Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. We cover everything from the best ways to make prints of your artworks and caring for them, to pricing, postage, and copyright concerns. Read on! There’s lots to learn. If your question isn’t answered, please feel free to get in touch.

Jump to:

1. Printing
2. Digitisation / Scanning
3. Postage & Print Handling
4. Files & Colour Management
5. Pricing & Payments 
6. Studio & Services
7. Intellectual Property & Copyright
8. Sustainability

1. Printing

What do you print, and what don’t you print?
We specialise in archival pigment printing / fine art printing / giclée printing. We create high quality, archival prints of artworks and photographs that are typically framed once printed. 
We don't print stationery (business cards, fliers, stickers, invites), posters, books, magazines, zines, C-Type prints, risograph prints or screen prints.  If you are after any of these services, we can direct you to other local businesses who can help.

What is a giclée print?
‘Giclée’ is a somewhat outdated term – the process and product is better summarised by ‘fine art printing’ or ‘archival pigment printing’. Regardless, it all refers to the practice of creating museum-grade prints through digital printing with aqueous inks onto archival media. The process uses specific equipment and inks that offer a much wider colour gamut than commercial printing methods, making it the ideal print process for art reproductions. 

How large can you print?
Our workhorses are Epson large format printers: a 44” 9070 and a 64” 20070 .  We can print up to 64” wide (on select papers only) and have no issues printing up to a few metres long. But the length that we can safely print depends on the artwork and the file we're working from. If you have a large piece to print, get in touch with all the details and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

What is your printing turnaround time?
Typically within a week, but large jobs may take up to three weeks. It really depends on the complexity and volume of your job, as well as the other jobs in the queue at the time. If you have a hard deadline, let us know - we’ll do our very best to accommodate your desired timing.

What if I need my order urgently?
We understand that last-minute opportunities do arise, so if it’s urgent, you can opt for our rush job service with a 50% surcharge. Rush orders don’t bump other orders in the queue; instead, we work overtime to ensure your job is completed on time.  It’s also important to note that rush order acceptance is not guaranteed; acceptance is dependent on the scope of your request and our workload at the time.

Can you print metallics?True metallics cannot be printed by our process. Our printers do a good job at matching a metallic colour, but the inks we use lack the luminescence of a true metallic. If you want a metallic finish, we recommend hand-finishing your fine art prints with a metallic paint, ink or leaf.

What papers do you print on?
We are Hahnemühle die-hards and stock nine of their papers as our permanent range. In our many years of printing, we’ve found that nothing else compares to the consistency and quality that Hahnemühle papers offer. Additionally, we offer a variety of papers from Canson, which are available on a special-order basis.
2. Digitisation / Scanning

What’s the best way to make prints of my artwork?
The secret to an exceptional print is an exceptional file. Digitisation isn’t something to skimp on; if done correctly the first time, you'll only ever need to do it once. Reproducing artwork requires a specific skill set that goes beyond simply having access to an excellent scanner or camera. It is a process that should be entrusted to experienced professionals. We've encountered many instances where people have had their art digitised, only to find the files received don’t meet the standards required to produce fine art prints. It's crucial to work with fine art printing professionals to create fine art prints of the highest standard.

I live interstate, can I send you my artwork for scanning/art reproduction?
Yes, certainly! We work with a lot of interstate clients. You just need to package it up securely and post it to us. We’ll let you know when the artwork has arrived and what to expect. When the scans are done, we’ll post your work back to you. We’ll take every precaution to package your artwork safely, but we are not responsible for any damage sustained in transit.

Is a rush service available for artwork reproduction scans?
No - little good comes from rushing a full-service art reproduction job. It’s a painstaking job (that we love) and it demands time and careful attention.

Can you scan framed items, or anything that’s behind glass?
We can't scan items behind glass for a number of reasons, so if you wish to have a framed item scanned it will need to be removed from the frame prior to scanning.  We do ask that all artworks arrive at the studio already removed from the frame - we will not take on the responsibility of de-installing framed items. If the artwork or the frame is particularly old and/or valuable, we suggest taking it to an experienced framer for disassembly.

Float-framed canvases (with no glass) do not need to be disassembled; so long as the surface of the artwork is flush with the floating frame, we can scan them without issue.
3. Postage & Print Handling

How are my prints packed for postage?
Prints smaller than A2 are packaged in archival polypropylene sleeves and mailed inside a super-strong triple-fold mailer box. Larger prints are carefully rolled in buffered archival tissue and shipped in strong mailing tubes.

How should I handle fine art prints?
With love and care, that’s how we make them! They're precious, and with the correct care, they will last a lifetime. All orders (except those drop-shipped) are accompanied by detailed care instructions. 
Our main tips: Frame your prints as soon as possible. If this isn't possible please keep them in the protective archival sleeve/sheet until framed. Handle prints minimally, and if you must handle them, only touch the edges, never the printed area.

How do I flatten my print that arrived rolled?
Rolled prints will flatten soon enough due to surface volume and the weight of the stock if left to rest on a flat surface (print-side-up, always). However, we recommend handing your print to your framer in the original packaging and leaving the handling and flattening to them - they’ll have plenty of experience with this! Whatever you do, don’t roll your print in the opposite direction to the way it was rolled when you received it - you risk causing permanent bends in the thick fine art paper and damage to the pigment.
4. Files & Colour Management

DPI, PPI... what?!
You’ll often hear us talking about PPI, not DPI - the two are not interchangeable. PPI, or pixels per inch, measures how many pixels a screen can display in an inch. Higher PPI means more pixels are packed into each inch, resulting in a clearer and more detailed image.

DPI (dots per inch) describes the resolution of printed images. It refers to the number of ink dots a printer can produce in one inch. Higher DPI results in finer details and smoother gradients in printed output. High DPI is important, but that’s a printer asset; when we’re talking about your files, it’s PPI we’re concerned with.

Can you provide your ICC profiles so I can softproof at home?
Yes. We have custom ICC profiles made for each of our papers, and can share these with you on request.  

How do I set up my files for print?
Print ready files will be sized to their final print size (including preferred borders), have a high resolution, be in RGB and saved as either a TIFF, JPEG or PSD. Get the full detail in our file set-up guide. We are always here to help with file set-up if you’re unsure, or want to ensure your print is optimally prepared for print.

What if my monitor isn’t colour-calibrated?
While it's advisable to work on a calibrated monitor, we know it's not always possible. There are still some things you can do to get some insight into how your image will appear in print without the expense of buying a calibrator or wide gamut monitor:
  1. Decrease the brightness of your monitor - most monitors are far too bright for soft proofing. Because paper is a flat medium (unlike our backlit screens), the aim is to replicate these 'flat' conditions.
  2. Use our Photoshop printer profiles to help you soft proof. Soft proofing won’t be 100% accurate if your monitor isn't calibrated, but it will still offer some insight into how your image will print.
  3. Check for gamut warnings - they'll tell you if you're working with a color that the printer will struggle to print. To check gamut warning in Photoshop, go to View > Gamut Warning. Any 'tricky' colors will appear greyed out. Our printers will generally get a close match to the color in the file, but this is a helpful tip to identify any problematic colors.
  4. Make a screen-based appointment to view your images on our monitors, which are calibrated to achieve a screen-to-print match. This way, you can get an accurate read on what your files will look like in print.
  5. Test print! Test printing shows you exactly how your file is translating from screen to print. The proof is in the pudding.
5. Pricing & Payments

Why don’t you have an online shop, where I can order and pay for my prints upfront?
Projects often shift and change in scope during the initial phase. This may be due to file limitations, changes in your needs, or guidance offered by us during the file-checking stage. If we were to charge upfront, there would be scenarios where we overcharge, and others where we don’t charge enough, requiring us to either issue credits/refunds or request additional payment. Both situations lead to unnecessary administration and a suboptimal customer experience.

Every print order is unique, and we offer custom solutions tailored to our clients' needs. Assuming that every order will fit a certain mold, or forcing customers to order predetermined items would be mismanagement on our part. Therefore, we don’t raise an invoice until we’ve reviewed your files, explored the possibilities, and discussed everything with you.

Do you offer trade pricing?

Because our client base primarily consists of artists and galleries, our advertised prices are our trade prices. Fine art printing is a labor-intensive process, and we focus our attention on quality. We choose not to outsource any work, nor do we compromise on the materials we work with. We are a small but experienced team who go above and beyond to achieve the best possible results for the artists we work with. Being a small operation, our studio is very hands-on, and this is reflected in the quality we provide.

However, we do offer tiered discounts for clients printing in volume. If you are considering a bulk order, please contact us for a quote - we’ll be happy to discuss a custom pricing arrangement.

I have an exhibition coming up – do you offer an exhibition discount?
We do what we do because we love supporting artists, and we aim to make exhibitions as cost-effective as possible. Depending on your project, this might be through a payment plan or sponsorship. For the latter, we’ll provide a discount in exchange for a branding opportunity and social media coverage. Full sponsorships, in which Hound & Bone donates all printing costs, are exclusively offered to non-profit and other charitable organizations. If your exhibition is donating proceeds to a charity, let us know the details, and we’ll see what we can do. Sponsorships are necessarily limited per annum, so get in touch as soon as possible.

We also offer a 10% discount on exhibition printing for clients who book an Exhibition Planning Consult, which we highly recommend for anyone planning a solo exhibition. We assess your print files, explore editing for optimal print results, and discuss paper options to suit your imagery and exhibition setting. One 24 x 8” test print is included, along with a 10% discount on your final exhibition prints.

How are payments handled? 
Once your order is confirmed, you'll receive an invoice. Payment in full is required to finalize your order. We accept payment via direct deposit, Stripe, or over the phone (a 1.7% surcharge applies for Stripe and EFTPOS payments). All invoices must be paid in full before the order leaves the studio, unless otherwise agreed.

Can you price match?
No, we don’t price match. We are a small business, and while we can’t compete with the buying power of larger companies, which allows them to offer cheaper print prices, we make up for it with our experience and personalised service. We are also committed to quality and refuse to cut corners with cheaper materials. Our prices are carefully set to reflect the quality of our materials, the expertise of our staff, and the exceptional customer service we provide.
6. Studio & Services 

Why do you work by appointment?
Because we’re a small, busy studio, scheduling is critical to our workflow. To ensure we produce work that meets all our clients’ expectations and deadlines, we need to know when clients will be visiting so that we can allocate our resources accordingly. If you arrive without notice, we won’t have much time to chat, as that’ll delay our print schedule. So, we’ll have to ask you to make an appointment to come back another time, which is never fun, no matter how nicely we put it! Even if you’re just picking something up or dropping by to say hello, we still ask that you please contact us to arrange an appointment at a mutually agreeable time. 

To book an appointment, please provide some information about the nature of your visit (we have different appointments for different things) and we’ll send you a link to our scheduler. If you need to make an appointment to collect an order, a scheduling link will be shared upon completion of your order.

Do you offer mounting/framing services?
We’re not in the business of framing, but we do know a number of talented folk who are! Feel free to ask us for a framer recommendation to suit your prints and price point.

7. Intellectual Property & Copright

How do I know you won’t reproduce my work without my permission?
As a fine art studio, we are entrusted with sensitive and valuable intellectual property, so we take copyright matters very seriously. You can read more about our copyright policy here. And, just to brag a little, we're pretty good at catching people trying to print artwork that isn't theirs. We’ve been victims of copyright infringement on multiple occasions, and it’s the pits - but it’s very easy to identify and we have zero qualms when it comes to calling people out. So not only do we respect your IP, but we’ll personally go to bat for you if someone tries to print your work without your consent.

Will images of my work be used on your website/social media/etc.?
Never without your consent. We always seek permission (in other words, there’s no fine print somewhere that states we have permission unless you say otherwise) to use or share any image that features your artwork.

Can I print someone else’s artwork?
Not unless you have permission from the copyright owner. If you’ve commissioned the artwork or purchased the rights to print an existing artwork, we will ask to see the agreement between you and the artist. If we have any concerns about the origins of an image, we reserve the right to decline your order.
8. Sustainability

The honest truth is that we aren’t a perfectly sustainable company - but we do our absolute best to minimise our business’s ecological footprint. We have carefully chosen the materials we work with because they’re of the very best quality available. Quality matters. The prints we produce are artefacts to treasure and be passed down through generations, and choosing premium materials gives them the best chance of standing the test of time.

Short-run printing (aka print on demand) is more resource-efficient than offset/large-run, and printing on an as-needed basis eliminates the impact of wasteful overprinting. As we print to size, what minimal paper waste we do have is either used for samples or in the case of smaller scrap or misprints, recycled with Visy. Our process is water-free, and we use no solvent inks or resin based papers.  Our inks are aqueous (that is, suspended in water instead of oil, alcohol or other chemical compounds), so there are no harmful chemical emissions from our printers or process. All our ink cartridges are recycled through Close The Loop

Fine art papers must be "virgin" papers, meaning they use no recycled content and meet archival standards, avoiding chemicals, lignins, or bleaches that compromise print quality. Recycled paper is unsuitable for fine art printing due to the chemicals and toxic by-products produced during the de-inking process. Ironically, recycled paper production involves extensive chemical processes and high energy consumption, making it less eco-friendly than many realize. Fine art paper production has a smaller ecological footprint. Cotton papers use linters, a by-product of the textile and oil industries, making them environmentally friendly as no additional cotton is grown. Bamboo, Agave, and Hemp papers are also sustainable, requiring no pesticides and minimal water. 

We're proud to say we’ve eliminated 95% of plastic from our packaging. Our tubes and print boxes are made from recyclable content, and are recyclable (if you don’t plan to reuse them). Our tubes and print boxes have been designed specifically to avoid the need for wasteful plastic-based bubble wrap, and we use paper-based voidfill and cardboard reinforcements.  

— so, what’s the 5%?
Archival sleeves, mostly. These are a non-negotiable for us - it’s important that prints of this quality are protected by stable, archival materials and polypropylene is the best option we’ve found. However, we understand that you might prefer to forgo this for your order - just let us know.  We also use plastic-based tape to provide moisture protection for seals on tubes, and some parcels. In the cases where plastic based-protection is required (ie foam), we re-use materials rather than buying new.  

We work on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri people. Always was, always will be.
© Hound & Bone Studio 2024.