Sunday, July 24, 2005

questions about printing

Does anybody know anything about the process of having artwork printed by someone other than one's self?

I need recommendations for printers, advice about how not to sound like a dummy when talking to printers, that kind of thing. I want to have prints made of some of my artwork, prints that are archival and nice on good paper, but not too expensive. I also need to have postcards printed, maybe some greeting card type cards and business cards.

This place
looks good, but I don't know....
Or this
Or maybe this place...

Or I could buy an epson archival quality printer (again) and print my own things, and stuff for other struggling artists on the cheap.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meredith,
I can't say I have the answers your looking for, but here are my two cents. I use our Epson to print out my cards and they come out great, but I supposed it depends on how much you will print. I don't print that many cards.(INK ADDS UP). How much do these printers charge? Will it be more cost effective to have another person print them?
In terms of communicating with printer lingo- I HAVE NO INSIGHT except be your wonderful self.
Jacquie

5:52 PM  
Blogger rob said...

If you are going to have some printing done professionally, I can recommend Greenfield Graphics on 4th street. Zack Darling is the owner and he's also an artist. He did right by us.

7:19 PM  
Blogger sweethc said...

There has to be a decent local printer who can give you some nice prints of your work. I would recommend working with someone local because you can see their work first hand. Get a few quotes to see if it is in your budget. Just tell them what you want. Archival quality paper and reasonably priced.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Austin said...

Hello Meredith,

Here are just a few tips from our shop that may be helpful when thinking about reproducing your artwork in a commercial print shop.

When you go to a print shop, the service you will be purchasing is most likely photo offset lithography - otherwise known as offset printing. If you have ever worked with print making you might be familiar with stone lithography - an oil and water resist type of printing. Offset lithography is very similar in theory - but mechanized.

Most commonly, print shops require digital files to translate your artwork into a format that can be reproduced. This new format creates very tiny dots that the human eye renders as tonal ranges - this is called a halftone. The halftone is transfered, either digitally or with film, to a plate which is then "hung" on a printing press.

In order to reproduce a relatively complete spectrum of colors, a technique was developed called process printing. Process or full color printing uses four ink colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to recreate the colors in the original artwork.

Modern offset printing is the culmination of years of experimentation, scientific development and craftsmanship. It is the best way to reproduce your designs on paper.

As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into having your artwork offset printed. Because of this, many shops have minimum quantities that must be ordered - not because they're trying to make more money but because they have to justify the cost of getting your job on press. Expect minimums of at least 250 if not much more. You will find that the more you have printed the less expensive the price per-piece will be.

That said, sometimes offset printing is not what you need due to the cost of investing in a print run or you just don't need as many as the minimum. That is what digital printers have been developed for - like high-end laser and ink jet printers - and that is where my expertise ends.

I hope you found this helpful - Thank you!

Austin Whipple
---------------------
Pinball Publishing : Independent Publishing and Creative Printing

www.pinballpublishing.com

10:19 AM  
Blogger laurel said...

andy uses pictopia for his photos -archival quality and nicely done, even our professional photographer friends have been impressed (just get a sample done first for color correction between your computer and their processing if you're doing digital). i've heard good things about 4x6 (name of co) and rocket here in SF for affordable postcards and i think you get a discount through the open studios thing.

11:11 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Meredith, if you haven't figured something out by now, I have a good friend who has been coming to Santa Rosa for years to get her stuff printed, so she would be a wonderful source. And such a nice lady.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

The most comments ever!! Hooray! Thanks you guys. I still don't know what I'm going to do, but I don't feel as lost about it now. I think I might get bus. cards done locally, postcards through one of the services online (?), and I might have Jason Taylor over at subculture make some silkscreen prints for me? I really want to have affordable prints in my show at moxie in October. But the Epson is still an option because I'm weird like that. And Jacquie, your cards look beautiful! I love them. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford, and need the services that Pinball offers (maybe a book someday?).

4:42 PM  

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