ART PRINT SET UP TIPS
As a modern day artist, there is no better investment you can make than an investment in yourself. The art you spend your time working hard on can be produced into creative goods. Products like apparel, enamel pins, or giclée/watercolor art prints have become a serious avenue for the modern-day creative to support themselves while being able to focus on growth. Almost all production will require some sort of digital file setup along the way. Today we can pinpoint some aspects about art print production. Proper file setup usually prevents issues with color matching, sizing, sharpness and more. Whether it’s a scan of your flash painting or your digital art PDF, your file setup will be the first step towards focusing on achieving a better-quality product.
DPI / Resolution
NO ONE LIKES A BLURRY ART PRINT! What’s the point of getting art prints made of that flash sheet you spent the last week painting when it looks nothing like the original? File resolution is one of the most crucial aspects for a good quality print result. DPI (Dots Per Inch) is a term that is used to measure the resolution quality of an image with a number value. Resolution is usually set when a file is first created or at the start of the scanning process. Scanned artwork should be set to at least 300 DPI to ensure a quality print result - higher resolutions like 600 can work as well. Properly setting the DPI will ensure that the art print comes out sharp and captures the as much of the original colors and details as possible. Watercolor gradients are especially affected when printed with a low-resolution setting.
There are many other options to get the best scans of your work if you don’t have the means yourself! Local imaging centers are often a much better resource than your local Kinko’s to get your artwork scanned into a digital format. Another option would be to physically send in your artwork to us at Mindzai and we’ll handle the rest!
Bleed & Proper Sizing
An important aspect of art print production to keep in mind is that your art will be laid out and trimmed down. Sizing your file to the actual size it's printing is important, and it's also best ensure there is some bleed included. “Bleed” is the term that refers to an area of your artwork that will be trimmed off. Simply adding an extra .25 in of bleed around your image will guarantee that none of your actual artwork gets cropped.
Exporting & Color Modes
Making sure to properly export your files in the right formats will ensure that none of the quality is at risk of being altered. Flattened .PDF’s and .TIFF’s (LZW) tend to be some of the better options when it comes to exporting. A final step that gets overlooked is changing your file's color mode from RGB to CMYK (if printing digital). CMYK being Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black - these are the 4 colors that printers use to create art reproductions. Giclée printing will use RGB color modes. This color mode change will allow you to properly proof the on-screen colors of your art before physical printing.