Prints and Price - Online Arts Sales
April 9, 2013 9:17 AM   Subscribe

For anyone experienced with art sales, particularly online sales: What sort of printing services do you use for your artwork? and what are the costs like?

I'm just getting started and having difficulty telling what scale of job and pricing are appropriate.

There seem to be a number of places in Toronto that do fine art scanning and printing but I'm not sure their services would be appropriate for a rank beginner.


So far I only have experience with deviantart, but I've never tried to monetize it. I have plans for an etsy store, but I need to plan out my distribution model first.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
posted by ServSci to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I get photographic prints (and a few pricey Giclee prints) from The color and paper quality is very good. I can do this because I have my own scanner - and not a very fancy one but it does a decent job in conjunction with paint.NET (a free Photoshop-lite program, for color adjustments). I usually get the Lustre type paper finish, but have also gotten some metallic photographic prints, where are pretty neat. It's free shipping at $30, too. Pricing here.

I use for cards and postcard printing. It's really excellent quality. BUT, pricey, so I wait for 25% off postcards or some other sale.

Someone new asks this question periodically at the Etsy forum. Lots of suggestions there.

(I just realized you're in Canada! Hope some of this helps, though I'm in the U.S.)
posted by Glinn at 9:55 AM on April 9, 2013

I recommend controlling your own output as much as possible. Invest in a printer that produces the kind of prints you want to make - there are acid free papers and archival inks, large formats, and even printable canvas. If you're using your own machine, you can fine tune everything and your work won't just be a slot in someone else's order queue. You won't have to deal with minimum orders or waiting for proofs, and you'll be able to print orders as they come in, instead of storing an inventory.

The value of being able to say "I just want to see how this looks 15% brighter, okay now I'll boost the contrast" and print out test proofs as you go is so very worth it.

I've had very good luck with Epson products and service.

As for pricing, look at other artists - the ones who share your audience in your market. See what they're doing. See what's a normal range. The ones who charge more, do they get the sales and is the work comparatively higher quality? What besides price typifies the artists who charge less? See where you fit. Don't undercut. Inexplicably low prices make people wonder what's wrong with your work.

FWIW I've exhibited at some art festivals where 'I make my own prints of my own work' versus 'I send away for my product' seemed to be a significant factor in the jurying process.
posted by Lou Stuells at 10:09 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks to both of you. This is helpful advice.

Lou Stuells, what type of printer are you using, if I may ask?
posted by ServSci at 11:05 AM on April 9, 2013

I have an Epson R1900, which appears to have been succeeded by the R2000.
posted by Lou Stuells at 11:09 AM on April 9, 2013

You might want to check out Fine Art Print Studio on Queen W.
posted by Kabanos at 8:50 AM on April 24, 2013

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