How to Print Digital Art: Tips and Tricks from an Artist

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

Sticker Crypt is the internet's premier source of free advice for artists and small business owners! 

If you're an artist, you know that it's important to print your art. Not only does it allow you to share your work with the world in a physical form, but it also allows you to hang your art on your walls and enjoy it every day! In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and tricks for printing your digital art. We'll also provide some helpful resources that will make the process easier for you. So if you're ready, let's get started!

black Canon photo printer

What are the benefits of printing digital art instead of displaying it on a screen?

While digital art is becoming increasingly popular, there are still many people who prefer to display their artwork in physical form. One of the main benefits of printing your digital art is that it allows the viewer to appreciate the work in a different way. Rather than scrolling through a feed or browsing a website, they can take the time to slowly examine each piece.

Prints also provide a more tangible way to connect with the artwork. Viewers can hold and touch the prints, and they can also be hung on walls or displayed in rooms. This gives viewers a more immersive experience that can help them appreciate the artwork even more.

Another benefit of printing your digital art is that it allows artists to create unique pieces that can be sold or gifted. This is important when you're trying to scale a local business or do craft fairs. When art is displayed on screens, it can often be reproduced easily and without permission. However, when art is printed, it becomes a one-of-a-kind piece that is more valuable to both the artist and the viewer.

How do you print digital art or custom art prints at home?

Many printers that are good for stickers will also be good for printing custom art prints at home. The only real drawback is that you'll need to get an oversized printer if you want to do larger art prints. Most people choose to print their digital art using inkjet printers, but I do still have a preference for laser over inkjet printers because of speed and print quality. My laser printer can produce waterproof pieces, but my inkjet cannot. The printing process of an at-home inkjet simply can't keep up.

Printing digital art or custom art prints at home is easy and affordable with the right printer. Most home printers are compatible with cardstock or other high quality paper, which is ideal for printing art prints. Simply choose the heaviest weight option in your printer's settings and be sure to use high-quality ink cartridges for the best results.

You may find that even with a high quality printer, you'll need to do some color management of your piece. The original artwork may look great on screen, butt here's too much light or darkness on your printed test image. As a result, it's important to test different papers and print settings, and even dive into some photo editing software to make sure that your digital art print will be successful.

I have to set my colors to vibrant to get my art projects to look right. But, every paper (glossy paper? Coated paper? Acid free paper??) will be different. Printing artwork is a journey, not a task.

When should you pay a professional printer to print your custom art prints?

If you're trying to sell many images on scale, you should consider a professional printer. They can handle large print jobs quickly and efficiently, and they'll also be able to offer you a variety of printing options that you may not have access to at home.

However, professional printing can be expensive, so it's important to weigh the cost against the potential revenue. If you're only selling a few prints, or you're doing one-of-a-kind items, it may be more economical for you to do it at home. You could also offer professional printing at a premium fee.

That being said, there is a definite demand for a giclee print or canvas print of original artwork. A Giclee print is a print done with a special inkjet printer that uses prigment based inks instead of dye based inks. The result is a high resolution image that appears more like a painting than your standard digital image print.

Print on demand

Many print on demand suppliers will print your art for an affordable price. I use RedBubble, TeePublic, and FineArtAmerica to sell my digital paintings. You can also use a PoD supplier that's integrated with your website, like Printify or Printful. This solution may be best for turning your digital artwork into fine art prints.

Either print on demand suppliers or local printers (below) will need high quality digital files of your digital artwork to successfully create prints.

Local printers

If you're printing in small batches, you might consider reaching out to local printers. Most printers love working with small clients, and they'll be able to cut you a good deal for the amount of work you provide. If you don't have any local printers, you can use your local UPS Store, OfficeMax, or Staples for that local touch. Even Walgreens and Walmart will do limited runs of print artwork for you.

How can you protect your prints from fading or damage over time?

When it comes to displaying art prints, there are a few things you can do to ensure they look their best. First, make sure the frame you choose complements the print and doesn't clash with it. The frame should also be of good quality so that it doesn't damage the print over time.

Second, avoid placing your art print in direct sunlight, as this can cause fading. Third, if you're going to hang the print on a wall, be sure to use studs or other solid support so that the weight of the frame doesn't cause the print to sag over time. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your art prints for many years to come.

Final thoughts…

Making your digital art come to life is an exciting prospect for even the most even-keeled artist. By following the tips and tricks in this blog post, you can ensure that your prints turn out just the way you want them to. And who knows, maybe one day your art will grace the walls of a museum!

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for printing digital art? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to share some of your favorite digital art prints, too!

Want even more intel?

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