Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions and queries.


Frequently Asked Questions

SIMLAB offers top quality professional photo printing produced here in the UK. We have a wide range of different photo supplies and photo lab products to suit every professional photographers needs and have an excellent team on hand to help. Please find our most frequently asked questions about our service, products and photo supplies listed below. If you can’t find the answer to what you’re looking for please feel free to get in touch. Our email is [email protected] and our number is 01707 273 747.

General Enquiries

Yes, we are proud to be a British manufacturer of professional photo prints based in Hertfordshire just north of London. Our full address is SIMLAB, Unit 8, The I.O Centre, Hearle Way, Hatfield Business Park, Hertfordshire, AL10 9EW.

Our usual operating hours are Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 5.30pm however this may change during our peak periods. Our customer service is available during these times on the phone or via email. Our showroom & reception for collections is only open between 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday.

Yes, we offer a collection option at the checkout for any of our local customers to collect their orders with a small collection fee. Our reception is open for collections Monday - Friday between 10am and 4pm.

No, we are an online business with a professional production lab thats not accessible to the general public. We have a reception thats available for collections and a showroom to look through our available products, but all orders must be placed online via our website. You are not able to bring in images on a USB to be printed or to send orders via email, every order must be placed online via simlab.co.uk.

No, our usual operating hours are Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 5.30pm however this may change during our peak periods.

We only offer printing of digital files, so we are unable to develop film or print from negatives. We also do not offer any scanning facilities for digitalising existing photos. All orders are required to be an existing digital JPG file ordered online via our website.

Yes! As well as photographs, we often see prints that are paintings, drawings, graphics, signs, promotional material, banners and more. We do not offer document printing on standard copier paper but so long as your file is in a JPG format with the required spec, we can print it for you on one of our materials of your choice.

Looking after the environment is such an integral part of our global economy and indeed our future, so ensuring that we have sustainable business practices is a key priority. At SIMLAB, we take this responsibility very seriously, so responsible procurement, sustainability, recycling and carbon offsetting are all factors we consider when developing supplier and consumer relationships. All of our papers are FSC certified meaning they meet the Forest Stewardship councils strict requirements for responsible and sustainable printing. We also strive to use recycled & recyclable packaging materials for sending our orders as well.

Placing Orders

We process hundreds of print orders every day, so its important that the ordering process is nice and straightforward for our customers and our staff to ensure production runs smoothly. Here are some of the most common queries customers have asked with regards to placing orders.

It is not possible to change the details of your order once it has been placed. The only exception to this is the delivery address, which can be changed if your order has not yet been sent. To change this, please contact SIMLAB via email at [email protected] or call 01707 273 747. Please note that due to our exceptionally quick turn arounds and high order volumes, it is not always possible to change the address before the order is dispatched. Please ensure when checking out that you double check your details throughly to avoid and mistakes and consequential delays.

We recommend Firefox or Google Chrome which are both available to download for free for both Mac & PC.

Unfortunately we are unable to add more files to an existing order as the files need to be processed through the website, therefore the files would need to be placed as a new, separate order. You can request that orders be paired together in the special instructions, however it is not guaranteed that we will be able to consolidate them for you due to the volume of orders we process in a day.

No, we do not accept any orders via email. All orders MUST be processed via the website in order to allocate an order number and take you through the secure payment gateway.

No, we cannot accept orders sent via the post either on a CD or USB. All orders MUST be processed via the website in order to allocate an order number and take you through the secure payment gateway.

Your confirmation email is the invoice for your order, so please always include your own email at the checkout, especially when ordering for clients. This will contain any necessary cost, VAT and company information for you to use for your tax or records. When sending an order directly to a client, always ensure to input your own email address so the invoice will be sent directly to you. We do not include any paper invoices in our parcels, so please ensure to keep a copy of your confirmation email for your records either in a saved or printed format ready for your yearly accounts.

Technical Information

We require files to be in a JPG format for ordering. Our website will not accept TIFs, PSDs, PNGs, PDF's or documents for printing whilst you are uploading your order, so please ensure your files are correctly saved in a JPG format at a quality of 8 or higher before ordering. The ideal file format for your individual photo prints must be sized to the exact print size being ordered. For example, if you require a 7”x5” print the file should be sized exactly to 7”x5”. Failure to do so may result in unintentional cropping of the image. For optimum print results please make sure that your image has an embedded sGRB colour profile rather than a tagged colour profile.

Absolutely. So long as your image is sized correctly for print, your image will print perfectly in a JPG format. We recommend your image to be saved at the same size you would like it to be printed at 300DPI. For example, if you are ordering a 7x5" image, your image size should be 7 inches by 5 inches at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch for optimum quality. Similarly if you are printed a 40x30" image, your image size should be 40 inches by 30 inches at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch for optimum quality at this size instead.

The file size itself (i.e kilobytes or megabytes) is irrelevant to measuring the optimal file print size. We recommend your image to be saved at the same size you would like it to be printed at 300DPI. For example, if you are ordering a 7x5" image, your image size should be 7 inches by 5 inches at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch for optimum quality. Similarly if you are printed a 40x30" image, your image size should be 40 inches by 30 inches at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch for optimum quality at this size instead. If you do not know what size your file will print successfully at, take a look at the "Image Size" in photoshop and change your resolution to 300DPI pixels/inch to see your ideal print size. Please make sure that 'resample' is not ticked to get an accurate size.

If your text or key lines are in the outer bleed area then there is a chance that this will be cropped from the print, as all printers require a surrounding bleed area of 3-5mm on every edge which is trimmed off in the final stage of production. We would recommend having any text or important subjects AT LEAST 5mm away from every edge of the file. Slightly thicker borders are always best on smaller prints as very thin borders optically draw the eye if they are ever so slightly uneven.

We do not offer any Photoshop adjustments or colour correction services. As we offer a professional photo printing service, we will print the file exactly as we have received them through the website. The colour and quality management of any image is your responsibility so please ensure that all files are in the correct colour profile (sRGB IEC61966-2.1).

Images must be supplied in sRGB format to ensure the colours print as you are expecting. To change colour settings in Adobe Photoshop, go to Edit / Convert to Profile and select sRGB IEC61966-2.1 from the drop down. We advise converting your image to the correct profile, not assigning it. This will ensure that your images print as you expect them to look.

We do not offer any soft proofing profiles or ICC profiles for our papers or machines. The only colour requirement we stipulate is that images are converted to sRGB for accurate colour replication. We use a wide variety of papers, machines and printing methods for all of our products so we calibrate everything to the same baseline level to match sRGB to give consistent results across all of our mediums. As sRGB is a default/common colour profile, if you are working / editing in sRGB this will give you the most accurate view of the colours prior to print.

Product Queries & Custom Sizes

We offer a quick and efficient professional photo printing service and all of your prints are processed digitally directly from the files we receive through our website. Our standard prints are created using C-type Fujifilm paper with a finish of Lustre, Gloss or Metallic. We have a range of fine art paper types including Giclee Lustre or Gloss and Fine Art Metallic. We also offer a range of Hahnemuhle papers under our fine art print service including Photorag, German Etching and Baryta. Please see our individual product pages for more information on the papers used for each product.

All of our options are to the highest standard on the market. If you are looking for prints with the sharpest results possible then we would recommend looking at our standard and large photo print sections. If you are wanting bright vivid colours then our fine art prints will give you the best results for this.

Quite simply, they are two different methods of printing on two different mediums, both of which have different benefits depending on your needs. Photographic prints are produced on traditional photographic film rather than paper, so these are created using a chemical reaction to get the best quality replication from screen to print. Ideal for accurate natural colours, skin tones and sharp detail, these are an excellent option for high end photographic prints. As these are produced in chemical mini labs, they are printed on a roll so the length is variable, however the width is limited to a maximum of 12" for standard prints and 20" for large format photographic prints. Fine Art Prints are produced on paper which affords the opportunity for a wider variety of high end options such as "Hahnemühle Photo Rag" for an ultra mat finish. The main difference between this medium and photographic prints is that fine art prints can be produced in a much larger format, up to a maximum width of 40 inches, allowing us to produce impressive sizes such as 60x40" bespoke prints from a roll. With this method, ink is absorbed into the paper giving colours depth and rich vibrancy.

Unfortunately we cannot trim down standard prints to custom sizes, however you are able to design a custom size and trim down prints once you've received your order. To order this you should find the next larger print size that is available. For example, if you require a 9”x9” image you should order a 10”x10” print. You will need to place the image on a canvas in Photoshop that is the same size as the print you are ordering. You should create a 10”x10” canvas and set your image size as 9”x9” to float in the middle of the 10x10" canvas.

Yes, all of our fine art prints are processed and trimmed by hand, therefore we can accomodate custom sizes. You will need to order the closest size up from your required print size so this can be trimmed down in production. We advise that you size your file exactly as your require it at 300DPI before adding additional "canvas" in photoshop to make your overall file size the print size you are ordering. You must ensure your file is sized to the print size you are ordering. For example if your desired final print size is 9x9", you will need to set your canvas size in photoshop to 10x10" which is our next closest size. This will prevent your image from being resized or expanded to fit your chosen ration when uploading. Please then make a note in the order comments requesting your final desired print size so we can action this for you. For example "Please trim off white edge to give a final print size of 9x9 inches"

Yes we can accomodate a range of custom canvas wrap sizes. As we use premium gallery stretcher bars, these are typically produced in 2" increments, meaning if we cannot get your exact desired size, we may be able to get something close or in a suitable ratio. Our sizes listed on our canvas page may be possible to combine, even if they are not listed together. To enquire whether your desired custom size is possible and to get a quote, please contact [email protected] with your required measurements.

Turnaround Times & Packaging

Our production time on standard professional photo prints is 1 working day (Monday - Friday). If you place and upload your order before 1pm, Monday to Friday then they will be printed and dispatched the same day. Fine art prints, photo gifts, USBs and photo supplies have a production time of 2 working days. Mounting & laminating orders, canvas wraps and photo wraps have a production tine of 3 working days. On all of our individual product pages you will find more information about the specific turn around times if required. Orders must be placed before 1pm for any product to be considered the first working day, production times on orders placed after 1pm begin the next working day. When an order containing two products that have different production times is placed, the overall production time will be the longer of the two. The order will be dispatched only when all components are complete. Whilst we endeavour to maintain our exceptional turnaround times throughout the year, this is not guaranteed and can be extended during peak times. SIMLAB is not responsible for any loss suffered due to delays beyond our reasonable control but we will always assist customers where possible to the best of our ability.

Our deliveries only operate from Monday to Friday, so any orders not dispatched before Friday afternoon will be dispatched on Monday for next working day delivery. This means typically any weekend orders would be dispatched on Monday for arrival on Tuesday.

Any photo print smaller than 20” will be sent flat in a cardboard envelope or box with protective rigid packaging. All photo prints larger than and including 20” prints will be sent in purpose made print tubes dependant on the size and quantity of the prints ordered. Canvases, photo wraps and mounted prints are packaged in bespoke size corrugated cardboard boxes with protective corners and individual wrapping to ensure they arrive safely. These packaging methods are only a guideline as all orders will be packaged at the discretion of our technicians depending on size and quantities to ensure safety in transit.

We use a wide range of materials for packaging our orders including recyclable rigid correx, cardboard boxes. paper void fill and recyclable courier bags made from recycled plastic. We make a conscious effort to choose packaging materials that are sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly to reduce our impact on the planet.

Delivery & Shipping

Below are some of the most regular delivery & shipping enquires from our customers. For a full list of shipping services, delivery times & delivery costs, please visit our dedicated shipping page.

We operate very quick turn around times on SIMLAB with same day dispatch on standard print orders placed Monday - Friday before 1pm. All standard print orders are delivered by DPD, our dedicated courier service so once dispatched, your parcel should be delivered the next working day. We do not offer any postal services for our orders, only tracked & times deliveries via DPD. As DPD's service is next working day, this is operated Monday to Friday. If you order is therefore dispatched on a Friday, the next working day delivery would be the following Monday. Please note, whilst DPD will endeavour to deliver the next working day it is not 100% guaranteed as circumstances out of SIMs control can cause delays unfortunately.

Our standard delivery for prints via our next working day DPD service to UK mainland starts from £5.95+VAT and £10.50+VAT for mounted prints or canvas orders. We have a range of different delivery services for different areas both in the UK and internationally, for a full list of prices and services please see our dedicated shipping page.

Typically all parcels will require a signature or a photo confirming delivery via our tracked service. You should receive the tracking information in advance via the contact details provided at the checkout. This should include some alternative options if you are not going to be present at the time of delivery such as leave with a neighbour or in a safe place.

We work very closely with our local DPD representatives who are great at helping us find out more information about your parcel. If you are concerned, please get in touch and we can investigate this further for you and try to resolve any issues. Please bear in mind that whilst every step is taken by both us and our courier service to ensure next working day delivery, this service is not guaranteed. SIMLAB cannot be held liable for any consequential losses incurred where deliveries are delayed.

We do offer a mainland Europe delivery option at the checkout, for more information and prices please visit our dedicated shipping page. We do not offer a delivery service for international destinations outside of mainland Europe such as USA. We do offer a packaging service for a small fee where we can box your order for transit, then provide you with the weight and measurements in order to book your own courier collection. Please make a note in your order comments if this is required and we can advise you once the parcel is ready for collection. If you require any further information relating to this service please contact us on [email protected] or on 01707 273 747.

No, our courier service is exclusively next working day and does not have a same day delivery option. We do offer the option to collect your order from our reception in Hatfield if required.

Yes we do. SIMLAB offers a fully white label service as standard which can be delivered directly to your customer. Simply input your clients delivery address at the checkout and we’ll print, package and deliver the order direct to them and we never include paper invoices in any of our parcels. Please ensure your enter your OWN email address at all stages of the checkout, as this is where your confirmation email / invoice will be sent detailing the costs & VAT information for your records.

Concerns, Problems or Returns

Below are our most common queries on orders that have been received. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please get in touch so we can advise you further.

Here at SIMLAB we strive to achieve 100% customer satisfaction so we are always checking over and quality checking our orders. If you do notice a fault with your product please let us know within 5 working days from when you sign for your parcel. If we are informed after the 5 working days we may not be able to rectify the issue.

If after 3 working days your order doesn’t arrive (UK mainland) please get in touch. You should receive tracking information from our dedicate courier service but if you need help requiring an update please get in touch so we can help. If the parcel has been confirmed lost with the couriers we will re-print and dispatch your order free of charge. We will always do our best to endeavour to resolve any problems or queries as quickly as possible to ensure your ordering experience is smooth and hassle free.

In the unlikely event that your photo prints do get damaged then please notify us within 24 hours so we can investigate the issue and raise a claim with the couriers. Please notify us by emailing [email protected] quoting your SMMGNET ID which can be found in your confirmation email. Please also include a few of images of the damaged products and / or packaging and we will respond with a resolution. Please ensure your check your order thoroughly upon arrival to assess for any damage so this can be reported to us immediately. Damages reported after this time may not be considered for replacement.

If you do not receive a confirmation email this may indicate that your order hasn’t been uploaded or come through to us. Please check your emails thoroughly as it may have mistakenly classified it as spam so your confirmation email could be in your junk folder. However, if you are unsure please give us a call or email [email protected] and we can confirm if your order is live and resend your confirmation for you.

If you have a concern or a query with your order that is not listed here, simply get in touch so we can advise you further. The best route of action is to take a few photographs of the issue and email this through to us with your order number and an explanation of the problem. We can then investigate and come back to you with some more information.

If you are not completely happy with your order we would be happy to receive the order back and investigate this further for you. Should you wish to return the order to us, our return address is listed below: SIMLAB Returns Unit 8, The I O Centre, Hearleway, Hatfield AL10 9EW

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