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Design Tips


Creating Your Own Mini Work of Art

Here are some tips to help you get the best results:

Selecting Your Photo
Choosing Your Layout Customizing Your PicPads

Selecting Your Photo

Send us your very best photos! The better the photo, the better your PicPads.
Green Arrow Ideal for PicPads
Subject is in focus and not cut off

For best results, try to send us a high-resolution photo where the subject is crisp and in focus. For digital photos, we recommend 1280 x 1024 pixels. If you are scanning a color or B&W print, we recommend setting the resolution to 300 dpi.
Ideal Picture
Red Arrow Low-resolution
Avoid images from websites or cell phones

Photos downloaded from websites or cell phones are usually too low-resolution to reproduce well on PicPads.
Low resolution and scanned picture
Red Arrow Scan from book
Avoid scanning from books or magazines

Images scanned from printed documents (such as newspapers, magazines or books) often appear distorted and are not suitable for PicPads.

Choosing Your Layout

What PicPad layout is best for your photo? Different photos call for different treatments, for example:


Silhouette is the signature design style of PicPads

When we “silhouette” your image, we remove the background so that your subject stands out. Silhouette is our most popular layout. In this example no part of the subject is cut off.

Is the subject in your photo cut off on 1 or 2 sides?
Not a problem! Our designers can silhouette the subject and then run it off the edge of the pads.
Silhouette Picture

Silhouette and Frame

Is your subject cut off on 3 or 4 sides?

Look closely: is a part of your subject's head and arms cut off? The Silhouette and Landscape options usually won’t work. Consider the Silhouette and Frame layout where we remove all background and frame the image.
Silhouette and Frame Picture


To retain the background in your photo

Love your background? We can use your entire photo by "landscaping" it from side to side. Please indicate this when you place your order by placing the information in the comments box in checkout.
Landscape Picture

Frame Entire Photo

If your photo is too faded or damaged to silhouette

Using a really old hard copy print? If the photo is faded or damaged we recommend the Frame Entire Photo layout for your PicPads, since the image might be too faded to be sillhouetted successfully.
Frame Entire Photo Picture

Not Sure?

If you're still not sure which design you'd like, don’t worry! By choosing this option, you can let our PicPads graphic designers select a layout that reflects the true nature of your photo.
Not Sure?

Customizing Your PicPads

A picture is worth 1000 words. Keep any inscription short. Maximum is 100 characters on 4 lines. PicPads are available unlined or lined at no additional charge. Lines on KidPads are large and widely-spaced for easy writing.