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Drawing a Fine-Art Crowd

(February 2011) posted on Thu Feb 03, 2011

Tips from six shops on working with fine artists and their art.

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By Britney Grimmelsman

The key to successful fine-art printing is balance, Hanson suggests: “My advice is finding a perfect balance of give and take – providing enough service and advice without letting the client run on and on with unnecessary rounds of work. Or if they are that particular, we are willing to go the extra mile and do the work necessary to achieve the anticipated results; they just need to know early on that in order to meet those expectations, additional billable rounds of proofing may be involved.”

Indian Hill Imageworks: artists working for artists
“Speed is not our motto. Quality and attention to detail is,” says Stephen Schaub, owner of Vermont-based Indian Hill Imageworks ( The shop has focused solely on fine-art printing, whether photography or painting reproductions, since 2000. Along with being 100-percent concentrated on fine-art printing, the shop considers itself a pioneer for all that is new in the fine-art digital printing market, paying particular attention to specialty papers.

“Everything about our approach is different, from uncoated printing on ultra-thin 10gsm Japanese Gampi paper, to 640gsm full-bleed prints on handmade Arches sheets, to our inventory of hundreds of coated and uncoated papers– all of which make us a destination for artists looking for something new.”

With Indian Hill’s niche in offering such a wide variety of fine-art papers, assisting clients in the media- choice process can be particularly challenging. And the shop offers custom ICC profiles tailored to the specific needs of the particular artists and for all of the media they might be interested in using. Although the process can be time consuming, Indian Hill believes this is what sets the shop apart and keeps clients coming back.

Indian Hill takes on all steps of the printmaking process in-house. Capture is done on either a Microtek i900 flatbed or an Imacon (now Hasselblad) Flextight scanner. When working with a client directly, the shop relies solely on soft proofs via its Eizo monitor, unless a hard copy is requested, which is usually only when the chosen paper has properties that can affect the final output.

Indian Hill utilizes two printers for final output: the 12-color d’Vinci Hi Fi Jet Fine Art Printing System for more-demanding papers, and the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 for work less than 44-inches wide. The d’Vinci system mates a 54-inch Roland Hi Fi Jet printer with the ErgoSoft StudioPrint RIP and an ErgoSoft ColorGPS profiler.