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How To Make Art Prints – Simple Guide

How to Make Your Own Prints

While a lot of photographers settle for getting their prints made by labs or bureaus, many seriously consider making their own art prints instead.

We all hate giving our images to someone to print them meanwhile we just sit there hoping they will turn out okay.

If you are wondering how to make your own prints using the best printers for art prints then stick around because, in this article, we are taking you through very simple steps to successfully get the job done. 

And without any further ado, let’s get right into it.

7 Steps To Make Your Own Art Prints

Step 1: Capture a High-Quality Image

You need to use a good camera or scanner. Bear in mind that an expensive camera doesn’t necessarily mean a good image.

There are thousands of cameras out there and each best work under certain conditions.

To optimize the quality of your work, purchase a camera or a scanner that will capture a high resolution of your art.

Step 2: Use a Good Display 

You want your screen to display the correct colors.

From my experience, if you are using a laptop you will not get the accuracy you need to properly evaluate your image before printing it.

Instead, try to find a professional display and don’t expect great prints from a low-grade monitor.

Even after you get a good monitor, you need to make sure that you are setting it in a way that displays your colors as accurate as possible.

A common mistake that a lot of photographers make is setting their display to be too bright and then wonder why their prints look too dark.

You need to find the optimum balance of brightness and contrast that gives you a realistic impression corresponding to the image you’ve captured.

Step 3: Use a Photo-Editing Software

It’s always a smart idea to learn how to use an editing program because a lot of times you feel like you need to manipulate the photo you captured a little just to make it more perfect.

Most photographers use Photoshop and I recommend you learn how to use it as well, it will make a world of difference.

Step 4:  Use a Decent Printer

There is a big variety of printers available on the market. It’s not difficult to find a good quality printer within a good budget.

However, you must consider the maximum sheet size your printer can provide as well as the number of inks it uses.

Step 5: Choose Your Printing Media or Paper

Different media make your art look different. Your paper can be glossy, matte or something between this and that.

They way different papers act to your ink gives different impressions so you need to choose wisely which paper type will bring out the best in your image and won’t ruin its colors.

Step 6: Proofing 

This is one of the things you are going to hate a little but you will be thankful for when the entire process is over.

Are you ready to waste some paper and ink?

It’s important for every photographer who’s just starting to make their own prints to try to manage their printing profile and see what difference it makes.

Not all printer profiles are of the same quality. You need to calibrate your printing profile with a little help from your photo editing software.

For incidence, a lot of times you are happy with the image you have on your screen yet, whenever you print it you think to yourself “well, maybe it should be a little brighter”.

Here you can either try to brighten up your image so that you won’t be really comfortable with how it looks on your screen but it will be printed out the way you intend it to be, or you can try to change the printing profile.

However you decide to fix this, you shouldn’t expect the accuracy of a printing profile to stay constant across a range of printing conditions. Although, this, of course, depends on the printer you are using and will differ from one manufacturer to another.

Remember, you can simply be satisfied with your first original print, and while you can great results from trying this, it has nothing to do with your skills in taking a good picture.

Yet, I still think it’s crucial to adjust your printer settings and conjugate it with a good printing profile together with a balance of editing.  

You are simply trying to get the best of everything you have to get the correct output that will make you satisfied.

The more familiar you are with this entire process the less proofing you will need and the faster you can get an impressive image without having to waste much.

Step 7:  Final touches 

The process doesn’t end with the print coming off the printer.  

Once you have your print in hand, you need to be careful and leave it somewhere safe in order to dry and outgas.

It’s recommended to give your print a good 24 hours to cure but some media still need a little more time.

After your print dries, you need to consider a protective coating. This will depend on the media you used for printing.

At this point, you are ready to present your art to the world.

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