iPad FAQs and General Questions

Home iPad FAQs and General Questions

Can I call you? Why don’t you post a phone number?

Our Founder and CEO is deaf and prefers that we try to stay email-focused in all our communication. Rest assured we are delighted to chat online or answer any questions you have by email (or text message on request).

What is the lead time on orders?

Our standard turnaround time for items ordered from our site is five days. If you ship your personal iPad, laptop, or phone to us we will try to have it on its way back as soon as possible since we understand it’s hard to give it up. Rush service for website orders is available for certain items, or items you send in, choose the option for 2-day turnaround on checkout. For orders with more than 25 iPads/items please ask us.

Where are you located?

We are located in Tahoe City, CA. If you are local, let us know when you’d like to stop by.

How does the process work? I ship you the device? Who pays for shipping? How fast can you turn it around?

You ship us the device. We offer free standard return shipping for all US orders. Our turnaround time on orders is 5 business days but for personal iPads, laptops, phones, etc we will try to get them back to you ASAP. If you would like expedited shipping we have daily FedEx Express pickups and would be happy to add the cost to your invoice.

Can you purchase an iPad and engrave it for me?

It’s very likely. Let us know what type of iPad you would like and we will try to purchase it from the local store. Unfortunately, we have not had a lot of luck with this lately as the local store is always out of stock. We do require pre-payment for your iPad. We will send you an invoice reflecting the total and you may pay it online.

I want to have a batch of iPads ordered and engraved but Apple has limited the number I can buy from their website. Is there a way I can order more than 2 iPads at a time?

Yes – we have contacts at Apple and can help you order your iPads or order them for you.

What items do you have and keep in stock?

We are focused on being a decorating service provider and therefore try to limit the amount of inventory kept in stock. We are more than happy to purchase items or materials specifically for your order and have contacts with suppliers that help us expedite the process. Alternatively, you can send in the item you would like to have engraved. We do stock several types of iPad cases, some stainless and aluminum sports water bottles, and some raw materials such as wood, acrylic, and paper. If we need to order items to complete your order a note will be displayed during checkout letting you know. This generally adds 4 or 5 days to our turnaround time.

I’m not located in the US. Can I still order?

Yes, absolutely. We ship internationally using UPS, FedEx, and US Postal Service.  If you already have your iPad you can ship it to us and we will engrave it and send it back. If you need an iPad and a US version is acceptable we can order one for you from Apple. You will be responsible for any duty or import taxes.

Will the etching affect the device in any way?

The etching is only on the surface and only cosmetic. It does not affect the electronics or operation of the device in any way. We do not need to turn your device on or otherwise do anything to your data. We recommend having a backup before you send the device to us.

Will using your service void my warranty?

It’s your responsibility to find out whether the engraving will affect your warranty. We have heard that Apple Geniuses decide case-by-case and some have considered the engraving purely cosmetic and thus not affecting the warranty.

How do I know what my artwork will look like when engraved on my iPad?

iPads are our most consistent and predictable item to engrave. Unless your logo is highly complex or has a lot of shading we should be able to show you how it will look in an electronic proof.


What if something goes wrong? Do you warranty your work against mistakes in any way?

If you are unhappy with the results and it was our fault (mis-placement, or other reason that it did not conform to your drawing specification) we will refund the cost of the engraving and shipping. If you are extremely unhappy with the engraving result and feel that it is our fault, then contact us and we’ll see if we can work something out. If you just want to get rid of the engraving then some repair companies offer iPad back cover replacement that would give you a fresh clean back.

Do you provide a proof of my artwork?

We will review your artwork when you send it to us and let you know if anything needs to be changed to have the engraving come out looking the best it can. For large orders, we will create a mock-up proof that shows the placement of your design relative to your iPad (or other items). You must approve this proof before we can do your engraving. Electronic proofs are available for small orders for $10.

I noticed in your portfolio, the iPad etchings seem to have shades of grey. How many different shades are possible or is it strictly black & white?

There is some dithering ability. On aluminum, we are seeing 4 distinct shades of white/gray (2-bit color). 1-bit images or line art are the most predictable, but we can offer guidance on ensuring your image is appropriate for engraving. Photos engrave quite well after applying an image manipulation algorithm.

What about the art area? How big is the exact artwork area? Do you have any Illustrator (or other formats) templates so I can know where the Apple logo is exactly, and how close to the edges the etching can get?

Check Apple’s site for drawings of the iPads. Bleeding over the edge in possible as is fading towards the edge. We have templates available for you to use at Thingiverse or drop us an email if you need a specific format. Alternatively, you can send vector artwork and a placement/location mockup using this iPad bitmap.

For the Cellular iPad, can you etch over the antenna as well?

We recommend not etching the plastic antenna area or the Apple logo (Apple doesn’t like this). The plastic does not show any contrast when engraved so you wouldn’t be able to see the image engraved into it. If your design goes into the antenna area we can apply a mask to prevent the laser from marking the plastic.

Can you put my logo, photo, text, or other artwork onto an iPad Smart Cover?

Yes! The outside of the covers can be decorated with our color printing process. The inside can be laser engraved.

What kind of artwork do I need to engrave a Smart Cover?

Artwork for Smart Covers are printed in full-color CMYK and your artwork can be almost any format. A resolution of 300 dpi is recommended to avoid a pixelated appearance.

How can I tell if my artwork is high enough quality?

There is a very useful inches/dpi to pixels converter here: http://auctionrepair.com/pixels.htm

Our website’s online designer will also provide you with a green, yellow, red display of image quality.

Do you offer discounts for bulk Smart Cover orders?

We purchase iPad Smart Covers directly from Apple and sell them at Apple’s retail price. On orders of 2 or more, we offer a discount on the decorating service. For quantities of 10 or more, please send us your artwork to request a quote.

Can both sides of the cover be engraved?

Yes. The microfiber material used on the inside of the smart cover laser engraves very nicely and the outside surface can be color printed. The appearance of the inside engraving is a darker hue than the original color.

I received a proof or mockup of my Smart Cover order, will the actual engraving look just like it?

Due to the nature of the material of the Smart Covers and other factors beyond our control, it is very difficult to accurately portray the final appearance of the engraving.

We provide electronic proofs to allow you to check the size and positioning of your artwork on the cover. It is not intended to be an accurate reflection of color, texture or detail level of the engraving.

Can my design go across the seams on the cover?

Yes, this is not a problem unless you are attempting to do a very deep engraving. Deep engravings (popular on blue, black, green, and pink poly covers) cannot go over the seam or holes will develop in the cover material.

I don’t like my cover, can I return it for a refund?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept returns or offer refunds on custom products. If you have any questions about the product please ask before ordering. If you are ordering a large number of covers we very strongly recommend ordering a single cover as a sample to examine in person.

We have these items already, can you laser engrave them?

Thanks for asking! It’s very likely. In some cases, we’ll need to do testing to determine what options are available, but send us an email including a link to your item and we can discuss it further.

Can you give me a quote for that service?

Check out our Contract Decorating page for large orders.  Smaller orders can either contact us or visit our online Store.