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FAQ: Printing

What is print on demand?

Print on demand is a fulfilment method for printing products on a per-order basis so print on demand products are only produced once they have been purchased by the end customer.

This means that you don’t pay for the product until after you’ve sold it, eliminating the need for you to hold any inventory or stocks.

Instead, you hold a ‘virtual’ inventory on your e-commerce website and the blank products are all held and supplied by your manufacturing partners.

When a customer purchases a product from your site, the order is sent directly to a fulfilment partner who manages the entire supply chain from fulfilment to white-label delivery.

What is a Giclée print?

The word “Giclée” is French for “sprayed ink.” Today, the term is used to describe a sophisticated inkjet printmaking process which creates the highest quality fine art reproductions.

All of our in-house prints are manufactured in this way. Except for stickers and apparel which are produced using eco-solvent inks. Giclée printing offers extra-fine image resolution, helping retain a higher degree of detail from the original fine art or photographic images.

How long do your Giclée prints last?

A lot of research and development has gone into the various aspects and materials that make up a Giclée print.

The archival nature of the print varies according to the type of inks used, as well as the archival properties of your chosen paper selected and the conditions in which the print is displayed or stored. Current scientific lab reports suggested that our recommended papers and Giclée printing process will produce a print that lasts between 100-200 years in optimal conditions.

Please note any print located in direct sunlight is still likely to fade over time.

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing uses heat and pressure to transfer dye onto material.

The design is first printed onto special paper. Then, the garment is laid flat between 2 sheets and put under a mechanical heat press. This process causes the ink to be absorbed into the material, creating a long-lasting design that won’t easily fade or crack.

100% polyester shirts work best for sublimation printing. T-shirts always start out white, with the printable area covering the entire body of the flat T-shirt.

The key benefit of sublimation printing is that there are very few creative limitations. You can have any design or colour you want without the need for expensive bulk orders or unstitching.

The primary drawback is that white streaks or creases can still be visible after printing - particularly in the seams and under the arms. The best way to minimise this effect is to avoid dark background colours in your design.

Learn more on the Prodigi blog: Understanding how sublimation printing works.

How are your apparel products printed?

Our print on demand clothing, t-shirts and apparel products are produced using two different print techniques: DTG (Direct-To-Garment) and sublimation (all-over print).

DTG

With DTG (direct-to-garment), you can choose any base garment colour, and the design is printed directly onto the garment using a special inkjet printer (a bit like the one you have at home, but specially designed for fabric).

  • Great for complex designs, precise logo placement, unlimited colours
  • Not so good for block colour on black. If you’re looking for super sharp, you’ll want screen printing which is more expensive and requires large minimum order runs.

Sublimation

With sublimation printing, the design is first printed onto special transfer paper. Then, the blank (white) product is ‘sandwiched’ between two sheets, and the design is applied to the whole piece using heat and pressure.

  • Great for patterns, gradients, designs incorporating white
  • Not so good for designs requiring precise placement, dark colours (these may look faded on white, and there can be creasing in the design) sharp lines (these may blur as the ink is absorbed by the fabric).

Can your Giclée prints be mounted to different materials?

Yes, we mount prints to a wide range of different substrates / materials including: wood, acrylic, dibond, Gatorboard, foamboard, Foamex.

Can I order sample prints?

We offer sample pack that includes examples all our art, photo and canvas substrates.

If you would like samples of other print on demand products please place an order using our manual order form, let support know your order number and they will discount your order by 50%.

Prints are listed in cm and inches - what will be the size of my print?

We produce prints in both metric (centimetres) and imperial (inches) sizes. The sizing system being used depends on the product type and the country in which your order is being produced.

The table below should be used as a guide:

Production lab Fine art prints Framed prints Canvas prints Panels
Australia inches inches inches inches
UK cm cm inches inches
EU cm cm inches cm
USA inches inches inches Inches

For example, our GLOBAL-FAP-18x24 (with a description of “Enhanced Matte Art Paper, 200GSM, 45x60cm/18x24in” would be printed at 18x24” if produced in the USA but 45x60cm if printed in the UK.

In most cases there are only a few millimeters difference between the metric and imperial conversions.

The reason we make this distinction is so that products are sized in the measuring systems local customers are most familiar with. For rolled prints, this also means that local shops and picture frames will fit the products being produced locally.

What is your colour management process?

One of the most important aspects of our printing process is colour management.

Colour management involves the constant calibration of our printers, monitors, scanners and software to ensure the colour of your prints precisely matches the previews you get from the website. It’s painstaking but vitally important work.

For those wishing to set-up their files before printing, you can download our colour profiles to soft-proof your images.

Can I have name/id/image details printed on the back of photos or prints?

Unfortunately, we can’t offer printing on the back of the photos or prints. Filenames may be printed on the back of photos by some labs, but it would be our own internal file name, not yours.

The only option would be for you to edit your image so that the details are printed on the front of the photo. This would need to be done before uploading the image file to us.

How do you orientate my images when printing?

Our print API automatically recognises the orientation of your image and allocates it to a landscape or portrait format, regardless of the product sku you’ve selected.

Additionally, if you order through the online order form, there is an image editor available there that allows you to manipulate your print file until it’s looking perfect.