You have questions and we have answers.

As expert relationship builders, we care for our customers with a combination of upbeat energy and creative thinking. Our team will always go above and beyond to ensure that our clients’ requests are met and surpassed. Please see the content below for frequently asked questions. Not seeing your question? Contact O'Brien!

frequently asked questions
Idea Generation
Can I work with a customer service representative?

You sure can. In fact, we strongly recommend it. There is no better way to experience the O’Brien difference. You’re invited to contact us in the manner that works best for you (email, phone, stop in, whatever). We want to make your life easy. 

Working with O’Brien means you will always see a familiar face and hear a friendly voice over the phone. That’s the difference.

What is your sample policy?

We love to come up with new ideas for our customers. Many of our projects start with electronic images – but like most things – there’s just something special about touching and feeling the real thing. We’re happy to provide samples to a reasonable degree; we just ask that you cover the cost of shipping. So, if you need one or two samples to make a final decision, no problem, no cost. If you need 10-20, we may have to talk.

Let’s bring your brand to life! 

How do I submit my artwork?

Feel free to send us your artwork files in the manner that suits you. We aim to make your life easy, so we provide multiple options for you to consider:

  • Upload your artwork to our easy to use file sharing (FTP) website page
  • Send us your artwork via email (if it isn’t too large)
  • Shoot us a Dropbox link 

Want to send your files in another manner? Always feel free to reach out to us if you have questions or need assistance; we’re happy to help. 

What file formats do you accept?

Artwork can get tricky if you haven’t spent a lot of time with it. Low resolution files will make your final product look bad (garbage level in fact). We want our shared projects to look fantastic, so please keep these guidelines in mind when developing your art. 

What We Can’t Accept

  • Low quality images saved from the internet
  • Low resolution image file formats, like .JPEG and .GIF.  We also cannot accept .DOC and .PPT files (they’re great and all, but just not made for high quality art).

Don’t panic if you don’t have high resolution artwork available. We can always help you redraw your design in high resolution (we have amazing artists on staff to help make your life easy).

What We Do Accept

High resolution vector files (PC or MAC). These formats work best and may include:

  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI or .EPS)
  • Adobe InDesign (.INDD)
  • Quark (.QXP)
  • Macromedia Freehand (.FH)

Pro Tip – Don’t forget to convert your fonts to outlines (it just makes the decoration process so much easier).

High resolution Adobe Photoshop Files

  • .TIFF
  • .PDF
  • .PSD

Pro Tip – Make sure these files are sized to 100% of the actual imprint size or larger and have a resolution of at least 600 dpi.

Before you send us your artwork, please be sure to:

  • Convert your fonts to outline
  • Include PMS colors
  • Extend bleeds outside of crop lines
  • Include a .pdf version of your file for copy verification
  • Compress large art files in either Stuffit or a Zip file 
  • Note any special instructions or changes you would like us to make
What is the difference between vector and bitmap images?

Vector images are your best friend (and ours too!). Vector (Encapsulated Postscript) files define graphics using mathematical algorithms that allow for scaling and modification without a loss of image resolution. This makes printing with vector files a breeze (from the smallest pen to the largest exhibit, the art scales accordingly).


Bitmap images are an intricate grouping of individual pixels (or dots) of color. Remember the artist Monet? From far away a series of dots can look pretty cool, but when you get closer (or enlarge an image on a screen), it starts to look a bit funky.


All in all, bitmap images don’t look good when resized, so unless your image is sized perfectly for the decoration, you’re going to run into some quality issues (jagged edges, splotchy look, etc.). Let us know if you need help converting a bitmap image to vector; we’re happy to help.

What if I don't have artwork?

We can help! We have amazing designers who can help you create something new and appropriate for your application. We’ll work with you to come up with the right idea, with the right colors, and the right decoration method to bring your brand to life.

We LOVE to design. Feel free to leverage us as needed to make your project a true success. 

Order Requests
How do I get a quote?

If you like one of the products listed on our website, feel free to utilize our “request a quote” option to get started. You can also call us, send us an email, or stop in as well. Let us know the basics of your project and we’ll make sure you’re paired with one of our amazing customer service representatives. 

How do I place an order?

Once you have your quote and you’re ready to move forward, simply email your dedicated customer service representative with the order details. While every project is different, we recommend including:

  • Product description & item number
  • Proof and quote approval with purchase order (if applicable)
  • Quantity requested
  • In-hands / delivery date
  • Shipping location
  • Any special instructions you may have

We’ll follow-up with our confirmation and will stay in touch throughout the production and delivery process. With O’Brien, you’ll always have someone overseeing your order; they’re ready to help and look forward to making your life easier. 

What is the proof approval policy?

We will produce a pre-production virtual proof for your review prior to going to production with your order. We’ll show your design to scale in addition to how it will look as a final product. Once ready, we’ll review your proof for quality; however, we’ll lean on you to assure we’ve translated your needs into reality. Make sure to check:

  • Spelling & grammar
  • Imprint size
  • Imprint colors
  • Font size and spacing

It’s important to keep in mind that O’Brien cannot be held responsible for errors that are present on proofs and approved for production.


Pro Tip – Always look over your proofs carefully. Making changes prior to production is definitely possible, but once we hit the press, the design becomes permanent. Once your proof is approved it will be printed as is with no going back! 

What happens once my order is placed?

Once your order is placed you can lean back, put your feet up, and relax. O’Brien will take it from here. We manage all aspects of artwork setup, production, fulfillment, and distribution. Have questions along the way? Reach out to your dedicated customer service representative and we’ll keep you posted on your order status. We like to add a personal touch to our projects, so don’t be a stranger if we can lend a hand in any way. 

What is the standard production time?

A general rule of thumb would be 2 to 2-1/2 weeks from final proof approval. Now, that’s a general estimate and many of our products are turnaround in 5-7 days. Shipping can have an impact on turnaround, so we try to manufacture locally as much as possible.  

Let us know if you have a firm in-hands date or are in a rush and we’ll do our best to work some magic for you. 

Can I get my order faster?

We’ll do our absolute best to oblige. Depending on your need we can have several products out in 24 hours. Granted, there may be a rush charge and you may not get a pre-production virtual proof (which isn’t always recommended). Nevertheless, you’ll never know unless you ask – so keep the communication lines open and we’ll see if we can make some magic happen. 

What if I want something completely unique?

Then we applaud you. Getting creative is what O’Brien loves to do and we want in on your big idea. Contact us to get a conversation started and we’ll walk you through the process (it’s easier than you might think). We’ll help you polish your concept, generate pre-production mock-ups, source production, and get that custom product in your hands without delay.  

Fulfillment & Delivery
Can I combine items into kits?

Absolutely. O’Brien has an on-site fulfillment & distribution center - we love putting kits together and strongly recommend you do so (when the application is right, of course). Reach out to us and we’ll talk through your idea and layout the groundwork for an amazing kitted product. 

Can I store items at O’Brien?

You sure can. We have a secure (climate controlled) warehouse and would love to share it with you. If it makes sense for your needs, we can even design an ecommerce site for you (nothing beats having items ship right to your end user locations with the click of a button). Feel free to reach out to us to learn more; we’re here to help.

p.s. did you know we provide inventory management programs? We have been providing and perfecting inventory programs for decades. Even if we don’t produce the item we can store, track, and ship on your behalf 

Which shipping methods do you use?

We love to work with UPS but can ship a number of different ways. Our day to day methods include:

  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • USPS
  • Truck / LTL
  • Local courier services

Need your product shipped a different way? Let us know and we’ll make arrangements for you.

Can I ship my order using my own freight carrier account?

In most cases, you absolutely can. Let us know your preference and we’ll do our best to make it happen.  

Can I split my order / ship to multiple locations?

That would be no problem at all. We can drop ship to multiple locations direct from the plant or pick & pack your inventoried items from our distribution center for immediate shipment. We can also break your order down into unique units of measure (e.g. 50 per case). Let us know how you would like your product received and we’ll make it happen. 

What are payment terms?

New customers are asked to prepay 100% of the project cost prior to production. However, we do have a credit option that would provide you net 30 terms (i.e. full payment is expected 30 days after production). Check out our new client set-up and application for credit documents for additional details. 

What are acceptable payment methods?

We accept company checks, credit cards, or electronic fund transfers..  

What is your general order disclaimer?

Color Variations – the color you see on your screen may not be the exact color you see with your final product. This is due to how the image is produced on your computer vs. how your eyes perceive color and light with live products. Different inks on different substrates plays a part in color variation as well. We’ll make sure we’re as close as possible for you; however, feel free to reach out to one of our knowledgeable customer service reps if you have additional questions.


Pro Tip – If you have the time, a pre-production sample is always the way to go. We want your final product to look amazing (as we know you do as well). Sometimes a review of the final piece can save a lot of headaches down the line.


Over & Under Runs – Due to the nature of production, some orders may incur over runs or under runs (by approximately 5% to 10%). Looking for a specific amount with no overrun or underrun? Let us know and we’ll see if we can pull some strings to make it happen.


Pro Tip – If you absolutely must have no fewer than a specific amount (i.e. for creating custom kits / packages, etc.), order 5%-10% more. You can be 100% sure you’ll have everything you need and you can use the extras for some bonus advertising.

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