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Thread: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

  1. #1

    Default Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is a convenient question to ask here.

    For those who sell their prints (for wall hanging), which printing labs are the usual choice?

    I've seen descriptions from other online sellers like "printed on archival photographic paper", not sure how varied "archival" options are.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is a convenient question to ask here.

    For those who sell their prints (for wall hanging), which printing labs are the usual choice?

    I've seen descriptions from other online sellers like "printed on archival photographic paper", not sure how varied "archival" options are.
    Ask them what paper what brand? If its Kodak Endura or Fuji Crystal Archival, its good enough for me.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  3. #3

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Thanks for the info! I see these two brands being mentioned quite often on the web, but not too sure which labs in Singapore offer them. I'll ask around.

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Thanks for the info! I see these two brands being mentioned quite often on the web, but not too sure which labs in Singapore offer them. I'll ask around.
    most labs are offering these two papers, needless to say, Fuji digital labs are offering the Fuji Crystal Archival paper.


    and you are asking printing "commercial works", usually they are printing for advertisement, display trans, kind of things, they are not meant to last very long. nowadays you don't see any advertisements being display for more than two years anyway.

    if you are looking at long term display, than you should be looking for museum quality in everything, not just the paper, the matte, frame, tapes, glue, glass and display environment are all taking into consideration for archive purposes. and FYI, it is very expensive.

    if you are really keen, you can contact Mod Clown, he is specialise in this area.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Actually, what I had in mind was the photographer would mail the print to the buyer, and the buyer sorts out the mounting, framing on their own.

    That led me to wondering what is a commonly acceptable print quality (and thus cost) for such a sale.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    All prints fade. How fast they fade depends on material used for print, material used to mount and frame print and how print is displayed. If every thing is museum grade but you have in place with direct sun for half a day, the fading will happen very fast. Your question needs to be refined better. For a business there is a need to built in some occasions where you have to replace prints for various reasons.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Sounds like you need quality , Museum or Gallery whatever you call it.

    I do in-house large format prints for my client,not to shock you but it is very expensive to produce quality print that assure non-fading for a very long time , under general indoor display.

    I don't mind share with you so that you see part of the picture:-

    Epson 7600 using UltraChrome Ink ( 7 Colours ) - The cost to maintain such printer at all time is approximately as follows:

    7 Ink (220ml) x S$150 = S$1050/- Rollpaper 250gm S$300 / 15 metres. Ink Bin S$45/- . To sell a say 24"x 35" Size A1 my cost alone is not less than S$180/- , when the printer is running at best resolution it prints at 2880 dpi and the machine will run for 1 & Half hour.

    So to make a profit I'll need to charge you at least S$400/- as there are other routine maintenance & replacement of pump & blade each cycle costing S$ 500/-

    Do not compare those at Large Format printing shop as most of them uses Dye in place of Original Ink from manufacturer. One can of colour Dye is around S$100 but you get a whole litre , of course these won't last. Moreover, no shop will want you to occupy over an hour of their machine so can forget about high pigment printing ( your print will have obvious line forming up your image )

    PM me if interested. But I really don't know how much you should mark-up.
    Last edited by Volks; 1st July 2014 at 03:13 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by Volks View Post
    Sounds like you need quality , Museum or Gallery whatever you call it.

    I do in-house large format prints for my client,not to shock you but it is very expensive to produce quality print that assure non-fading for a very long time , under general indoor display.

    I don't mind share with you so that you see part of the picture:-

    Epson 7600 using UltraChrome Ink ( 7 Colours ) - The cost to maintain such printer at all time is approximately as follows:

    7 Ink (220ml) x S$150 = S$1050/- Rollpaper 250gm S$300 / 15 metres. Ink Bin S$45/- . To sell a say 24"x 35" Size A1 my cost alone is not less than S$180/- , when the printer is running at best resolution it prints at 2880 dpi and the machine will run for 1 & Half hour.

    So to make a profit I'll need to charge you at least S$400/- as there are other routine maintenance & replacement of pump & blade each cycle costing S$ 500/-

    Do not compare those at Large Format printing shop as most of them uses Dye in place of Original Ink from manufacturer. One can of colour Dye is around S$100 but you get a whole litre , of course these won't last. Moreover, no shop will want you to occupy over an hour of their machine so can forget about high pigment printing ( your print will have obvious line forming up your image )

    PM me if interested. But I really don't know how much you should mark-up.
    Thanks for sharing the costing, really helps me have an insight. I'm just feeling my way around for now. Cause I see people selling prints like this

    As rightly pointed out, the combinations are limitless, but in this case, for a 8 x 8 print for $38 sgd, it made me wonder about the types of paper options to give the buyer "a sense of quality" and yet maintain a profit for the seller.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Dude those are the companies that collect photographers who supplies images, they supply the marketing platform, the printing and delivery. Who are you this change the photographer or the company that does the marketing and printing. I am guessing been a few read that as 10 or more years ago but photographers in this kind of set up only get about 10-13% of the sale price. I am guessing their cost to print is more than 20% . If you discount the need for certified archival and replace that with normal - any decent lab that does inkjet or C-print can do - any of the day are you going to charge a few thousand for a 24x36 ? a few hundred for a 8x10? 35mm lab in bukit timah, RGB in Kallang, fotohub are places that can print. Then there are other guys the guy at camera rental 2nd floor. It is a business and nice sounding claims are often made however how many are actually meeting those claims……unless you handleframe and position to hang none of the non fade claims can hold. The inkjet archival tests for life span used to be done by William ? in the US should still be the case - all claims are based on certain conditions and fade test on simulated test situations..

    The print for sale market or artwork on wall is old old chestnut, to make money you need to be one stop all in house show, you need to have very good images I mean really good not camera club good, not my coffee kaki who have camera good. Costs of prints have come down from glichee printing days it is no more printing on a US$250,000 - 500,000 printer that is temperamental but when it works is it gold - all smooth and soft people sold these as artwork.

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Thanks for sharing the costing, really helps me have an insight. I'm just feeling my way around for now. Cause I see people selling prints like this

    As rightly pointed out, the combinations are limitless, but in this case, for a 8 x 8 print for $38 sgd, it made me wonder about the types of paper options to give the buyer "a sense of quality" and yet maintain a profit for the seller.
    Handmade item
    Materials: Photographic Paper, Archival Inks
    is ink pigment print on paper, not Silver halides photographic print.

    anyway, she is selling at a volume. although it is signed print, but is not limited prints.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    SIZE: 8"x8"
    PAPER: Archival photographic paper with a luster (non-glossy) finish

    Canon Pro 1 + Canon luster paper should be good enough for this and you should still earn some margin for $38 sale.

    But before you can print professionally, it's long learning journey to get a good print. The price can be hundred fold of that.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is a convenient question to ask here.

    For those who sell their prints (for wall hanging), which printing labs are the usual choice?

    I've seen descriptions from other online sellers like "printed on archival photographic paper", not sure how varied "archival" options are.
    It is really depends on what you sell and who you sell it to and at what price.

    Some happy with cheap print using cheap frame that is not acid free.

    Some expect nothing less then museum grade.

    Some go in between.

    The choice is yours.

    The word archival for dye based printing is for the paper not the dye.

    What is important is to sell your product honestly at the price that is sustainable if you are doing it professional.

    If you do it as hobby, just do what pleases you.

    But usually for pricing, the price of the product should not be more then 35% to be profitable. So if my cost is $100, the selling price would have to be at least $300 (33.3333% in term of cost)

    It's really difficult to give recommendation without knowing the full story where you are at and what you are trying to do and where you are heading to.

    Regards,

    Hart

  13. #13

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    Dude those are the companies that collect photographers who supplies images, they supply the marketing platform, the printing and delivery. Who are you this change the photographer or the company that does the marketing and printing. I am guessing been a few read that as 10 or more years ago but photographers in this kind of set up only get about 10-13% of the sale price. I am guessing their cost to print is more than 20% . If you discount the need for certified archival and replace that with normal - any decent lab that does inkjet or C-print can do - any of the day are you going to charge a few thousand for a 24x36 ? a few hundred for a 8x10? 35mm lab in bukit timah, RGB in Kallang, fotohub are places that can print. Then there are other guys the guy at camera rental 2nd floor. It is a business and nice sounding claims are often made however how many are actually meeting those claims……unless you handleframe and position to hang none of the non fade claims can hold. The inkjet archival tests for life span used to be done by William ? in the US should still be the case - all claims are based on certain conditions and fade test on simulated test situations..

    The print for sale market or artwork on wall is old old chestnut, to make money you need to be one stop all in house show, you need to have very good images I mean really good not camera club good, not my coffee kaki who have camera good. Costs of prints have come down from glichee printing days it is no more printing on a US$250,000 - 500,000 printer that is temperamental but when it works is it gold - all smooth and soft people sold these as artwork.
    Maybe i misunderstood the business model of these sellers, I thought these are a group of people who sell their own crafts.

    The website is a platform like ebay which host the items for sale (at 0.2 cents per item per 4months) and takes 35% of sales , printing and shipping is still down to the individual sellers.

    I wouldn't have much to offer in terms of good images for sale to get into the "business" myself, I guess I was curious of the costings and profits as I was looking through the site.
    Last edited by ahbian; 3rd July 2014 at 09:01 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by heheapa View Post
    SIZE: 8"x8"
    PAPER: Archival photographic paper with a luster (non-glossy) finish

    Canon Pro 1 + Canon luster paper should be good enough for this and you should still earn some margin for $38 sale.

    But before you can print professionally, it's long learning journey to get a good print. The price can be hundred fold of that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    It is really depends on what you sell and who you sell it to and at what price.

    Some happy with cheap print using cheap frame that is not acid free.

    Some expect nothing less then museum grade.

    Some go in between.

    The choice is yours.

    The word archival for dye based printing is for the paper not the dye.

    What is important is to sell your product honestly at the price that is sustainable if you are doing it professional.

    If you do it as hobby, just do what pleases you.

    But usually for pricing, the price of the product should not be more then 35% to be profitable. So if my cost is $100, the selling price would have to be at least $300 (33.3333% in term of cost)

    It's really difficult to give recommendation without knowing the full story where you are at and what you are trying to do and where you are heading to.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Truth be told, I don't have a collection of decent images that allow me to do this more than a just a hobby and non- seller.

    Once in a long while, I get queries if I could allow my pics to be used or printed. My thoughts were then, if I were to offer to print it for such ad hoc request, what is a decent quality without looking too amateurish? And after that, What is a suitable level of mark up price? Your suggestion of 35% is a useful one as a guide.

    Then I started looking at such sites where the business model seems easiest for hobbyists, where the seller just takes care of printing and shipping, the customer will handle the framing etc. That led me to the (vague) questions that I posted here.

    when I started the thread, I realized that pricing is really a subjective issue. It's ultimately a compromise between how much one values the work and how much the buyer is willing to pay.

    Add in the different grades of printing and the question becomes impossible to answer. Thanks to you guys I've at least got an idea of the options available at the printing shops.
    Last edited by ahbian; 3rd July 2014 at 08:59 AM.

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Maybe i misunderstood the business model of these sellers, I thought these are a group of people who sell their own crafts.

    The website is a platform like ebay which host the items for sale (at 0.2 cents per item per 4months) and takes 35% of sales printing and shipping is still down to the individual sellers.

    I wouldn't have much to offer in terms of good images for sale to get into the "business" myself, I guess I was curious of the costings and profits as I was looking through the site.
    the bare basic in business is generate profit, you can do this by a few ways, mark up your selling price higher, lower your cost, selling more goods, etc.
    so from this lady photographer, seem her product price is staying put, so she just widen her markets and keep the cost low.

    just look at her volume she is selling, she might be placing a order one thousand pieces of fine art printing at one go, so the unit cost is so much lower, and usually there will be some overrun prints in case of rejections. so if every goes well, that is some extra profiles.


    that is why you need to work out the figure yourself when you want to venture into any form of business, you can't just copy a figure from someone else.

    anyway, selling art prints is not easy, she able to doing full time, may not just because the profit is good, but she need to spend full time on this business to make it work.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  16. #16

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    The website is a platform like ebay which host the items for sale (at 0.2 cents per item per 4months) and takes 35% of sales , printing and shipping is still down to the individual sellers.
    If you're referring to Etsy, the sales fee is 3.5% of selling price. Not 35%!

    If you're interested in the Etsy/hobbyist/crafter route, you might wanna check out this book for an simple introduction:
    Craft, Inc. : The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Successful Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco. Quite an easy read. Can borrow from NLB.

    Etsy itself also features some topics on pricing on their blog:

    https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-to-price-like-a-pro/
    https://blog.etsy.com/en/2012/a-simp...ing-your-work/
    https://blog.etsy.com/en/2010/etsy-s...g-your-prices/

  17. #17

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by kandinsky View Post
    If you're referring to Etsy, the sales fee is 3.5% of selling price. Not 35%!

    If you're interested in the Etsy/hobbyist/crafter route, you might wanna check out this book for an simple introduction:
    Craft, Inc. : The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Successful Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco. Quite an easy read. Can borrow from NLB.

    Etsy itself also features some topics on pricing on their blog:

    https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/how-to-price-like-a-pro/
    https://blog.etsy.com/en/2012/a-simp...ing-your-work/
    https://blog.etsy.com/en/2010/etsy-s...g-your-prices/
    On sorry, its a typo. I meant 3.5%. Thanks for the link. Will check it out!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    the bare basic in business is generate profit, you can do this by a few ways, mark up your selling price higher, lower your cost, selling more goods, etc.
    so from this lady photographer, seem her product price is staying put, so she just widen her markets and keep the cost low.

    just look at her volume she is selling, she might be placing a order one thousand pieces of fine art printing at one go, so the unit cost is so much lower, and usually there will be some overrun prints in case of rejections. so if every goes well, that is some extra profiles.


    that is why you need to work out the figure yourself when you want to venture into any form of business, you can't just copy a figure from someone else.

    anyway, selling art prints is not easy, she able to doing full time, may not just because the profit is good, but she need to spend full time on this business to make it work.
    Yup, I just used her link as an example. For others, I believe there there those who print only when orders come in, its a higher cost, but they are not stuck with a stock pile, I guess its a balancing act.

    There's also the unseen tedious marketing and networking aspect.

    So in case you guys are wondering, I'm not having the idea thats its easy money. Nor am I at the level of going into such a business (at least not until I get more competent).

    Just probing around with layman questions , to have a better appreciation of such business models.
    Last edited by ahbian; 3rd July 2014 at 01:06 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    The highest quality prints are the 'art' prints. They are printed on large format pigment ink printers of 8-12 inks like HP, on archival fine art photo paper or better, with a theoritical no-fade of 100+ years. This process is sometimes called giclee printing. The person who prints is also very important to the quality. Ming Thein, a photographer in KL, has an article featuring his master printer. Try blog.mingthein.com.

    The usual photo papers are cheaper than the fine art papers. I have seen some of the prints from the latest Epson mini-lab machine that reproduce real nice photos.

    There are many such high end print shops in Singapore e.g. Wall Your Photos, Premiere Print, etc. Chiif, local distributor for Voigtlander also prints high quality photos. Prices are all listed on their respective websites. Or try Pic & Pixel at Funan where I have much of my printing done.
    Last edited by ziggy; 3rd July 2014 at 07:06 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Any specific labs for printing commercial works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
    This process is sometimes called giclee printing.
    FYI, the term has become somewhat diluted.

    The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gicl%C3%A9e

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