Here is my latest art print set; 3 prints 24′x24′ which I mounted on MDF like before in this tutorial. I love the technique because it looks like prints on canvas, or oil paintings if I use a brushstroke medium. I have always enjoyed the canvas look, but I am not a painter, and having my artwork printed on canvas -yeah, not frugal. These three prints would have cost me about $300 on canvas. No thank you.
I am writing this review in response to multiple requests for my printing source after I published this post. Large format printing in general is costly. It is just a fact. That is why I was skeptical when I first found Short Run Posters and saw their prices. They offer 18×24 prints for $2.97 branded, $4.97 unbranded. The branding is a small logo on the bottom back of the poster, which is completely unnoticeable for my purposes. I guess if you are selling the prints, you may not want the logo. They recently added 24×36 size priced at $15.97. Unbelievable, right?
Despite my skepticism, I placed my first order in 2009 and was quite impressed. The prints looked exactly like the image on my computer screen. I have place several orders since that time, all with great results and customer service. I had an issue with shipping on one of my first orders that was due to UPS delivering to the wrong center. Before I had figured out what the problem was, I contacted Short Run about the my order, and they immediately resent the prints without question. I ended up getting the second batch, then several days later the first batch! Estimated delivery times vary depending on location (see shipping policies here), anywhere from 1 to 6 days in the US. There is a $10 flat rate for shipping, regardless of the number of prints you order, so I always wait to place an order until I have several files I want printed. There is also express shipping available for fees for 1, 2, or 3 day express, which I have never used. My prints have always come within 7-10 business days (this is 5 day production time + shipping), packaged in a sturdy cardboard tube.
For both sizes, there is a 1/2 inch white border on all sides, so the actual print area is 17×23 and 23×35 inch. The paper for the 18×24 size is #80 coated cover stock, acid free (archival) with a matte finish. For an additional fee, you can chose lamination for a glossy effect. I like the matte finish just fine, and find the paper to be similar to photo paper in heaviness. The 24×36 size is printed on #46 Bond matte paper. I just ordered this size for the first time recently. The paper is not quite as thick as the smaller size print, but it is still heavy. It is uncoated, and I learned the hard way that you must seal the print with acrylic sealant before coating with Mod Podge brushstroke. The colors are vibrant and appear just as the file on my monitor.
The Short Run Posters website is full of instructions, tips, FAQ’s, tutorials, useful design links and resources to get you going. I highly recommend this company. Using SRP, this project cost around $65 total. A far cry from $300, and with the satisfaction of having done it myself. I am amazed at their prices, and still find it hard to believe. When asked how they can offer such affordable prints, SRP replied “