We are excited to announce our new line of card options. These include precision cut folded greeting card along with postcards and multipurpose, two sided flat cards that are available in sizes up to 8.5 x 11. Our ability to complete and process card orders has been accelerated dramatically due to new state of the art equipment that now automates the process for us unlike we would have been able to do before. It also has allowed us to offer the new printed card options. We will continue to strive to improve and add new options as we receive valuable customer feedback.
Our artistic cards stock choices currently include smooth matte and linen embossed matte. Both are 100lb an eggshell white with a wide gamut which is slightly more substantial (heavier) than you might normally find for a card. We are in the process of testing a few other textures and finishes that we hope to add in the near future.
Brand new ICC color profiles are in the process of being created for these papers and will be available this week for downloading and soft proofing. Within the next weeks or two, we hope to introduce a couple of other card stock options in line with what an artist or photographer would expect in order for their printed work to stand out above the rest.
For the folded cards, over the past year these have become an extremely popular product for artists and even photographers. While many of our customer’s order these in batches of 25 or more you can order single cards. We used the term “precision” above because the fold and cuts are precise to the 10th of a millimeter. With the new printing technology, used to produce these cards you can be sure that you will get consistency from order to order. If you plan to order just one initially to see how it looks, you can be confident that others will print the same if you do not modify your file. The folded cards come in the same sizes as before. In addition to the main artwork on the front, you can include text on the inside as well as an image or logo on the back. Each card is accompanied by a plain white envelope of the appropriate size.
Newly added are postcards of assorted sizes. While postcards were previously offered through our partner lab in Atlanta, we now we offer them with volume pricing in a number of new sizes and on the same artistic card stock we use for the folded cards. This will help make them stand out from a regular postcard that you normally get in the mail or you can buy at gift shops. Postcards are a great way to send out handwritten notifications of upcoming shows and events relating to you and your work. Send them to notify past customers of new works as well. For artists and photographers, they may be an ideal way to share your artwork or photography with some friends and family that may be less likely to use the Internet to view your work.
The final item added is a multipurpose, two sided flat card option in a number of popular sizes. Many of our customers have requested we offer something like this so they can use them as everything from thank you messages to certificates of authenticity they design and upload. The smallest size available is 2.5x3.5. Some of our customers have asked us for this size so they can create something akin to an artist trading card (ATC). Keep in mind that these won’t have the color gamut you would find in a fine art giclee print, but they are a nice way to display your work in print in case you need some low cost non-archival prints on something more substantial than a plain sheet of paper.
Can we offer any tips for submitting your files or info to know when ordering cards?
First, anticipate approximately 1/16th of an inch bleed on all sizes. This is the amount of over printing so if you order a 5x7 flat card and your image takes up the entire front, then it would be printed at 5-1/16th x 7 1/16th. This little extra is then trimmed away by automated cutters so the final size is 5x7.
If you are familiar with soft proofing, remember not to embed the ICC file into your image otherwise the printing on the cards may turn out muddy or lack detail. Do your adjustments while viewing it in soft proof mode but uncheck the option to embed the ICC file into your file when saving your work.
Images off your digital camera are likely sRGB, AdobeRGB (1998) or ProPhotoRGB files so don’t change them to CMYK. In order to get the most color out of the print based on the printing software we use, any CMYK files will be converted to RGB prior to printing. This may seem counter intuitive to some who have worked in the graphic design industry but because we primarily print for artists and photographers who have their work in RGB we have optimized our color management to take advantage of the wider color gamut an RGB file yields over a CMYK file.
Many photographers I know like to save their work as 16-bit files. That is okay but it does make your file larger than it needs to be. Because the range of colors in print is so much less than in a digital image, it is unlikely to have any noticeable benefit in print compared to an 8-bit file.
Finally, if you plan to print the same image on cards as well as on canvas or a fine art paper, expect to see some differences. This does not mean you will get a bad card print but understand the canvas and fine art prints are printed with 12 color systems engineered for the fine art and photo industry while cards are printed with a 4 color digital press printer.
We will continue to keep you posted as we add new card options that we believe will benefit you as an artist or photographer. Contact our customer service department if you have specific questions on any of these new products.