Prints - Digital or Giclee?

  • So if anyone has any print advice I'd love to hear it.
    I'm starting to create prints for sale online and in art/design fairs and would love to hear pointers.

    The Digital prints that I have been getting are about $1-2 AUD for an A4 printed on white linen.

    • These seem to be the most common sort of print I see at conventions. Sold at $10AUD.
    • Aimed at a target audience of teenagers with low income.

    Giclees fine art prints are ALOT more expensive coming in at $21 AUD for an A4 from a pro lab. I haven't gotten any of these yet but I am going to get some samples.

    • These are more prevalent at art and design fairs where people have more capital.
    • The price point on these vary with the artist but I was thinking of selling these at $60-$65 AUD

    Also with the fine art prints I was thinking of removing the digital signature, adding a large white border and titling and signing the print just below the ink seam, to make it look more 'fine arty' if you will.

    This is one of the illustrations I was thinking of making into a print.

    But yeah, would love to know what you guys think of it all and any advice would be great.


  • Pro

    You said it, it depends where you intend to sell them! People at comic conventions are typically looking to spend less and don't care if a print is giclée - just what character is on it! At art and crafts fair, people have more disposable income and want a quality product. Where you decide to sell will influence what you decide to go with 🙂 But I personally think your art seems more suited to art and crafts fairs. Besides, they say it is a lot easier to sell one $100 product than a hundred $1 products. So true! Selling at a higher price point is often more financially successful 🙂

  • SVS OG

    That’s a @Lee-White question right there. I would think gilcee (did I spell it right). Figure out how to have different price points? Another thing to consider is which pieces resonate with the buyer before you sink tons into printing. I don’t really have the answers because I haven’t done a show yet. Love your trees! I think it will turn out nicely! Good luck!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Good questions, I'll see if I can help.

    The term Giclee is just a fancy term for "ink jet print". There is literally nothing special about it and any epson photo grade printer qualifies for this term. The word Giclee was really being used in the late 90's when print shops wanted to overcharge for printing and no one really knew anything about making prints at home.

    Now, that doesn't mean you can print on anything. The biggest concern is getting something that is rated as archival. Many printers do not use ink that is built to last and an office printer or color copier does not have this rating. That means the prints might be cheap to buy, but you get what you pay for. The inks will fade very quickly and your buyers will be mad. Some websites offer pretty good prices on "giclees". I can recommend Check with them and see how much shipping would be. Maybe it would work for you. I have worked with them and like the work they do.

    So do some research and see what you want to do. Is there a middle ground you can find betwen the $21 and the $2? You need to try to figure out how much people are willing to spend for your work. And what images they like. I might pick 5-10 of your favorites and make prints of those, then go from there.

    One thing to remember is that you are starting a business. Any business comes with "Start Up Costs". So you need to plan accordingly. Artists are always wanting things to be free or have no start up costs, but that isn't realistic. Can you imaging someone wanting to start a pizza shop but not wanting to pay rent or buy an oven? But artists think like this. Of course, you don't want to overspend either, so it's a balancing act. And one that must constantly be evaluated and adjusted. My rule of thumb is try to make the prints at the best quality you can. You are building clients that will buy in the future too, not just now.

    Hope that helps some! Good luck! : )


  • @nessillustration Yeah I think I'll do art and crafts fairs. Thanks for the tips!

  • @lee-white Thank you for your insight! It helps a lot!

    I'll do some more research, and hopefully have an update my progress into the field.

    On a side note, LOVE the podcasts! They are amaze.


  • @whitney-simms Thanks! I also hope they turn out well haha.

  • SVS OG

    @Sliproot good luck! I’m getting a quote today as well for printing. It’s kind of nerve racking. I really want things to look nice and professional, but putting the capital up front is scary. At least with a good quote I can prepare for the business costs. My friend who is in the paper business referred them.

    I guess that’s where building a following helps. I may do preorders for my “best of inktober” card set. That way I can cover part of the printing cost. I haven’t tried to sell at this point in my process. I think it’s time to hit them up for purchasing some product!

    @Lee-White are you kidding me? That’s where the darn name came from?!?! I feel so douped. Clever marketing printers! But that piece of information is quite invaluable. I feel like i know and insider secret.

  • SVS OG

    My quote for printing 26 images (A2 size cards) and 10 sets of them was $767. Ha, guess I’ll be printing my inktober cards at home! It was $800 for 20 sets. This is cut, packaged and vacuume sealed (I think). Although, now I’m getting a quote for 6 images and 10 sets of the cards. So, 60 cards total. I’ll see what that actually comes out to. No packaging.

  • @whitney-simms That quote sounds high to me...

  • SVS OG

    @eli I bought Ink for my printer. Let’s see if that is cheaper. Ha! I certainly think so!

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