In an ongoing search to find a good online printing source for books and prints, I’ve been ordering samples. Some places have nice paper kits that they send to you (for a price, or with an order) that shows calibration and how images look on different paper with different processes. Very helpful…I don’t think I could decide on anything without seeing it first.
The first place I ordered from was iprintfromhome.com. They seem to be a pretty great small company, with great customer satisfaction. Their samples were very useful. I had also ordered actual prints from them (which is how I got their sample kit).
However, I only ordered them on lustre photographic and matte photographic paper. They look amazing! Colors are exactly as they look on my monitor, both my Dell monitor and my iPad (which one was created on). But…it’s just weird to have the art on a photo paper.
I’m not sure. Certainly the lustre photographic paper is more textured and strange to use as an art print paper. But the color reproduction and crispness of the matte photographic paper is so nice! I originally didn’t order a giclée sample because I thought maybe the price may be too high, but now I have. I’m curious.
In addition to iprintfromhome.com, I’ve ordered a starter kit from Finerworks.com.They definitely seem to be all about fine art print options.This was a $20 purchase…but it shows sample images across all papers and types of printing, and provides a $20 gift card to use toward a future purchase. So I figured that it was worth it. That has shipped, and I should get it end of this week or beginning of next week.
Next up for print research will be seeing what’s in town. If I can save money on shipping, plus support a local printer, that would be awesome. I feel funny that I’m a graphic designer and I don’t know where to get archival or giclée prints made in town. But I guess that is more of a fine art type of thing. It’s just funny – I’ve worked with soooo many printers over the years, yet know nothing about this niche.
I’m still very interested in being able to create books. I am starting to lay out the Inktober 2016 book; I’d like to offer that as a cheap, fun thing people could buy (like, probably just my family, haha). However, this research isn’t going as well. I have made and ordered a chat book , which is a newer Instagram phenomenon that allows you to print right from your Instagram account, or upload files into a “chat book” – small softbound book. This seems very cool and inexpensive if it looks good and I can cater to the end product – i.e. know that my images will just be plopped into the center of the page and that if I want text it’s probably going to be pretty hoaky, etc. So Inktober 2015 should be coming in the mail any day.
I ordered a swatch kit from Blurb. This is pretty premium. I am not sure how I can get these books to a price where I could sell them at a price people would actually pay. However, I have no doubt that they are super quality and would look awesome. I will probably get a sample of something when I have created a book design.
And finally, I stumbled upon bookemon.com, which allows you to create books online to share just online, or they also can print them. They have a creator right on the website, which allows you to upload pictures, type in text, upload text, etc. It’s pretty custom and seems pretty awesome, but I’m still not sure how much design control there will be. I just started playing with it. You can create a book, keep editing it, share it on social media, publish it, get it printed…it seems to be geared toward self-publishing for sure. Once I have a design, I will see if I can redo it via them, and see how it all works. The prices seem reasonable.
Again, next step here (besides more research) is to figure out what is also in town.
And now, I leave you with my final few Inktober drawings, which I spent a little more time on and liked. You can click on the image and see each one individually. Inktober was a great time this year, but I’m also relieved for it to be over so that I can start focusing on new projects, creating more and getting better.