Frequently Asked Questions

Art Information

Why submit vector art, my file worked for brochures?

Vector art allows us to trap spot colors to improve registration. Many other products are printed using offset presses and thus the tolerances are much tighter than in screen printing.

Can I increase the dpi to raise my resolution?

No, once the art has had the dpi reduced it cannot be raised again. Ideally, raster image files should be at least 300 dpi at scale to print cleanly.

Do we need white on clear products?

Yes. The opacity of the inks will not hold up once the decal is placed on glass or a color background. White should be used to either back up the art or as a flood behind the entire decal. Indicate which method to use for the white on your order.

Why do I need spot colors on my 4-color process art?

Large areas of coverage and specific PMS matches are not guaranteed in screen printing. Often a spot color is needed to meet our clients’ expectations. Additionally, the small text or elements created out of process colors will not hold up to the coarser lpi used for apparel and decal printing.

When I submit spot colors, why do you ask for 4-color process?

It really depends on the art. Photographs and art with many shades are often better as 4-color process. Art is often submitted with spot colors identified, but unnamed or multi-color blends usually separate themselves into CMYK.

My art looked fine on the laser printout, but very rough on the decal, why?

If a low resolution TIFF or grayscale art is submitted it will look better on laser paper. Laser or ink jet printers recognize shapes of gray and will not utilize a halftone dot. If the art is grayscale and no tones requested, the art loses all the shading in the film process. Thus the image detail drops out and prints very rough.

How can I upload my artwork files ?

You may submit artwork files by filling out our Custom Quote section, or through direct e-mail submission. For extremely large file uploads, contact us for FTP information, or submit a CD-Rom through the mail.

Is consecutive numbering available?

Consecutive numbering is available on many products. Call or write for pricing on these items.

Will you send a proof before my job is printed?

When placing your order, please indicate whether you would like to receive a proof and by which method. We can fax, email or mail (at customer’s cost) a proof. Please remember that production time does not begin until after the proof has been approved and returned.

Ordering Information

Can I email the order to you?

Yes! You can send your order via email to Please include the following when sending email:

  1. Complete name, address, and telephone numbers
  2. Note whether information is for a quote or for an order
  3. Material
  4. Item Number or description
  5. Size
  6. Quantity
  7. Colors, including names and numbers (i.e. PMS 186 C)

When we receive your email, you will receive a response from us stating that we received your file. If you do not receive this confirmation within twenty four hours after sending the file, please call us and resend the file. It is a good idea to compress files using an archiving software such as WinZiP to avoid problems during transmission. To assure we can accurately view your art, please send a JPEG or PDF file along with your vector art for verification. For more information see our Artwork Guidelines for submitting art.

What if I need to cancel an order?

If you need to cancel an order please contact us as soon as possible. In the event of an order cancellation, if Spectrum has commenced work on the order, it shall be entitled to full reimbursement for any cost already incurred, including penalties or restocking charges that sellers suppliers may charge. This reimbursement shall be deducted from the advance deposit and balance (if any) refunded to the customer.

Can I order a non-standard quantity?

Yes. Any order calling for quantities between standard catalog quantities will be priced at the lower quantity price.

Do you have overruns/underruns?

Yes. Due to the difficulty of manufacturing to exact quantity requirements without sacrificing quality, a shipment of 5% over or under the quantity ordered will constitute a complete order and will be billed accordingly.

Is there a charge for halftones?

Yes. For screen printed items, Screens/Halftones of a color will require a labor charge of $35.00 (net). New orders are subject to halftone charges. Screens are typically archived for eighteen months before being reclaimed if there is no further order for that design. After screens are reclaimed, screen setup charges will once again be incurred.

What are the turnaround times for your products?

Our production time varies from product to product. Please reference the Online Catalog for a production time for a specific product. Please note production times are approximate. Specific dates must be confirmed with our Customer Service Department. If a proof is needed, production time will begin after the proof has been approved and returned.

Are rush services available?

Expedited turnaround is usually available. We will, for an additional charge, produce an order in less than normal production time. Charges vary depending on our current work load, item involved, complexity of art, and production. Products such as business cards and brochures cannot be rushed.

Shipping Information

What are your shipping policies?

We prefer you come in to pick up your order. If you cannot stop in to see us, please indicate your preferred shipping method when you place your order. If no instructions are given, we will ship Ground Freight via our standard carriers (UPS or FedEx). We bill you ‘at cost’ for shipping when the product leaves or arrives at our facility, unless requested otherwise.

Can you ship my order C.O.D.?

No. Orders should be paid or payment arrangements made prior to shipping.

Can you split shipment my order?

Orders can usually be sent to different locations. Inquire with our staff about your particular needs and any additional costs for split shipments.

Miscellaneous Information

Can you send me samples?

On most promotional items we can procure samples for a small fee. Other item or material samples are impractical to send, and samples can take several weeks to arrive. Inquire with our staff about your particular needs and we will try our best to accommodate you.

Can you send me an apparel catalog?

Yes. To request catalogs or other literature please fill out our online Quote Request form or call.