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Archive 2012 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing
  
 
adamfilip
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p.1 #1 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


I am considering doing some Fine art printing from home. for local photographers and online orders. Curious what people think about ordering prints from an unknown source.

I am very confident that I could output a quality product. based on my past Sign experience in printing and calibrating ICC profiles and photography.

I have looked into pricing of the major labs in the area and they are aprox 2x the price I was thinking of charging for the same product for prints larger then 11x17 (up to 44" roll)

Initially I am just considering doing the printing and if mounting is necessary, patterning up with a local framing shop for the finishing.

I love printing,. I love Photography.. So i feel this will be a good endeavor for me to pursue. as a secondary income.

I would appreciate any thoughts or experiences you have had with similar services.



Apr 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #2 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


adamfilip wrote:
I have looked into pricing of the major labs in the area and they are aprox 2x the price I was thinking of charging for the same product for prints larger then 11x17 (up to 44" roll)


I'd say you need to do more research and cost analysis. To me, it's similar to someone considering getting into the wedding photography business. Most have no idea what their true costs are.

Have you successfully operated a small business before? Do you have a business background? If not, you need to have a full understanding of your requirements.

How large is the city where you live? I would think it would need to be at least a medium sized city to provide enough local business to make it a go. If you are looking for online orders, have you thought through the cost of creating and hosting a web site? Have you worked out how you will provide a secure method for ordering and paying? Have you worked out how the customer can upload the file to you? How many different paper stocks will you offer?

This sounds like you're Jonesing for a large format printer for your personal work and you're looking for a way to defray the cost of hardware and consumables. It's not that it can't be done, but I think it may be more involved than it seems at first glance.



Apr 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM
adamfilip
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p.1 #3 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


I run a design/signage department at a marketing company. I handle all printing quoting ordering
I also manage 4 other Graphic designers.. I have not run my own company entirely. I have had a company name that I freelanced under previously.

I am very familiar with calculating ink and paper consumption and other consumables and labour.

The city i live in is fairly affluent and has aprox 150k people. just outside the GTA (Greater Toronto Area.. 6 million)

I am a graphic designer by trade. I have created several websites for other businesses.
I would look into a shopping cart service to handle the transaction and payment. I currently have a web host that can handle multiple domains and SQL databases

Uploading files can be simply part of the website or through a yousendit transfer branded to my company.

paper choices. is tricker..Ive looked into several choices
so far my choices are.

Epson Exhibition Fiber
Hahnemuhle German etching
William Turner Matt Fine Art 310GSm
Hahnemuhle bamboo Fine art

But I'm currently looking into others. including a canvas.

I love technology so your accusation of me "jonesing" for a printer isn't totally inaccurate but I'm also inspired to develop a secondary income source as backup for my family.





Apr 06, 2012 at 07:17 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #4 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


adamfilip wrote:
I love technology so your accusation of me "jonesing" for a printer isn't totally inaccurate but I'm also inspired to develop a secondary income source as backup for my family.


I should have remembered some of the information you provided. I apologize for any offense, it's hard sometimes to tell on the internet the level of knowledge and experience of the requester.

Thank you for your detailed reply. I'm no expert, but it seems you are approaching this with eyes wide open. I hope someone here who has tried a similar enterprise can answer for you.

Although I never used his services, there is someone in the area, which is similar to the size of your city, who does pretty much what you planned. I know that the local photo clubs use him, but I don't know how much work he's doing.

Your plan would be a nice alternative to Kinko's or the other stores in town that have a wide format printer but not much expertise or choice in paper stock.

I wish you the best.



Apr 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
adamfilip
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p.1 #5 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


No offense was taken. I appreciate your reply it helps to focus my thoughts and vet out the idea.

Any thoughts on paper choice.



Apr 06, 2012 at 07:35 PM
 

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Kittyk
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p.1 #6 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


if you don't charge upfront, ordering from unknown place is not bigger problem then getting you known.
If it is what you want to do, go for it. I see it only as waste of time because it is time intensive and price sensitive work. You will not make any profit on it, especially if you will try to compete on price. You will see your self making lot of profit to material providers, keeping little for your self.

credits: we run our own art printer, but had to reduce it to satisfy only our own needs and our direct portrait / wedding customers. And we do also books aside, so had chance to go really deep.



Apr 06, 2012 at 09:02 PM
edgately
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p.1 #7 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


After picking up an Epson 9900 recently, I began having lots of people come to me and say "hey now that you got that printer... you think you can print some items for me?" In general my response for close friends is... "sure if you are looking for a proof or a general idea of how something will look really quickly... come on over and bring a good six pack"... I then chime in with a follow up "but I will tell you Im not looking to become a printer... I am a photographer that wants control of his process from start to finish" I say this now... because I used to talk to people and seriously consider it only to go down the path very fast of getting the costs low... more of a pain in my eyes.

I will say that I see that there could be a strong value position for your "service"... meaning your expertise in printing and some consulting at the front end. I bet there are a number of budding photogs in your area that would love to have their work printed but may know very little about print profiles or optimization. Sure they can just send it to any major house printer and have it shipped to their house... but you can sell the one-on-one interaction. I think if you were to consider a route like this you would find your customers less price focused on the print and be willing to pay more for your time.

Just my two cents... Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!

Ed



Apr 06, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Kittyk
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p.1 #8 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


i think also. If you have lot of buddies who will order it from you because it is from you and not mind paying regular price, then fine. Or maybe if they will need some service nowhere else offered (as we for example do any-sized canvas and paper wraps). But imagine how many $200 canvases with 100-150$ profit you would need to sell to

a) pay for the printer initial costs
b) make it affordable business

answer?

you would need to sell at least 2 huge canvases per day, and as well mount them and ship them.



Apr 07, 2012 at 12:04 AM
explorerhv
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p.1 #9 · Considering starting up Home based Fine art printing


my son got a canon ipf8300 last year and has been building his printing business up since then - he has marketed to local photographers, businesses that have needed trade show banners...

his biggest niche, though, has been capturing / reproducing original artwork for local artists - the ability to deal local with the artists, to not have to ship their artwork, to have someone onsite to walk them through the process, to give great attention to detail in the capture / printing process - he is able to compete well in pricing, and still leave favorable margins for profit

have not done anything online, would be interested in your progress in this area, we are familiar with setting up estores, etc

hope this works well for you!

take care

jeff




Apr 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM





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