Will I receive a physical product?
No physical product will be shipped. Chaos & Wonder Design sells printable files (PDF or JPEG) to be downloaded after purchase and printed by the buyer. If you prefer to have someone else print your files there are many easy to use printing services out there. See below.
Can I send my files out to be printed?
Choose a heavyweight matte white or cream paper (often called fine art paper) and always Google for discount coupon codes! Scroll down for more on choosing paper.
Try Googling “online printers art photos posters” to find printing services in your corner of the world.
You can also take your art file to a local printer, but photo labs like the ones at big box discount stores or drugstores are not recommended. The quality of the image and colors are likely to be disappointing as these photo labs are set up to print snapshots of people.
Any tips and suggestions for printing at home?
Photo printers or high-quality color printers work best. However, I tested prints on a variety of consumer document printers and found one of the inexpensive printers did a nice job while a more expensive document printer did not.
Scroll down for tips on choosing the right paper.
Make sure none of the printer ink is low.
SET PAPER SIZE - If your printer prints a variety of paper sizes, make sure you set it up for your desired paper size (paper size is not the same as image size).
For example, you have an 8”x10” art file to be printed on 8.5” x 11” letter size paper and trimmed to size. The paper size setting will be US Letter size 8.5” x 11”.
If you have and 8”x10” art file and have 8”x10” photo or fine art paper (not the norm), you will need to go to page setup (or it will be called something similar) and set the paper or document size to 8”x10”.
TIP: In Print Setup, make sure “print actual size” or “print at 100%” are checked and “fit to page” is unchecked.
SET IMAGE SIZE - Even though your paper is 8 .5” X 11” on most printers you will need to select the image size (the size of the artwork).
TIP: Under Print Setup or Printer Properties, change the paper type in the drop down menu to match or approximate your printing paper and change the print quality settings to the highest quality available.
If the paper type is not reset, you could have paper feed problems. If print quality is not reset to the highest quality, you will not be printing the best version of the image.
TIP: Always check the image in print preview and it’s also a good idea to test print a fast draft in black and white to make sure no margin settings are off.
TIP: Some consumer document printers will print vertical lines on your image or square shapes. There’s no fix for this other than trying a different printer. These vertical lines and squares are not part of the original images, so you might want to test print on lower-quality paper first.
What are trim guides?
A trim guide is a thin gray line on the outside of the image. Trim guides are on art files size 8”x10” or smaller.
Once printed, lay your art flat and use a ruler and a craft knife to trim your art along the gray lines.
How do I open my zip files?
Mac OSX, Windows Vista, and Windows 7+ all have pre-installed unzip software so double-clicking the zip file should open it. Below are troubleshooting suggestions for MAC and PC.
To open a zipped file on a Mac, double-click on the zip file and an unzipped file containing images and documents should appear.
OR right click and choose to open the zip file with Archive Utility.
OR hold down the Control key and click on the zipped file. Click “Open with” and choose the “archive utility.”
Older computers and operating systems can be finicky. If none of the above tips work, your tech might need a little help. Try Unarchiver or Stuffit Expander (for Mac).
If you are having trouble opening your zipped files on an iPad, you need iZip.
If you have Windows and double-clicking the zip file does not work, follow the Windows XP instructions below.
For Windows XP, drag the zip file to your desktop and right-click on the file. Click “extract all” and choose where you want to save the file (destination).
If you are having trouble opening the zipped file on your PC or have Windows 2000 or earlier, you will need to download and use a program like WinZip or Stuffit Expander.
How can I use my files? What rights or license do I have after purchase?
All images are copyrighted including vintage images (my versions are unique). The purchaser may print their files for personal use including multiples as gifts for family and friends.
Posting low-resolution versions of image files (not checklists, guides or instructions) to websites, blogs, and social media is also permitted.
Commercial use (for profit) of any file, digital or physical, is strictly prohibited.
Uploading files to free or paid stock image or graphics sites and services is prohibited.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
What kind of paper should I use for best results?
Heavyweight matte photo paper, fine art paper, ultra premium presentation paper (matte) or a good quality heavy white premium card stock is recommended. Standard copy machine paper, glossy papers, pearl luster and glossy or lightweight photo papers (the kind used for snapshots) are not recommended.
Some very heavyweight papers will not work in home printers, but most heavyweight and presentation papers will.
Ultra Premium Matte and Velvet Fine Art paper from Epson worked well for us (though what we tried was a bit creamy, not bright white) and we haven’t tried it, but many people like the heavyweight matte photo paper from Staples.
The above paper suggestions work, as well as good quality resume paper (heavier weight than standard copier paper).
Printable Checklists and eGuides
Standard copy paper will work fine for these files. If your printable has a variety of colors or designs on it, you will get good results with matte presentation paper or a heavyweight resume paper.
What if I need a different size art file or a variation?
Contact me. Not all the files can blow up to a larger size or will work when cropped to a different size, but it’s always worth asking. I’m happy to check for you.
Any tips for matting and framing my art print?
I’m a Thrifty Girl, so I like thrift stores, Ikea and the clearance section of T.J. Maxx Home Goods for frames.
TIP: Frame size and the mat window size are not the same. If you buy a frame with a pre-cut mat included, make sure you know the size of the art that will fit the mat.
Or purchase a precut mat at an art store like Michael’s. Just to be safe, I like to have Michael’s cut mats to fit my image and frame. Look for coupons!
FYI: For images with borders, the border is part of the image size. Picture mats overlap the image; so white borders ensure you don’t lose part of the art when you frame it.
For Chaos & Wonder art files, the borders are just under 1/4 inch wide. Many precut mats overlap the image by 1/4 inch, but if you think your mat only overlaps by 1/8 inch, contact me for an adjustment.
Can my printable art file print at a different size?
To ensure quality, I recommend printing you art files at the original size or contacting me before purchase to check if the file will look good in a larger size.
If you’re curious, here are common image aspect ratios and the corresponding standard print sizes:
1:1 (square) – 5”x5” in, 8”x8” in, 10”x10” in, 12”x12” in, 14”x14” in, 16”x16” in.
2:3 – 4”x6”,in 12”x18” in, 24”x36” in, 10x15 cm, 20x30 cm, 30x45 cm.
3:4 – 6”x8” in, 9”x12” in, 12”’x16” in, 18”x24” in, 36”x48” in (engineering print), 30x40 cm.
4:5 – 8x10, 16x20, 40x50 cm.
Help! I accidently purchased the wrong art file size!
No worries! Contact me and I’ll help you sort it out and get the right file.
Will the colors in my print look exactly as they do on my computer screen?
Color will always vary a bit from computer screen to computer screen based on the settings for the screen and the technology. Color modes also vary between the Internet and professional printing, so there is no way to get everyone to see and print the exact same colors they see on their screen. However, the colors should still be pretty close. If colors are wildly off, check your printer ink and recheck that your print settings are correct (see above instructions).
When printers convert the color before printing, sometimes colors can come out a bit more subdued (most people won’t notice).
Thank you for your interest!If you have any questions please reach out to me through the Contact page.