Printing your work is one of the most rewarding steps you can take in your artistic journey, whether it be photographs, digital artworks, or reproductions. You’ve gone through a great deal of trouble to capture a moment or express a mood that you’re proud of and now it’s time to take the next step. We’re here to guide you through the process of preparing your files for print.
RGB not CMYK
Different printing styles use different colour systems. If you’re printing on a flatbed printer, your files will be printed using the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) system whereas a fine art print is printed using RGB (Red, Blue, Green). CMYK is for business solutions, décor or signage and sRGB for giclée fine art printing.
When comparing a fine art versus a flatbed print, you will see a definite difference in the colour gradients as the CMYK printing process uses only four ink colours whereas RGB uses 12 colours; giving you more refined colour quality, which is why we recommend saving your files in RGB.
1. Edit your image
Now it’s time for editing (don’t overdo it!). Prepare your image file for print using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or Illustrator.
2. Create a print-ready file
A print-ready file is a term used to describe a file that has been prepared in a certain manner to ensure high-resolution print output.
Save your file as:
- an uncompressed TIFF
- at 300 dpi
- select the desired print size, e.g. A1 = 841 x 594 mm
- select sRGB or Adobe RGB (it doesn’t matter which)
*Note that there’s no need to prepare print lines or bleed as this is not used in fine art printing.
3. Do a test print
Often, the quality of the photograph isn’t just about the file size but also about how the photograph was taken and cropped. For the best printing results, give us your file to view and do test prints to ensure you get only the very best quality. The test prints are free of charge and if you’re not happy with them, there is no obligation to go ahead.