Saturday, 22 March 2014

How to get your paintings printed onto greetings cards

What a pa-lava!

I've had a series of my original artwork professionally printed onto greetings cards and I'm so pleased with how they have turned out I thought I would share the process with you.


The Kicking Donkey, Ormskirk
The Buck I'th Vine, Ormskirk




















Why a pa-lava? Well, it took three months of to-ing and fro-ing to the printer's to get there!

Here is the process I went through. If you follow these steps you should be able to avoid some of the pitfalls and have a successful outcome!


The Bandstand, Ormskirk
Clieves Hills, Aughton, Ormskirk


  • Start well in advance of when you want your cards to be ready. For me, the process took 3 months - I consider this to be time well invested because when I need a rerun it can be done at the push of a button.
  • Take good quality photos in good light. I take mine outdoors on a bright day, out of direct sunlight and not behind glass. I have a 20MP digital compact bridge camera. Make sure that the lense is clean and use a tripod to eliminate camera shake. Don't touch up the photo - let the printers do that. They have the skills required to know what changes need to be made to suit their printing equipment.
  • Choose your printers carefully. Unless you have a LOT of money to spare, you will be looking at digital printing rather than lithographical printing. This isn't a bad thing, just make sure your printer has a top quality printer to work with. Previously I made the mistake of going to a small scale printers who used a standard office printer - needless to say the quality was not good, and that print run ended up in the recycling bin. You will be viewing a lot of proofs, so locality may be important to you - it certainly was to me.
  • View proof printed samples of every image to make sure that they looked like the originals. This is VERY important - my previous card run (at afore mentioned small scale printers) was done without proofs and was a complete disaster - as I said, the cards ended up in the recycling bin.
  • Choose the card stock (finish, thickness, texture etc) and view more proofs. My cards are printed on white 350gsm card with a satin finish.
  • Source good quality envelopes. The ones that my printer had on offer were very basic - I chose to search for some myself and found some good ones in The Range (UK).
  • Source cellophane bags of the exact size to fit the card with the envelope tucked inside. Mine came from The Works (UK).
  • View proofs of the cards made up to the size I wanted, and to check the wording and the positioning of my logo on the back was correct.
  • Once printed, check every card for quality (quality of cut, finger prints, any bends, ink marks, accurate fold etc), match with an envelope and put them into cellophane bags.
  • Seal the cellophane bags - this bit took a surprising amount of time - persuading the extremely static peel-off strips that they wanted to go in the bin and not stay stuck to me was a challenge!

Ormskirk Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul
St Michael's Church, Aughton



Now that they are all packaged up I am looking for local shops to stock them. I have 2 Ormskirk Cafe's signed up: "The Edge" near the bus station and "Brew and Bake" near the library. I am also in discussions with a couple of independent card shops.




And finally I sell them through the greetings card section of my online shop

I hope this article was of use to you! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments box below.

10 comments:

  1. I does sound like a lot of effort but it certainly looks to have paid off, your cards look wonderful!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Margaret :)

      I'm sure they will be a success as local cards are in very short supply around here.

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  2. They look fabulous! Thank you for sharing your experience! I too have had a bad (expensive) experience with a local printer! Dottie x

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    Replies
    1. It's disheartening when it all goes wrong isn't it Dottie? It took me 6 months to get over the first experience before I had the will and the determination to try again!

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  3. They look great Stephie, your paintings are wonderful and really work well as cards. Good to read the process too. All the best with this venture.

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  4. Great post Stephie. Is smiling about the strips/static, been there too. They should do well.

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  5. What a useful post - thank you for sharing - your hard work paid off: the cards look great. I have had mine printed with moo.com and found that some weren't good enough and ended up in the bin, but I was pleased with most of them.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome Julia. I have had cards printed in the past with moo.com and was very pleased with them at the time, but when I compare the pictures with my new card run from my printers there is simply no comparison. Clearer and brighter by far!

      Moo do have excellent customer service though, if ever you have another lot printed from them and you're not happy, just send them an email and they'll reprint, no questions asked.

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