An Artist's Guide to Artwork Reproduction
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.
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!