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Finishing Your Fine Art Canvas Prints

Black sides CanvasThere are a lot of options when finishing your digital fine art canvas prints for exhibition.  Canvas prints can be displayed just like an original painting, having a very similar look and feel.  One of the best features of fine art canvas prints is that they do not need to be protected by glass. This is because canvas prints are protected with a layer of varnish. The varnish can be Glossy, Semi-Gloss, Matte, or anywhere in between.

Canvas prints do tend to cost a little more to produce than paper prints but can cost a lot less to finish for exhibition.  This is especially true with oversized (40″+) printsm or odd sized prints. Matting and framing costs increase exponentially when oversize materials are required during framing. Canvas is a great option for reproducing your paintings or your photography in a unique archival presentation while saving loads on framing costs.

Once you have produced your canvas prints you will decide on your finishing options.  One of the first decisions is stretcher bar depth.  There are quite a few variations of depths for canvas stretcher bars on the market.  We offer the three most popular  sizes of .75″, 1.5″, and 2″ depths.  Each thickness has its own specific use.  The depth of your bars is usually based on the size of the piece and whether you are planning on leaving the sides of the canvas exposed(gallery wrap) or adding  a frame around the piece.

Framed Canvas Print

Framed Canvas Print

The thinnest bar of them all is .75″.  Most of the time a canvas stretched on this size bar is intended to be framed.  If you plan to hang a .75″ stretched canvas on the wall without a frame it tends to have a slightly unfinished feel.  Thin bars are prone to warping slightly with larger size canvases when not being supported by a frame.  These thinner bars are flexible and with larger canvas prints, they never really sit flat on the wall unless held by a frame.  Sometimes you have to stretch on thin bars just to fit a lower profile of a frame moulding you have chosen.  This is to prevent a large bulge behind the frame off of the wall.

Usually the 1.5″ and 2″ stretcher bars are used for a gallery wrap presentations.  A gallery wrap is when the the canvas is stapled to the back of the stretcher bars and the sides of your canvas are left exposed. This gives the canvas a clean, modern look.  You can leave the edge exposed with no frame and it is ready to hang or you can use a floater frame to highlight the edges of your gallery wrapped canvas. Both of these options of stretcher bar have a gorgeous presentation and can end up saving you a lot on framing, especially with your oversized prints.

Solid Black Sides

Solid Black Sides 1.5″ bars

Reflected Sides

Reflected Sides 1.5″ bars

If you choose to gallery wrap your canvas prints you have several options for the sides of your stretched canvases. You can simply leave it white or dress it up a little by choosing a complimentary solid color, black, or grey. You can also reflect your image onto the sides of the canvas giving the appearance of your painting or photograph continuing on the sides.  This image reflection method does not work for everything.  Sometimes after reflecting the sides of an image a little editing must occur to clean up undesired results.   Undesired results could be elements of an artist’s signature showing up on the side or with a portrait, a portion of a persons head or limbs ending up on the side.  If it can’t be fixed a solid color option must be chosen to prevent it from being distracting.

For more information about how to get prints of your own work on canvas or questions about your finishing options please call us (703)684-0005.

 

Sheet vs. Roll Printing For Digital Fine Art Prints

Sheet PrintingHere at Old Town Editions we have strong views about whether we print our paper digital fine art prints off of a roll vs. sheet. Most of the papers we carry are available in both forms.  Many print shops prefer to use the roll paper because it requires less effort to use and less space to store. We feel that the benefits of printing on the sheet paper outweigh the convenience of the roll paper. We use sheets for all prints smaller than 30″x40″.

The curl, texture, and quality of the roll paper is very different than that of the sheets. Once a paper is trained to be curly it will always remember the curl.  It almost always slowly goes back to the original curl. This curl is hard to get rid of and can be distracting and even problematic for average size prints.  For example, if you are trying to show your prospective client an unframed 16×20 inch print that was printed off of a roll, you will not be able to view the print without it trying to curl up and roll off of the table. You do not have this problem with sheet printing. Roll paper and sheet paper are very obviously different in feel and appearance even being the same exact paper. Sheets have a lush very art paper like quality and that same paper off of a roll has a harder, compressed surface texture.   The roll paper can have a slightly milkier even scuffed look because of rubbing when it is rolled at the mill. Paper has a grain that is stretched/broken when rolled tightly around a roll.

There are ways that one can combat the curling issue caused by rolls.  None of which are good for the print.  Most of these ways stress the paper out even more than just being on a roll and are not recommended. The method is called decurling.  In this process you take your print and curl it in the reverse direction around the roll.  This does two undesirable things to your print.  It stresses out the paper even more changing its appearance and putting pressure on the print surface more than likely scuffing it ever so slightly.  The proper handling for a print is to have nothing touch the surface of the paper once it has an image printed.  This solution for the reversing the curl is flawed and causes you to slightly damage your prints. These roll prints are difficult to frame and often require drymounting or other extreme measures to lay flat. These framing methods to combat the roll issue are not considered archival and not recommended.

By printing on a sheet you can enjoy the print for what it is without having to fight the curl to view it properly or deal with difficulties in framing.  You also get to utilize the paper in its natural flat state,  preserving the grain and texture.  Framing these flat sheets is a breeze.  All you need to do is hinge the sheet at the top to prevent it from falling in the frame and place a cut mat over the face of the print to hold it down. It will not try to curl or get wavy over time like a print off of a roll.  The sheets provide  a more elegant presentation for your print over time whether it be framed or un-framed.

Obviously one can only get sheets up to a certain size.  Only the high quality paper manufacturers like Hahnemuhle understand the demand for oversized flat sheets and offer them.  The largest sheet on the market is 35″x47″.  This sheet size was originally created for digital printmakers to use on their IRIS printers, which are the printers that started this industry. These printers are now obsolete, but we still insist upon using the sheets for any prints under 30″x40″.  We attempted a transition to roll paper because it’s less expensive and easier to store unused. We were not satisfied at all upon comparison to sheets. Prints over 30″x40″ inches printed off of a roll are a little less problematic.  The weight of the large print flattens out pretty well on its own. We do print off of a roll for anything over 30″x40″.

Recently we reached out to Hahnemuhle to request that they offer 35″x47″ sheet sizes of their beautiful fine art Bamboo paper.  This is a 90% bamboo, and 10% cotton paper with an elegantly smooth off-white paper texture.  We have loved this paper for a long time and have only ever offered it for over 30″x40″ printing.  We are glad to announce that in about one month we will be offering 35″x47″ sheet printing on Hahnemuhle Bamboo.

If you would like to know more about how me make decisions on what paper we use and whether it is roll or sheet please feel free to give us a call at 703-684-0005.

Where to sell your giclee prints.

There are many opportunities available to sell your giclee prints directly in person, through a third party or online. The best sales strategies for your digital fine art prints may include a combination of these methods. Each method requires different amounts of effort on your part and earns different percentages of profit. We encourage you to try them all and see what combination of the three methods will work best for you.

Sloane Merrill Gallery Web finals-105

If you are new to selling prints, a great place to begin is in your local community. Let the people who collect or admire your work know that giclee prints are available. You would be surprised how many of your friends, coworkers, acquaintances and congregation members are interested in your art. Have an open studio or arrange a showing at your home, business, or local community/religious center. Reach out to your online social network. We have had quite a few artists generate sales just by posting regular updates about their paintings online.  These face to face sales allow you to take home 100% of your asking price with little to no overhead cost.

Weekend art fairs and holiday markets are often very successful for giclee print sales. This option requires more effort and investment on the artist’s part, but it can also bring in the greatest reward. These fairs and markets draw large crowds of art enthusiasts who are ready to buy. After you cover your booth fee and travel expenses, all of the profit is yours! A great place to find out about these fairs is www.artfaircalendar.com.

There are several options when it comes to involving a third party to sell your prints.  Galleries, frame shops, retail stores, and print publishers are a few worth mentioning.

Art League Gallery Shot

Photo Credits The Art League of Alexandria VA.

There are more and more galleries that are displaying giclee prints or have bins set up for selling them. This is especially true for co-op, art league and frame shop galleries. Art and frame shops love to sell prints because it helps them sell their framing services. Selling at a frame shop has the added benefit of saving you the cost of having to frame it yourself. Most traditional galleries will take 40-50% of the sale price of your prints. Frame shop galleries may want to spread out their exposure by selling the prints on consignment.

Other more non-traditional venues are retail shops and specialty home furnishing stores. You can expect retail stores to buy your art at wholesale prices or sell it on consignment. Usually your work needs to be framed and professionally presentable which requires you to put forth a little more investment before selling.

Print publishers are great options for getting the most sales and exposure for your prints. Because the publishing company is taking care of all the marketing and sales, this method has the lowest percentage of profit per sale.  Usually print publishers will pay the artist 10-15% of the profits.

Of course, we don’t want to forget the importance of the internet when it comes to sales. As we mentioned above, social networking sites are a great place to promote your giclee prints. Set up accounts on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and tumblr and post as often as you can. A personal website is a great tool for people to view your work, but it is not going to help you generate many sales by itself.  It is best to sell on an established art marketplace site such as Etsy (www.etsy.com). Like ebay, Etsy has a $0.20 listing fee and takes a small fee of 3.5% on any sales.

If you would like to discuss more about avenues for selling your giclee prints please call (703)684-0005 to schedule a consult with Old Town Editions staff.

Consider Yourself As A Brand.

Albrecht Durer BrandWe find that many of the artists and photographers that we work with do not treat their career as a business. Applying business models to your strategies as a career artist or photographer can strengthen your image. Consider yourself as a brand because branding is key when selling products of any kind.  If you are an artist or photographer that is already successful, and you have not considered yourself as a brand or reflected on yourself as a business, you may have room for improved success.

“You must have the very best digital image to have the best quality fine art prints, you must have the best image as a brand to be the most successful in business.”-Pat McMahon

Qualities of successful brands include but are not limited to being confident, memorable, reliable, authentic, and accountable.  Now, how can we translate this to artists and photographers?

Be Confident: One of the most important factors that separates our most successful clients from our least successful clients and the most successful businesses from the least, is confidence.  You must be confident in yourself and what you are selling. If you are confident it will naturally come through in your writing or when you discuss your work.  Lack of confidence could hinder your success.

If you are an artist or photographer, then chances are what you find attractive others will find attractive as well.  I say this with the assumption that the artist or photographer has some training to understand composition, tonality, and all the other factors that make attractive imagery. For a select few this just comes naturally and for most it comes with training. I learned early from my direct experience working with artists and photographers, that if the artist likes their own work others will too. Be confident in what you find attractive and it will draw others that have the same views.

Confidence building could come from entering juried shows and exhibitions or joining a local art/photography association where you can surround yourself with others doing what you do.  Get out and practice talking about your work and your inspirations. Confidence takes practice for some and comes naturally for others.

Be Memorable: There are several ways to be memorable aside from your imagery.  We all hope that our work is memorable on its own, but this may not always be enough. Because there are so many talented artists and photographers to compete with in the market you need to be more memorable than the last.  Strengthening this aspect of your brand can help insure your future sales.

It is important to create a strong bio and artist’s statement to create a professional presentation as the face of your brand. Professional presentation of your work shows your experience and gives your clients confidence investing in your work. Nurture your client relationships.  Client relationship building and maintaining creates a more memorable experience for your clients and gives you more of a chance to have return customers. Maybe start a blog or consider quarterly newsletters to keep your collectors up to date…..

You might consider creating work in an effort to promote a social issue like world peace or childhood hunger or even in an effort to draw attention to an organization for the greater good.

Be Reliable: Reliability can be related to quality of work, consistency from one work to the next or simply that you reliably hit deadlines and always follow through with your word. Whether you are an artist or photographer it is very best when someone can hire you for a commission or a photo shoot and they can depend on you holding up your end of the bargain. Galleries and art dealers will prefer to work with you if you meet all deadlines and provide them exactly what was promised.  The professional presentation of your physical work can also help this aspect of your brand.

It also helps when you can look at your work and know it’s yours because of how your work consistently looks. It doesn’t mean photographing the same subject or paint the same theme over and over like some.  I am specifically referring to your perspective and style.

Charles Butler Photography

Charles Butler Photography

Be Authentic: I believe that people buying art want a unique perspective that they couldn’t fathom having on their own, and this is why they invest in it.  If you have an authentic style with a unique perspective it will bleed out into your work naturally.  Let’s say the are others who have similar work to yours;  consider taking steps to strengthen your brand. This should separate you from those other artists.  I think being authentic and completely unique is an aspect that all artists and photographers including myself struggle with.  It’s the ones that tackle this aspect the best that find more success than the rest.

Be Accountable: Accountability “is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies.”-wikipedia. I think this topic relates best to ethical practices.  If you are selling work created without archival materials you are not holding yourself accountable for what your clients are buying.  An artist’s reputation can be tarnished over time if your work begins to fade or crack.  You will have NO returning customers or customer loyalty. There is not one successful brand that operates with no returning customers. You are also not being fair to your market.  If you have limited editions or create prints of your work it is essential to be fully forthcoming and hold true to your edition numbers and what is or isn’t original art.  Make sure you are available for your clients to reach out to you to ask questions after they take your artwork home.  The long and short of this is: be available for communication, and be honest about what you are selling.

Other areas that will help you strengthen your brand and help insure success is to know your audience or market and price your work appropriately in that market.  If you are selling in the wrong market or pricing your work inappropriately, like any other business, you will not find as much success as if you had put the time into figuring this out.  Be smart about selling your art.  Manage your time and priorities and constantly work on relationship building.

If you would like to discuss how to look at yourself as a business with a brand, schedule your free consult today…….

Giclee Print Sizes and Edition Quantities.

Mathew Johnston GicleesAs an artist or photographer it is important to plan out a strategy for print sales.  This will prevent you from depreciating your own print values by oversaturating your market.  One of the best strategies for success with print sales is to limit your edition numbers and sizes. Limited edition giclees or digital fine art prints have smaller editions than traditional offset lithography print runs of hundreds or even thousands. A digital fine art print edition usually will not exceed 250 prints and the number of sizes offered of a particular image usually will not exceed three (Mini, Medium, and Large). Digital fine art prints are to be looked at as an extension of an artist’s original artwork or are actually photographer’s originals. It is important to have a solid strategy for edition print sizes and quantities. This will insure that you are maximizing your potential exposure and profit from your digital fine art print sale.

Some artists choose to sell only open editions.  An open edition is an edition that is not limited.   Those selling open editions are usually embellishing their prints to provide their clients with a unique one of a kind print.  The goal is to prevent market saturation of a particular image. We believe if you are not embellishing your fine art prints they should be limited.  This way your clients can feel like they are part of an exclusive group or club when purchasing your work, adding value to what you are selling.

The most successful artists and photographers we work with have their giclee print sizes and edition quantities finalized before starting to sell a print edition.

There are strategies that range from selling only one size to selling up to three sizes of limited editions. There is no stipulation that says whether or not your prints should be actual size, larger, or even smaller than your original paintings if you are an artist. The same goes with edition sizes. These decisions will be based on personal preference. Whatever you do you MUST divulge all of this information on your certificate of authenticity from the beginning of your edition.  There are at least 9 states that require the certificates to be included with any item for which you are selling multiples.  Limited edition prints fall into this category.

On a side note, it is generally frowned upon if you do a re-release of an edition at a different size than the first edition after it is sold out.  This is unfair to your collectors.

Edition Size and Numbers blog postIf you do choose three sizes for your limited editions there is a general strategy for making them all work together.  For example, if you have a large print at 20″x30″ then the medium will be somewhere around 16″x20″ and the mini’s may be 8″x10″ or smaller.  Usually the medium size will have a higher edition number than the larger prints and the minis will not be numbered.  You may choose to limit your edition of the 20″x30″ to (50) prints and the 16″x20″ to (100) prints.  These sizes and numbers are  just an example, each individual will choose numbers based on their own personal preferences.

The mini giclee will sell at the lowest price point.  The mini giclees are sold as open editions. They are signed, but not numbered. These are best when you have a retail sales location that you can put in a bin on the counter or near the register.  This will help you make a sale if a person loves your work but is not prepared for the larger expense of the limited edition prints or original paintings.  Usually people that have purchased mini giclees return for the limited edition prints or even originals at a future date.  This size will still be available when the limited editions of this image sell out.

Whatever you do, just make sure you have your editions sizes and numbers figured out from the beginning.  This will prevent you from getting frustrated from lack of print sales and from having any disgruntled customers from feeling like they were not given the full truth when they bought your limited edition print.

If you would like to discuss this topic in more depth please feel free to give us a call at (703)684-0005.

How To Price Your Giclees.

Keith Millison GicleesDon’t worry, lots of artists struggle with this aspect of their business. We’re here to help!

As many artists have experienced, pricing giclees incorrectly can leave you frustrated from lack of sales. The most important thing to realize is that not everyone’s giclees are going to be priced equally. If you price your giclee prints based on the correct factors from the beginning, you should have a lot more success.  Two of the most important factors that affect your pricing are the quality of your giclees and your reputation as an artist. For this blog post we will assume you have the highest quality archival giclees which you are pricing for sale. If you’re just starting out with your art career and selling your work, you will probably ask less money than a career artist with an established reputation. Edition number and method of sale can also be taken into consideration when figuring how to price your giclees.

One of the biggest challenges in figuring out how to price your giclees is that every artist is at a different skill level with varying reputations.  We believe that our “1/3rd” method is the best way to price your giclees relative to your career level. This method considers the prices of your original works.  A high quality archival giclee the same size as your original can be valued at 1/3rd of the cost of the original.  So, if your original 18×24 painting  sells for $3000 you can ask $1000 for each giclee.  We have artists that sell their giclees above and below the 1/3rd mark.  If $1000 sounds like a lot, start selling at a lower price and work your way up to the $1000 asking price.

Another method that helps with pricing your giclees is a chart we have compiled through direct experience working with our clients, located at the bottom of this post.  The numbers provided are averages for paper and canvas prints based on giclee size. Please keep in mind that this chart is supposed to help guide you with pricing, not dictate the value of your art.  Some of the artists we work with price their giclees higher or even lower than some of the prices we have listed.

GicleesIt is also important to remember that your edition number will also influence the price you put on your giclees.  If you are limiting your edition to low numbers like 50 you can generally price the giclees higher than if you are limiting the edition to a higher number, such as 250.  Usually  an artist will raise the prices of the giclees over the life of an edition as more sell and there are fewer left in an edition.

One last method of figuring out how to price your giclees is by considering the cost of production. You will decide how much profit you are happy making over what it cost to produce your giclees. This method works well for galleries, charities or non-profits wanting and expecting high volume sales.  Usually a gallery, charity, or non-profit would print the whole or half of the edition up front to get the printing cost down to keep their retail prices low.  This method of pricing would give an artist the most amount of exposure with less profit per print.

Whatever you do, do not set a high price and then lower that price down the road. Your clients want to see your work appreciate with time, not depreciate.  You can always run a special or a sale at a special event if you must offer your prints lower than a previously displayed price.  It’s also not a bad thing if a client haggles you down a little bit.  Haggling with your clients may help them feel like they got a good deal buying your giclee.

Every artist is going to have different prices on their giclees. Make sure you position yourself correctly in the market by pricing your giclees based on the correct factors relating to your career level.   If you are still having trouble pricing or would like to discuss how to price your giclees in more depth please feel free to give us a call at (703)684-0005.

Giclee Pricing Chart:

Paper Canvas
Giclee Print Size Giclee Print Size Low End Pricing Median Pricing Top End Pricing
8 x 10 6 x 8 $30 $55 $95+
9 x 12 7 x 9 $40 $60 $100+
11 x 13 8 x 10 $50 $90 $130+
13 x 22 9 x 12 $70 $130 $180+
15 x 22 11 x 14 $130 $205 $290+
17 x 22 12 x 16 $140 $220 $325+
19 x 26 14 x 18 $180 $320 $550+
22 x 30 16 x 20 $260 $410 $650+
24 x 36 18 x 24 $420 $590 $900+
24 x 48 20 x 24 $510 $660 $1,010+
30 x 40 22 x 28 $610 $905 $1,510+
30 x 44 24 x 30 $710 $1,200 $1,800+
30 x 48 24 x 36 $850 $1,400 $2,050+
36 x 48 24 x 48 $950 $1,600 $2,350+
40 x 60 30 x 40 $1,050 $1,900 $2,600+
44 x 70 36 x 48 $1,250 $2,350 $3,450+
44 x 80 40 x 60 $1,550 $2,850 $3,750+
44 x 90 40 x 72 $2,050 $3,350 $4,350+

Why Embellish Giclees?

Artist Embellishing a GicleeA hand embellished giclee is a giclee print on which an artist has applied their unique touch with their particular art medium or mediums.  An artist paints or draws in areas of choice to add texture or metallic paints making a giclee look even more like an original than it already does.  This can be as simple as painting a little bit in the highlights/shadows and can be as complicated as painting over most of a printed image. Each artist’s embellishing techniques are as distinctive as the art they create.  Artists can use embellishing in different ways to customize or offer one-of-a-kind prints to their clients.

John Kiernan Embellished Giclee

John Kiernan Art

To embellish is to make more beautiful and attractive or to add fanciful details.  There are several reasons an artist may want to embellish their giclees.  One of the biggest reasons being that an artist can offer the hand embellished giclees at a price point that falls between a print and an original.  This offers an artist more exposure to a broader range of demographics.  This gives them more of a chance of making a sale to more people of all income ranges.

An embellished giclee can also offer an artist an avenue to customize their giclees for each client. Artist John Kiernan of Blue Line Studios adds personal details to prints for police and fire men.  Kiernan adds badge numbers and any other unique touches to his client’s embellished giclees.  His embellished giclee prices range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars.

Smadar Livne Embellished GicleeArtist Smadar Livne of Smadar Livne StudioAn sells one-of-a-kind giclees that are thoroughly embellished. Livne leaves no part of the printed image untouched.  She creates all unique embellished giclees for her clients, covering nearly all of her prints with paint and mixed media. Smadar chooses to do this instead of signing her prints as limited editions.  This way all of her clients enjoy their own unique version of Smadar’s original work instead of just another ordinary print.

Covey's upcoming show teaser.

Covey’s upcoming show teaser.

Some artists like Rosemary Covey create originals with lots of different printing techniques. These are not to be confused with embellished giclees. We are using Rosemary’s work as an example of originals created from prints. Covey’s original art is a mixture of different types of prints such as wood block, archival pigment prints, and even xerox prints with paint.  You could not ever call these just a print or giclee.  Covey is no stranger to confronting what the evolution of digital printing has done to influence her traditional printmaking. This topic was addressed in her exhibit “Death Of The Fine Art Print”.  If you want to view some of this work, Rosemary Covey has an upcoming show at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC on June 21st from 6-8pm.

Old Town Editions firmly believes  that no giclee should be sold as an original.  It is important as an artist to properly label your prints and originals.  An artist does not want to get the reputation of selling reproductions as originals. This could ultimately tarnish an artist’s reputation amongst buyers and collectors ruining ones reputation.

Recently it has been debated what constitutes an original.  Artists have utilized various printing techniques throughout history to aid in the creation of their originals.  These originals have been called mixed media or assemblages and not embellished prints.  Questions to consider: At what point does an artists embellishing become painting a new original?  How much does a giclee need to be painted on or changed to be called an original?, Who decides at what point a giclee crosses over into the original category? Does it ever cross into the original category?

We would love to open up a discussion on this topic. Please comment below if you would like to voice your opinion on these issues.

University and Government Online Digital Collections.

Some government and educational institutions have online databases for viewing, purchasing, and/or downloading image files.  You can find historic documents, maps, paintings and much more in these digital collections. Most of the files are high enough quality for creating digital fine art prints.  The files in these collections are usually raw conservation scans of artifacts scanned actual size at 300dpi and are not print ready.  This gives you the ability to create a print at least the actual size of the original artifact.

You can browse these databases online. Once you find the file you like you must check to see if it has a current copyright. If it does not, then you must find out if you can purchase or download the full size file.  These online databases usually include all the information you need to figure out original size and if an image you want has a current copyright.  If there is a current copyright you more than likely will never be given the privilege to download the actual size scan.  This is done to protect people from impeding on a current copyright.  If it does not have a current copyright then it is available for you to use.

Files downloaded from any collection need varying degrees of file preparation before they are ready for printing.  None of the files are ready for printing as is. The files you download are just raw scans that need color correction, cleanup, retouch, digital restoration and proofing.  The original purpose of these files is for research/education, not for creating digital fine art prints.

We have had an influx of this kind of work lately and we just wanted to share it so more people know these databases exist.  The files in these databases create incredible prints if prepared correctly.  When you find the file you want to print we can help you assess copyright if you are unsure.  We need to be 100% sure a copyright does not exist for the image you want to print before we are willing to create prints for you.

We take copyright very seriously at Old Town Editions.  Most of the artifacts and paintings we normally reproduce have current copyrights.  This means that only the owner of the copyright is able to order prints.  If you want to order prints of any artist or photographer that we work with you must contact them directly to place an order.

DC Map Digital Retouch Sample

Picture 171

How Well Does Dimensional Art Reproduce?

Livne Closeup boxes

Closeup snapshot of dimensional boxes on her original.

This is a question we commonly get asked.  We just finished reproducing artist Smadar Livne‘s latest painting.  She was concerned, as many other artists are, about how well her dimensional 4’x6’ painting would reproduce.  Smadar is a mixed media artist that paints with heavy textures.  This most recent piece has heavy brush stroke texture with the addition of two shadow boxes built into the canvas.  I assured her that the print would have the same three dimensional feeling as the original.  It just would not have boxes attached to the canvas.

To achieve the illusion of the boxes being dimensional the artwork must be lit just right when being captured.  When image capturing it is important to light the original to create shadows that feel natural and organic.

Closeup snapshot of the dimensional boxes on our print.

Closeup snapshot of the dimensional boxes on our print.

We just wanted to share Smadar’s experience  as we get this question/concern a lot from people that aren’t familiar with reproducing their dimensional artwork. Everyone is delightfully surprised when they see their prints.  This is true whether you have heavy texture and dimension or no texture at all.  The prints we create look just like the originals.

If your digital art reproduction studio is doing their job all prints, even heavily dimensional art, will look almost exactly how the original looks when hung on the wall with natural looking shadows. Accept no excuses from your print studio. If the prints they give you do not match your originals, find a new place to print that can give you what you want and need when you need it.

Please keep in mind that the pictures used in this illustration are taken with a phone.  The color and tones from pic to pic vary more than the actual print and original painting in real life.

Snapshot of Smadar's original painting.

Snapshot of Smadar’s original painting.

Snapshot of our print.

Snapshot of our print.

 

Giclee – Benefits To The Artist.

art reproduction example

Sample giclee of artist Karen Coleman’s botanical.

Advances in digital printing allow artists to make more beautiful high quality reproductions than ever before. By supplementing the sales of original artwork with art reproductions(giclees), an artist has the opportunity to make more profit, gain more exposure, and reach a broader market.

Many artists sell giclee prints to supplement their original sales and meet the demands of buyers for a less expensive product.  This allows an artist to sell lower priced alternatives to buyers with a limited budget. These art buyers commonly purchase giclees because that’s all they can afford at the moment. They often return at a later date to buy an original. This expands an artist’s market by appealing to more income demographics while establishing a broader reach with their work.

The exposure of an artist and their work expands greatly as more giclees are sold and readily available.  An artist can sell prints themselves, sell their giclees through publishers or middlemen, or donate prints to charities or charity auctions.  This offers more outlets for profit potential and exposure than what is possible with just one original.

Original, hand-made artwork is more time consuming to produce and therefor must sell for a higher price. By creating giclees an artist gets to reap the benefits of the time and effort put forth to create that one original for years.

Selling prints increases exposure, which in turn creates more demand for an artists work.  With more demand for an artists work an artist can ask higher prices. In business this is the proven law of supply and demand.

Jolles Art repro sample

Sample giclee of artist Ronni Jolles’s mixed media original.

It is unfair to limit an artist’s profit potential and exposure by restricting the sales of high quality reproductions or giclees like some art centers and galleries have done.  It is a relief that many of these outlets have adjusted their rules, acknowledging the acceptance of art reproductions as a viable and quality source of extra income and exposure for artists in today’s economy.