As a photographer who displays my work at a local gallery, final image quality is very important to me. If I put my name on something, I want it to be the best quality product. Selling online had me curious about the final product. What do people actually get when they order my work from a print on demand site? I decided to see for myself. I ordered my prints on cards from Redbubble and Pixels (Fine Art America) to see an example of what my customers are actually receiving.
I ordered 4×6 cards and postcards from Redbubble. I was very happy with the quality of these cards. They come on heavy cardstock, and color representation is good. The cards come with craft paper envelopes, which I like. The one downside to Redbubble cards is that as an artist, the only way to ensure full coverage on the front of the card is to upload a 2×3 dimension image, which can be an extra step. If it’s missed, the image comes out on the card with a white border around the it. (Instant matting.) I made sure to order only the ones with full coverage, but I’ve purchased other people’s cards that have this border.
The cards I ordered from Fine Art America/Pixels are only available in 5×7, and they are printed on 100 lb. paper and sprayed with a glossy UV protective coating. They are noticeably flimsier than the Redbubble cards, but the color representation is great. The envelopes are also thin. I would prefer a heavier card with a more elegant envelope. FAA/Pixels do offer the ability to add your own custom message in the card when you buy it. That’s a nice feature. Overall, they are nice quality.
I did like that the FAA cards arrived in this nice box. I ordered nine, and they came shipped in this packaging.
Unfortunately, I didn’t order the same image on my comparison cards, but here they are side by side. The larger card is from FAA/Pixels. The tree is a postcard from Redbubble. The covered bridge image is a folded card from Redbubble. Redbubble has a choice between 4×6 and 5×7 cards. FAA/Pixels only offers 5×7.
Whether you’re thinking of selling art on a print on demand site or have been wondering about buying from one, I hope this helps. Print on demand is a great opportunity for independent artists to get their work out in the public forum. Buying from these sites helps support small businesses and offers unlimited access to creative vision. We independent artists treasure our customers.
What about you? Do you have any experience with print on demand, either as a buyer or a seller?
Disclaimer: I was not asked to review any items from either place, nor was I compensated. This was purely for my own purposes.