Print Making

  • Hello Everyone 🙂

    I just want to open up a discussion because I'm actually having a bit of trouble finding information regarding the best approach to take to make good quality prints of artwork.

    Whats the best paper to use?
    How does quality compare with price?
    What are the pros of cons of certain kinds of paper?
    What businesses near you do you use to get prints made? why?
    Is a printer a good investment for an aspiring artist to make?
    What are the pros and cons of certain printers?
    How does file format affect the outcome and quality of the print? RGB colour? CMYK? JPEG? PNG?
    What about the resolution? DPI?

    I'm sure there are many more valid questions, and I'm also sure that I'm not the only artist who would love to have prints of their work made.
    So, I'm hoping to stimulate some conversation here to learn something, and maybe other beginning artists can too.

  • I'm kinda going through the same thing. I think there isn't a wealth of information on the best way to get it done because it varies a lot based on your location, what products and services are available in your area, and how involved in the printing process you want to be. That being said, here's what I can share:

    • I come from a print marketing/graphic design background so file prep is my jam. When you go to print, Images should ALWAYS be at at least 300 dpi at the size you're printing them and saved in CMYK colorspace.
    • Up-resing or enlarging a finished image in photoshop may work for small size increases but (for example) will not allow you to blow up a piece you originally did at 8x10 to a 24x36 without the image quality degrading.
    • If you draw smaller (traditionally, not digitally) one of the best things you can invest in is a really nice scanner that can scan in at 800-1200 dpi, that way you can scan in your smaller original drawings and paintings and have a little more capability to make larger, better quality prints.
    • when working digitally, consider the largest size you could imagine wanting to print your image, set up your document so that it will be 400-500 dpi at that size, that way if you decide later that you want to crop the image in tighter but still want to maintain the same size, you have room to play.
    • For the printers I have worked with, we have always preferred to work with jpgs, tiffs, or psds. In my personal experience, pngs do not print as well in certain situations.
    • I was able to pick up a refurbished epson artisan 1430 a few years back. This is a wonderful printer for making art prints and it's wide format lets me print up to 13x19 (or 12x18 full bleed). That being said, the prints look best when you are using epson brand premium presentation paper. Often times it has trouble printing on other paper stocks. Same goes for ink cartridges. I tried a bunch of different paper stocks when I first got the printer trying to see if I could get good results and I just couldn't. The colors were off or the images were soft. Recently I bit the bullet and got some epson paper and it's a noticeable difference.
    • for now I'm just starting out so It's more affordable for me to run off individual prints when I need them but I know there will come a time when the amount of time it takes to do all this work myself will far outweigh what little cost savings I currently get from not using a printing service.
    • a thread on printing services:

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