How to turn a piece of DIGITAL ART into a PROFESSIONAL PRINT for your home
You've found or made a design you'd love to have on your wall, but NOW WHAT?!
With all the technology these days, you can find and download amazing art (or better yet, make it yourself!) right at home, but then what? If you have a printer of your own, you may be able to print some sizes at home, but you probably are limited to the type of paper you can feed through your machine -- thicker paper can get bent or damaged, or worse yet, can damage your nice home printer! Plus you are limited to the SIZE of print you can create. Chances are your printer won't go wider than about 12 inches -- at best!
You need a professional print! Sounds expensive, right? Well, the good news is: Surprisingly, it's not! There are online print shops, like my favorite, Prints of Love, that you can upload your digital design to right from home, and They will print it and ship it right to your door! I love Prints of Love because not only are they affordable, they are fast and easy to use, and deliver great quality! I've received prints from them with a gloss coating, matte finish, and even their natural looking Linen texture, and they all looked great!
Another reason why I choose them as my printing company of choice -- they Love the environment as much as I do!!! <3
Not only are they super aware of their company's carbon footprint, (you can read more about it on their website) they strive to provide eco-friendly printing services, and plant a tree in your name for every order that you place! (Does your home printer do that?!) ;)
You can order all kinds of sizes -- and aren't just limited to poster prints! They print cards too! Poster prints are available in a Matte or Glossy finish in sizes that range from 8" x 10" up to 24" x 36". You can even order your design mounted on 1/8" foam core!
When it comes to cards, they have even more options! You can design flat cards or folded cards. Pick the card orientation -- horizontal or vertical. Choose glossy, matte, or linen cardstock. And don't forget a size! They offer cards as small as standard business cards, and up to 5.5" x 8.5", so you can use their services for pretty much any card you would want to print!
This makes it sooo easy to design your very own cards to send to friends and family and art to display on your walls in your home! Simply create an account on the Prints of Love website, upload your digital design, and create your item! A designer at Prints of Love will always review your design before it goes to the printer, and it only takes them about 2 business days to print and ship out your order! You'll even get FREE 2-3 business day shipping, depending on where you live!
There's a few things you'll want to do before uploading your designs to Prints of Love to get them ready for printing, but they're really easy!
First off, they accept digital designs in AI, PSD, EPS, PDF, JPG and TIF, so make sure your designs are in one of those formats. (If you're looking to have a printable that your purchased from MY shop printed, you're already in good shape. ALL of my printable designs come in at least PDF format.)
Make sure that any designs you submit have the text converted to a non-editable path. If you're not sure how to do this, you can catch my quick, walkthrough tutorial video here. That way when Prints of Love goes to open the file, you won't have to worry about it converting funny. (Because if you use a font they don't have in Their system, and Don't convert it, it will default to something they Do have and won't look the same! You definitely don't want that!)
When you're working with digital art, there are two different color settings that you can choose from. Make sure that your designs are in CMYK, not RGB. This is the type of file they will use, and if your design is in RGB, your colors may shift a little, and give you a different end result than you were looking for. If you have a file that is in RGB color mode, and are using Adobe Illustrator, simply open your design, go to the FILE pull-down menu, and click on Document Color Mode. From there you can easily change the color settings to CMYK or RGB. (Don't forget to "SAVE-AS" to update your changes without replacing your original file!)
Another thing you'll want to do to prepare your art for print with Prints of Love is to make sure that any pixel images are at least 300 dpi. This will ensure that your product comes out crystal clear!
Note that they do require an 1/8" bleed around your design, so even if you want your design to go right to the edge of the page, make sure you still leave a 1/8" wide edge. If you want to print a 24"x 36" poster, submit a design that is 24.25" x 36.25". (If you're using Illustrator, you can adjust the size of an existing Artboard in the Artboard window. Just click on the little icon to the right of your selected Artboard and manually change the dimensions of your workspace.) Don't include crop lines on your design. Just the 1/8" bleed. And make sure any overprint settings are turned OFF.
Lastly, all files also need to be saved as single - one sided - page designs. So if you're making a card and have multiple sides to be printed, save each sides as a separate file on your computer so you can upload them individually.
That's it! Once you've uploaded and ordered your print(s) they'll be to your door in about a week! It's a really easy, affordable way to get a professionally finished product that looks amazing!
Give it a try! Upload one of your favorite designs and create a mounted print for your home using one of your own creations, design a poster to frame, or send out this years Christmas card with a digitized masterpiece from your 4 year old!