What is a proof?
A proof is an inexpensive test print that is made to to check that the final print or prints are going to be successful. It is also a preliminary print that is made to check the quality of the file. Really it’s like any other print but it’s made on cheaper paper and done in anticipation of making a final print on more expensive paper. It’s done to save money and avoid waste. We usually do 2 proofs per image one is the whole thing at reduced size around 8” x 10” and one cropped section of the final at 100% scale.
Can I skip the proof?
You can but it is provided for your benefit so we don't recommend it. If you skip the proof and are unhappy with the final then you missed an opportunity to correct the problem. You will also still be required to pay for the print you’re not happy with.
Can you send me an electronic (soft) proof?
We get asked this a lot. Our answer is that it’s pointless so no we don't. There are so many stages at which the color can get skewed between camera phones and screens that it can only distort the perception of the print not aid in assessing it.
Can you send me a paper (hard) proof?
Yes we can! We ship by FedEx ground. Please see our fulfillment page for costs.
So can I just get a proof made without a final print?
As we said it’s really just a print so can you get a print made? Yes of course! Can you get a print made for free or for the same price as a proof? Well not really, no. Here is how it works: We make proofs to ensure that the final print you intend to make will be successful so if you don’t get a final print made then it’s not really a proof so we will charge you for it as a normal print. Unless the reason for not proceeding is a failure in which case the proof has performed its function of avoiding waste and disappointment.
Can I get a proof on final paper?
Yes you can but how we charge you for it will depend on a couple things. If we do a reduced size and a crop then you will pay 50% of the cost of a print on that paper at that size. If we do a full sized ‘proof’ on final paper then really it’s no different from a final print so we will charge you the same as for a final print.
But what about ‘artists proofs’?
You can call it what you want once we’ve printed it for you but if it’s the same as a final print then it will cost the same.
But traditional Litho and Etching printers pull many ‘artists proofs’ before they make an edition, why don’t you and why can’t I have these at a discount or for free?
Different forms of printmaking all have they own unique traditions based on what is required to get a good print. In giclee printing we are much more like a photo printer than a traditional etching printer. A file is like a negative so when you hand it to a printer we make one print or many depending on what you need. Etching presses take a huge amount of work to set up and run and so you need to go through a lengthy period of testing to make sure everything is good. Once you are there it makes no sense not to run many prints and at the end of the day you have many prints—some final and some tests—the best of which are published as the edition and the second best are considered proofs. We don’t have second bests.
Ok but I want to make an edition and I really need to know what the image will look like on the final paper at the final size before I can give the go ahead.
In this instance we will charge for it as a proof if the first one is dissatisfactory and you still need to make changes to the file or paper after we have run it. Bear in mind that this only counts for an edition that is about to be printed not for one you intend to print sometime in the future. We charge 50% for proofs on the final paper at the size printed.
“So I have a print I want to make but I don’t know if it’s ready yet can I proof it with you?” Or: “I want to get this file printed with you soon but cant afford it just yet can I get just a proof made to be sure the file is ready?”
We can print it for you but that isn’t a proof, it’s a test print and we charge for those at full price. We recommend you use a less expensive paper if you think it might not yet be ready for exhibition or are concerned about costs.
What is Calibration?
It means measurement and with it we measure the output of our printers, screens and other equipment to make sure that the colors are consistent and accurate.
And that means?
It means we can with confidence state that prints will look the same regardless of which paper we print them on or how long the passage of time between reprints.
Do you guarantee that?
No. There are slight qualitative differences between the different makes and types of paper. Some papers just perform better and there is a good reason why the high-end papers are worth the money. But the colors overall will be the same. Also there is a mechanical difference between a natural (off white) paper and bright white paper (or a matte vs, a glossy paper) that affects how they present color. It’s too subjective to guarantee but it’s good enough to work with and we think you will be impressed.
Will your files work on another calibrated system?
Will someone elses files work on your system?
Yes if they too are calibrated. There is an industry standard we all work to.
Should I be calibrated to print through your system?
It would help but it’s expensive and technical and you don’t have to be calibrated to print with us. There are different levels for different people. We do recommend that clients calibrate their monitors as this is inexpensive and is the single greatest improvement you can make to your system short of buying a new computer. Ask us about our recommendations for monitor calibration.
Do you give out profiles so that we can soft proof your prints on our screens?
No we don’t, honestly we’ve only been asked this rarely. If you really want to soft proof paper types then download the generic profile for the paper you intend to use from the manufacturers website and that will get you close enough. If you’re really an enthusiast for this then we can talk to you about using one of our profiles but only if you are already printing with us.
Can I have you make a copy of this art that I bought/this album cover I think is cool/this image online that I fell in love with?
No we cannot. Artists retain the copyright to their work even when it’s sold unless they explicitly transferred it to a buyer in a separate contract. Not only will it get us into trouble but we are artists too and we believe in the rights of the artist to retain and profit from their work.
But the artist is dead, can you make me a copy of their work?
Nope. Artists (and their heirs) retain the rights to their work for 90 years after their death.
I don’t mean just dead I mean that their work is in this museum and they died back in the 17th century. Can you make me a copy of their work?
Not really, even if the the artists' rights have expired the work is still the property of a museum who may have the rights or may instead have the rights to the photo of the work from which you wish to make the print. Please get a letter from the museum saying that they give you permission to reproduce the work.
But the copy I want to make is a poster for my wall/a talk in my art school/a gift for my girlfriend my use is not commercial.
It’s not commercial for you but it is for us. We’re in the business of making prints therefore we’re in contravention of the artists’ copyright if we print it for you.
This print I want to make is my art but it is a play on/utilizes/quotes/reworks/looks like this work by another very well known artist.
That’s a more nuanced proposition. If you are quoting or reworking another artists’ work without trying to pass it off as your own then as we understand it that is your work. There are arguments for an against this with recent legal successes and losses by Richard Prince and Jeff Koons as examples. We will under certain conditions print it for you but we will take this on a case by case basis.
There is this really cool image on the Hubble telescope website that I want for my wall, will you print it?
We’d love to! All of NASA’s images are in the public domain (well the American Public did pay for all the missions) and they are even kind enough to supply a copyright permission letter for you to print out to bring to us when you want to have us print one of their images. Go NASA!
Do you keep my files when the job is finished.?
Yes we do, so that we can reprint for you without having to reproof.
I don't feel comfortable with you keeping my files, you might make and sell prints of my work without my permission.
We’ll just brush off that insult to our honesty and integrity and say that we’ll be happy to destroy them the moment we’re finished with them if that is what you ask us to do.
Do you ship worldwide?
Yes we do. See > the Fulfillment page.
Do you sell packing materials?
Yes we do for prints that we make. Ask us for prices.
Do you FedEx to Europe?
Yes. Though in general we find them and UPS to be cost prohibitive so we usually ship via USPS. But if you need something overnighted to anywhere in the world we'll give you a quote.
Do you offer tracking numbers on International shipment via USPS?
We offer both International First Class which is without tracking and Priority Mail shipping with tracking, please see > the Fulfillment page.
Are you able to mark my package ‘Gift’ or ‘Sample’ to avoid import duties?
No. We generally see this as a flag to customs to stop a package since it has been sent from a company i.e. us.
Can you put a lesser amount on the value to avoid customs duties?
No again this is a flag to customs, plus it means we cannot properly insure the package for the full value.
Will my package get stuck in customs?
That depends, a small percentage of packages to Europe seem to get held up. There is no way of telling which ones will.
What happens then?
They send a message to the the recipient asking for duties to be paid before it is released
Do you pay the import duties?
No we don't, they are charged to the importer and there is no way for as to know what they would be to be able to pass them on to you the customer at the time of shipping.
Do you take credit cards?
Yes, all of them.
Do you take cash, checks, counter checks, wire transfers, IOU’s, promissory notes, barter, exchange, my art or my unborn children?
We do take cash and wire transfers. The rest no, we’re strictly 21st century when it comes to being paid.
Do you have a way I can pay online?
Yup we can send you an online payment link, it is processed by Payal but you do not need a Paypal account to make a payment.
Do you give discounts to artists?
The vast majority of our clients are artists. So take that as a yes (as in all of our discounts are for artists!) otherwise just not on an individual basis as it would be unfair to everyone else.
Would you sponsor my show?
Generally speaking no but we have sponsored open studios and a series of Exhibitions at ROOT studios. Before asking us do so please seriously consider what the incentive may be for us to help with your event or show.
I cant seem to get Paypal to accept my payment to you. What gives?
Paypal are not much of a pal when it comes to getting paid, they can make it unnecessarily difficult. If you already have an account with them but choose not to use it that is OK but if you attempt to use a card that has been associated with a Paypal account then they will not permit it and demand that you use their account. In this instance please use a different card. Alternatively if you wish to send a large amount such as $4000 or above Paypal seem to be unreliable and will just refuse to process the payment without giving any indication. We recommend for larger amount that you make a wire transfer or ACH payment. We'll be happy to send you our bank details.
We’re a large company and our payments are handled by our accounts department who will send you payment in a few days/weeks, is that OK?
Sorry but strictly no. We operate on a retail basis and it's just like buying from a store. We don't accept delayed payments, we require settlement of the invoice on collection or delivery. Please use a company credit or debit card to settle the amount in person or online as soon as it is picked up or delivered and we don’t ever accept checks.
I want to pick it up now but I cant pay you straight away. Can you put it on my account?
We don’t offer accounts, credit or terms of any kind.
I want to pick it up now but I cant pay you straight away. Can my friend/spouse/parent/gallerist/guardian angel pay you by phone?
We’ll be happy to send them the invoice and a payment link where they can pay the amount online.
Can I send you/call you with my credit card number?
Please don't it’s very insecure to send credit card details through the internet or over the phone. This is why we have the online payment page. It’s as easy as buying anything online and we’ll be happy to send you the payment link.
Do you keep my credit card details? Or: Can you just charge this to the card I gave you last time?
No. All payments are processed through a payment processing company and we never even see your credit card details.
“If you don't understand [...] the basic underpinnings of color management, it may seem like magic when it works and black magic when it doesn't. It isn't magic of course just some rather clever technology based on some very solid but limited science. Human vision is a wondrously complex phenomenon, and a great deal remains to be learned before we can fully explain it.”
—Bruce Fraser, et al 'Real World Color Management' Peachpit Press