Like when seeking out any sort of physical object to buy, I began looking for reviews and comparisons. Of all the reviews I read, the top two that came out were ProDPI & WHCC. I think while looking at particular print examples, I went with ProDPI for the color, quality, & price.
When using this lab, you have to set up an account (it’s free) and download their uploading software. It does seem to be an extra step, but they probably have it that way to keep track of orders easier and not have giant files directly on their site.
The images should be the exact size you want them to print, 300dpi as expected, but surprisingly in RGB color mode. I had them in CMYK but had to switch them when they weren’t “recognized” by the uploader. I find it a little strange that they want RGB color since every other time I’ve dealt with print it’s been in CMYK, but a friend told me many newer, high-end printers are able to recognize and reproduce RGB even better. This brings us to the most important aspect of all: image quality.
I Was. Blown. Away.
They came very quickly (within 3 days) in a box (to prevent bending), and packaged flat to a piece of cardboard of the same size inside. I ordered the Fuji deep matte (not a fan of high gloss or shine) and expected a Bristol-like sheet with decent quality. But as I pulled them from their protective package, I instantly felt how smooth and buttery soft the paper was. The prints were excellent (even capturing little details I hadn’t seen on my screen!) My only caveat is that two of my images with a cooler tone ended up with more blue than I had originally planned, but considering they’re avant-garde anyway, it wasn’t a deal breaker.
For the ease of uploading, speed of service, and quality, these are set at a very good price. (For reference, my prints were 6.44 each, 11×14 on Fuji deep Matte. If you were to try a smaller size or shiny paper, the price would be less per print.)
I am beyond impressed with ProDPI and would recommend them to any photographer, designer, fine art artist, or anyone looking for excellent prints!
May the light be with you.