Blowing up tiny doodles
September 25, 2008 3:31 PM   Subscribe

I have a variety of small doodles done with soft pencil on post-it notes that I'd like to blow up and print on oversize sheets of paper or card (something like 2x3' or larger sheets). The important thing to me is that the final image doesn't show evidence of halftone/screen dots. I'd ideally like the finished image to be just like a regular xerox. Does such a machine/process exist? Anything that can enlarge from a letter-sized original is good too.

I'm not too picky about exact tone/contrast reproduction because I just want them to have the "feel" of the smaller drawing that I can paint over with a layer of wax. I've tried blowing the doodles up in 11x17" sections and assembling them together on a single panel, but the results aren't pleasing because when the wax soaks into the paper and makes it translucent and the cuts and overlaps are really distracting and ugly. Oh, and hopefully it will be cheap (not more that $20 per image). I just need to make a few enlarged copies of each doodle.
posted by bonobothegreat to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not sure why a run-of-the-mill flatbed scanner wouldn't work for this... you're not going to get halftone/screen patterns on a hand-drawn piece of art -- that would show up if you were scanning a magazine or book. Scan it super high-resolution grayscale, or even full-color (makes it easier to knock the background out in Photoshop or similar, since there is some color variation between paper and artwork)

If a scanner doesn't capture them well, you may want to try to photograph them -- lots of tutorials for that on the google.
posted by misterbrandt at 4:32 PM on September 25, 2008

I would suggest taking your drawings to a professional printer... Kinkos or a similar business has always worked well for me in similar situations. If you can figure out how to use their machines and DIY, you'll save lots of money.
posted by geeta at 4:37 PM on September 25, 2008

A normal price for just a large 2' x 3' poster would be $30.00+ in any of the ma/pa shops I have worked in. The Kinkos here charge a ton more in my area. I'm not sure that $20.00 is a reasonable price to be looking for. Although this is the west coast... and second the scan on a regular scanner, you can just brightness/contrast adjust in Photoshop to knock out the background color easily.
posted by phytage at 4:45 PM on September 25, 2008

My art work uses exactly the same process - enlarged text/images on paper painted with wax (encaustics, technically). The Kinkos near me has a large blueprint copier and I've had good luck with it - copies are just a few dollars ($3? $5? I don't recall exactly) and it prints just like a regular xerox, as you suggest. See finished results here.
posted by judith at 5:29 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've been to some kinkos that have a super-sized copier. The quality isn't spectacular, but the price is quite low. You'd probably need an intermediate size up from your post-it, but that's pretty easy to do. You'll have to call and find out if they have that machine - this was almost 10 years ago, and it might be that it's a dinosaur that doesn't fit the current "remote office" business model.
posted by O9scar at 5:31 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks everybody! I've mostly gotten blank looks from the local copy shops when I've tried to describe what I want to do. It sounds like the blueprint copier is what i'm looking for. I'll phone around Toronto to see if anybody still has one...

Judith, you're doing pretty much exactly what I'm aiming for. Lovely stuff. Thanks for sharing!
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:00 PM on September 25, 2008

Alternately, you could scan them, convert them to vector art (Adobe Illustrator provides some facilities for this) and then print at any size you desired.
posted by sad_otter at 9:10 PM on September 25, 2008

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