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Sharing some of my business tips here...

This is how I ship my fine art prints to clients. The important thing to note here is that I wrap a sheet of paper around the print to stop it from opening up inside the tube. If the print opens up in the tube it's a real pain to get out, and clients can end up ripping the edges of the print from tugging at it.

I print instructions for the client or framer to tear off the paper around the middle of the print to unroll it, so that they tear the right place and not the print. I even leave a tab on the sellotape so that they can see where to pull.

I also cut a piece of plain paper the same size as the print and put that on top of the print before I carefully roll it. If you don't do this, you can damage the face of the print by rubbing it against the back of the print as you squeeze it down to make it small enough to fit into the tube. It also looks much more professional when the client or framer unrolls the print.

If there is any space at either end of the rolled print in the tube, I put some cut bubble wrap in there to stop the print from moving up and down the tube, again possibly damaging it.

The paper in the bottom left of the photo is a certificate of authenticity, that I include with every print I ship.

I ship most of my prints overseas, and need a strong tube, which I sourced a number of years ago after much trial and error. The tube is plain, but clean. Once inside the tube the client get's a definite sense of quality as they see how much trouble we went to to protect their print during transit. People like quality, so even if it takes a little more preparation and thinking about the product, I always try to provide as high a quality product as possible.

I hope this helps if you ship prints yourself too. If you have any tips for me, please share.
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Mike Spinak's profile photoThomas Paris's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photoLandon Michaelson's profile photo
19 comments
 
Thanks for sharing the tips. I'm not in a position to need them yet, but you never know.
 
Thanks guys! And thanks for the testimonial Calvin, as well as for buying the prints. :-) Come to think of it, that was quite some time ago now. I hope you are still enjoying them.

It's great to be back online too Calvin. Thanks!
 
Glad to see you are upright and hard at it again. Your prints... my birthday is coming and I am going to treat myself with one of your portfolios. I just have to decide which one...
 
Thanks Alan and Don!

Don, that's great! I'm just about well enough now to create a folio. In fact, I have another folio order in that I'm about to start working on, so I'll be ready when your order comes in.
 
You're welcome Paul! Thanks for taking a look. :-)
 
As a proud owner of a truly fine art print and a folio of prints, they are all wonderful and arrived across the pond in perfect condition. So great to hear you recording again, on the mend and sharing your talents with the world with renewed vigor and vitality. Onward!
 
Hee hee, thanks Landon!

I'm not sure about the vigor and vitality yet, but it's sure nice to be able to spend time in front of the computer again, and do a bit of sharing.

I'm just trying to "Carpe the crap out of the Diem" as my friend +David duChemin says. :-)
 
Martin, what sized diameter tube do you use for shipping prints?
 
The main tube I use is 71mm inside diameter, and 73mm diameter on the outside.

I should warn you though that getting 310gms fine art paper rolled small enough to fit inside these takes some practice. At first I kinked a number of prints and had to reprint them. That hasn't happened for a while now, but that's through practice. If I could easily source tubes at a good price that were around 10cm in diameter, I'd probably go for them.
 
Note too that before these tubes I tried a similar looking tube but the ends pinch closed, not proper caps like the above tube. The original tubes were not strong enough to cope with international travel. They squeezed closed in the middle too and I had to resend a number of prints before finding sturdier tubes.
 
Thanks for the info about the tubes, Martin. I've been considering switching from shipping flat to trying tubes. Cheers.
 
No problem Mike. I hope the switch works for you.

I am currently working on some flat boxes for shipping gallery wraps, as they have to contain the frame from the start. Anything else though, I prefer tubes. Actually, that's not true. Come to thing of it, I do sometimes ship really small prints flat, and my fine art folios (http://www.mbpfolios.com) go out in boxes too. For these, I had some pure white boxes made, and tape them up with white tape. They look very classy. :-)
 
Wow -- i love G+ .... where else would you find something of this quality as a post, just out of the blue.

+Martin Bailey I'm also very curious about the BARCODE and how you use it for "inventory control" and shipping fulfillment? This is a tangential-topic to your post ... so, curious if anyone might have some feedback on a system I need for other objects in tubes -- drawings...

With the capability now of all our smartphones having barcode readers, this is what I a working on -- and wondering who's already got this system down: (It's really more of a question for architects and engineers, but let me give it a try!) ...

I do UX design (user experience design, information architecture) for large web enterprises. I have used all tools imaginable over the years, but ultimately i work best with PAPER and vis-a-vis pens (or any markers) .... I use 48" wide butcher paper on 1000-foot rolls, and instead of whiteboards, I draw on paper. ----- Storing and referencing them has always been difficult -- and I gave up on flat files years ago becasue they were out of sight-out of mind. I now have a floor to ceiling cabinet I had built with about 100 or so 2" diameter PVC pipe-lengths to use as "slots" where I roll up these drawings and insert them into their slots. Just like at a mailing center.

But I then photograph them for easier review on computer as I move to the next phase of UX design. So I have just started this system of generating bar-codes on stickers ---- And, similar to how when one gets a blood test at a lab, they generate about 6 copies of the same bar-code for absolute-matching of vials with paperwork, for each drawing I have multiple stickers with the same unique bar code. I place one onto the drawing. Then another onto the SLOT where it gets filed, and a third one onto a wall of thumbnail photo-prints of each item, as a way to visually find what I am looking for. So, it's easy to find a drawing based on bar coded thumbnail either printed out or on the computer, and it software tells me which bin it is located in. Similarly, if I am working with a drawing and a staffer has to file it away, they only have to barcode read it with their phone and then they know which slot it belongs in.

••••• Just to reiterate: Martin, how great that you've shared professional practices which help others. Nice!
 
(( I'm just trying to "Carpe the crap out of the Diem" as my friend +David duChemin says. :-) ))

That is hilarious!
 
Wow! That's some intricate system for filing your design notes Richard! I myself have quite a few iPhone photos of full whiteboards, but since leaving my old roll in software to pursue photography full time, I have not bought a white board. I rarely have people to my office/studio, and haven't felt I need one. Most of my thinking with pencils happens on small notepads, and usually ends up as a finished product, so I don't bother to keep my own notes. I'm sure that would be different if I did the sort of work you do though.

Unfortunately, I believe I sent you the wrong message with the bar code on the cap of the packaging tube. That's the bar code used by the shop from which I buy the tubes, and it makes more of a mess to remove them, so I leave them on. That's all. I move a decent number of prints each month, but I wish I had to worry about inventory to the point that I did need a bar code system. :-)

Cheers,
Martin.
 
+Martin Bailey -- thanks for reply.

(( I wish I had to worry about inventory to the point that I did need a bar code system. :-) )) --- yeah I hear ya! Luckily what you ship in tubes generates revenue! These UI drawings and content structure maps are just early steps in a process. ... But it's less, of course, about sheer numbers of works to catalogue, and more about utilizing the capability I was seeing on my touch-phone where they become barcode readers so instantly, and then display information.. It just seems to make sense. .... Hell, even the little hardware store in my neighborhood uses a sheet full of barcodes and images to match screws nuts and bolts etc... It sounds more complicated than it is. It's just never been accessible on a consumer level before. Now it is. I downloaded an application I bought -- very cheap as things go:

http://www.labeljoy.com/

I'm just having my office helpers try it out. I think it'll work really well. All the times for years and years I have tried to identify what is rolled up inside a tube or bin -- now i don't have to. Touchscreen phone aimed at the barcode and it tells you what's in it. ... I look forward to seeing more of your work.
 
Wow, that's a pretty neat system you've put together Richard. It must be a lot of fun just seeing what's in each tube! Very cool.
 
I know this is an 'old' topic now... last comment was nearly 2 years ago:D
We just started using clear poly tubing (the lightweight, 2 mil. stuff).
http://www.clearbags.com/bags/poly-tubing/clear-poly-tubing-roll-6-flat-x-1625-ptr6.html
The tubing comes in really long rolls (1600+ feet for just $55 US). Just buy a heat press cutter/sealer ($45 on Amazon).
Just cut your poly tubing to the length of your rolled print, and heat seal one end. Then roll your print like normal and slide into poly tube, then use your heat sealer to seal the other end of the tubing. Then put the whole thing in a shipping tube.
It's a bit more protection from shipping conditions, which are often dusty or possibly wet. It also allows the client to easily pull the sealed print from the shipping tube very easily to access the print.
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