Why Reproduce Art Work

Local Printers

Local Type-C Printers
  • Big Box Stores like Walmart and Costco, Mike's Camera in Dublin

Local Pigment Inkjet Printers
  • Artists, who sell their work, introduce a new, lower, more affordable price point.
  • Artists create reproductions to give to friends and family.
  • The main way to present fine art photography is by printing.

Types of Fine Art Printing

Fine art reproduction can use an affordable chromogenic or Type-C printing process or a higher quality pigment archival inkjet print formally known as giclée printing.   Which process to use is dependent on the artist's art reproduction needs and/or business model. The pros and cons of archival and non-archival printing and when to use them are discussed below.

Digital Capture

Getting a good print requires a good digital capture by either scanning or digital camera.  Artists should know something about tripods and white balance if they plan to do the digital capture work themselves.  Both Ken Ball and Custom Photographic  can also create high quality digital captures of art work.

Chromogenic or Type-C Printing

Mike's Camera in Dublin, CA

Mike's Camera in Dublin, CA

What is Type-C Printing

  • Type-C printing most closely resembles the wet room process.  Papers composed of light sensitive materials are infused with dye based inks and processed in chemical baths.
  • Paper selection is limited. 
  • Prints can last up to two or three decades but the time frame can be less depending on the printer, inks and paper used for the print.    Print longevity is determined for ideal storage conditions, including proper framing. 

Pros of using Type-C Printing

  • Prints are inexpensive.
  • Dye based inks have a larger color gamut then pigment ink prints.
  • Printers are easy to find on the Internet or at big box stores such as Walmart and Costco or online.

Cons of using Type-C Printing:

  • Prints are not heirloom quality and degenerate after a couple of decades.
  • There is no crafter printer ensuring the colors and contrast remains true to the original work. The print may not do justice to the original work.

Who Should Use Type-C Printing

  • Cost conscious artists who sell work at a lower price point then what can be covered by a higher priced archival printing.
  • Inexpensive items, such as cards, with small profit margins.

Pigment Archival Inkjet Printing

Canon ImagePrograf iPF6400

Canon ImagePrograf iPF6400

What is Pigment Archival Inkjet Printing

  • Created with pigment inks on a inkjet printer.
  • Large variety of papers and canvas available.
  • Prints can last from several decades to a couple of centuries with proper framing, depending on the printer, inks and paper selected.

Pros of Pigment Inkjet Printing

  • Many smaller businesses specialize in inkjet printing and work with the customer on a one on one basis to ensure the print is correct.
  • Many smaller businesses are willing to photograph the art to ensure the print is correct.
  • Heirloom quality prints are created that can be passed through the generations.
  • Wider selection of paper then what is available with type-C prints.  

Who should use Pigment Inkjet Printing

  • Artists who wish to sell high quality, long lasting reproductions of their work.
  • Reproductions of work sold at higher end galleries and shows.

Where to Get Prints Made

Type-C Prints

Type-C prints can be made at most big box stores such as Walmart and COSTCO and Mike's Camera.

Custom Photographic in Pleasanton, CA

Custom Photographic in Pleasanton, CA

Pigment Inkjet Prints

The printer selected is dependent on the needs of the artist. Many times a local printer offers a more personalized service, including high quality digital capture of the art. They will take the time to go over types and quality of inks and papers used and provide consistency between prints made at different times. If the artist does not need such personalized care, they can always go with an Internet based archival printer. Internet based printers may not provide consistency between prints created at different times.

Local printers specializing in archival printing include:

Further Notes on Printing

Some printers, such as Bay Photo print both Type-C and pigment inkjet prints.  Bay Photo uses watercolor and canvas media for their pigment inkjet prints.  All other prints are either dye sublimation or Type-C prints.