Customer Support Knowledge Base

Here we have compiled information to address many of the frequently asked questions we receive from customers. If you get in contact with us because you could not find an an answer you were looking for on this page, please mention that specifically in the contents of your message so that we can continue to make our website more customer friendly.

Printing Overruns and Underruns

Overruns and underruns (sometimes referred to as overages or shortages) have been commonplace in the printing industry for a very long time. Because of the machinery used in the printing process and the speed at which the product is produced, as well as the custom nature of each order, the industry has typically allowed for a + or - 10% factor to be applied in production. Orders with us will follow this specification; you may receive up to 10% more forms than you ordered, or conversely could possibly receive 90% of the total you originally ordered.

Creative Business Forms will bill you for the quantity you receive. Your order will be discounted in the case of an underrun or surcharged if an overrun occurs. As you might expect, overruns are far more common than underruns, which only occur in rare circumstances.

We want our customers to be apprised of this policy to the fullest extent possible. The "product may be subject to overruns or underruns" notice is only applied to the business forms product pages, and not to the marketing materials (brochures, rack cards, and postcards). We expect to fulfill those orders to the specified quantity, and aim to do the same with the remaining products in the future. You will not be billed for an overrun on any brochure, rack card, or postcard order. You should anticipate a surcharge for a 10% overrun on business forms.

Orders & Best Practices

Order Comments and Custom Orders

We provide a comment section on our cart page to allow our customers to specify any special instructions they might have for us.

This is the preferred and expected way for a customer to request a proof for their approval alongside their order. We do not provide proofs when they are not requested; however, we may offer a proof to a customer without request if we have problems using their artwork or notice something unusual about it. This is attendant to our policy on liability for errors.

Customers requiring split shipping or rush service should use the comments to notify us. You do not need to provide the shipping addresses in the comments; we will contact you for confirmation and to sort out the details.

We won't ignore requests in the comments for customizations to your order, such as numbering or perforations, or anything else. These alterations require additional fees, so if the order is placed with these requests in the comments, production will be delayed because we will need to determine the costs of your customizations and obtain your approval for the additional charges.

The best practice for custom orders will always be using our custom order request form.

Artwork Uploads

All product pages on our website will provide you with the ability to upload your artwork for printing. Please note the list of accepted file formats below, and make sure you have inspected your artwork sufficiently for errors and conformed to best practices for commercial printing. We will not refund your order due to spelling or grammatical errors or technical errors within the artwork you have submitted. Please look at our policy on liability for errors.

We generally assume you have submitted artwork that is ready for printing and will not provide a proof for your approval unless you have requested it specifically, or if upon our discretion we deem it necessary. We do not assume liability for technical errors with your document, but we will delay production and work with you if we happen to discover such an error, or if we have problems using your artwork.

 Format & Extension Description & Details
.TIF, .TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) Widely used graphics format for storing multi-colored images. Supports layers, multiple pages, raster images, vector graphics, lossy compression, and lossless compression.
.EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) PostScript file sometimes used to transfer vector graphics between applications or operating systems. Generally an outdated format.
.AI (Adobe Illustrator file) Vector graphics file format for Adobe Illustrator using paths connected by points.
.PSD (Photoshop Document) Image file format for Adobe Photoshop. Supports layers and a host of image editing options included in the program.
.BMP (Bitmap) Raster image file format for storing bitmap images. Supports very large file sizes (that can be reduced with compression algorithms), color profiles, and alpha channels.
.GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) Raster image file format that references an indexed 256-color palette and uses lossless compression.
.JPG (Image Compression File) Compressed image file format that uses lossy compression to balance file size and image quality. Commonplace in digital photography because it can compress images significantly with little perceived loss of quality.
.PNG (Portable Network Graphics) Raster image file format with lossless compression. Supports grayscale images and alpha channels, and full-color, non-palette-based RGB images. Does not support CMYK.
.PDF (Portable Document Format) The preferred format for artwork submissions for custom printing. Preserves text and font formatting, as well as vector graphics and raster images for display on different operating systems or hardware, as well as different document viewing applications that open PDF files.

We recommend providing your artwork in PDF and formats which can provide accurate layout and color profiles for printing. If possible, provide your artwork in a PDF and make sure the document is set up for the right spot or CMYK color process with the right colors. If providing files in a format that supports layers, please flatten all layers before submitting the file.

Best Practices for Artwork Uploads

PDF uploads are preferred. Be sure your file is free of spelling or grammatical errors and that graphics are provided at sufficient resolutions.

Color Preparation

  • Make sure the document is configured correctly for the process you will be using: spot colors or CMYK. Make sure the colors designated are PMS ink colors for the spot color process or CMYK colors for that process. RGB should not be used. Pantone Bridge builds are ideal for CMYK colors.
  • Note the distinction between black and rich black for CMYK printing. A rich black specification such as 40c, 30m, 0y and 100k, combines solid black with other CMYK colors for a darker output.

Resolution, Fonts, and Images

  • The document and images within should be produced to a minimum spec of 300 dpi. Creative Business Forms is not liable for artwork submitted using low resolution graphics.
  • We do not advocate that users outline fonts which can otherwise be embedded for compatibility purposes. This practice should not be necessary and likely diminishes the quality of the printed output to a degree.

Layout and Design

Especially in the event that you are not working with a professional designer,

  • Design your document specifically for the size at which it will be printed, with respect to bleeds and the trimming process. Leave appropriate margins and space for folds and perforations where they exist.