View Full Version : Help with printing and pricing.

10-20-2014, 05:46 PM

I am a newly adventuring artist in the realm of digital art. I have very little knowledge in this area, so i would like to please ask the advice of those more experienced than myself.

My particular art is generated in digital format and i wish to sell it as prints. Therefore, ive contacted a few printing companies. One situation that is unique here is that in my application, there are possibilities where i may have a single bright pixel in my image surrounded by mostly black pixels. I mentioned this to both companies i contacted and expressed a desire to find a print medium with minimal ink bleeding.

The first company i contacted really didn't seem to be made for artists. They are more used to high quantity prints, such as magazines or massive political mailings etc, but they said they DO handle art requests from time to time. This company recommended their semi-matte material as opposed to their matte material. The employee i talked to actually recommended the second company i talked to, so i didn't ask company #1 about pricing.

Company #2 is more geared towards artists! Right away on their front page there is talk about giclee prints, which is apparently something artists will do for prints. They recommended glossy print media when i asked the same question. Im going to guess maybe the first company didnt have this option for small quantity prints. The reason glossy is supposed to be better according to company #2 is that the ink stays on the surface more and wont seep into the material, which is what causes inks to bleed together. Which material is right? According to company #2 its the glossy, but i also read in some places that matte brings out high contrast images, which i guess applies somewhat because i have bright and dark pixels intermingled. I acknowledge that my question on material may not be answerable unless you see exactly what the heck im printing.

... One last question after the material question. Company #2 quoted me for printing a 12" x 12" giclee in glossy, with high DPI printer, at $12. I asked for a quote on 24" x 24" and they said $48. Which means they are effectively charging me a flat price of $12 per square foot of paper. I have no idea about this but this seems a tad pricey, and i would figure it doesn't cost them that much to make the paper bigger. Maybe an initial fee to cover figuring out the color space if it doesn't match CMYK (eg: RGB), having the printer etc..... and a smaller more modest fee for using up paper. Is this a decent price? Should i look elsewhere to see if i can find cheaper but equal quality? Maybe i can get a deal for asking them to do more than one print at a time? What should i do here? Just feels a little steep!

Sorry for my lack of knowledge, i guess thats why im writing here, but i am open to thoughts on this. Thank you very much for your time in reading! :)

10-21-2014, 05:13 AM
My advice would be to buy small quantities of different types of paper and print some samples at home first to decide what type of look you want for your artwork. Searching the web for printing consumables should enable you to work out the cost of paper in roll form and from there you can calculate what they are charging over and above. Sorry for the vagueness of my response but prices change dramatically from one country to another and the finish required is such a subjective thing, what I think looks good you may not. Adding your location to your profile lets people with more localized knowledge offer their advice as well so might be worth updating your info.

10-22-2014, 07:42 PM
Typically, glicée printing does run by the square foot, and yes some places can seem a bit pricey. It is basically nothing more than a really high quality ink jet, but none the less.....
I would personally try some different printing options, always watching for lightfastness and how true the colors are. Again, pricing should be related to the cost of your printing, matting, framing, or other presentation elements.
Recently, at an art show, I saw a digital artist who had her work mounted on boards, I think there were wood, and then coated, perhaps with a clear polymer, and they had what looked like brushed aluminum rivets or some sort of hardware in the 4 corners. The show had a strange rule about only certain things could be matted and framed under glass.

You might find some answers to your questions in this thread from about a year ago.