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Using Photoshop to make a test strip

Test strips are a useful way of testing your image before you print a full size version.

When making a test strip there are a few considerations:

  • If you are testing for a large print (30 x 20 inches and above) then you should produce a test at size – prints tend to ‘open up’ when you print larger showing more detail in darker tones and shadows.
  • You may wish to produce a test that has sections of various images on one print – these should also be done at size.


  1. First open the file you want to use for a test strip. The file will need to be at full size so that your strip is an accurate representation of the final print. If you are not sure how to do this, first go to sizing your image file in Photoshop.
  2. Select crop tool
  3. Input the dimensions and resolution for the crop required (please see our price list for test strip sizes). Our resolutions are:
    Up to 30 x 20 inches Larger than 30 x 20 inches
    C types 200 dpi 200 dpi
    Giclee 300 dpi
    Inkjet 300 dpi
  4. Drag the crop tool on the image to define area of test strip. Ideally you want to be selecting a crop that will include the broadest tonal range of your image (essentially both the brightest and darkest tones) and any important colours or details.
  5. Execute crop by clicking the green tick on your toolbar
  6. Save as and upload to Metroprint

If you would like to see more information on how to prepare your files for print, then you might find this tutorial helpful: How To Make A Print

Need help with file size & resolution?

Calculate your file size, resolution and profile
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Photo Printing

Prints ready for collection within 24 hours, or for delivery worldwide. We can produce prints in sizes from a simple 6×4 up to 2.74m x 1.22m / 108 x 48 inches, giving you a huge choice of sizes when it comes to producing your prints.

Fine Art Giclee printing

While all of our colour and black and white photo printing services are of gallery quality, a lot of photographers and artists like to produce their fine art prints on Giclee watercolour paper, using archival pigment inks.

Black & White printing

We can produce real Silver Gelatin 'Darkroom prints' from your digital files. Working with Ilford, we are able to print directly to Ilford Galerie Silver FB Glossy fibre based bromide photo paper and Ilford Galerie Digital Silver RC Pearl.

Mounting your prints

After your photos have been printed, our mounting team are able to mount the prints on a range of substrates, ranging from the lightweight foamex, foamboard or kapamount. We can also mount ctype photo prints onto more sturdy materials such as dibond or aluminium, backed with either battens or a subframe, depending on print size.

Framing your photos

When ordering online, we offer a limited range of classic photo frames, in three finishes: white photo frame, smooth black photo frame or a solid light oak frame. Alternately, just order your prints online to take advantage of our great value online ordering system, then contact us to discuss alternate framing styles and our range of thousands of frame mouldings.