Ordering products…. how much time do we allow??

When the time comes to order wall products to showcase your art that you have painstakingly worked on for weeks, it’s not something to take lightly. We are spoilt for choice with different types of paper, finishes, mounts, laminates, each with different qualities to enhance a wide range of images. A perfect image can be ruined with the wrong selection, matt finishes can reduce the detail which is no good when the detail is the important part, acrylics really stand out but are extremely reflective, no good if it’s placement near a window that will bleach out the image. So there is much to consider before you place your order.

After deciding what type of finish would work best for my Degree Show pieces, I ordered test prints. I can’t explain how important ordering test prints is, the last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of pounds only to find that when your products arrive that the colour isn’t right or it’s not sharp enough or you don’t like the finish. Something that would have been picked up if you’d had test prints done first.

I needed my final wall products to arrive before the 23rd May, so I made sure that I started the process ONE MONTH before that date. I thought that would be more than enough time to go through the process and receive in plenty time to hang them before the show.

WRONG, my first lot of test prints arrived after 5 days, and the quality was poor. The matte finish that they apply means a reduction in details up to 10% which is a lot! I then had to re-edit my images to compensate for that loss, I did that the same day and sent them off to have a second set of test prints done. They took another week to arrive, when they did I was happy so I asked them to go ahead and print.

We are now exactly 7 days away from the show and I have just received my finished products.

DISASTER

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They are covered in horizontal lines, which I assumed was from the packaging as it lines up perfectly with the lines on the images.

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Absolute nightmare and not something I can ignore, these are meant to advertise quality products to clients. The print company have apologised and insisted that it’s to do with the laminate process which they will fix and remake for delivery next Tuesday ….. WHICH IS 3 DAYS BEFORE THE SHOW!!! I am really disappointed that if it was done in production rather than by the packaging why it wasn’t picked up before it was sent out? But I can’t knock their customer service and quick turnaround for the remake. I am concerned though that if there is anything wrong with those then I am out of time to get replacements.

So this is just a little bit of advice for those ordering art that’s crucially important to have by a certain date, allow plenty of time, more than I did, because even if you think your images are perfect and good to go there’s so many things that can go wrong or slow down the process.

**UPDATE

The remake of my wall art arrived today (Tuesday 22nd May – 3 Days prior to the Show)

They don’t have the horizontal marks like the first batch but they all have other varying marks on them. Can’t describe my utter disappointment:

 

They aren’t extremely noticeable but there are still marks, if these were products for clients I would not be able to deliver them.

After contacting the company they are making a third batch to be delivered tomorrow (2 days before the Show). Even though the damaged products have been a let down, I cannot fault the customer service in trying to resolve the issues.

Without the marks these products are absolutely gorgeous, I love the matte finish it’s exactly what I wanted for my images and I can’t wait to hang them.

Hopefully the 3rd batch will arrive today and be PERFECT! Fingers crossed!

 

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