Digital Handmade Print Project

10 lessons

Finishing touches

So, we have a print that we think we like? Let’s save some heartbreak (and cash) and test it as a physical print before sending it away to the print shop.

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Equipment

  • Internet
  • Device with your finished print
  • Access to a printer

Guiding questions

  • Am I happy with all the key elements in the test print (colour, scale, space etc.)
  • Am I happy with the composition of the overall print?
  • What does my print look like in space (pinned on the wall)
  • Do I understand how to prepare my print for the printers?
  • Have I considered paper type and weight?
  • How much is this going to cost?

Lesson Content

  1. At this stage you should have a ‘final print’. That is, something that could be considered a final product that’s ready to be checked in space and then sent to the printers. This step, the ‘check it before you wreck it’ step seems like it should be a no brainer. Like, of course I’ll do a test print … sometimes though time gets away on us and we don’t always print, hang and check. This is almost always a bad move; never underestimate the value of checking what you have on screen VS what the physical artifact prints like. 

    We’ll say it again: check it before you wreck it.

Let's do something!

  1. 1

    Find a print company - check the specs

    While they should all be standard - now is the time to check. If you’re unsure then give your local printers a call. Explain you want a high quality art print/ poster. It’s a great time to ask about papers and pricing too. There are always multiple printers in urban areas - do your homework and shop around. Sometimes it’s the garish little hole in the wall places that give you the best quality at a reasonable price. If you are in Auckland we recommend The Print Guys.

  2. 2

    Check you understand how to convert your file ready to be print

    It’s worth watching a few tutorials even if you think you know how to do this. Remember, the aim for this print is to be A3 - A1 and super high quality, your export options need to reflect this.

  3. 3

    Test print, pin to the wall and review

    If you have a printer at home, great. If not, go to a cheap and cheerful place and get your work printed at least A3.

    • This could be a good opportunity to try on a few different papers (matt and gloss)
    • Pin your work in space and stand back
    • Are you happy? If yes - that’s a miracle … are you totally sure?
    • If you need to alter anything (colour, scale, composition etc.) make sure you ‘SAVE AS’ so that your alterations are on a NEW DOCUMENT
  4. 4

    Fix, then rinse and repeat

    Yeah, we know it sounds dry and annoying but again, you need to check it IRL. Now is a great time to hang the two versions beside each other and confirm the ‘new’ version is your preferred option. It is not uncommon to spend a bunch of time ‘fixing’ just to realise you liked the first version better. That’s ok, at least now you know.

  5. 5

    Commit

    Send that file off to the printers and wait with baited breath for them to produce your beautiful end result. It’s worth printing at least a few copies depending on price, given all the work you have put in.

  6. 6

    Send us your artwork!

    We would love to profile your finished works as digital images in the slideshow below as well as photographs of the prints in space. Email them through to demelza@project-make.com and we will upload them along with your details (unless you want to remain anonymous).

Tips & tricks

  • Ask the printers to send you samples - don’t ask don’t get!
  • Start taking note of printed materials and the paper stock - are you a matt or gloss kinda human?

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