Is my photo good enough quality for a life size cut out?
Feel free to attach the photo to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for our opinion, we are happy to help. It may take anywhere from 1-24 hours for us to review it and get back with you. However, below is an easy way to determine quality yourself.
For professional graphic designers, you should set files up to be a minimum of 72ppi at full size. This means in photoshop, if it's set at 72ppi at 72" tall, that would be 5184 pixels high. If this makes zero sense to you, that's fine, please just follow the image quality test.
For the average consumer, using any relatively new camera or smartphone will yield good enough resolution as long as you have your camera set at the highest quality mode. All when taking the photo, it is best to capture the ENTIRE length of the person in the frame of the camera. This will yield best results. If unsure, either email us or when placing order make sure you have your phone number entered so we can call you up to discuss. If you do not wish to leave a phone number, please order with an email address that is regularly checked. If we encounter a problem, we want to get that information to you asap and not have the job waiting for days.
Is there a way I can determine the quality of my file?
Yes. A good way to get an accurate indication of your photo's quality is to zoom into the face of the cutout. A typical monitor is about 17"-22". These monitors have a height of about 10" to 12" tall. If you enlarge the face to fit within the height of your monitor, that is a very accurate way to gauge the quality since the average face is about 8-10 inches. After you do that, stand back 6-10ft away from your monitor. The reason you should do this is because typically you are about 18" away from your monitor. You will not be 18" away from the face of the cutout when it is stood up (at least that is not normal viewing distance). Our gallery page shows cutouts that are taken from 6-7 feet away. View this link for a better detailed explanation
How does the process work?
Use the "HOW TO" link on the top of the page to learn the correct way to set up your photo to become a cutout. Once you upload and size your photo according to the HOW TO page, and decide to purchase it, it will take you to a page where you can choose from two drop down menus. The first drop down menu is PRODUCTION TIME. Production time is how many business days (M-F) it will take to produce your cutout. Price is determined by prioduction time. The other drop down menu asks if you want the cutout to be cut to the shape of the person or object..or left as a rectangle. Once those two options are selected, you can add to cart. Once you are in the cart, you can determine which shipping method to choose. Read turnaround time page before selecting your method. Once you checkout, we usually look at the order 1 day before the production time is coming up. At this time, we review the image and set it up for printing and cutting. The customer does not get a proof unless you specifically email us and ask for a proof. If you ask for a proof, we will send it to you that night. Keep in mind, if you do not answer us within that time frame, it will be either put on hold, or will continue as is. Most cutouts are relatively time sensitive, so if you do not answer, we have to continue with the order to meet your deadline.
Will you notify me if my photo quality is bad?
We rate photos on a scale from 1-10. 1 is terrible and 10 is studio quality. If your photo is a 3 or below, we will notify you. PLEASE answer your emails. We consider it ok to proceed if the photo you provide AND the final printed cutout is similar in detail to when you compare a full length photo of your cutout taken from 6ft away. If your photo or character is distinguishable form 6ft away, then it is considered ok to proceed. PLEASE IF YOU ARE UNSURE, email us to review it PRIOR to ordering..
The cutouts that we show on the gallery page are all rated at 4-7 on our rating scale from 1 to 10. Unless you have a professional photographer shoot with a professional dslr camera in studio lighting, your photo will most likely not be in the 8-10 range. A good quality photo should be the original file from the camera (or smartphone). Not a screen shot, not a facebook photo grab. Those types of images can work, but for best quality, get the original. If you are unsure about the quality of your photo PLEASE ASK US PRIOR TO ORDERING OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU ORDER. That way we can catch it before it is produced and send you our evaluation. You should perform the image quality test we mention above. We judge photos based on the cutouts being viewed from 6ft+ away. If your cutout is going to be judged from inches away, then keep in mind your images need to be crystal clear and high resolution (see our link above about image quality test. Note: Viewing the cutout from "inches away" means your face would be pretty close to the cutout and you would not be able to see the entire cutout from that distance. That is more like how a postcard would be viewed, not a big cardboard cutout.
Do I need to take out the background of the photo or do you?
We will take care of cutting out the background when we produce your cutout. So do not worry about that, unless you want to put white space in certain areas (ie. between the legs on some photos). Our online design tool will not show the silhouette. We use our common sense to determine what should be kept and taken out on the photo. If you feel it is not obvious, please email us after you place order and let us know specifically. This saves both of us time.
Sometimes customers use crude paint programs to try and silhouette the images. This, in many cases, causes difficulty due to the probability that the customer will take away some of the edge of the person or object. This leaves little room for cutting. Our automatic knife needs a little bit of the person or object's edge to still be there otherwise we need to cut in even further which may not be optimal. If you are an art professional, you can surely send us an illustrator (or corel draw) vector file showing both the image and on a separate layer a vector silhouette if the cutout is not an obvious cut.
How long does it take to get my cutout?
We have different speeds for production on most custom items. Our lowest cost is a super saver of 5 business days, then we have standard production which is 2 to 3 business days. "Production Time" is the time it takes to manufacture your item, then shipping using priority mail (our standard service) is usually 2-3 days "Shipping time". We ship out of NY, so you can check with USPS and determine what the USPS calculates for the shipping time to your location. See turnaround time page for a map. We also offer RUSH services which will shorten the production time to 1 business day. This does not mean SAME DAY (although we try if it is possible). If RUSH service is chosen, you can expect your cutout to be produced in 1 Business day, meaning if you order a cutout at 1pm EST, it will ship the following day. If you place the order at 7pm EST, it will still ship the following day. If you place the order at 1am EST, we will try to accommodate for the same day, but it may ship the following day. We produce based on the FIFO method. First In, First Out. So if you are ready to order, placing it sooner will get you in the queue earlier before other customers, thus having a better chance of getting your cutout faster. We also offer faster shipping methods. Either Express Mail from USPS or Fedex. Our experience has been the Fedex is more reliable for next day over Express Mail from USPS. We are not responsible for any delays in the shipping. That is solely the carrier's responsibility. We are only responsible for actions that we can control, which is production time.
There are times that USPS will leave your package at your doorstep and show delivery on the tracking information only to find that perhaps your package was unlawfully taken from your home. We have no recourse with USPS if that happens. If you feel more comfortable with USPS delivery requiring a signature to ASSURE that the package is not just left at your doorstep, then you can choose the shipping method labeled "USPS Priority Mail - Adult Signature required". this is more inconvenient for the postal driver and can lead to repeat attempts (thus longer), but it will force them to get a signature from you when delivering package as opposed to just leaving it at your doorstep. That is for you to decide..
What if my photo does not have white around it, can you still silhouette around it?
Yes, we do not require you to have white around it. We will trim it to the shape of the character (person or object). There is a drop down menu before adding your art to the cart. The option is "leave as rectangle" or "cut to shape". There is no additional charge for this. We will cut it as much as we can and leave a base towards the feet to stabilize it.
My image has very fine details and thin areas on the perimeter of the image, will that be a problem?
If your image has fine, thin, delicate details on the perimeter where it will be cut, that may pose an issue. The remedy is usually for us to leave a white border around the entire silhouette. That will ensure that the details are not lost and the stability of the fine, thin areas will not be ripped. Remember, this is cardboard, and if the cut shape is thin (less than an inch) and protrudes outward, if we cut and let that as is, most likely it would rip. If unsure about your image and how it will be cut, please email us to review the image prior to ordering.
I only have a photo of the waist up. Is there any way to complete it?
This will not be an issue. Luckily our site has stock clip art of different legs that can be superimposed using the design tool. If you need to learn how to do this, please watch our video for a quick HOW TO. We can also help if you email us to help out. Most times, if we have time and it fits your timeline, we can try our best to find suitable body parts to finish your photo, but that is not part of our normal service.. If you do the leg work and search for a photo that will complete your "body" for your cutout, and send us photos that fit the angle and look that you are trying to accomplish, that save us the time and gives you a better chance for us to do some photoshop work for you. If you are in a rush, we have freelance designers that can usually accomplish this for you, but that is an additional charge.
How long does it take until I receive my cutout?
Our normal production time is anywhere from 1-3 business days. We ship via USPS Priority mail, so for most of the USA that 'supposed' to be 2-3 days in shipping time. We say 'supposed' because all the carriers are not 100% accurate with their transit times. The only thing our company can guarantee is that we ship it out within 3 days. If you need a faster turnaround, please use the RUSH SERVICE option.
Can I get a cutout with a couple? or more people?
Of course! If you can fit the image within the sizes that we offer, then we can cut them out together. And no, there is no extra charge for that.
How accurate is the cutting of the person or object?
We do our best to cut around the person or object. With that being said, small details like shoe laces, fingers that are spread out, fringe hairs, thin protrusions of many kinds, etc can not be accurately cut due to a combination of the small sharp angles and the tearing properties of cardboard. Our cutting method usually is not an issue for the majority of customers (In fact, we rarely ever get any complaints). However, if your particular cutout requires special attention, please email us prior to ordering to notify us and we can provide our analysis on the photo chosen.
How accurate is the color reproduction?
We try to print the cutouts as accurate as the photo is. Many times photos have bad lighting and we try to color correct it as best as can be. Everyone's monitors are different and therefore what we see may be slightly different than you see on your monitor. If you are concerned about color being very accurate to what you want to achieve, you would need to send us a color print that was printed from the file you sent us. You would need to email us prior to ordering to discuss this, we will give you an address to ship the color print to, and we will color correct the image based on the print that you provide us. This would obviously delay the turnaround. This sort of color correction is usually only required for companies/ad agencies that are trying to match photos to be as close to the final product as possible. Most consumers using cutouts for personal use do not typically need this level of color correction.
What do you mean by Lowest Price Guarantee?
We pride ourselves on efficiency of production. We dare you to find a lower price for the same size (or larger), same options (or more), same turnaround (or better), same shipping cost (or better), and we will beat it by an additional 10%.
Do I need to use your online design tool to send photo?
You do not need to use our online design tool. We feel it makes placing the order easier to judge size, add text, etc.. but if you prefer to place your order through an email and attach your photo, we can do that as well. Provide the photo, your name, address, phone #, size of cutout that you want, and any other information. We will send you an emailed invoice and proceed that way. The online tool has a ruler on the sides to determine height more accurately, that is why we have it. It is easy to set it up online, follow these steps: https://customlifesizecutout.com/pages/how-to
How do I determine the size of my cutout?
The best way to size your cutout in using our online design tool. This tool has a ruler on the left size (and bottom) in foot increments. You can judge the size of your cutout (person, object, character) by enlarging or shrinking based on that ruler. Please take your time to determine the size you need. As an example: If you are trying to make your cutout 5ft 9" tall, then make sure the person's feet are on the bottom of the design tool, and the top of the head is 3/4" of the way from the 5ft ruler and the 6ft ruler (be sure to choose the 6ft size in order to make a 5ft 9" cutout). If you ever need help with your cutout, feel free to email us at email@example.com, and we can size it for you. Our cutouts are produced at the size you choose on the online design tool. You get a preview of it as you design it, so be sure to size your cutout appropriately.
My photo does not fit in the space provided on the online design tool, what can I do?
There are times where your photo may be too wide for a particular size. For example, if your photo has a person's arms out wide, and the person is 5ft 9", you may choose the 6ft tall size...but since the 6ft tall cutout size we offer only goes to 3ft wide, the person's arms do not fit. The arms may go off the page and be cut off. You have two options:
1. Choose the larger size cutout that we offer, which would be the 4ft x 7ft size. Even though your cutout may only need to go to 5ft 9", the width may accommodate the wide arms. There is a price difference for the 4ft x 7ft size. A portion of that price difference goes to the fact that all the shipping carriers charge additional for items that are 4ft wide. Regardless of the weight, it falls into an oversized category which they charge significantly more. Even with the price difference, our pricing is well below any competitors you will find. Be sure to compare apples to apples when comparing prices.
2. Shrink your cutout down to a smaller size entirely. This may not be perfectly "life size", but it will fit the size chosen and fit your budget.
or.... We have make two cutouts that you can assemble next to each other. email us about this option.
How do I know what size my cutout will be?
We offer many different size options. Each product size option has a width and a height. These are sizes that your image can size "up to". This does not mean it is forced to be that size. Please make sure you choose a size that accommodates both dimensions of your cutout. To assure accuracy, we created our online design interface. This tool has a ruler on the side of the interface. This gives the user the needed assurance that what they see on screen will be what they get. If you size it to a dimension of 5ft 6" tall, then your cutout when produced will be 5ft 6" tall. This prevents any miscommunication. Please be sure to review your preview before ordering. Follow these teps: https://customlifesizecutout.com/pages/how-to
Can I see a proof of how the cut out will be silhouetted?
Our normal practice is to proceed with the order as cutting around the image is self explanatory for us. If you feel your cutout requires extra direction, please email us with your order # right after you place the order and give us the extra direction. If you wish to see a proof prior to printing your order, email us and let us know. Just know that an emailed proof can delay your order by up to 1 extra day or more if you do not respond within 4 daytime hours. If we email you late at night, if you do not respond by at least 12pm EST the following day, it may delay your job an extra day. Each day in delaying your respond will result in another day delayed.
Will I received notifications of status throughout the process?
You will receive automated emails from us for the following only.
1. Email receipt at time of order. If you do not get an emailed receipt, please check spam/junk folder. If it is not there, then check your payment method and see if a transaction actually took place. If a transaction shows on your credit card or PayPal, and you did not get an email confirmation, please email us.
2. You will get a shipping notification at time of first scan from the carrier. Some carriers do not scan 100% of the time at pickup. It is a flaw in their own logistics and we have no control over it. I'd say 80% of the time it is done correctly. If you are concerned and want to double check, please email us with a subject line 'Order ## status please' and we will respond.
If everything is on time on our end, you will not received any other update. We do not send multiple emails every step of the way. Just the two above.
If there is a problem with your order you will receive an email describing the problem..
It is imperitive that you use an email that you check often. Many times customers use either secondary emails that are not checked often and wonder why they did not get confirmation. This happens very often and they forget they used that less used email. Also make sure you do not make a typo when placing order. Again, we send automated emails to whatever you type in. Misspelled emails happen often as well.
Do you cut the image to the shape of the person or character?
Yes we do, if that is what you want. We do not charge anything additional for that feature. After using the online design tool, you will be asked to :"Add to Cart", there is a drop down menu that says "Leave as rectangle" or "Cut to shape". Just choose the option you prefer.
If you choose "Cut to shape" and there are features that you want to include (example: Person leaning on a tree or wall and you want us to include the tree or wall, just email us after you place order) If the image needs to have that wall or tree in the cutout for it to make sense, we will do this on our own, but if you have specific parts you want to include or not include you MUST email us after you place order and notify us of your idea. If we do not get additional direction, we will use our own common sense and do what we think is best.
Why do you fold the cutouts when you ship them?
The cutouts are folded to save on shipping. If we were to ship a 6ft tall cutout completely flat, the shipping cost alone would be closer to $80-200 depending on where in the country it is getting shipped. All transportation carriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx DHL) do not always charge by weight, they charge by size as well. If a package is 2lbs, but it 6ft long by 3ft wide, it falls into an oversize category and the price changes upward dramatically. If you want a cutout shipped flat, please email us, and we can quote it for you.
Since you fold them, will there be a noticeable crease?
Fold lines will exist. With that being said, sometimes they can go unnoticed, but they do exist.. The cardboard we use is very forgiving, and hides the crease pretty well when stood up straight. Creases are more noticeable when light reflects off of it to your line of sight. To minimize the crease visibility, you can prop your cutout more vertical. We ship the cutouts with an easel that leans back about 5-7 degrees. If you try to prop it up at total perpendicular to the ground, you will have a less noticeable fold line. We have produced thousands of cutouts for many different purposes (parties, events, retail displays, stage props and more, and crease lines were never an issue. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid any crease line would be to have it shipped flat, which will increase the cost potentially 200-400%. If you want to have your cutout shipped flat, email us for a quote, but as a guide, a 6ft tall cutout may cost upwards of $200 depending on where in the country it is being shipped. If your project requires absolute pristine smoothness, then you may need to opt for not only the higher priced flat shipping option but different material other than cardboard (which is corrugated to begin with). Feel free to ask us for a quote.
Are there other materials you can use other than cardboard?
Our standard material is cardboard because it is light weight, folds easily, ships reliably without damage (high percentage).By standardizing our cutouts with this material allows us to provide a streamlined production and offer you the lowest prices in the country.
We can use many other materials if you like, ranging from foam board, gatorboard, sintra (pvc plastic), metal, acrylic, wood and more. All these materials come in many different thicknesses. The other mateiral provide other attrributes that may appeal to you, such as smoother surface, more durability, weather resistance. They will, however, increase the cost of your cutout display as well as the cost for shipping. If you are interested in these materials, feel free to email us for a custom quote.
Can the cardboard cutout be used outside?
The cardboard cutout is meant to be used indoors mainly for 2 reasons.
Reason #1: Cardboard is not weather proof, so if the cardboard gets wet, it will become soggy and get ruined. A little moisture here or there will be fine for a short while, but over time will ruin the product.
Reason #2: The cardboard is light. If there is wind outside, it will blow your cutout over, and we don't want that, right? The cardboard is sturdy for indoor conditions, not necessarily sturdy for outdoor conditions.
What do you offer for outdoor cutouts?
For outdoor cutouts, we can produce them onto plastic sheets or wood. They will probably need to be shipped flat depending on if you want physical hinges attached. For example, we have produced big cutouts that people throw a football through a hole. We produce this on plastic and glue to plywood, cut to shape, and have strong wooden easels. This are more costly ranging in price from $500-$1500 each with possible shipping costs of around $100-400 depending on location.
A lower cost outdoor material would be corrugated plastic. This will be somewhat waterproof, but is also very light and wind can knock them over as well.
Can you cut a hole in the cutout so that someone can put their face in it?
Yes, we can do that. Just email us what you want to do, no extra charge. Or you can use our design tool to add a white oval to your design to signify where you want the hole to be cut.
If there is another question that you need answered, just send us an email or live chat, and we will answer you asap!