Artwork & Submission Questions

We recommend uploading all of your artwork in PDF format. This allows us to run automated pre-flight checks on your artwork. Since PDF artwork is vectored based, it allows for the best finished print quality compared to other formats. We do also accept JPEGs, Bitmaps, TIFF files and EPS. But for best results we recommending using PDF.

In general you should receive a proof for your items within 5-10 minutes of uploaded artwork. In rare circumstances it can take slightly longer depending on the complexity and size of your files. If you haven't received your proof within 20 minutes we recommend the following:

  • The most common reason is proofing emails being caught in spam. Check that the proofing email hasn't gone into your spam folder. Add noreply@thesignpad.com to your whitelist.
  • Double check your files to ensure you uploaded a supported file format or that your PDF file wasn't corrupted.
  • In some rare cases with very large files the pre-flight may fail due to complexity. You should receive an email notification if this happens. But please contact us at info@thesignpad.com with your order number and we can manually receive your files for processing.

If you received an email that your artwork failed pre-flight, the email should have specified the reason. This can be a variety of thing such as:

  • Size: We check that your artwork is sized appropriately for the product you've added. For example if you are purchasing a 24" x 36" standard sandwich board your artwork should be sent at 24.5" x 36.5". On each page we have a template provided that shows you the recommended size, safe areas, and other important information so you can submit your artwork. It also includes instructions on the size you need to submit your artwork for that particular product.
  • File size: In some cases files approaching 1GB (gigabyte) in size can fail pre-flight due to complexity. Depending on the file, it can be saved in an alternative or downsampled PDF format to reduce the file size. If this is the case we can help you reduce the size of your file if you are having trouble. Please email us with your order number or give us a call and we can help troubleshoot this for you.
  • Resolution Too Low: This is the most common reason for a failed pre-flight. If you have images or other elements in your files which are raster based, they have been flagged as below the recommended DPI recommendation for that product. Our recommended DPI can change depending on what we are printing. For example on a business card you would want 72DPI or greater, whereas on a large mesh banner you can often get away with DPI images in the 25-30DPI range. WIth that said, you do have the option of proceeding with the artwork with low DPI, but we are trying to let you know the print quality may not be ideal. If you click “Approve anyway” your file will be sent to our printers even though the DPI is below the recommended quality. If you are having trouble fixing your artwork we can certainly help. Please email or phone us and we can help provide more information or help fix your files
  • Once you fix the artwork the proofing page for your item will ask you if you want to proceed with the print and ignore the warnings, or upload new artwork. Just select upload new artwork where you will be able to upload the newer version of your artwork where it will be re-checked again before print and another proof sent to you again for approval.

You will notice in a bulk of the templates we provide in our online design tool, we will show you "safe zones". This green dashed line will not print when your file is submitted to print production. This line or grommet marking is intended to show you the areas to keep type or other critical elements within, or to show you where grommets will be placed on your item.

Please call or email us right away and we may be able to catch this before your item is printed. After approval your artwork goes to awaiting printing in our system. It could be anywhere from minutes to hours or more before your item is actually printed depending on a variety of factors. So there may be time to cancel that artwork and have you resubmit new artwork. We recommend calling us ASAP so we can assist you with this right away.

Absolutely :) In some cases it may be easier for you to submit artwork files and requests to us via email. We can still create a custom quote for you to review, receive your files and manually process them into our print system for you :)

All of our printers are carefully color calibrated with custom built ICC profiles to meet G7 Idealliance color printing standards. We are the only company on Vancouver Island who currently meets G7 color profile standards. This allows us to ensure files submitted in CMYK will be printed as true to your provided files as possible. With that said, there can still be small differences in your expected outcome and what is possible for a printed color gamut in CMYK print. If you would like a printed sample before proceeding with an order please touch base with us via email and we can arrange for a print sample, Depending on the files, and size, there would likely be a minimum charge of Approx $20.

Account Information & Ordering Questions

Currently our accounts are setup on a per-request basis. We offer term payments for our customers so they can place orders and pay bi-weekly or monthly. If you wish to create an online account please contact us at info@thesignpad.com. We will open up automatic accounts shortly though.

Under the ORDER HISTORY tab you will have access to view all your previous orders. You can view the specific order which will show you all items in that order, as well as their prodcution status.

The various status states are as follows:
  • Order Received - Your order has been received in our system. At this point we have not received artwork or connected to our proofing system.
  • Pending Artwork Approval - File Setup - Prepress - At this stage your artwork is being run through our pre-flight systems and proofing systems. You will receive proofs which you will need to approve in order for the order to be printed.
  • Printing & Production - At this stage your order has been approved and is being printed and produced.
  • Quality Control - Packaging - Shipping - At this stage your order is complete and we are doing final quality control checks and, if shipping, we are packaging it for shipping.
  • Completed - Order is fully complete and invoice sent.
  • Job Held - Your job has been held because your artwork has failed pre-flight. You will receive an email with instructions on what is wrong with the artwork.
  • Cancelled - If you cancel your order the status will be changed to cancelled.
During the order process if you "name your job" you can also search this field to lookup old jobs.