Frequently Asked Questions at College Copy Shop

Thank you for visiting College Copy Shop on the web. If you are looking for an estimate please use our estimate request form. Below are some FAQ’s, if there are questions that we have not answered, please ask us using our email or contact us by calling Downtown (780.423.1458) or Southside (780.438.2472).

Your College Copy Shop Team is eager to serve you.

Document Setup

How can I ensure my images will print well?

For best results, files should be saved as eps, tiff, pdf or high resolution jpg. Files in other formats such as giff are usually at a lower resolution for faster web access and may not print well. Images should be saved at 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 100% size.

How can I ensure that my fonts will print properly?

When working with text, it is important to remember that not all computers will have the font you are using installed. To avoid font substitution errors, you can do two things:

1. Convert your font to outlines or curves.

  • Photoshop: Layer menu / Flatten image.
  • Illustrator & InDesign: Select all / Type menu / Create outlines.
  • Corel Draw: Select all / Arrange menu / Convert to curves.

This will convert all text in your document to an image and prevent the font from displaying incorrectly. Note: Once type has been converted to outlines, the text is no longer editable.

2. Include your font with your file submission

If working in a program that does not allow you to create outlines, you can include the font file with your submission. This allows us to install the font on our end and keeps the text editable.

  • Finding a font on your PC
    Right click on your start menu and select "Explore." Then open the Local Drive (C) folder. Select the "Windows" folder, and then "Fonts."
  • Finding a font on your MAC
    Open the Finder and select the Hard Drive folder. Select the "Library" folder, and then "Fonts."

How do I setup Business Cards?

Business Card Dimensions

There are, basically, three kinds of business cards:

  1. Regular cards, where all the art, text, and colour are inside the card edge.
  2. Bleed cards, where art, text, and/or colour extend to or beyond the edge of the card.
  3. Double-sided cards

For each of these, there are specific problems and requirements which need to be addressed to ensure problem free printing.

Business cards are 3.5” x 2”. The critical image or safe text area is 3.25” x 1.75”. Placing art, text, or colour outside this area can result in things getting cut off, unexpectedly.
If you are trying to achieve an outline around the card art, anything less than a 1/8” white border will be difficult to keep even.

If you wish to have the art, text, or colour go off the edge of the card, we require a minimum of 1/8” of extra material (art, text, and/or colour) on the side which goes off the card.
If you are trying to achieve a border around the card, anything less than a 1/8” border will be difficult to keep even.
Anything which must not be cut needs to be a minimum of 1/8” from the cut edge of the card.

The second side image can move up 1/16” in relation to the front side art, and it will be considered to be correct.
All the requirements for single sided cards apply to double sided cards.

Due to the nature of the technology, the copy can move up 1/16” from sheet to sheet. This is considered perfect registration.

business card dimensions

How to send information and pictures for a design project?

Our Graphics design is done through our downtown location. Please contact Sarah at 780-432-1458 or downtown@collegecopyshop.com. You can discuss your design needs and depending on the file size of any images you can email, upload to our website, or send them using another file transfer services. When in doubt, call. We'd love to help.

What are "bleeds" and text safe area?

Bleeds are the portion of your document that extend past the borders of your page. The purpose of bleeding your document is to ensure background color and images print to the edge of your paper without leaving an unprinted sliver on the edge when cut to size.

Bleed Area: The bleed area should extend 0.125" on each side past the finished document size.
Example: if you are making business cards (3.5" x 2") your bleed size should be 3.75" x 2.25". Note: Bleeds are only necessary if the color extends to the edge of your document.

Safe Text or Critical Image area is important to ensure that none of the text or critical images like logos will be cut off when being cut to size. Please setup your margins for a minimum of 0.25".

Text Safe Area: The safe area is 0.25" from the edge of your document.
Example: if you are printing a 8.5x11" flyer your safe text area is 8x10.5".


To ensure that we use the correct document dimensions please provide crop marks when supplying a document with bleed.


What does Vector and Raster mean?

There are two major graphic structures, vector and raster.

Vector format is an image that is created using a mathematical equation. This equation will include instructions for all the lines, curves and points in an image. Vector graphics can be scaled to any size without loss of quality because the image is simply redrawn at a different scale. Most fonts, line drawings and logos are created originally in vector format. The most common programs for vector drawing are Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw.

Raster format is an image that is created using pixels or dots. The resolution will determine how many dots are used. The more dots, the more detail and higher quality. When you scale a raster image, you increase or decrease the size of those dots rather than adding more dots. When scaling to large you will begin to see those dots and a loss of quality will appear. Most photographs and fine art images are raster format. The most common programs for raster drawing are Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

What is "Colour Mode" and how do I convert my document to "CMYK"?

Colour Mode is the values used to create the colours you see. Computer monitors display colors in light values or RGB (Red, Green & Blue) colour mode. Printers print in ink values or CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) colour mode.

Most frequently, documents will be defaulted to set up using RGB color space. When creating a layout for print, your color mode should always be set to CMYK. If a file is sent to a printer in RGB mode, the colour will be converted by the print driver giving a less predictable colour appearance.

Keep in mind that all monitors are calibrated differently and depending on your monitor the final print will not reproduce as it appears on your screen. If your job is colour critical please request a physical proof.

Any PMS or specialty mix ink colours will be converted to CMYK unless specified for offset printing.

Converting your document to CMYK:

Adobe Photoshop: Image menu / Mode / CMYK Colour.

Adobe Illustrator: File menu / Document Color Mode / CMYK Colour.

What should I keep in mind when using Word?

Microsoft Word is a page layout word processing program. Word can accomplish a lot of things and has a tonne of tools at the ready. Used to its full potential it is a powerful tool. Unfortunately it isn't always the easiest program to work with in the printing world.

First, it won't imbed your fonts. Each computer has different ones loaded and if the we don't have your fonts it won't look like you thought it would when it gets here. You can get around that by making a PDF from your word document and sending that. Keep in mind that a PDF won't be easily altered if we notice any errors at the printing stage. Text only documents should scale well provided you haven't used any text art.

Second, it will work with both vector and raster images but won't let you know which they are once they're embedded and may convert them to raster if you apply any edits to the image. This may be a problem if we're scaling your file to a larger format. You can get around this by creating your file at the finished size you're looking to print at.

Third, it works in an RGB colour space and printing is done in a CMYK colour space. Not only will all the information you create in word will be in RGB but it may also be converting your images to an RGB colour space. This conversion compounded by converting to CMYK for printing may create colours you weren't expecting. You should colour proof your document on our machines, especially if you are colour critical as there is no way around this with word.

All in all Microsoft Word is great for what it is intended for: page layout and word processing. For graphics heavy items such as brochures or poster there are other programs better suited but if Word is what you've got, go for it, we'll make it work. For critical images like your company logo or other trademarked items you should use a graphics program that will give you more file format options, higher control of colour and a greater ability to control the quality of your image. If you don't have access to graphics programs and you created your logo in word it will work in some formats but not all, in the long run it's worth the cost to have it rebuilt in a vector format by a professional.

What size of paper can I print on?

Paper type Document Size With Bleed Size Common Uses
Letter 8.5"x11" 8.75"x11.25" Standard documents, brochures, handouts
Legal 8.5"x14" 8.75"x14.25" Brochures, Posters
Ledger/Tabloid 11"x17" 11.25"x17.25" Posters
Oversized Ledger/Tabloid 12"x18" 12.25"x18.25" Posters

When creating a custom sized document, please note standard sizes to minimize paper waste.

Place an Order

How can I submit my file?

There are three ways to submit your file:

  1. FTP — Using the Submit an Order area on the right-hand side of our website, you can upload your file directly to our server. This is the preferable method if you have a large file.
  2. Email — If your file is smaller than 5MB, you can email it directly to us.
    Downtown Location: downtown@collegecopyshop.com
    Southside Location: southside@collegecopyshop.com
  3. USB or Disc — You can also come into either location with digital copy of your work and speak directly with one of our Customer Service Representatives.

How do I know what paper stock to use?

Coated: Gloss finish.
Uncoated: No surface finishing.
Text weight: Thinner paper stock used for items such as letters, book pages and flyers.
Cover weight: Thicker card or board stock used for items such as post cards and business cards.
White: White
Colours: For a complete list of what's available please consult our customer service.

If you have questions regarding weight options please see "How do I know what stock weight I should use?"

How do I know what stock weight I should use?

Stock weight will depend on the item you are printing and your preference. There are many different options available to us. Below is a list of some of our stocked items and common uses for them.

Type Weight Finish Common Use
Text 20lb bond uncoated General black prints
Text 28lb laser uncoated General colour prints
Text 80lb offset coated flyers, posters, brochures
Text 100lb offset coated flyers, posters, brochures
Cover 65lb uncoated coloured cover stock, book covers
Cover 80lb coated signs, post cards, book covers
Cover 100lb coated or uncoated signs, post cards, book covers, business cards
Cover 120lb coated or uncoated business cards, post cards

If there are other options that you would like to explore please contact us.

How do I pay for my order?

We do not accept payment through this website. If you are unable to visit our location or pay with cash. You may phone or fax in a credit card authorization or mail in a cheque.
We request payment on job completion. On larger orders we may request a deposit at the time of the order. If your order is being shipped payment is needed before we ship your job.
We accept: Cash, Cheque, Debit, VISA, MC and AMEX.

If you would like to prepay you can prepay once we have the details and pricing confirmed for your order.

If you would like a gift certificate for a future order you can purchase any denomination. Please contact our manager at shamas@collegecopyshop.com to arrange.

My file upload isn't working. What do I do?

Our Submit an Order for will accept up to 3 files combining to a max 50 megs in size. For anything larger than that you can bring in your files or send it to us using an online file transfer service. Two sites that you can use for free on an occasional basis are:



Please do not send any large files to us via email. Anything more than 5 to 10 megs will bog down our email and prevent any other emails from coming through until your is downloaded.

If you are trying unsucessfully to upload files and they are smaller than 50 megs there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The only file types that are allowed through the file upload are: jpg jpeg png gif mp3 mov avi wmv midi mid pdf doc docx xls xlsx ppt pptx txt rtf zip rar ico css xml swf. All other types are blocked.
  • If the spinning wheel on your computer times out and doesn't complete the file upload you may have a 15 minute session timer on your computer. If your internet connection or computer can't upload in that time you may need to send us the files in another manor.


What are originals?

Each original is one side of a printed sheet.

You want one sheet with printing on both sides. You have a two page file. You have two originals.
You want one sheet with printing on one side. You have a one page file. You have one original.

What file types can I submit?

We are able to work with a variety of file types, however the preferred method is .PDF (portable data file.) Please see the list below for acceptable file formats.

  • Adobe CS5
    • Acrobat (PDF)
    • Illustrator (AI)
    • InDesign (INDD)
    • Photoshop (PSD)
  • Coreldraw X4
  • Microsoft Office
  • Excel (XLS)
  • Powerpoint (PPT)
  • Publisher (PUB)
  • Word (DOC)
  • Standard Image Files (JPG, TIF, PNG, GIF)

Special Requests

Can College Copy Shop print copyrighted materials?

College Copy Shop cannot reproduce any copyright materials without permission. Even an out of print publication may be copyright protected. Below is an excerpt from http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/copypol2.html to help you decipher if something is protected under copyright.

Any work published on or before December 31, 1922 is now in the public domain.

Works published between January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1978, inclusive, are protected for a term of 95 years from the date of publication, with the proper notice.

Currently protection runs for 70 years from the date the author dies (called, "life of the author" plus 70 years). Further, publication is irrelevant. Works are protected whether they are published or not.

Finally,  those works that were created before December 31, 1978, but never published, are now protected for the life of the author plus 70 years as well.

When in doubt, get permission.

Can I have my job tomorrow?

At College Copy Shop we pride ourselves on our fast turnaround. For most items we are able to accommodate very tight deadlines. Depending on the scope of work for your print job, if the artwork is ready and the production schedule currently in the shop it could very well be possible to have your job ready in less than a day if need be.
If you are on a tight deadline be sure to let us know what your needs are and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Can I have my order delivered?

Yes, we do offer delivery service for an additional fee. Orders over $500 are eligible for free delivery within the City of Edmonton.
Please contact our Customer Service Representatives (780-423-1458) to inquire about delivery charges.

Can I supply my own printable media?

Yes, you can supply your own paper stock. However, please be aware that there is no guarantee that it will run properly through our machines. It is a good idea to have extra stock for testing and proofs.

Please note: we cannot print on pre-cut stock smaller than 7.5 x 7.5" depending on your output preference. If you are unsure please call to confirm.

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