Creating your first prints from an original artwork can seem overwhelming. There are a few things to consider before having a limited edition created from your art, here are 5 of our top tips before you start…
1. Take a high resolution picture of your artwork
This may seem obvious, but if you expect a high quality A3 print from a phone picture, think again! Unfortunately printers aren’t magic, they can’t make a blurry image suddenly look as good as your original artwork. If you don’t have the means to take a good photograph of your work – perhaps you live in a house with very little natural light, or don’t have a DSLR camera – don’t worry, most fine-art printing services will offer scanning (up to a certain size and for quite flat art) or photographic proofing services (for large scale or 3D art).
2. Have a proof made
If you want to print a sizeable number of prints to take to a fair or exhibition opening for example, it’s worth having a test/proof done first so you can ensure the paper and ink quality is what you envisioned it to be. You will still need to pay for a single print, but this is much better than having 50 prints done on the wrong texture of paper, or in the wrong colour tone.
3. Ask to see paper samples
It’s useful to remember that a print is not meant to directly imitate your original artwork – you still want the original to be the preferred choice for a potential buyer. For this reason many respected galleries will advise you not print your work onto canvas, as this will not show your artwork to its best advantage. However, choosing the paper which will be the most complimentary for your art is important. Consider how deep and saturated the colours are; if your artwork is heavily detailed with large areas of rich colour you may need a heavier paper to absorb the ink and prevent the paper from cockling. Also consider your artistic style – if you use light, watercolour brushstrokes you may want a more textured looking paper. If you want to print sharp, monochrome images, smooth photographic paper may be better for this.
4. Include a border
If you’re going to create a limited edition of prints from your original artwork, make sure you leave space at the bottom of the print bleed to sign and number the print. A 1-2cm border will be enough. This will show the print’s authenticity to a prospective buyer and will reflect a higher value.
5. Is the image print ready?
If you have taken the image of your work yourself, ask the printer’s opinion as to whether any amendments need making to the colour format or size. Consider the ratio of your original artwork and think about whether you’d prefer it to sit within a standard paper size or to create a bespoke size.
If you’re ready to create your first fine-art prints but need a bit more information about printing or scanning options, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 017 6660 and we can guide you through the whole process.