Photo Printing on a Deadline

Having a need to get some prints done quickly, I employed a print lab that offered the paper I wanted at a good price.  Unfortunately, they overcharge for 2-day shipping and also charge a $25 fee for a rush order.  Really?  $70 for rush processing + shipping? One of these cost penalties is understandable, but the sum of these two penalties was disturbing.  Maybe a different lab would do the job without one of these two penalties?

I returned to a lab that I had used a month ago. Speaking with the lab via telephone, they told me I must upload the file within 60 minutes to get it into the processing queue.  After consulting the shipper’s web site (UPS), they quoted me only $20 for 2-day shipping and no apparent surcharge for rush processing!  But the paper choices are different and the print cost is significantly higher, compared to lab#1. In the end the total cost would be just a bit less, not much.  I did login and upload the file, but then I could not seem to place an order.  Their website allowed me to upload the file, but then the site navigation was confusing and I could not figure it out.  (Which is odd because I had used this site just one month ago.) At this point, I was experiencing a lot of anxiety because of the time pressure.

Returning to lab#1, I completed the ordering process.  Then sent a courtesy email to lab#2 because they were watching to receive my rush order (which I abandoned).  Ten minutes later, someone from lab#2 telephoned me because he saw the upload and called to help.  Sorry, but it was too late.

Lesson 1: When push comes to shove, never ever underestimate website ease-of-use.

Lesson 2: For rush jobs like this, I need to print myself rather than outsource to a print lab (incurring shipping delays, shipping costs, and rush processing fees).



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One Response to Photo Printing on a Deadline

  1. Kevin says:

    Perhaps it was a good thing that I used lab#1. Looking at the JPG image for the poster I am printing, they noticed a fine grey line running through the text of the poster; they asked if this might be unintentional and gave me the opportunity to correct it and upload a replacement file. Sure enough, they were correct; the line was so fine that I did not see it until I viewed the image at 100% size.
    Having created the poster using InDesign, I went back into InDesign but the problem does not appear on screen. The problem only appears when export to JPEG. Attempting to remedy this glitch, I found that it was related to one letter within the TrueType font, the capital letter “F”. The only work-around was to create a new Type object simply to contain that one letter. Using the same font, same size, with Adobe Photoshop does not result in the same problem, apparently the problem lies with Adobe InDesign CS6 (ver. 8.0.1).