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Author Topic: Art Printing  (Read 621 times)
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« on: October 18, 2023 @815.10 »

Lately, I've been wanting to make art prints of my art! However, I have no idea where to begin  :drat: ... So I was wondering if anyone has any advice/help to offer on the topic? Also, if you sell art prints/zines then please feel free to link your work to me here! I'm always looking for prints/zines to pick up! But most of all, I'm looking for any answers to these questions LOL. It might be helpful to mention that I'm from the UK.

  • Have you tried any POD (print on demand) services? If so, who were they and how was the quality?
  • If you make art prints yourself at home, what sort of printer do you use/recommend?
  • Is there a specific paper GSM + brand you think would suit art prints best?

I'm a total noob, so any advice would be so welcome! I really just want to make art prints for myself, but if all goes well then I think I'd love to set up a shop or something, I just haven't a clue as to where to start! Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2023 @32.56 by awhe » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2023 @840.96 »

I dunno how close you are to Glasgow! But I'd totally look into this place if you are: https://www.glasgowzinelibrary.com/making-room - they might even just be able to answer some questions or provide materials. (I kept meaning to go when I lived there but it never worked out :drat: )

As for how I'd answer your question:
  • This depends on what kind of quality you're going for; for low-spec b&w zines there are lots of options, but public libraries/universities are the cheapest. For high-spec prints you should talk to any local graphic design studios, they are usually happy to work with artists on doing limited-run prints. I know @HayleyMulch uses them a lot and might have some tips?
  • Again this depends on your spec; for black and white zines - Any laser printer (Like a Brother) will be perfect; later printers cost more upfront (expect 170 ponds) but are much cheaper and more reliable to run long term; I would not recommend laser for colour prints though, colour laser is very expensive and not very good quality. For color you want an ink-jet printer; My mum self-prints her art and uses an Epson ET-8550, but you need to pay quite a bit for a good ink-jet printer and the inks cost a lot too. If I were really getting serious about home printing art to sell I'd invest in something like a Cannon Pixma Pro 200 (around 450 pounds). You can find cheaper off-brand inks, but they are not so good (though maybe the off tone-colours of them might suit some people's art style! Just be aware of it)
  • Again it really depends on the mood you want your prints to give off - glossy photo paper suits fancy art prints; for zines, you want a mat paper of at least 100gsm. The brand is not so important, BUT usually, you get what you pay for - art and photo-grade paper will take and hold colour better - a simple rule of thumb is to buy the same brand ink and paper because they will have done the testing for you. (Added note, for laser printing Xerox paper in any colour is more expensive but worth it, it takes the print beautifully! - They invented laser printing after all!)

Also for zines, there are extra tools you need (paper trimmer, long-arm stapler etc) - If you're talking to a print shop I'd find one that can do this for you; most of them can since they do it for corporate brochures and shop catalogues. BUT there's always a risk your zine could get toooo professional if a shop makes it for you; I like to build in faults to make them feel homely, so how pro you want it to seem is something to think about too!

Good luck! :ozwomp:
« Last Edit: October 18, 2023 @850.34 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2023 @859.32 »

I haven't printed any zines myself, but I've participated in a few and handmade a pocket-sized zine (which was SUPER fun and easy).

My lovely friend Nick used Mixam for his zine Cloud Service(which I did some page art for :3c). Looks like mixam has offices in the UK, Australia and Canada as well as the US!

As for paper type, I personally prefer matte or low-gloss paper such as silk. I don't like how glossy paper has a glare under any amount of light, it makes it hard to read! But gloss will provide protection for your art, so a light gloss is a happy medium, imo.

For gsm I suppose to depends on what you want, how much ink there will be on your pages, and how dark those inks will be! If there's a lot of ink / lot of dark inks, you'll want a heavier paper to hold all that ink.

Might be worth looking into any community print shops and the local art scene, if there's one where you live! There are one or two in my area that only require a fee during open hours or a membership fee to use their printers and services. If you only plan on making a few zines rather than in bulk, it could put less of a dent in your wallet

I'm also gonna put this and this here in the event that handmade zines interest you at all! Zines are so wonderful and it's great to hear you're interested in making your own!! Please keep us updated on them, I'd absolutely love to see what you cook up  :ha:
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2023 @873.96 »

I studied printing at art school so I'm sort of geeking out over this question. Finally, my knowledge comes in handy...

As Melon said, it entirely depends on the mood of the publication. I'd like to add onto that, because there are so many different printing techniques- they can really change the whole «aura» of the print!

So! The thing you need to decide first is what kind of printing technique you want your zine/prints to be in. For beginner handmade printing, I'd recommend risography and screen printing. Feel free to not follow my advice BTW! I just want everyone to know the possibilities.

Risographs work best with thin, cheap paper. They require various copies to get the paint right, so the more sheets of paper the better. It's also the technique that most resembles common printing techniques as it's also made with a mechanical printer, the Riso.

Screen printing is a lot more involved and kind of complicated, but it is SO fun and you can print on fabric too!

These are specialized printing techniques, so you'd probably need to contact an art studio. From my experience, there are more places that offer screen printing services, but it's also more expensive. Riso printing is a lot cheaper, but Riso printers are notoriously hard to come across as it's considered outdated technology by many.

As for where to find these services... well, I'm Portuguese. I only know Portuguese art studios :tnt: However, I can direct you to this Riso printing guide made by Stolen Prints. The site itself is in Portuguese, but I linked the English version of their guide.

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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2023 @630.31 »

Thank you all for your replies! There are some really valuable links and information here that I'm going to use moving forward, so massive thanks :dive:

I dunno how close you are to Glasgow! But I'd totally look into this place if you are: https://www.glasgowzinelibrary.com/making-room - they might even just be able to answer some questions or provide materials
This is so interesting and really cool, I'll deffo see if I can go about booking a space in future! Never even knew that this existed but it's such a cool resource! Thank you for linking it. I appreciate all the other insight you've offered also, especially with the printer!! Looking for printers was such a headache of reviews, but knowing that your mom (assumedly) has found success with this one is really helpful!



My lovely friend Nick used Mixam for his zine Cloud Service(which I did some page art for :3c). Looks like mixam has offices in the UK, Australia and Canada as well as the US!
Thank you SO MUCH for this link, I'm impressed to see the final result of the link you shared too in the form of the zine, I really appreciate it! I think I'll try this company out next month when I have the funds!

I studied printing at art school so I'm sort of geeking out over this question. Finally, my knowledge comes in handy...
And I super appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me! I'll take some of your insight moving forward too !!

Thank you all, I feel much more prepared now!
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2023 @696.47 »

I've never tried POD and I don't have a very good printer, but for my store I order prints through Catprint! I live in the US so I don't know what their international shipping is like, but I've found that they have really nice quality. I tend to order on plain heavy cardstock, but they have a tony of options & a sample pack that you can get before you order.

I'm not sure what size your zines are, but i've ordered digest sized (5.5" x 8.5") zines on Mixam before, however once again. I'm not sure about their international shipping policies.

You might also be able to get zines done with Aura print, which is located in the UK. I've never ordered zines from them, but they have a lot of paper products.I frequently order custom tarot cards from them, and they have a fast turnaround and good quality. 
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2023 @750.31 »

A while back I got a Canon Pixma for my family following a lot of irritation around the cartridge based printer we had.
It takes liquid ink that fills up these wells in the device that you can see from the outside - very stylish. I haven't had to refill it since buying it last year!

A concern of mine is print quality though - it does a very good job of reproducing digital art, especially when using good paper, but the colors fade extremely fast compared to traditional photos!

Maybe this is a consequence of how I display them (exposed to the sun in the morning hours, since I have it pinned on a corkboard) or the paper I'm using (some standard glossy photo paper) or a combination of factors.

Anyone who has experience with this kind of home printing, let me know what works best for you!
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2023 @960.32 »

I'd just like to thank everyone here for their help! I've received some prints as a test run today and I LOVE them! I think I'll test once more with higher gsm, but thank you so much everyone for your help!!!!!! Here are the results  :ozwomp:  :transport:

I'll likely offer these ones to my friends and family for free :D!

Spoiler



[close]

I plan to also make a zine at some point next year so thank you all so much for your help and I look forward to making more art in future! Thank you for helping me get to this point  :unite:
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2023 @634.84 »

The quality looks amazing!!! Where did you end up ordering from?
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2023 @630.14 »

YESSSSS!! THE MIKU!!!!!!!!! (I'm so hype for these, Mimi!) 
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