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Question About Printing Smaller Art Prints:


Got this question a while back, thought I’d share it with everyone, in case others had the same.

Q: Do you recommend printing your own prints for sale or do have a print shop do that? Can you really affordably print your own prints without sacrificing quality? I was thinking smaller prints like an 8 x 10 or 11 x14. I was thinking of offering smaller ie: more affordable prints.

A: Ok. I do my smaller prints like that at Costco. It took me a bit of playing around with the color in Photoshop – to get it correct. But now I kind of have an idea before I start, on what I need to do make the images look the way I want. So I adjust to that, and then do a really small 4 x 6 print as a test. Then when I get it how I want it – I do the 8 x 10. I now have a couple bigger size options available on a couple Etsy shops – because people were asking for them. But these are still all printed through Costco.

I find that having small prints (8 x 10) at art shows is a life saver – and then I offer a discount if people get two or more. My cost for an 8 x 10 is $1.50 for the print and then probably another $1.50 for the bag, cardboard and promotional item. So all in looking at $3.00 and I sell them for $15 – which is a perfect 5 times markup, and is the recommended mark up for prints etc.

I haven’t looked at the cost of doing these at home – but for me at least, the ink and the photo paper on my own I’m guessing would make this much more expensive to run off my own computer. And I feel (although I don’t know for certain) that the photo process is going to be a better print, that can withstand more sunlight, than my own home inkjet printer.

A tip my printer gave me (he does all my giclee printing): There is a box in the check out process that should be checked so that “Costco” won’t show on the back.

For more about the business of art, see Paintballs & Widgets