Re: Best way to ship large Prints or Giclees???
I sell prints in matting and mail them, so I can't roll them up. It's much easier to ship them rolled up, but I don't like doing that. To me, it doesn't look/seem professional. I'd also be annoyed as a customer to get a print that keeps rolling up like a poster.
My matting can be up to 16" x 20". Instead of rolling them up, I buy the cheapest corrugated double-ply boxes I can. "Cheap" is important to make it cost-effective, but make sure they're double-ply. Otherwise, they're likely to arrive at their destination with at least bent corners (I learned this the hard way when I started). Double-ply is strong enough--I've never had a problem since I changed to them.
I buy boxes that are made to become 12" x 12" x 12"s. If you're shipping even bigger sizes you just need to buy a bigger box. The boxes come flat--they're squares that are a bit over 22" per side for the 12" x 12" x 12"s (although it could be different from different suppliers--it depends on how large the "flaps" are made--ask the dealer to give you the dimensions of the flat square or rectangle to make sure). It's important to have the dimensions bigger than your print/matted print size, because you want at least an inch of "bumper room" around all corners. More is better, but also the bigger the box's dimensions are, the more expensive it will be to mail.
You need to put the print in at least a plastic print bag, if not a folder/envelope (plastic print bags will be cheaper). By the way, if you're using the gummed flap on a print bag, or even just taping it shut, it's smart to fold the flap towards the front--the face of the artwork. This doesn't look nearly as nice (and so isn't as recommendable if you're bagging a bunch of prints for a show, maybe), but it helps the customer avoid trying to slide the print out of the bag and having the tape or gummed flap get stuck on the surface of the print. If you fold the flap towards the front, when the bag is opened, the sticky side will be at the back of the print instead. I also learned this the hard way, unfortunately. At a show, if you want your prints to look nicer, you can just inform the customer to be careful when they open it.
Keep the box flat.
Roll a piece of tape (to make it effectively double-sided) and place it on the middle of the print bag.
Stick the print inside the box, but lifting the box up from inside (it will start "expanding" like you're going to put it together normally), so that the print is in the middle--with at least an inch of space on all sides.
Once it's positioned, press slightly so the tape also sticks to the box inside.
Then it's easy to also put a loop of tape on the other side of the print. This holds it in place for shipment.
Then I tightly tape all around the square of the box. The box is going to have short "slits", so you have to tape those, too. Plus I put extra tape on the corners to make it stronger.
Then I wrap the whole thing in brown wrapping paper, tape that, address it and send it.
The materials can end up costing a couple bucks per print, especially if you don't buy in large bulk quantities, but just add that to the cost of your print.
You can get the boxes, wrapping paper, tape, tape "gun", etc. cheapest from business-to-business suppliers like Uline.com. You can also buy all this stuff from places like Staples or Office Depot, but it will be more expensive.
I get my print bags from oakcreekprintworks.com I'm sure there are other places, but they're not too expensive and I've had good luck/good customer service with them.
If you want to use matting (I think it looks a lot more professional), but matboard in bulk (you can buy a box) from art stores (or online like DickBlick.com etc) and buy a mat cutter. You can get a decent one that's easy to use to cut matboard to size, etc. for slightly less than $100
Last edited by Kimaris Kobal : 09-22-2005 at 11:39 AM.