As an artist, photographer, or designer, you know the importance of exhibiting your work. Gallery shows and exhibitions are crucial for building your career as an artist and gaining much-needed publicity. But before you can start packing out galleries, you’ll need to get your artwork printed, framed and let the world know about your event. That is why we have put together this handy guide, breaking down what you need to do to get your artworks ready for exhibition. Keep reading to learn how to prepare your images, choose your printing style, select eye-catching framing, and promote your exhibition to make the most impact.
1. Prepare your images
When getting ready for an exhibition, the first step is selecting and prepping your images. Make sure to check with the hosting gallery if there are any exhibition requirements or themes. Then it is time to start looking through your catalogue of works. You’ll want to make a selection of your best pieces that make a strong artistic statement.
Once on have selected the images you want to exhibit, it’s time to prepare them for print. For the sharpest quality pictures, you’ll need to start with high-resolution images. Professional printers consider +300 DPI images high enough resolution for exhibition grade printing.
Once you have confirmed your image is high-resolution, you’ll want to save your image in the correct format. While some professional printers can work from a JPEG file, most prefer lossless file formats such as TIFF. Check with your printer for specific file requirements.
Colour management is essential for ensuring your printed artworks match your artistic vision. Most fine art printers can provide hard (printed) and soft (digital) proofs of your artworks before your final print run. However, because all computer screens display colour slightly different, we recommend speaking with your printer about colour management and investing in hard proofs to ensure the best results.
2. Print Style
There are two styles of professional printing that reign supreme for exhibition quality prints: Giclée and C-type. Each of these popular styles has its own unique advantages. Keep reading to see which type is best for your artwork.
Giclée is a halftone printing style that has been around since the 1990s. Named after the French word for spray, giclée prints are made with microscopic drops of ink that act as pixels, adding colour to specially treated paper. Renowned for creating prints with sumptuous spectral colour, giclée is the preferred printing style if your work uses bright, vivid colours.
Another advantage of giclée printing is its longevity. Made with the best materials available, giclée prints are archival-quality, which means they will retain their colour without deteriorating for over 100 years. Perfect for exhibitions and limited editions, giclée prints are guaranteed to look their best for a lifetime.
C-type, or chromogenic type printing, is a technique that has been around since the 1930s. Initially used for developing colour photographs and large scale prints, today, c-type printing can be used to create beautiful prints from digital files as well as negatives. C-type prints are created when lasers react with specially treated silver halide paper, forming the printed image.
One advantage of c-type printing is the smooth gradient colour it produces. As a result, sunsets, rainbows, and water can be replicated without any pixelation, even when viewed in minute detail. Another advantage of c-type printing is its large-scale printing capacity, with prints available up to 182cm x 300cm. So if you’re looking to produce striking, larger than life prints, then c-type is your printing style of choice.
Mounting or Framing your artwork is essential when preparing your works for exhibition. Frames add the finishing touch to your artistic vision, so you’ll want to select a frame that is sympathetic to your work. Speak with a professional framer to see what options will look best with your works. While custom framing may take a little longer than off the shelf, the quality and finish of your professionally framed artwork will make your artwork stand out and reflect your professionalism as an artist.
5. Get the word out!
Lastly, once all of your artworks are printed, framed and off to the gallery, you’ll want to start promoting your exhibition. While self-promotion isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it is vital for letting your collectors and followers know about your work. Speak with your gallery to develop a coordinated marketing strategy, then start spreading the word! Social media is a fantastic tool, so make sure to share lots of eye-catching photos that will encourage engagement.