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Instructions for using Costco's Poster Printers

 

We (Dry Creek Photo) have been asked by Costco's One Hour Photo to provide additional instructions regarding their poster printing service, including how to best utilize the Dry Creek Photo printer profiles with these machines. Costco photo labs use Epson Stylus Pro 7880 inkjet printers for poster prints. These printers are only used for large format prints and offer a limited number of print size options. For general printing, the standard Costco Photo lab printers should be used.

This is not an inclusive document. Please read our general instructions on using printer profiles with digital labs for full details on downloading, installing, and working with ICC profiles and your digital images. If you have detailed questions about using Costco's Poster Printing service, please contact Costco Wholesale. Dry Creek Photo provides printer profiling services to Costco and other photo labs; we are not the ones who process your images.


Printer and paper details:

  1. Costco's One Hour Photo poster printing service uses Epson 7880 and 7890 printers with 8-color Epson UltraChrome K3TM inks.
  2. Two paper types are offered: Fujifilm Photo Satin Paper (270 gsm) and Fujifilm RC Semi-Gloss Poster Board. The photo board stock has a semi-gloss paper fused to a 1.3mm thick (540 gsm), acid-free mounting board.
  3. Poster print sizes are limited. Prints on the Photo Satin paper can be made at 16x20 and 20x30 inches only. Prints on the Photo Board are offered at 11x14 and 16x20 inches. No other print sizes are supported.
  4. The profiles are highly optimized for each individual printer; using a profile for one lab's printer at another location will give unpredictable and, often, ugly results.

Digital Image Workflow:

  1. Please follow our general color managed workflow. The details below are specific points for use with the Costco poster printing service.
  2. Soft Proof your images to each of the standard rendering intents: Perceptual, Relative Colorimetric, and Saturation. The different rendering intents offer alternative methods of squeezing the range of colors in your images into the output gamut of the printer. Which rendering intent is best depends on your personal preference, the image content, and the paper used. Experiment with a handful of images and you will quickly learn which rendering option best compliments a particular image type.
  3. The driver for Costco's Epson printers is optimized for 300ppi images. Resize your images to 300ppi at one of the supported print sizes listed above. For example, a 16x20 print should be sized to 4800x6000 pixels at 300ppi. Using other dimensions will result in image resizing by the printer driver. Multiple smaller images can be combined on a single sheet. Just ensure that the overall image canvas size is a supported print size.
  4. Convert your images to the appropriate printer profile, then save the image as a maximum quality jpeg without embedding the profile. The driver used for the Epson printers can give unpredictable results if a printer profile is embedded in an image.
  5. Upload your images using the "Full Resolution Upload" option. The default "Fast Upload" downsizes your images, causing significant reduction in print quality.
    1. Full resolution uploadCostco image sizesSelect Full Resolution Upload
  6. Request that your prints be made with "Image Intelligence" disabled. This correction is image content specific and makes accurate use of printer profiles impossible. Unfortunately there is no independent method such as back printing to verify if Image Intelligence was actually disabled. The photo lab technicians can check their PIC computer for the job information to verify printing details. If you see wildly differing print output between pages or a background magenta color cast on prints containing large expanses of pure white, it is likely that Image Intelligence was enabled.
  7. As with Costco One Hour Photo's silver-halide printers, new ICC profiles for the Epson poster printers will be available approximately every six months.

 

 

 

 

 

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