Our Scanning and Proofing Service

It starts with the scan

We believe that, wherever possible, original art should be scanned, in preference to photographed. We believe that all two dimensional artwork, providing it is laid flat, should be scanned. Scanning, as opposed to photographing art, has less limitations compared to digital photography, in terms of focus, lighting, depth of field, colour rendering, resolution and so on..

Our professional A2 Contex flatbed scanner is an industry leading device which produces excellent results at the highest resolution. For items larger than A2, we employ the latest stitching techniques, creating seamless images of the highest quality.

Our scanner

Colour Proofing

After scanning your image, it's important to make sure your artwork accurately resembles the original work of art. Unfortunately, a scan will not always give you a 100% accurate representation and further work will be necessary to make your work look as much like the original as possible. This process encompasses a number of actions, depending on the nature of the work.

Firstly, we apply a number of standard corrections, in order to get close to an acceptable result. These are adjustments to the scanned file are based on historical results and learnings. We then compare the original artwork with the output from the screen under conditions where the screen simulates the paper that the artwork will be printed on - this process is known as “soft-proofing”. 

The remaining proofing process typically involves printing a number of test strips, the same size as the original, and comparing them with the original, on the paper that is chosen for the finalised prints. We then make a series of adjustments and prints another set of test strips. This process is repeated until we’re happy that we have come to a acceptable result. In certain cases this can take several hours and lots of prints. 

This is where we differ from most giclée printing business. Our attention to detail and expertise in colour manipulation when it comes to accurate reproduction has set us apart from other similar businesses.

Other Proofing Procedures

Sometimes, the proofing process does not just involve colour. For instance, graphite pencil drawings or pen and ink drawings with a white backdrop, will require the background to be removed, in order to achieve a clean image. This requires for us to ensure that the whole image, including the faintest lines, need to be retained, but the rest is to be removed completely, whilst making. Again, as with colour proofing, it requires expertise together with a lot of patience, to get it absolutely right.

 

Other times, there may be a case of some small digital restoration jobs, needed to restore an image to its original status. We often find that artists have left the edges less finished than the main parts of the image or a painting contains dirt, hairs, unwanted paint splatters etc. As part of the proofing process, we will address any such minor issues and remove blemishes and generally tidy up, as directed by the customer.

The Final Result

When we’re happy that the colours of your image are correct and any undesirable blemishes have been removed, we will print two final copies at roughly A4 size, one for you and one for our files. You will also receive the national test strips, showing the level of accuracy that has been received. We ask all our customers to come and view and discuss the final results and sign off the scan, after which any further prints can be sized for future orders.

Original painting with proof
Original painting with proof

Pastel painting by Jennifer Thorpe

Original with proof strip tests
Original with proof strip tests

Pastel painting by Jennifer Thorpe

Original painting with proofs
Original painting with proofs

Acrylic painting by Julia Pankhurst

Original painting with proof
Original painting with proof

Pastel painting by Jennifer Thorpe

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Keeping your image safe

We can provide you with a digital copy on a USB key at a small charge of £5 or you can bring in your own device to have the file loaded onto for safekeeping. It’s important that you retain a copy, in case of any hardware errors at our end - better to be safe than sorry. You also may wish to use the scanned image for other purposes such as social media, website etc. Upon request we can supply you with a smaller size image of your scan for such events.