Updated: Jul 12, 2024 - Published: Dec 10, 2021 • 10 min read

How To Make Prints of Your Artwork | Mixam’s 2024 Printing Art Guide

Discover how to turn your artwork into high-quality prints with expert tips on photography, printing options, and more.

How To Make Prints of Your Artwork | Mixam’s 2024 Printing Art Guide

Knowing how to make prints of your artwork is essential, no matter what kind of artist or creator you are. Whether you’re looking to sell your work or simply wish to decorate your own space, creating high-quality prints of your artwork is a demanding but gratifying experience. This guide will walk you through each crucial step, from preparing your artwork to selecting the proper printing method and materials to ensure that your prints are of the highest quality.

 

Preparing Your Artwork for Printing

 

Scanning vs. Photography: Choosing the Right Method

Choosing the right method depends on your artwork's size, texture, and equipment availability. If you’ve made your artwork using traditional methods like painting or drawing, you’ll first need to digitize it. There are two primary methods: scanning and photography. Scanning is best for smaller, flat artworks to capture fine details and color consistently. Ensure your artwork is clean and dust-free, and use a high-resolution scanner (at least 300 dpi).

 

How do I take pictures of my art for prints? 

 

Photography is ideal for larger or textured pieces and those wanting to capture their artwork authentically. Here are some tips for achieving the best results:

 

  • Lighting: Use natural light or set up soft, even lighting to avoid harsh shadows.

 

  • Camera Settings: Use a high-resolution camera with at least 12 megapixels.

 

  • Stability: Place your artwork on a flat surface and use a tripod to keep the camera steady and parallel to the artwork.

 

  • Multiple Shots: Take several shots from different angles to choose the best shot for printing.

 

Understanding Resolution, Color Management, and File Formats

Resolution refers to the amount of detail inside an image. Ensure your files have a 300 dpi image resolution for high-quality art prints, so in one square inch of a printed image, there will be 300 ink dots inside. Lower resolutions can result in blurry or pixelated prints, compromising the professional appearance of your artwork. Proper color management is equally important; you should calibrate your device to maintain color consistency. For detailed setup instructions, refer to the ‘Export Print Files With .joboptions’ section on our Print File Setup Guide. Furthermore, save your images in lossless formats like high-quality JPEGs or PNGs. These formats preserve the integrity of your artwork, ensuring that the quality remains intact regardless of how often you save, open, or resize the files. 

 

Choosing the Right Printing Method

 

Artwork and Budget

Selecting the appropriate printing method is crucial to achieving the best results for your artwork while staying within your budget. Offset printing is an excellent choice for large volumes, ensuring consistent quality across multiple prints. This method, while having a higher upfront cost due to the setup of metal plates, becomes more cost-effective as the quantity increases. It’s ideal for artists planning to produce thousands or tens of thousands of prints, guaranteeing sharp, clean images with consistent color reproduction.

On the other hand, digital printing is perfect for smaller batches, offering flexibility and speed at a lower cost. Digital printing eliminates the need for extensive setup, making it a more economical option for limited runs or test prints. It also allows for quick adjustments and faster turnaround times, which benefits projects with tight deadlines.

Understanding the pros and cons of each method helps you make an informed decision that aligns with your project's scale and financial considerations. Visit our digital vs offset printing support page for more detailed information on each printing method and how to choose the best one for your needs.

 

An art print of a girl slaying a two-headed dragon leaning against a wall.
Morgan Goble (@realactualmorg)

 

Selecting the Right Paper and Finishes

 

Understanding Art Print Paper Stocks

 

Selecting the right paper is essential for enhancing the appearance and durability of your prints. Available paper stocks at Mixam include:

 

  • Satin: a smooth, coated stock with a slight sheen that makes printed text and graphics bright and well-defined, perfect for creating a polished look.

 

  • Gloss: offers an ultra-smooth coated surface, enhancing the vividness of graphics-based projects and making colors pop.

 

  • Uncoated: a soft finish with no coating, making it highly absorbent. It also gives printed colors a slightly duller, muted appearance, which may appeal to those looking for a more natural or vintage look.

 

For more details, check out our paper range.

 

Choosing the Right Paper Weight and Finish

The right paper stock is an important choice that should foster positive first impressions and contribute significantly to an art print’s overall feel and quality. Common paper types available at Mixam include satin, gloss, and uncoated. In terms of weight, the higher the lb, the more substantial and durable the paper. The texture also influences the tactile experience and should complement your magazine’s style. Meanwhile, finishes are added to a printed surface, like a cover, to increase a print's longevity and enhance aesthetics. Available finishes at Mixam include gloss, matte, and soft-touch, which gives prints a velvety, shine-free, and sophisticated feel.

 

Print Pricing and Options

 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Art Prints

Several factors influence the cost of producing art prints. Larger print dimensions typically cost more due to the increased material and ink required. However, popular sizes for art prints, such as A4 (8.3” x 11.5”), 8" x 10", or 11” x 14”, are often more economical due to their widespread use. The quantity of prints also significantly affects the cost; larger quantities tend to reduce the cost per unit due to economies of scale. Choosing paper and finishes, such as gloss or soft-touch, can also add to the overall cost. The printing method you choose is crucial in determining costs as well. With its higher setup costs, offset printing is more cost-effective for large runs and offers superior quality and consistency. In contrast, digital printing is ideal for smaller batches, offering flexibility and lower initial costs without compromising quality.

 

How much does it cost to make a print of a painting?

The cost of printing a painting varies based on the size, quantity, paper and finishes, and printing method. By considering these factors, you can better estimate the costs and make informed decisions about producing your art prints, ensuring you balance quality and budget effectively.

 

Open Edition vs Limited Edition Prints

For those planning to monetize their artwork, it's essential to consider whether to position your art prints as open or limited editions. Whether you opt for open or limited editions depends on your goals, target audience, and how you wish to position your artwork in the market. Open edition prints refer to unlimited reproductions of the same artwork, making them more affordable and accessible. This approach is ideal for artists looking to reach a larger market and offer their work at a lower price point for increased sales volume.

By contrast, limited edition art prints are produced in a set number, often signed and numbered by the artist, adding a layer of exclusivity. This limited availability can create a sense of urgency and higher demand, allowing artists to price these prints at a premium. Collectors also seek limited editions because of their perceived higher value and the prestige of owning a piece from a small collection.

 

An art print of a woman with a sword leaning against a blue wall.
Lidia Cambon (@msshanh)

 

Working with a Professional Printing Service

 

Benefits of Partnering with a Professional Printing Service for Art Prints

Working with a professional printing service like Mixam offers numerous advantages that can elevate the quality and appeal of your art prints. Collaborating with real print experts allows you to access invaluable support and guidance. Professional printers possess the expertise to handle complex printing requirements, ensuring that every detail of your artwork reflects the true essence of your original artwork. Moreover, services like Mixam provide access to advanced, intuitive design tools that simplify the creation process, such as our free Design Online tool, allowing you to focus on the artistic aspects while leaving the more technical aspects to the experts.

 

Tips for Choosing the Right Printing Service

 

  • Research and Reviews: Find a printing service with positive reviews and a solid reputation. Customer testimonials offer valuable insights into the service's reliability and print quality.

 

  • Sample Work: Request free samples to evaluate print quality. This step allows you to review the available materials and finishes and ensure they meet your standards.

 

  • Communication: Ensure the printing service has multiple contact options so you know how to get assistance. Mixam provides various options, including live chat, email, phone, and a Messages tab in every order.

 

Understanding the Printing Process and Turnaround Times

Understanding the production timeline and expected turnaround times will help you plan your project effectively. Knowing the steps involved in the printing process, from pre-press to finishing, allows you to manage your schedule and meet deadlines. It’s helpful to communicate your deadlines clearly before placing your order so your print service can aim to accommodate your request. For more detailed information on the printing process, visit our Production Timeline support page.

Partnering with a professional printing service enhances the quality of your art prints and provides peace of mind, knowing that experts are handling every aspect of the production. This collaboration lets you present your artwork in the best possible light, making a lasting impression on walls and your audience.

 

Conclusion

From preparing your artwork to selecting the best paper and finishes, many crucial elements go into achieving stunning art prints. High-quality prints allow artists to share their work and preserve their creations' integrity and beauty. Additionally, partnering with a professional printing service like Mixam can significantly impact the outcome. Our expertise, advanced technology, and customer-focused approach ensure your artwork is transformed seamlessly into prints. 

Get inspired and explore our art print services today. You can also check out the array of posts on Mixam's Blog and visit our Support section for helpful guidance and advice on all things print.

 

Main Image Credit: Lisa Zaman (@lisazamanart)

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