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I have some traditional media artwork that I'd like to scan and then have printed to be shown in an art show. I'll be doing the scanning.

  1. Where do I go to get this done? (What is the generic name for the type of business that does this?)

    Is there a online company that will let me just upload the files and will do a good job?

  2. What are the different types of printing technologies? I.e., what kind of print should I ask for?

    Many years ago we used to send out for a "Fiery" but I'm sure it's different now.

  3. For a poster-sized print, say 22 by 34 inches, what resolution does the file need to be? 300 DPI? Can I get away with less?

(The reason I'm going to scan and then print is because I want to blow the pieces up and alter them digitally.)

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While I can't provide you with a complete answer, I would suggest nothing less than 300DPI for "gallery-quality" prints. The types of businesses are typically known as "print shops" or something similar. –  Johannes May 8 '11 at 9:20

2 Answers 2

If you Google "gallery quality prints" you'll get pages of answers, so it's hard to make an informed choice. Probably the commonest gallery print format is giclée, accepted by all galleries that handle photography. Here is an excellent article from Shutterbug magazine's website that will give you what you need to know.

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I think the shutterbug link is pretty forthcoming: giclee is essentially a fancy word for ink-jet printing. Some claim to use archival inks (doubtful) and archival paper (probable), but all that is just putting lipstick on a pig IMO. They are essentially Fiery or Iris proofs. 300 dpi is a good rule of thumb but at 30inches square, that's a big file. Any shop that does color proofing for professional printing industry is going to give you good results. –  horatio May 11 '11 at 18:42

Search for print shops on Google for your locale. Lots of these places have large flatbed scanners and can just give you a scanned JPG at 300dpi.

If they do not have large enough scanners, you can go to a local photographer who can photograph the work and provide you with a digital file.

Take that digital file, edit it how you like, and give it back to the print shop to make a print. Alternatively, there are many online printing shops/labs that can print it to whatever size you want and will UPS/FedEx it back to you within a few days.

Miller Labs is a reliable one.

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-1 for the suggestion of using JPEGs to store gallery-quality art. JPEG compression is destructive and multiple edits make that compression accumulative. –  Philip Regan Jun 13 '11 at 17:24

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