Printing Questions

  • For those of you who sell prints of your work, do you print them yourself or have them printed? If you have them printed, do you have a favorite printing company and are there huge minimums? Do you scan the originals (those who work traditionally) or have them photographed? Do you sell through Etsy, some other site, your own website? Looking for any and all suggestions and information. Thanks!!

  • Hi @Pinky!

    I sell my illustrations as prints, mainly through Etsy.
    To answer your questions:

    • I have most of my art prints printed by a printing company. I'm from The Netherlands, so I may not know your local printing possibilities. I have a small amount of art prints that I do print myself. This is mainly when I've created a new illustration and I want to test the waters on how good they will sell. For this, I use a Canon inkjet photo printer, in combination with Epson Matte Heavy Weight paper. This is a pretty luxurious paper that represents the colors very well.
      When testing the waters, this combo is fine. However, when prints get demanded a lot, I just order a batch of them. The professional printing is better in my opinion, you get to choose from a variety of quality paper, and when ordering in bulk (say 50 prints), this is just way cheaper then purchasing ink and high quality printing paper like Epson.

    • So my printing company has a minimum order number of 1 prints. When ordering a higher quantity, of course the pricing gets way friendlier.

    • I scan my originals and edit them in photoshop. I also have fully digitally painted illustrations printed. If your work has any relief/texture or paper layers (like some of my original illustrations) you can also have them photographed. The illustrations for my art book for example were "scanned" by a machine called the Art Cruse. It's a gigantic scanner that can scan/photograph your work from above, without any surface contact. Maybe there is a local place in your country that works with this scanning device as well. If you are just starting out and/or are camera savvy, you can try photographing your own work in the right lighting, to start off with.

    When I started printing my artwork, I began very small. Just a small group of illustrations. To see if people following my art were interested.
    There are pro's and con's in opening in Etsy shop. A huge pro being that they have their own algorithm, through which clients can potentially find your work (IF you use the optimal keywords and optimise your SEO, have the 10 images per listing, etc.). You do not have to build your shop from scratch, and Etsy has an established name, which makes it an easy and trustworthy platform to purchase from for clients. Some cons are that the fees are something to take into account. They charge $ 0,20 per (published and renewed) listing, a 5% fee over the entire amount (so this fee is also calculated on shipping costs). Plus additional costs for the transaction that applies. So I pay Etsy app. 8-9% for every order that is placed in my shop.
    You can also consider your own webshop (i.e. build your own one attached to your website or choose a platform like Shopify). You'd only pay the hosting amount/a flat fee per month (given that you build/program it yourself), and the transaction fees. A con here is that you must draw all of the potential customers to your website yourself. So building/growing your online presence on social media is essential here. For Etsy this also remains a key factor though, since most of my sales are made when promoting my shop on social media.

    I hope this helped! If you have any more questions, I am glad to help!

  • Thank you so much,@nadyart !

  • Hey @nadyart,
    What a marvelous reply! That answered a lot of questions that I didn't even know I had!

  • SVS OG

    Hopping in on this thread to ask, what online printers have people used and liked? I’ve had a local printer print my stuff in the past and they’ve done Ok but I didn’t love what I got, so I'm looking to try other printing options further from home. For me, somewhere in the US would be nice just to avoid international shipping.

  • Pro SVS OG

    I love inprnts I photograph and make sure they are at 300 dpi for printing. I ordered one to check quality and it is beautiful archival paper almost look of linen. Made my work look better than I believed it to be. Good Luck

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Sarah-LuAnn Sarah you told me about inprnts-don't you use them for your prints?

  • SVS OG

    @lmrush I do use inprnt for print on demand, but for doing shows/cons I’m sure there are places to get a larger order for a better price.

  • I have been using, that's another site you can check out!

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