Large format printing in UK
January 3, 2009 4:11 PM   Subscribe

I've made some art and I'd like to get it out of my laptop and on to my wall. What's the best way to do this?

(I've looked here, here and here already.)

The finished piece is a 26000 word large block of 9pt text, 12000×9000 pixels (greyscale) at 300dpi, made with Inkscape and fiddled-about-with in GIMP.

My current idea is to print a 40"×30" canvas with one of the on-line large format printers; can anyone recommend a good UK printer? Are canvas prints any good?

Also, could I go bigger than 40"×30"? Each line of text is 20px high so at what resolution would it start to look crappy? The text is anti-aliased, if that's relevant.

Finally, aside from a canvas print, what are other options I should consider?
posted by alby to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You should have kept it a vector illustration. They scale better than raster images.
posted by JJ86 at 4:43 PM on January 3, 2009

I know with the wide-format printers I've worked with in the past, you couldn't actually print higher than 180dpi. It should be worth checking with whatever print shop you go with what their actual highest print resolution is - you may be able to almost double your print size.
posted by niles at 4:47 PM on January 3, 2009

I don't know anyone in the UK but google "giclee" printers. It's what museums use, it won't fade for over 150 years and it won't run. My print shop does a beautiful job on colors.
posted by Hands of Manos at 5:52 PM on January 3, 2009

Seconding JJ86. If you can find a way to do the fiddling you did with GIMP in Inkscape, you free yourself from resolution. Save it as an SVG or a a PDF and you can get a print that looks crisp and smooth from a few inches away.

Sorry, don't know any good UK printers.
posted by echo target at 10:53 PM on January 3, 2009

The big printers run 44" or 66" wide and print from rolls. So the absolute biggest you could print it would be 88 x 66. If your going to stretch the canvas onto a frame you'll want leave a large enough border to wrap around the frame. If you're just print black text on a white background you can get pretty low res before it's going to be obvious. Anything over 150 dpi will look OK, but might be noticeable on close inspection. As JJ86 points out, as long as you have it as vector art (in Inkscape) you can resize it to whatever size you want, but really big is going to be expensive.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:13 AM on January 4, 2009

get yourself an architect friend?
posted by gonzo_ID at 4:05 AM on January 4, 2009

I had a photoshop 'painting' printed by These Guys They were very friendly and helpful. If you send them your artwork they should be able to advise you on what you can do with it.
posted by missmagenta at 5:20 AM on January 4, 2009

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