An Artist's Guide to Artwork Reproduction

An Artist's Guide to Artwork Reproduction

Posted by David Braun on Sep 22nd 2023

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Artwork Reproduction Scanning Process

What digital capture technology is best for artwork reproduction? Nowadays, there is a new printer on every other corner. Especially in major art areas such as California, Florida and Texas. So how do you know which one is the best? Artwork reproduction is not smoke, mirrors, and snap your fingers to get a giclee (although, to artists, it may seem this way sometimes). As experts and fellow artists alike, we’re going to share with you a few artwork reproduction secrets on how to make sure you’re getting the best possible prints of your artwork.

Don't choose a printer that uses a 35mm to "Scan" Artwork

The preferred method of digital capture, in today’s times, is a professional fine art scanner. Better Light and Cruse are a couple of examples, and probably the most well known in the fine art world. These Scanners are created for the very purpose of gaining extremely high resolution images. Unlike a regular 35mm camera, scanners don’t take a single picture of the image, but instead use sensors that physically move to detect all the light and color in the image. Equipment is important, but a machine is only as good as it’s technician. The printer needs to know all the in and outs of lighting, calibration, profiling, and manipulating images to match colors in original artwork.

Artwork Reproduction Proofing and Printing

Once a printer has gained an acceptable scan of the artwork, it will be taken into a photo editing program such as Adobe Photoshop. The printer will work with tones, hues, brightness, saturation, shadows, highlights and such. The printer will print out a proof and compare it to the original. This is an imperative step because what is seen on the screen is never identical to what comes out of the printer.The proof is basically a miniature giclee print of your artwork. Your printer should invite you to look at the proof and make any changes necessary. If this process needs to be done multiple times, then a good printer will do it multiple times, until the image in the proof is a good representation of your artwork. DO NOT work with a printer that does not offer a proofing process.

Editing scanned art for artwork production.

If you have not looked at a proof, the print you are paying for can be complete mystery, and there is no guarantee that you will like it. Here at Preferred Custom Printing we generally REQUIRE our artists to approve a proof before printing the final giclee. The last step in the process is actually printing the giclee. Print quality is important and obviously a main factor. Giclees prints look amazing when printed correctly, if your printer is using machinery, inks, or paper that are not up to par, you will know. There is no reason for you to be dissatisfied with your artwork reproductions. The technology and expertise exist for you to be pleased with your giclee prints. So don’t be afraid to ask your printer!

Artwork Reproduction questions worth asking

What technology are you using to capture the artwork? If the answer is a 35mm, your artwork deserves better. Do you profile your printers yourself? If they don’t, you wont be receiving the best colors and color accuracy in your image. Do you calibrate your monitors? A good giclee printer and artwork reproducer will calibrate their monitors to match the colors that the printer prints as closely as possible. Is there a proofing process? "No proof? No print." That's what I would say. You have no idea how your art prints will turn out if you are not able to proof them. Can I review and approve the proof? Your artwork reproductions should not only capture your artwork, but reflect your style and preferences as an artist. This is only possible if you have a say in what the artwork reproductions look like, and no printer can decide that for you. Will you work with me continuously to make sure that I am satisfied with all of my artwork reproductions? Often times an artist will approve a proof, receive the giclee print and notice a small change they would like to make on the next print of the artwork. This is understandable. Because the print is an enlarged version of the proof, you may notice something in the print, that wasn't noticeable in the proof. Nothing should be extremely off, but your printer should continuously work with you to make any necessary adjustments. If the answer is "yes" to all of the above, then I'd say you have found yourself a trustworthy artwork reproduction printer! Congratulations.

Where to look for quality artwork reproduction and giclee printing services

If you are located in Clearwater, St Petersburg, Tampa, Florida or anywhere in the Tampa Bay or surrounding areas, look no further. Preferred custom printing has been specializing in artwork reproduction for over 15 years. Our business was built on a need for quality artwork reproductions. We can scan any original artwork that is shipped to us. We can ship anywhere in the United States. We can do a hard proofing process via mail or a soft proofing process via email*. Please contact us if you are interested! If you are not located in this area, and are looking for a good local fine art printer, our recommendation is to ask around the local art scene. Go to a local art show or a gallery. Getting artists to share information about their artwork reproductions may be difficult. If you are not having luck there, your next best option is the internet. Search google for artwork reproduction services in your area. Good luck Artists! *we cannot guarantee color accuracy with soft proofs due to monitor color variations.