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What's the difference between a GIF and a JPEG?

Both GIF and JPEG are acronyms which offer hints to their ideal use: GIF means Graphics Interchange Format, JPEG means Joint Photographers Experts Group. As the names themselves state, GIFs are generally better for graphics (such as logos), and JPEGs are generally better for photographs.

You need to look at your graphic to decide which is better. If your graphic has a limited number of flat colors, and doesn't contain much in the way of gradients (when one color slowly turns into another, like a sunset) then you should make it a GIF. If your graphic has gradients or lots of colors (like most photographs), you should make it a JPEG.

When in doubt, try saving as both, and compare the results in your browser. Check the quality (and file size if you're putting it on your website) and make the choice! (Marty)

If I have real pictures/photos, can I mail them to CafePress and have them put on a t-shirt?

I don't believe CafePress offers a service like that at this time. However, many CafePress storeowners (at least, those who own scanners) will gladly perform this sort of service for you. Many CafePress storeowners will even create an original design for you based on a description, and sell it to you on shirts, hats and more. Just ask around, or post a request at the CafePress Forums.

What is the "image basket"?

The image basket is a way for you to access the images that you have uploaded to When you create a new product, you can select any image from your image basket to place on that product. This makes it easy to use the same image on more than one product without requiring you to upload the image for each product. Of course, you can upload a new image to your image basket whenever you need to! reserves the right to delete images from your basket if they are not being used on any products. Also, there is no way to get the full resolution image back from once you upload it to them. Therefore, it is vitally important that you keep a backup copy of any images you upload. (Matthew from The ARMAC Store)

Is there a better way to organize my image basket?

Short answer: not really. Currently the image basket isn't particularly flexible; newest images appear at the top, and that's about it.

The best thing you can do is plan out your store beforehand, and add images in whatever order best suits you. (Hopefully CafePress will improve on the management side of the image basket sometime in the near future.)

What resolution/dpi should I scan a photograph at if I want to use it on a product?

It depends on how large you want the image to be. A good rule of thumb is to scan it at twice the resolution you think you'll need. For Cafepress products the largest printable area we've been given is 10" x 8" (or 8" x 10") this is at a suggested 100 dpi. If you intend to add the photograph onto mugs ,though you will need it at a minimum of 200 dpi. For simplicity sake let's say you want the photograph to come out at 100% of it's original size. You can then scan it at 100 dpi for use on the shirt. This, however will mean it will only be 50% of it's original size on the mug. To save time do this instead: scan the photograph at 400 dpi. This will result in a much bigger size but it will cover any printing area needed. You can always reduce the finished scan in size to fit an item. But it is not advisable to enlarge a scan as the data will be interpolated then and not be crisp. (Fricka)

How can I format my image so it'll wrap all the way around a mug?

The maximum dimensions for an image on a mug (large or small) is 8.31" x 3". In pixels, that would be 1662 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

If you make your image at least 1662 pixels wide, and no more than 600 pixels high, it will wrap all the way around the mug.

Does CafePress accept any formats besides GIF and JPEG?

There is conflicting information on CafePress' site as to what formats they accept. According to their Preparing Images page, they accept only BMP, GIF and JPEG files. But according to their upload instructions, they also accept PNG files. You might try uploading a PNG to find out if that's true or not.

Can I make a design from an animated GIF?

You can, but it's probably not a good idea. Most animated GIFs are pretty small, and images should be fairly large to look good on a product.

You should not just upload an animated GIF to use on a product. If you want to use the design from an animated GIF, you should first open up the file in an image-editing program that supports animated GIFs (like Adobe ImageReady), and change it to a static (non-animated) GIF first.

What programs can I use to make changes to an image? Where can I get them?

Easy question, tough answer.

Just about any graphics program on your computer can be used to edit/create an image.

Paint Shop Pro 7, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw and others are the most widely used.

We ourselves use Paint Shop Pro 7 to create and edit images. To create more varied text, we also use ULead Cool 3.0 where we create the text/title. We then copy/paste the text onto our image(s) created in PSP 7 or Corel.

You should experiment using the graphics in your own computer.

PSP runs about $100, Adobe about $300-500, Corel can be bought on Ebay for about $25. (Fred of US Colorprint)

Can I replace an image in my image basket with another one? I want to instantly change over all the products with that design to another design.

No. The only way to accomplish this is to upload the new image, and then update every related product by hand. (Perhaps CafePress will provide a mechanism for this later, but it doesn't exist now.)

Is there a limit to the number of images I can keep in my image basket?

Technically, yes - but no one's found it yet. Some people have stores with literally hundreds - maybe even thousands - of designs. (Matthew from The ARMAC Store)

The image on my products is too small! How can I make it bigger?

First of all, when editing the product check out the "Select Image Height" drop-down box on the "Design The Product" page. Is it already at the largest available size?

If it is, the current image is as large as it can be. You need to upload a larger image, and update your product to the new image.

I have an idea for an image -- is there a way I can have someone make it into a design for me?

Many CafePress storeowners will create an original design for you based on a description, and sell it to you on shirts, hats and more. Just ask around, or post a request at the CafePress Forums.