Why is presentation so important?
Paper prints ultimately need to be framed. Before we start to talk about how to present your print for sale, let’s think what will happen to your print after you sell it.
Printed artwork on paper is intended to be displayed either on the wall or, for smaller items, standing on a flat surface (desk, table etc…). Therefore your customer will incur extra costs.
Whereas some people may wish to budget on getting their picture framed, giclée prints are higher in value and more often than not your customer may wish to match the quality of the framing to the artwork. With this in mind, thought needs to go into protection and longevity whilst considering framing options.
Cost Effectiveness and Quality Awareness
So, how can we help the customer in reducing the costs and retaining a top quality product? Coming back to the question on how to present your artwork for sale, there are essentially three ways to sell your artwork:
Option 1: Print only – rolled using tissue and tube
If you choose to sell your print without any additional presentation, you may wish to roll it, wrap it in tissue and offer it in a tube. This may sound a bit harsh as you are passing all subsequent framing cost to the customer, it does work well, especially for postal sales. Sending artwork in a tube is usually a safe and cheap way to get your print to your customer. You may wish to ensure that the tissue is acid free and so not cause any harm to the print. Of course this method doesn’t work if you’re trying to display your artwork for sale in a retail environment (gallery, stall, exhibition).
Be aware that the recipient will need to find a way to uncurl the rolled print in order to frame it.
Option 2: Print only – flat with backing
Especially with smaller items, a cheap way to present your print to the customer would be to offer it flat in a cellophane bag, providing a sturdy backing to stop it bending and creasing. This is the a way to still be able to display your item but will also work for sending it to your customer, although the shipping cost is higher than the ‘tube’ option. Being flat, it will be easier to frame at the other end. We suggest that you package it with two solid pieces of either card or thin MDF to avoid damage during transport. We usually sandwich the print between two boards that are at least 25mm (1 inch) bigger all the way round as they are thrown about during transit.
Finally, if you can afford an acid free backing board then there are no worries around possible damage to your art. Nowadays a lot of artists and galleries also invest in bio-degradable and compostable cellophane bags. They tend to be more expensive, but will go down well with your customers. As you will be aware, helping the climate is a huge topic and may even swing the sale.
Option 3: Mounted print
Most paper prints will need mounting when they are being framed.
There are three main reasons for mounting your print:
A mount serves as a decorative border
The position of a mount defines which areas of your prints should be viewed (ideal to hide any blemishes or balance the image to your eye)
Most importantly, when framed, a mount provides space between the glass and your print (glass can produce moisture and therefore potentially damage your print)
Having considered these reasons, it may be an idea to present your print mounted, giving your customer extra value for money.
One important note, again referring to acidity: Make sure that you print is mounted with a window mount at the front and another layer of mount board (the back mount) at the back, both being acid free and using acid free tapes inside this package (we have provided a short instruction video in one of our other blogs explaining more about how to mount a picture).
Option 4: Framed print
You can go the whole hog and offer your print, ready framed. It means that the customer has no further expensive before it goes on the wall. We would only suggest this in an exhibition or retail environment. It is not a good idea to add this option to your online store as the glass can so easily break during transport when sending a framed picture.
A final note to remember is that framing can be very personal. There are many framing options and quite often customers have strong ideas about what suits their homes. However, in an exhibition environment, using the same fairly plain frames gives your exhibition synergy and a more finished look.