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Theo's Tips & Guide to Digital Printing
Digital Artist

James M. Theopistos

 
FinerWorks Media, LLC
San Antonio, TX

James "Theo" Theopistos, the founder of FinerWorks Media, LLC. started in the digital inkjet printing industry in the 1990s when as a digital artist and photo hobbyist, he wanted to find ways to output his work in a unique fashion. This eventually led him to experimenting with printing directly to canvas.

Even though printing on canvas had been around for some time, specifically for the giclee industry, the resources and knowledge for people to do it themselves were limited. Once he was able to find the supplies and equipment he needed, other artists and photographers began to approach him to request their work also be printed on canvas. Eventually it resulted in the development of FinerWorks.com. In addition to canvas printing, FinerWorks also provides fine art papers for giclee printing and regular photo lab services.

Currently James divides his time between various technology related ventures and assisting as needed with FinerWorks.com

Recent Blog Posts

New Starter Kit Participants and Folded Cards
We are excited to announce new card processing technology coming soon for a better folded greeting card in quality and accuracy. But first I want to announce the selection of our new starter kit participants voted by our panel of judges. Check out their website and their work. Each winner is being sent a starter kit with a $100 gift card as thanks for their participation. Six are are being shown with their website and a brief testimonial on the back of the starter kit folder and two on the inside. We go through a ton of starter kits and order new batches at least a couple times a year. If you were not selected by our panel of judges this time, don't fret because we will in all likelihood be doing another round later in the year. Over the next several days and weeks we will begin implementing an easier to use but more advanced folded greeting card ordering system. When we launched the addition of folded greeting cards in 2014 we did not realizing how popular they were going to become. While some of our artists and photographers will order single ones at a time, a substantial number order in bulk. We quickly discovered that our simplistic templates for the different sizes did not afford the control or options that our customers wanted. Nor did the manual review and corrections which slowed down the process help. Overall these limitations were a result of our own processing technology which we felt was not fully up to the task of producing either single cards or large batches of card orders side by side in a timely fashion. We came to the conclusion that advances needed to be made. To better automate the production of your cards and improve accuracy, behind the scenes our production department will start using new card printing and processing technology which will allow for higher color accuracy and an overall better quality print on the surface of the cards you order. Also, new software has been developed exclusively for FinerWorks to help us automate these orders so they are quicker and have less potential for error. To be fair, digital press based printing which produces high quality greeting cards is far different and not as accurate than what is used for your fine art and photo prints but this new technology we are going to be working with should help us get closer to what you might expect with a higher end print.

How Re-sizing Your Image File Affects Color
Recently I saw print of a painted portrait in which the background was supposed to appear primarily white with daubs of other colors to it. My gut instinct was that it had a slight yellowish cast to it. Not to be braggadocios but after being in the fine art and photo printing industry for a few years you sometimes can tell if something does not look quite right in a print. It is easier to know this with photography since most of the time you are dealing with real life subject matter but with artwork it can be hard to know what the artist intended. But in this case I was sort of right to assume the print came our wrong. I say sort of because when I pulled up the original high resolution file I did not see this yellow cast initially until I examined the image closely and inspected isolated colors within the file. In the end we figured out the print came out exactly as it was supposed to, but just not what the artist intened. Looking closely at the digital image, pixels that I selected that represented the white paint but were in the shadows of the texture leaned yellow or orange. There was plenty of actual white but it tended to be more in the highlighted areas of the paintings underling canvas texture. This original file was very high resolution and the photographer had done a good job of getting the painting in focus but it looked like the lighting used had been slightly off and not compensated for therefore leading to yellows when the shadows should have been more gray. I then noticed the file was roughly around 300 ppi as if intended to be printed at 24x36 inches but the print was produced as an 12x18.

Protecting Your Copyright
So what’s is Copyright and how may it affect you if you want to truly protect your art and your rights as an artist? The definition is simple. Just like the word says, it is the right to copy something. In this case we are referring to forms of art including photography. If you have not formally protected your work, you may later regret not doing so. Most artists and photographers know that their work is automatically copyright protected the moment they created it. But is this automatic protection enough?

New Shpping Options and Changes
We have started to simplify our shipping options by consolidating shipping of items coming from our Atlanta, GA and San Antonio, TX color labs. This means if you order items shipped from both locations you will not need to select two shipping methods. Instead shipping cost from both locations will be consolidated into one. In addition this year we will look into moving production of some of the products you may order from our Atlanta based lab to San Antonio which could mean some of these items will ship from a more centralized location within the U.S. This would alsol speed up average delivery time for those products. We are also in the process of adding some new domestic shipping options and fine tuning the cost of International Shipping. These should go into affect next week. You may know that shipping rate increases by the US Postal Service have been ongoing with another substantial increase this year. The good news is with these new domestic shipping options we will be able to keep overall shipping around the same and even less for some of the larger unmounted prints and posters.

Do Titles of Your Work Matter?
Is coming up with a good title part of your creative process? You may be like me and have found that coming up with a title is an afterthought or something you simply attache to the finished work at the end of the creative process. Years ago when I was more active in the art world from the creative perspective I used to run a simple e-mail newsletter with over 20 thousand subscribers. This was back in the day when people read most or at least more of their emails. It was also before Facebook, Twitter and no one had yet heard of MySpace. As a result email was the best way to connect with fans of my work and it led to a moderate amount of success in selling my prints.

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