Lingo 101: JPEG
April 29, 2016

Getting Started

So you are thinking about getting some of your photos or artwork printed, and choosing a printer is a crucial decision. Where do you begin?

In this guide, I will cover some of the basics of photo and fine art printing, from file creation and setup to current printing technology and media. I will show you how easy it can be to create artwork from your images.

What does GICLEE PRINTING mean?

Giclee (think Zsa Zsa Gábor when pronouncing the first G sound) is a commonly used term that refers to the process of printing a high-quality inkjet reproduction (or print). It is made using inkjet printers and pigment inks and is typically given the designation as archival.

How do we make our giclee prints?

We print using Epson’s SureColor P9000 and UltraChrome HDX Inks.

Also, all our media is archival. This combination of equipment and materials gives all of our prints a 70+ year permanence rating.

The giclee printing process can be used to make several different types of prints.

p9000

Reproducing Original Artwork

First things first, Is your artwork digital?

The Stackhouse is a digital print shop. Being a digital print shop means that everything we print comes from a digital file. For some artists like photographers and digital artists, this process is incredibly simple because they make a digital file when they take a photo or when they create the art. For more traditional forms of art, this process is a bit more complicated.

But fear not, The Stackhouse has solutions.

The Stackhouse can take your two-dimensional art and turn it into a color correct, digital file that can be used to print from. We do this through a combination of scanners and studio photography.

For more info on how we reproduce original artwork click the link below.

You can also do this yourself.

If you have even a halfway decent camera, you can take photos of your artwork yourself. We then use these digital photos to make prints.

Here are a couple tips.

  1. Take your photos outside on a sunny day between 11-1 o’clock. You want to make sure the sun is out and high in the sky. The more light, the better.
  2. Square up to your artwork. Make sure that your artwork fills the viewfinder or screen, that way you are using as much of the camera sensor as possible. The goal is to get the highest quality possible.
  3. Make sure that your camera is on the highest quality settings. If possible, you will want to change your camera settings from sRGB color space to AdobeRGB(1998). Doing so will increase the color gamut of your images.

There are also tons of videos online on how to photograph your artwork.

Digital Files

Most modern print shops are digital and therefore require a digital file to make prints. When it comes to digital file types the single most significant factors are file type, color space, and pixel dimensions.

File Types

The software that I use to run our printers allows for JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PSD file formats. TIFF is always preferred as it uses a lossless compression format which means that it is uncompressed. PSD is another common file type that stands for PhotoShop Document. This file format is capable of storing an image with support for most imaging options available within Photoshop. The downside to the TIFF and PSD file type is the size. TIFFs can be up to a 4GB and PSDs 2GB. JPEG and PNG are file types that are more concerned with file size. They are the most widely used compression formats on the internet. While we prefer TIFFs and PSDs, a JPEG is probably the most commonly used file format for printing purposes. They are small enough to upload, and they still maintain color quality and resolution even when enlarged. Most print shops prefer JPEGs, and I agree that up to a certain size a JPEG will satisfy most customers. Now if you want to print something 48″ x 96″, then we might want to think about a more robust file format.

Color Space

While file types vary, color space has a much narrower set of options. Although our printers use CMYK ink sets, they are RGB printers. Meaning they prefer file types with an RGB color space. For the best colors, I suggest using the AdobeRGB(1998) color space. AdobeRGB is a color setting used when creating a digital file. Check your camera settings and software settings to embed this color profile in the files you are using.

Pixel Dimensions

I get asked a lot about how large I can print a file. While file type and color space affect overall quality, the single largest contributor to the size of the print you can make from a file is pixel dimensions. To determine how large of a print you can make from the digital file you need to divide the file’s pixel dimensions by 150. For example, you have an image that is 2400 x 3600 pixels. Divide each number by 150 to get the largest print size you can print. That would make a 2400/150=16 and 3600/150=24. That would mean that you could safely print a 2400 x 3600-pixel file up to a 16″ x 24″ print.

You do not need to enlarge your images. Leave that part up to me.

The Size

Determining the size of the prints you want to get can be a bit overwhelming. It can be a bit more manageable when we break it down into aspect ratio categories. The aspect ratio is the height related to the width. For example, an image that has a 2:3 aspect ratio increases 2 inches in height when the width is increased by 3.

Once we know your aspect ratio, then it is easy to see what other sizes you can print your art.

2:3
6 x 9
8 x 12
10 x 15
12 x 18
14 x 21
16 x 24
18 x 27
20 x 30
22 x 33
24 x 36
26 x 39
28 x 42
30 x 45
32 x 48
34 x 51
36 x 54
38 x 57
40 x 60
42 x 63

3:4
6 x 8
9 x 12
12 x 16
15 x 20
18 x 24
21 x 28
24 x 32
27 x 36
30 x 40
33 x 44
36 x 48
39 x 52
42 x 56

4:5
6 x 7.5
8 x 10
12 x 15
16 x 20
20 x 25
24 x 30
28 x 35
32 x 40
36 x 45
40 x 50

The lists above give you options for common sizes that match your aspect ratio. If you see your size in one of these categories, then any other size in that category can be printed without having to crop.

But wait! You crop everything differently?

Then don’t worry. The Stackhouse offers custom sizing on all media; however, the custom sizing will require a custom quote for the exact price. If a rough estimate is all that you are looking for, then please use the next available standard size to estimate the printing cost. All custom quotes are completely free.

Media

We can print your images onto several different types of media. Our media can be broken down into three categories: Photography Papers, Fine Art Papers, and Canvas.

 

Photography Papers

These papers are most commonly used for photography prints, although they can be an affordable solution to fine art applications as well.

  • Premium Luster Photo Paper – Pebble Finish.
  • Premium Glossy Photo Paper – High Gloss
  • Metallic Photo Paper Glossy – High Gloss w/ Pearlescence

 

 

Fine Art Papers

  • Hot Press Bright – Smooth Matte Finish
  • Cold Press Bright – Textured Matte Finish
  • William Turner – Textured Matte Finish

 

Canvas

  • Exhibition Canvas

 

NOT SURE WHAT TO CHOOSE?

It is ok. We have something to help you make up your mind.

SAMPLES!

Everyone loves samples. We will give you tiny square swatches of our media for you to feel and touch for absolutely free.

Print

That’s it!

The images get printed on our high-quality inkjet printers. We then hand finish each one and package for shipping.

Turn around times vary for the products we make.

 

Turn Around Times

Printing – 2-3 days

Canvas Printing – 3-5 days

Stretched Canvas – 5-7 days

 

We guarantee you will like the prints or you don’t owe us anything.

Christopher
Christopher
I am the owner of The Stackhouse and have over 5 years of fine art printing experience. I really enjoy making things. If you need something made I will make it. I even made a kid. Easily the best thing I have made so far.

8 Comments

  1. Michael Carfi says:

    Your studio info came across FB I enjoyed reading your info. I’m not a pro I did study photoghy st the AI in Atlanta many years ago. One of my instructors was s professor at Texas now Dennis Darling, learned a lot from him. What I’m asking do you print only for pros .

  2. Michael Carfi says:

    I wanted to let you know that the prints I received from my first order with your company were outstanding. I ended giving all but 1 away, the print of the life guard stand was amazing. Thanks again. And yes I give my stuff away to people I like, it’s a long story.

  3. Thank you for the kind words! Please let me know if you need anything in the future!

  4. Hi. I am trying to get a quote for a fine art canvas print that’s 27×27, unstretched, no additional coating. I do my own mounting and coating.

    • Hey, I am so sorry I am just now seeing this. We can definitely do that for you. With just the canvas and ink you would be looking at around 80-90 depending on how much canvas border you would need around the edges. Typically we do a 4″ border all the way around. Id be happy to give you 20% off so you can see the kind of quality we can do. I will say that without a coating our canvas prints are incredibly fragile. Again, I greatly apologize for the delayed response. I don’t know how I could have missed this. If you need any other quotes please let me know @ Chris@thestackhouse.com. Thanks!

  5. Demond Spencer says:

    I just want to for you to clarify about the shipping. You give such great detail on everything but shipping. I would like to use your business for canvas prints for my clients. However, I need to have a little more details about shipping. My clients could be ordering from anywhere in the USA. I saw flat rate shipping is $6.99. Is that to anywhere in the USA? And what company? And is it ground, air? How is the wrapped canvas or other products packaged for shipping? Thank you so much. You have a very nice business and I appreciate how thorough your website is. By the way, I live in San Diego and I heard about your business all the way over here in California. Nice work!

    • Hey!

      Thank you for considering us! Let me see if I can answer your questions one at a time. Shipping is a complicated beast.

      Yes, this is anywhere in the US. I even just shipped one to Hawaii. When it comes to the carrier, it comes down to price. We mostly ship USPS (first class or priority), but occasionally for larger pieces, it becomes cheaper to use FedEx (ground or home). All of the packages are thoroughly packed and insured to help prevent any damage and to expedite replacement if damage does occur. All of our loose prints up to 24 x 36 are packaged using clear bags or tissue paper and sandwiched in between cardboard; larger prints get rolled into a tube. Our gallery wrapped canvas prints are first wrapped in kraft paper. We then tape a sheet of cardboard slightly larger than the print to the front of the canvas to help support and protect the printed image. After that, the art is wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap, taped up, and either boxed or crated depending on the size. Usually, we will include the invoice, hanger, rubber bumps, and marketing material with the canvas inside of the shipping container. We use kraft paper to fill the voids. For larger canvas, we build custom boxes and even wooden crates when necessary.

      Thanks for the kind words about the website. It can be tough making sure all of the information is readily available. I am here to help if you have any questions at all.

      Thanks!

      Chris

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