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.