Guidelines and FAQs for Custom Products
Our goal is to provide an exceptional shopping and design experience. The helps below should assist you in understanding the art tool and help you achieve the best product design.
When you enter the Design Studio, you will be able to change the color of the product that automatically loads. Select "Change Product Color" from the top left navigation section to choose from all available product colors. Select "Change Product Side" to design on the back of a product, if available.
Utilizing Existing Artwork and Fonts
Our Design Studio contains thousands of options for artwork, as well as hundreds of fonts that are FREE for you to use. Simply click on the "Add Art" button in the left navigation bar and choose "Design Ideas" or "Clip Art" to get started. This will open up the entire category. The category of All Religious holds church-related artwork; all other categories expand your options to cover a wide variety of ministry needs. The category of "As Seen in Catalog & on Web" contains artwork shown on products in CTA catalogs and website.
Once you have selected the artwork you wish to use, click on it to place it on the product. From there you can change colors, change fonts, change the size of various elements and add text. Simply choose the option you want to modify in the right-hand navigation.
After selecting "Add Text", you can change the font by clicking on Collegiate 08 in the Font drop down menu. Various categories of fonts will appear. Select a category to view the available fonts.
When you are finished with your design, you can save it, share it, get a pricing quote for it, and buy it. You will need to name your design so that you can access it again in the future.
Walk through the Custom Connections Design Studio via video.
Utilizing Your Own Logo/Artwork Designs
If you have a pre-designed logo or graphic design, you can upload that onto the products of your choice as well. First select "Upload Image" from the left navigation bar. Then review the terms and conditions to insure you have the right size and format of artwork needed, as well as content restrictions. Check the box next to "I Agree to the Terms and Conditions of Uploaded Artwork" and then select the source of your artwork, click and your file will be uploaded. You will have opportunity to change a full-color design to black-and-white and make minor adjustments to the design prior to placing it on the product selected.
A design expert will review each order to ensure that it's ready for printing or embroidery and will reproduce well. If there are questions or issues, the design expert will attempt to fix them first, and if that's not possible, we'll contact you. If your proprietary file needs to be re-designed in order to work, we can do that for you, but art charges may apply.
What happens if I can't complete my design the way I want it?
If you are unable to complete your design, simply save your design and contact Customer Service (by Live Chat, phone or e-mail). One of our design experts will work with you to complete your design, at no cost to you (unless a proprietary file needs to be re-designed as noted above).
The products selected have been chosen for both high quality standards and ministry usefulness.
We have intentionally limited the products offered to make your shopping experience faster and easier. The categories and products were selected to best serve Christian churches, schools and ministries. However, if you can't find the product you want, give us a call and let us help. We're always evaluating new products to offer, and we'll be happy to look for options to fit your needs.
Product and Design Execution
Your product will match the design and location as displayed on your monitor. If the product you received doesn't match the design, is flawed or damaged in some way, or arrives later than promised, we will re- run the order at no charge, or you can return the items for a full refund within 15 days of receiving the order. Please contact Customer Service for instructions.
ColorDue to color variances on computer screens, we can't guarantee that the color you see is 100% accurate. We can send you a sample of the product so you can be sure it is the color you need. All sample requests will be charged $10, which is fully refundable with purchase. To see your completed design on the product, see the Production Proofs section for details.
Shop Safely and Securely
Safeguarding your personal information is very important to us. For that reason we employ a number of security measures that keep your information safe. Our website is hosted on servers that use SSL technology. This technology utilizes encryption to protect important information, such as credit card numbers. In addition we select partners that use the highest levels of secure practices and communication technology.
How do you handle billing and payment for Custom Products?
We require payment in full for all Custom Product orders. For payment we accept Discover, VISA, MasterCard and American Express. Please note, the billing address you enter must match the address your credit card company has on file. Otherwise the charge will not be accepted by your credit card company and a delay in your order processing will result.
How do I make sure my tax-exempt status is recognized?
If you are shipping to the states of Missouri and Washington, then your organization must provide a tax- exempt certificate to CTA. Once that form is on file, sales tax will be removed from your order prior to charging your credit card. If it’s more expedient to place the order and then provide the form later, we can credit your invoice for the tax amount as soon as we have the documentation to support removing the charge.
If you have questions regarding this requirement, please contact our Customer Service Department.
Are there ways to control the cost of my order?
Yes, here are a few options:
- Use fewer colors in your design. This reduces both your set-up and printing costs. You can see how many colors are used in your design in the Design Studio. You can select each color layer and change it to reduce the overall number of colors, since each color is an additional charge.
- Order up to the next order quantity to achieve the lower price break. If you are between quantity breaks, then ordering the next level up gives you a cushion for your numbers to increase as well as a price break for each item purchased.
Can I reorder a design I previously ordered without starting all over again?
Yes. The Design Studio stores your artwork for reuse at any time. If you select "Artwork" in the left navigation bar and then "My Saved Art," all of your previous designs will appear. Simply select the design you wish to reorder and apply it to the product(s) you wish to order.
Can I reorder a customized product I have previously ordered?
Yes, as long as we still carry that product. Log into your Member Account on the CTA website, and on the Member Welcome Page, in the navigation bar across the top of the page, select "Easy Reorder." This will show you a list of products you've ordered from us. Select the one you want to reorder, enter the quantity you want on the right-hand side and click submit. (We'll retrieve the artwork for you.)
You'll see a thumbnail of the product in your shopping cart, along with quantity and pricing. Review and verify that information and then Click "Checkout." It's that quick and easy.
How do I add notes to my order?
Once you enter the Checkout process, the Shipping Information tab has a box on the right-hand side of the screen titled “Comments or Special Instructions.” Place any notes in that box.
How is the cost of shipping and handling calculated and are there shipping restrictions?
We ship using standard shipping within the contiguous U.S. 48 states (lower 48 states) to street addresses only (shipping to P.O. Boxes is not available). The combined merchandise total for stock and custom items would be used to determine the shipping & handling charges. Maximum standard shipping & handling charges will not exceed $29.90. If you choose expedited shipping for stock items, your Custom Connections items will still ship via standard shipping. For full details on shipping rates, click here.
Can I upgrade my shipping?
In some cases, yes. Contact Customer Service via Live Chat or phone, and give them your Order Number so they can check on upgraded shipping options for you.
Can I ship my order internationally?
No, CTA can't ship Custom Products Internationally at this time. We ship only to the 48 contiguous (lower 48) United States using standard shipping methods.
When will I receive my order?
Your order will be ready to ship to you approximately 10 business days after it has been reviewed and accepted by CTA.
Note: Shipping times will vary depending upon your location. Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for arrival of your order from the date it is accepted by CTA.
Can I track my order?
Yes. Log into your Member Account on the CTA website and on the Member Welcome Page, in the navigation bar across the top of the page, select "Order Status."
Can I cancel my order?
Yes, as long as it hasn't gone into production. However, you are responsible for a Cancellation Fee, which is equal to 15% of your order. This covers the processing fees and other costs incurred in cancelling the order and refunding your payment.
What is your return policy?
We want you to be absolutely delighted with your purchase. If you aren’t satisfied with your order, our friendly Customer Service team will gladly do whatever it takes to fix the concern. However, we are not able to accept returns for overages of customized products.
If you’d like to discuss an issue or make a return, please contact us at CustomerService@ctainc.com or call us at 1-800-999-1874.
What is your refund policy? If your order is incorrect due to an error on our part, simply e-mail a photo showing the incorrect design or quality flaw in the product and we'll issue a refund to you. In some instances we may need to see the product for follow-up with our vendor. If that is the case, a Customer Service representative will give you instructions for returning it to us at no cost to you.
We Retain the Right to Refuse Any Order
We reserve the right to decline your order at our sole discretion. Some of the reasons your order may be declined: products are unavailable; pricing is in error; there are problems concerning a credit card; content of the design is deemed to be offensive, harmful, or misleading; content promotes illegal activity, contains nudity, or violates intellectual property rights of others.
We will contact you if your order is declined or if we need more information. If we decline your order, we will refund your credit card any amount charged with respect to the declined order.
What is the minimum order quantity?
The minimum order quantity varies by product, and it is listed on the product page in the box titled "Ordering Information."
Can I get a sample of the product I'm interested in?
Yes, we can provide non-specific samples for your review and purchase decision. Our policy is to charge $10.00 for each sample requested, which covers our cost to package and ship you the sample product. You will find a code on your sample invoice. When you decide to place an order, simply enter that code in the notes section of your order and it will flag our system to refund your sample charge.
How do I find all the product choices?
Start by selecting the Custom Connections tab at the top of any page on the CTA website. This will take you to a page that lists the categories of products. Select a category to see all the options offered. Selecting a product will open a product page, where you will see information and pricing for the product.
You may also enter a type of product, such as "mugs" in the Search Box. All mugs will be displayed (custom as well as stock mugs).
Where can I find a sizing chart for garments?
While there are no standardized industry specifications or measurements, we have added fit information to each garment in the product description box. Use that information to supplement the following rule-of-thumb sizing information:
|Junior Fit Ladies - Slim cut through body and sleeves. Fitted shirt.|
|Size||XS (2-4)||S (6-8)||M (10-12)||L (14-16)||XL (18-20)|
Uploading Your Own Artwork
The following file formats are supported: .PNG, .BMP, .GIF, .JPG, .JPEG, .TIF, .TIFF, .EPS, .SVG and .PDF, with a maximum file size of 25 MB.
The best option is to upload your artwork using an image format that supports transparency, such as .PNG, .PDF or .GIF. If you are unable to load your image using one of those three formats, then you may see a box appear behind your artwork. If that happens, please add a note from the shopping cart saying you would like our design expert to remove the box for you.
How do I edit a design in my account?
Sign in to your CTA account on the website, using your e-mail address and password. Click the "My Account" link in the header bar. Click "My Designs" in the top navigation bar. From here, choose the design you want to edit and click the yellow "Customize It" button. This will take you to the Design Studio, where you can edit and save your design.
May I use a picture I found on the Internet?
No. Web images are displayed at 72 pixels per inch. An acceptable graphic for printing begins at 300 pixels per inch. Generally your printed shirt will look the same as when you print your art on your home printer at 100%. A nice rule of thumb is to copy your design into Word. Scale it to the size you expect to print. If it doesn't look good on your screen, then it won't look good in the printing process.
Raster vs. Vector Files
These are two types of digital graphics files. Raster Artwork is any digital art composed of horizontal and vertical rows of pixels. As a result, when raster images are enlarged, the image quality degrades significantly.
Our professional design staff will notice if you have used a raster image. If we determine that this file needs to be redesigned as a vector file, we will contact you. Normally we will perform the design service for you at no extra charge.
Can I use the same art from one product on the next product?
Yes. Simply save your design from the first product while in the Design Studio. Then select the next product you want to purchase on the website, load the Design Studio, and in the left navigation bar select "Artwork" and then select "My Saved Art." You can select from any saved design and apply the artwork on any type of product. Please be aware the imprint area size will vary from product to product, limiting the use of some designs.
How do I add names and numbers for team shirts?
In the Design Studio, there is an option in the left navigation bar called "Names & Numbers." When you click on this option, a box will open that allows you to choose the size for the names and numbers, as well as select the imprint color and font. Then continue by filling in the name, number and garment size for each player. The additional cost will be displayed in the lower right. Click the green button to "Add to Order."
How do I design on the back or side of a product?
In the Design Studio, click on "Select Print Location" in the left navigation area. If the product has optional imprint locations, you will see the alternative views in the right navigation area on that same page. Simply click on the desired location to load it into the Design Studio view. You can now design on the alternative location of your product.