credit card to conduct commerce on our site. If you wish, you may also send us a U.S. Postal Money Order or a personal or business check. Checks will delay your order as we must wait for your funds to clear before we begin production or ship any merchandise. Please allow an additional 7-10 business days for shipping and production of your merchandise if paid by check. To order by check, just print the order confirmation page and then mail the form with payment to: M13 Graphics, 1300 Basswood Road Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173

Is there an extra charge for bleeds? What is Bleed?

No. Unlike many other companies, all our prices include full bleeds free of charge. The bleeds should be 1/8" all around. Due to the very small shifting that occurs during cutting, it is NOT recommend that you use a border of less than 1/4” (.25) if your design calls for the use of a border. We cannot, and will not, guarantee that small borders will be the same size after trimming if you have used a border of less that 1/4” (.25).

What is an M13 Tagline?

We offer a discount of 10% up to $25 by allowing us to place an small (5 point type size) tagline on your order. We will automatically place the tagline on the back side. The tag-line will read: print :: m13.com 877.613.1913

Will I always receive the exact quantity I ordered?

Most of the time we will print slightly more than what you ordered, for no additional charge. As printing industry trade standards allow for underages of up to 10%, sometimes we will print slightly fewer pieces than you ordered. If you are doing a mailing and need to receive the exact amount ordered, it is best to select the exact quantity option when you place your order.

Will I be billed before seeing a proof?

Yes. All orders must be pre-paid due to the extremely quick turnaround times involved. Once we receive your proof approval, your job is scheduled for the very next print run.

Payment FAQ

Do you offer terms or can you bill me?

Although M13 Graphics typically requires payment in full prior to any work being completed, in some cases we do offer terms to select customers.

Will I get an invoice?

Your invoice will be provided to you shortly after you order from our website.

Printing FAQ

What is "Gang-Run" Printing?

M13 Graphics is able to offer lower prices because we print orders in very large quantities, with hundreds of other print jobs on large sheets of paper which are then cut down after printing has occurred. This is also known as "gang-run" printing. This helps to reduce the costs of making printing plates and other setup fees.

IMPORTANT DETAILS CONCERNING COLOR REPRODUCTION

Gang-Run Printing refers to the specialization in supplying customers with affordable full color printing. Utilizing this method known as "Gang-Running", this approach combines your short-run jobs with others having similar requirements. This allows the initial production costs to be spread out over several jobs, greatly reducing the make-ready charges for each customer. All work is carried out by skilled professionals on state-of-the-art equipment to assure you quality work at affordable prices.

BUT GANG-RUN PRINTING HAS IT'S LIMITATIONS

Because of limitations with the Gang-Run printing process, as well as neighboring image ink requirements the accuracy of color reproduction is not guaranteed and by placing an order with M13 Graphics you agree to this limitation. We do not accept responsibility for color variations between submitted files and the final printed piece.

We have a color critical option available that will price your print order to run by itself along with a hard copy full color proof.

Can I request custom (PMS) inks?

Yes, as we print using 4-color process all of our printed products are printed with Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks, but an additional PMS color may be added for a charge.

Do you only print postcards, flyers and business cards?

No, we print just about everything under the sun in record time. Contact us for a quote.

Do you print in full color on the back side?

Yes, most products we print, but not all, include doubled sided full color (4/4) on both sides for the same price as single sided.

What kind of press do your print on?

Two 40'', six color Mitsubishi presses with in-line UV coaters, digital cutting stations, folders, stitchers, die-cutting equipment and more. Take a look at our full Equipment List

What paper stock do you print on?

Most of our pre-priced products we have listed on our website are printed on 16pt C2S Cardstock, 12pt C2S Cardstock, 100 lb gloss text, and 60 lb offset. We aslo offer custom quotes which leaves us with a pretty unlimited choice of paper stock or substrate we can print on. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and request samples that you can hold in your hand so you can make your final decision.

Can I receive a printed proof?

Yes. We do have a color critical option for most of our products on our website that will include a hard copy color proof for more accurate color reproduction. These orders will run by themselves along with any custom commercial print orders.

Shipping FAQ

Can I pick-up my order?

We have two pickup locations for your convenience. One in Chicago, IL and the other in Schaumburg, IL. We also have an air cargo pickup option. Your order can be available for pick up at the cargo pickup location as early as the same day printing is completed and no later than one additional day. See a list of our Locations

Can I ship to a PO Box?

Due to the extreme weight of printed material we cannot ship to a Post Office Box. If you entered a P.O. Box as your shipping address when placing your order online, your order will placed on hold until we have contacted you and received a physical Ship To Address.

How do I change my shipping?

Please give us a call if you need to make a shipping change, but we ask that you carefully plan both the anticipated turnaround time and the time to ship to your final destination as it is very difficult to process shipping changes once an order has been placed. Please make sure your shipping information and method are correct the first time.

How do I get my tracking numbers?

On the day that your order ships from our Chicago facility, tracking numbers will emailed to you and available if you login to My M13

May I use my own shipping account?

Yes. Please call us ahead of time or mention in the notes section of your order that you would like to ship under your own FedEx or UPS account, but we will charge a $5 handling fee for each shipment.

What is Blind Shipping? (For Brokers)

As far as your clients are concerned, your ARE the printer! Your order will be shipped with your Company Name and Information as the return shipping address. All Blind Shipped orders will be shipped in a plain box with no additional advertisements or promotions packed with your order.

File Preparation FAQ

RGB and CMYK color modes

Most graphics software programs give you the choice to work in either RGB or CMYK color mode. Scanners and digital cameras create images and computer monitors display images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (RGB). These are the primary colors of light, which computer monitors use to display images on your screen. Offset printing presses print full color pictures and images using a different set of colors, the primary colors of pigment: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (CMYK). This is "4-color process" or "full-color" printing that comprises the majority of magazines and marketing materials you see every day.

If you have not created your digital layout or design using CYMK color space to begin with, at some point your RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press.

Are my images the right resolution? What is dpi or resolution?

Raster graphics such as TIF and JPEG files must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch). Images with a resolution less than 300 dpi will reproduce poorly on press (the image will look fuzzy and/or pixilated).

How should I name my files?

All files should be saved including the following in the name: Job Name, Size, Side, Extention
Example: Wild Wednesdays 4x6 FR.jpg or Wild Wednesdays 4x6 BK.jpg

Fonts and typefaces

Font and typeface integrity can be an issue when it comes to transferring files to another computer or printing company for production. We have thousands of fonts; however, to be safe, it is better to include them along with your original document. In vector drawing programs such as Illustrator, you must convert all fonts to outlines or curves just before you send us your final, print ready file(s). Also, keep in mind that small colored text doesn't print very well. Because we print in four-color process it is best to use a minimum of a 9-pt. type, unless the type is black or white. And keep in mind that most people can't read type smaller than 6-pt. no matter what color it is.

I was notified that my files are corrupt...

File corruption usually happens when submitting files over the internet with poor transfer speeds, or when creating very large compressed files. Transfer speed is determined by several factors: your internet connection, file size, and even time of day. If you have received notification that your files are corrupt, please upload your files again. There will not be additional fees charged. Be sure to try and successfully open the files again on your end before resending. And do not send the same compressed file, but try recompressing your files.

Is critical artwork or text too close to the trim? What is bleed?

Text or images that are not meant to get trimmed off the edge of your final printed piece must be 1/4" (.25) from the edge of your layout (also known as Safety). Images that are meant to go to the very edge of your design must extend into the bleed area 1/8” (0.125). Due to the very small shifting that occurs during cutting, it is NOT recommended that you use a border of less than 1⁄4” (.25) if your design calls for the use of a border. We cannot, and will not, guarantee that small borders will be the same size after trimming if you have used a border of less that 1⁄4” (.25).

Is my job the wrong size? What is Bleed?

Digital files must be built at the correct bleed size. Whenever possible, please download and use our Free Layout Templates to ensure correct page size and to prevent additional charges during file preparation.

RGB-to-CMYK conversion of your images

You will have more control over the appearance of your printed piece if you convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us. When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your liking. We want you to be happy, so please, take the time to prepare your file properly. We cannot be responsible for sub-par results if you furnish your images in RGB. Even though monitors always use RGB to display colors, the colors you see on your monitor will more closely match the final printed piece if you are viewing them in the CMYK color space. Be aware that computer monitors can display colors in RGB that will not make the conversion to CMYK. These colors are said to be "out of the CMYK color gamut". What happens is the RGB to CMYK translator just gets as close as possible to the appearance of the original and that's as good as it can be. So it's best to select any colors you use for fonts or other design elements in your layout using CMYK definitions instead of RGB. That way, you will have a better idea of how they will appear in your printed piece.

What types of media do you accept?

We prefer you to upload your files using the online ordering system.

When you receive my files will fonts be missing?

If you used a page layout program (QuarkXpress, InDesign, etc.) you must provide all fonts and typefaces used in your layout. If you do not supply fonts, you will be asked to upload your fonts and your job will be placed on hold until we receive them.

Will my job meet U.S. Postal regulations?

The US Post Office requires that all postcards being mailed must meet certain requirements and may not mail them properly, or will charge a different rate if there are mistakes. Please contact your local US Post Office to find out these requirements.