Saturday, 14 September 2013

Print on demand: top choices are Zazzle and Fine Art America

Zazzle and Fine Art America are the most popular choices of artists using print on demand services for their artwork.  

Print on demand is a service where you upload an image and a company fulfils all orders for a giclee print, invoices, processes payments and despatches the print on your behalf - for a fee.  many artists like it as they can make money from their artwork even if the original has been sold and can spend more time on making art and less time on doing the administrative aspects.

However print on demand doesn't just happen - just as with original art, you still need to work at the marketing!

But which site offers the best service?

My poll which investigates which print on demand service artists like best has been running on my website dedicated to Print Art on Demand - Resources for Artists since last August.  You can see it below.

POLL: Which "Print on Demand" site for art prints do you like the best?

Poll ran for 13 months
from 14 August 2012 - 14 September 2013

The poll ran for 13 months between August 2o12 and Sepetmber 2013. I'd have liked the poll to have been bigger - that said it still represents responses from 64 people, some of whom have also left comments on the website.

Key results
  • Zazzle managed to snare nearly a third of the print on demand clients 
  • a quarter opted for the services of Fine Art America.
While the traffic for Cafepress and Zazzle is ostensibly similar, it's very clear that Zazzle is the site of choice for smaller and less fine art oriented items with images. Zazzle continues to remain very popular with artists wanting to sell at the 'popular art'/low priced end of the market

Upon further investigation, while there's not that much to choose between them in terms of traffic in the summer months, Zazzle absolutely thrashes CafePress at Christmas with some 2 million more visitors (9+ million compared to CafePress's 7+ million).  So if you want customers for your art at Christmas you might want to give Zazzle a try.

Zazzle also has the snazziest looking website - which is bang up to date.  It's already got its offerings up re. putting artwork on the new iPhone cases on its home page!

Redbubble is close to the Zazzle and Cafepress end of the market - however the general consensus is that this once popular Australian based firm has maybe peaked.  It's been giving an impression of a site which lost its way in business terms.  The website also has a more conventional look about it. A number of people have been looking for other venues since they changed the way they do business.

Fine Art America is a more popular choice for those wanting to sell fine art prints of their artwork on demand - with the company doing all the necessary to fulfil the order.  One of the aspects artists appreciate is the fact that they can choose whether or not Pinterest can pin their images or not - it's their choice, not a choice made for them by the website.

What I like about Fine Art America is that all the basics are explained - with a decent amount of detail - all on one page.  You also have the chance to sell prints direct from your own website.  With a premium membership you can also sell your art via  On the other hand, its sop site is by far the most traditional looking and is likely to attract an older customer.  In my view, Fine Art America could do with reviewing how its site stacks up compared to the competitors.

My original choice of website for prints (Imagekind) was spot on in terms of quality of print - and absolutely dreadful in terms of their business model and their overall approach to growing the business.  So while you can see my prints via my website I have been giving some thought for a while to switching to a new provider.

I'm not really into selling mugs and mousemats so I'll probably skip Zazzle and give Fine Art America another close look.  I'm also going to check out some of the photography websites which have well organised ecommerce options and will then review the options.

One thing I would say is if you've not given ALL their websites a once over for quite a while, I think you'll notice quite a bit of change.  Maybe time to take another look?

Please share your views

Please let us know your experiences of different print on demand websites either here or on Print Art on Demand - Resources for Artists

Friday, 13 September 2013

Palettes and colour charts with a difference

Colour Chart Coasters
A lot of artists I know are very fond of collecting trivia which is artist related - and this is a post for those who have a tendency to buy art tools on items wholly unrelated to the studio.

Those clever people at the National Portrait Gallery shop have been exploiting this tendency of late with a fantastic range of goods based around a colour chart and a palette.

In this post, you can see the two items I bought this summer  - and am very happy with. However I can't identify them in the shop and am wondering if either they are now only available in the shop - or they've sold out!

Artist's Palette fridge magnet
For the record: the colour chart coasters were £14.50 and the artist's palette fridge magnet was £3.50.  They're suitably practical to justify the price while being a great deal more attractive and appealing to me than alternatives fulfilling the same function.

The palette is actually based on George Johann Scharf's small china palette and is 19 x 15cm. Scharf was a German artist who chronicled 19th century London - which you can read about in this blog post.

There's also a small Small China Palette brooch of the same design available from the website.

Plus links to more of the same in terms of the colour chart design - but different online.  I'm very taken with the Colour Chart tea towel.

I do like the National Portrait Gallery shop - and I highly recommend it for a browse if you're in this area of London with a few minutes to spare.  They have a habit of coming up with items which are slightly quirky and better quality than one might find elsewhere. Some are somewhat highly priced but if you pick and choose you can have a small indulgence for not very much at all!

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