wondering…

…about giclee prints. Ive noticed that quite a few textile artists market giclee prints of thier larger pieces, and I’m wondering how well it works.

Anyone go any experience? Interest?

was contemplating perhaps doing the antependium, noah’s ark, the opus anglicanum lovers panel, and maybe the labours once it’s done as limited editions, signed. Obviously all apart from the lovers would have to be scaled down versions, as the originals are HUGE. I have no desire to ever sell the originals, but prints seem like a way to share.

The other thing I’ve wondered about is greetings cards, but they’re a much bigger up-front investment to get them for a saleable price.

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~ by opusanglicanum on October 3, 2013.

19 Responses to “wondering…”

  1. Giclee prints look gorgeous and are, in my opinion now that I’ve seen proofs for both Giclee and digital offsets of my work, the only real way to attempt to represent textured stitching in a two dimensional printed form. This is especially true when metallics or pure silk are involved.

    The problem is the cost of the process and the number of prints to which you have to commit in order to drive a per unit price low enough to be competitive for the Giclee print market.

    I’ve found a really helpful printer who is prepared to bend over backwards to assist me, doing lots of work around the project without charging me any extra at all, but the cost of producing a single print is still huge. The cost for 50 (magic number for economies of scale) of each of 3 designs in Giclee is nearly $6k. I could have chosen a smaller run, but then the per unit price climbed steeply. There are set up costs in a sliding scale that apply to the first 10 prints produced; these are viable if spread over a large number…and not so much viable when the print run is small.

    It’s also worth considering that part of the beauty of the art form and the ‘wow factor’ is in the size of your stitches and the precision of their placement. If you produce prints that are not the same size as the original, the stitching ceases to be as much of a feature. I think it’s vital, with our medium of choice, that the stitches be the size that you created them, neither larger nor smaller.

    Unfortunately, for large designs, that may well make Giclee prints prohibitively expensive, as you have fewer or no options regarding layout use of each sheet of paper so as to achieve some economies.

    Offset printing is of course cheaper, but has size limitations that again make it less than idea for large stitched projects.

    • I found an art printer online who prints on demand – you download a library that they store for you, and you can order one at a time if needs be. price for one 16 by 16 inch gicles print (roughly half scale for the antependium) is between £10 and £22 per print depending on the paper quality, so I could sell for 50 on standard retail mark up.

      I know what you mean about size, but some of my pieces are so enormous I don’t think anyone would want the actaul size prints! the antependium is just over a metre square

      • The problem with that is that you need a professional capture of a digital image in the first place. One image won’t cut it, because they need a composite shot. Take my Gandalf as an example: that took about 15 different shots in order to get each set of colour tones to match the original. One shot can maximize lights, another darks. It might take several shots to reproduce gold correctly etc.

        After that, once you have an image that works, a good printer should still be making a huge number of adjustments and showing you draft proofs. If they just put an image in and press Print, you won’t get a good result. It takes tweaking until everyone is happy that the Giclee matches the original. This set up is unique to the machine used, so I can’t even, for example, take my 300 dpi digital images to another printer and just go. We’d have to do all the set up and proofing again at that point.

        I’d be wary of any printer that reckons its easier than that, because it sounds like there’d be insufficient quality control.

      • I’ve decided to start with a few greetings cards anyway, to guage interest, and I’ll contact the printer and ask for more info – they are recommended by the guild of commercial artists though, and offer samples, and I was planning to have better photos taken before going ahead. 6k is waaaaaaay out of my reach – I wouldn’t even spened that much on replacing my van, I’m quite poor you know

      • Sounds like a good way to start off and I wish you luck. It would be brilliant to be able to buy prints of your work.

        I know the feeling about being poor. I’m just lucky that we have a teeny bit of capital with which I can get going.

  2. I have noticed artists out here putting ink jet prints on purchased greeting card blanks and selling them for $4-5 CAD. I think this is how they keep the cost down.

    • ink jet isn’t great quality though, and sticking things on makes a messy amateurish card. I was thinking of using he guys who print my business leaflets for cards. The prices are really good (probably cheaper than printing yourself) once you start ordering 250 or more, but I’ve got two events coming up so I was thinking of testing the water with 50 cards each of the antependium and the ark. If I sold them for £1.75 each I wouldn’t make much money on selling the initial batch, but it would be a minimal outlay to see if the cards were a viable idea, and if they proved saleable I could then order the larger batch and make something

      • I am guessing that those creating cards this way are using the thought process that cards are a disposable item.

        Good luck with your venture.

    • Worth considering that inkjet prints won’t last very long before the colours degrade. Any print of any method of production suffers from this problem. It’s to do with the generation of acidic gases – anything made of plant matter, including paper or wood, does this unless it has been manufactured specifically to avoid the problem. Materials produced according to the latter specification are called archival quality.

      Giclee print inks are light fast and will last decades provided that they are treated correctly, i.e. framed with archival quality materials, protected with glass and not hung in an area that is particularly prone to either harsh, direct light, heat or fluctuations in humidity.

      Inkjet prints won’t have anywhere near the longevity. I guess you get what you pay for, but I think many customers don’t have the understanding that the printed image they are purchasing is not necessarily going to last more than ten years before it looks badly faded.

  3. I have no technical knowledge to add. You seem to have got lots of good advice in that respect already. ^_^

    However, from both myself and my parents’ perspective – good quality greeting cards are something that are great little purchases. I know several people who buy particularly pretty ones as little artworks because they can’t afford real framed things. I also know several people who will buy a dozen from one place (if they are very nice ones) to keep for birthday/christmas/condolences/congratulations cards – they keep a stash in the house rather than buying particular cards for particular events.

    I.e. good quality cards with interesting images are very popular. Of course, they don’t sell for very much, so I don’t know how economic they might be. One thing I do advise – make them blank. Much better and more versatile that way.

    • Oh, I was already going with blank, they’re definately the most useful. I think I can manage interesting images.

      I was thinking that if they do prove saleable a set of 12 with the months from the labours would be fun, although I’d probably start with one of the full havging

  4. Put me on the waiting list if you decide to do it.

    • I’m definitely doing cards over the next few weeks -prob just the antependiun, ark and one of the gold pieces to test the water. prints are a longer term plan -which did you want? cos if you’re interested in a print I’d be interested in which piece and what size as it would help me get a better idea of what to go for

  5. I’ll be interested to see how you go – I was thinking of doing something similar, but the local company that does giclee went out of business before I got around to it. I do know that when we did Christmas cards of Mam’s painting of “Christus Natus Est” and sold them for a local charity, we underestimated demand and had to reprint twice!

    • I need to think about the prints a bit more, but the place I was looking at is here

      http://www.digitalprintdesign.co.uk/index.html

      if you want to check it out for yourself. I figure I’ll hvae to take proper studio photos (or rather get john or gareth to take them) and then try out a few prints for myself before selling. I’m not thinking of getting cards from them though, as they’re quite pricey.

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