Prints: The various
types and how to
produce them

- by Always Art Staff

Prints are effective art products that enable more collectors to have a piece of your work. They are also great revenue sources to help you support yourself with your art career.

Common types of prints:

  • Giclée prints: They are also referred to as professional inkjet prints. This type of print is obtained through sophisticated inkjet printers with high resolution using high-quality inks.
  • Screen prints: Also known as silk screen printing, they are based on an old Chinese printing method where ink is squeezed manually through a mesh screen and stencils.
  • Lithographs: These are also called offset or litho printing. In this method, a design is drawn or painted on a plate with greasy materials that is then detained through chemical reactions. The image is transferred to the paper with a pressing bar.
  • Etchings: This is an Intaglio printing method where a design is etched into a metal plate covered in a waxy or acrylic ground, using acid to lock up the ink. The design is then pressed to the paper.
  • C-type (Chromogenic) prints: These are photographic prints produced in the darkroom on light-sensitive paper using chromogenic processes from an original negative.
  • Digital C-type: They based on the same traditional concept as the standard C-type, except the paper exposure is done through LED or laser light sources instead of an enlarger bulb.

How to prepare your artwork for printing

Getting a digital file of your artwork is the first step to releasing your prints. The first option is to scan it using a high-quality scanner that you will need to gain access to. The second option is taking photographs of the artwork using a DSLR or a professional camera—you can do this by yourself if you have the equipment needed. Otherwise, you can use a photographer or a printing company to take care of the whole process. The next step is to make the necessary edits to the file using Photoshop or another software. Then, you forward the file to your chosen printer; you can choose a print shop near you.

How to sell your prints

For emerging artists, prints should be easier to sell than original work because of the price point. Prints can be sold on your own website. Doing so grants you the greatest control, yet you must carry out all the marketing yourself. The other option is to sell your prints on online marketplaces such as However, you hand over control in exchange for the benefit of having your work seen by a pre-existing audience. On these marketplaces, you will face considerable competition and need to stand out.

Packaging prints

A cardboard mailing tube is the most secure way to transport art prints. To mail a print flat, place it in a self-seal cellophane wrapper and sandwich it between two firm pieces of cardboard. Fill additional space in a mailing box with layers of bubble wrap, and tape it all securely. Verify that the lids are sealed tight and that shaking the tube reveals no bits or moving elements within. If your artwork slides around inside the tube, think about placing crumpled newspaper paper towards the tube’s ends to hold it in place.


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