I haven’t a clue how to go about this. I once had Vista****t do some cards for my friends & family and I was appalled by the quality. I do little art illustrations and I cannot get into taking any of it seriously as I just have no experience of how to find a decent art card printer for my work who doesn’t charge the earth. Do I have to buy my own expensive printer? How is it done? I can’t figure out how I could make any profit on producing a card/envelope when the printers online (and locally) are so expensive! Any thoughts? It is just one of the many reasons I haven’t yet started doing anything with my art! xxx
I print my cards at home, I have a professional Canon printer, I buy various paper types for different purposes (230 GSM matte paper for cards and 270 - 275 GSM satin paper for prints and jewellery). I also have a cutter and I bought lots of white envelopes and cellophane bags a couple of years ago. It was a big investment at the time as the printer wasn’t cheap, plus all the paper, envelopes and cellophane, but with the latter products, the more you buy, the lower the price per unit. When I decided to invest in the printer and cutter, I knew I would do more than just cards, so to me it is worth it. I also supply a local gift shop with cards and other goodies for which I use prints after my paintings. I did try to print cards externally, but in the end I decided that having all the tools I need at home, gives me independence and I can print to order, rather than ordering lots of cards and be left with them.
Perhaps I’m lucky, but I always use my local friendly printers. I have used him for years. I get really good deals, and dealing face to face I have found we can work things out so much better, get colours really accurate etc. He is always ready to change things around to my advantage, and have found him not as cheap but amazingly close in price to the super online deals, and they are professional.
I agree Vista and many online printers are very restricted and disappointing. I,ve received some dire results and just bin them.
Buying blank cards and printing them myself I find it difficult to get a really professional finish, and certain colour changes because of card quality, way ink is laid down etc are a nightmare. I have three different quality printers, and each throw up their own problems.
I don’t know where you’re based but would you like my printers details?
He will quote online too if you email your artwork, and I can recommend him.
Good luck, Gloria
My other half and I get his photos printed up as cards and calendars for Christmas presents by Photobox. He is super picky about the colour reproduction and image quality and is always happy with the results, we had a print error on one calendar once (a colour hadn’t printed in a stripe across the middle) and they immediately replaced it no questions asked. Sign up for their newsletter and then when they send you a 40% off code you can try them out without risking as much money if you are not happy with the result.
I’ve used CentrePrint a few times and have always been very pleased with the quality and service. I’ve also heard good things about Sixprint but haven’t used them myself.
I get my images printed at Photobox, and stick them onto card blanks myself. A little bit of effort but I can’t justify the cost of some printed cards- because I have to sell them for more.
I use my locaL art shop, which does printing and giclee prints as well depending on medium used for your cards. Always good to build a good relationship with your local art sellers. When they get to know you and know that you use them for all your printing then they start to offer discounts and you do you favours. My art shop recently turned some printing around for me in 4 hours because of a deadline I had to meet and he has scanned all my artwork so I have high quality digital records for absolutely nothing. Might be a good place to start before investing huge amount of money into buying printers etc.
Thanks so much for answering and the info is helpful. Good for you that you have built up a good rapport with the printer. I am afraid I am just a scaredy-cat but I will try what you do and search out a good printer near me. I don’t even have enough work produced in any variety to sell yet, as I keep changing my ideas! And it is so labour-intensive. I feel that I am never going to get going at all. Did you ever feel like that that?!!!
I tend to agree with you about the cost side. I had thought about doing what you do but when I look at cards on folksy, they all look so professional I don’t know how my stuff would look if I started to glue it onto cards. Do you use nice card material to glue your work onto?
Thanks by the way for answering!
Thanks ciesse, that is very helpful. Any recommendations are always welcome and probably what I need to hear. xx
That’s a help Sasha, thanks. It’s great that the Other Half is good with the photos too! That is another stumbling block for me! I live in a darkish flat and have a little digital camera so that is another subject!!! xx
Thanks Gloria. I am based in Dartford Kent and not familiar with any good printers around so would greatly appreciate if you could send me details of yours. I do a black/white drawings which need the black to be BLACK and not grey (as seems to happen on my own printer here at home!) or maybe a limited colour drawing which needs the colour to be as it is on the original and the size to be the same too! Anyway, I’m sure your printer would know all that. Many thanks.
Wow! I think you are way above me in that regard TeodoraP! I am a complete starter -outer! Well done is all I can say to you. Thanks for the valuable advice though and I think, for the time-being, I shall leave it to a printer to start me off but I welcome all this info I am getting. xx
It would be more of a help if he did my photos for me but alas no, I can borrow his kit but I have to take them all myself.
Hope you find a printer you are happy with.
It took me a long time to build up the confidence to go in and ask and even have confidence in my own art and it being good enough to sell. It was a friend of mine that encouraged me in the end by asking for a print of one of my pictures. I approached the art shop and asked if they did small number printing, almost embarrassed to hand him what I had drawn, only to my amazement he really liked the picture and asked if he could have them in his gallery. The local galleries/printers really want to see local art and want to see local artists supported and will try to support you in any way they can. I would strongly recommend plucking up the courage. I started a year ago now and slowly built up my store bit by bit, you’ll get there with perseverance and determination. Believe in your work and your ability and good luck with deciding which direction to go in.
I use these standard card blanks that come with envelopes- but they can be a bit pricey too so I always shop around for a good price. I use double sided tape instead of glue though, I used glue years ago but I found it warped the cards a little. The tape keeps it all flat- I just put it around the edges. The images I get printed are a touch too long- and a touch to thin width wise for the card blanks, but that’s nothing a sharp craft knife and a ruler doesn’t fix. I’ve never had anyone complain about the quality of my cards.
Here’s a snap of how mine look:
Hi there. I used to get my textile artworks photographed by my printer, who charged for this but now I photograph them myself and upload them to his site. He then sets out the artwork, for which there is another charge, and then prints out the cards and prints on his commercial printing press. He uses very heavy paper for the prints (they are almost like card) and giclee printing (which is just a term for the inks he uses i.e. archival inks which do not fade over a long period).
I couldn’t make that investment myself for the kind of printer he has, and although I have got a good stock of cards and prints at home, I’ve not been left with dead stock. I also appreciate the graphic design service that comes with it, which I wouldn’t be confident about myself!
I also think it depends on what type of cards you are planning to sell - whether you want the ‘proper’ hand made cards (in which case buying card stock and gluing or taping things on is the only way to go), or reproducing art onto the cards.
Google a couple of local printers and just phone them and have a chat. You’ll be amazed at how helpful people are and the more you talk to them, the more hints and tips you’ll discover, which will help you make your mind up.
Having a workaround by combining printing things and then sticking them onto card might work out cheaper in pure cost terms but also consider how much time it would take you to do that yourself. You’d still need equipment for cutting etc, so if you paid a commercial printer a bit more, but saved yourself lots of effort, it could be worth it. But equally, having a workaround could be good to test the market and try out some low volumes of different designs and see what works/ sells best for you.
All the best!
My pleasure. I have sent you his details, hope you received them. I think finding someone to build a working relationship with is definitely the answer, especially when reproducing artwork. Hope it works out for you. Gloria