Which Scanner is Best for Scanning Artwork?


LayerCakeNY Blog
Art By: LayerCakeNY  www.layercakeny.com

1. Which Scanner is Best for Scanning Artwork?

The first step in generating printed art reproductions is to start by having your artwork professionally scanned using a large format flatbed scanner that can scan large artwork as well as smaller pieces.  When looking for artwork scanning services, be sure to find a company that specializes in scanning art at the best resolution for printing by generating high quality scanned images at the proper dimensions for printing.

Art prints, also known as Giclee prints, can only be as good as the digital images. So best to use a large flatbed scanner that has even LED lighting that is completely free of any ultraviolet or infrared radiation, since this is the only way to guarantee a harmless and uniform illumination. The scanner must also operate independent of ambient light so that it can be utilized in a variety of lighting environments. This way, bright sunlight or uneven ceiling lighting will not interfere with the scanning process allowing for high quality scanned images of your artwork.

2. Artwork Printing Services

Digital art printing services providers such as Chica Prints have technicians trained on the proper use of the scanning software and the calibration of the equipment to generate high quality scanned art images. They also use state of the art scanners engineered in Germany that were specifically designed with the safety and integrity of the original in mind.

The equipment was designed with state of the art technology to generate images for accurate historical preservation. What this means is that the digital images will be accurate representations of the original art at a true high resolution and with accurate dimensions for printing.

3. Art Reproductions

Accurate dimensions means that the height and width of the scanned image match that of the original artwork, which is critical for generating an accurate print with no distortions. If you look at the dimensions of a photo of an art piece you will see that the dimensions do not match the dimensions of the original piece and the overall quality will not be as good as that of an image generated by a high resolution professional scanner. Which is crucial to generate high quality art reproductions that properly represent the original artwork.

Before generating the final print, it is also best to ask the printer to generate a proof which is something they can do for a small charge. The proof is usually a much smaller print, and this is a key point in the process since a proof will allow the artist to review and approve the quality of the print before the full-size print is made.

4. Lower Art Scanning Costs

A great advantage for artists is that the new professional art scanners generate very high quality images at a lower price. New state of the art scanners can handle large and small art pieces that can be flat or mounted. The artwork is delicately handled and scanned by scrolling across the entire art piece to capture every detail with even lighting.

In contrast, many professional photographers need to charge much higher prices because it takes a long time to set up and then test lighting options, take test shots, and test various lenses or cameras. A process that can take hours and still the final image will not have as high a resolution with proper dimensions compared to an image generated by a high end professional scanner. In part, this is due to the fact that the photographer needs to take a photo from a faraway distance relative to the artwork. However, the camera on a professional large flatbed scanner is right under the art piece, and it scrolls down the art piece with even cool LED lighting that is completely free of any ultraviolet or infrared radiation.

5. Large Flatbed Art Scanner

There used to be issues that arose with scanners because in the past, they had limitations in size, or because colors were not properly captured. However, those limitations no longer apply since new professional scanners are large, with special adjustable hinged covers and with advanced software for color and image capture. So doing it yourself or using a photographer may no longer be worth the effort, because it just causes too many issues  Etsy since there are so many variables to address. Also, it can be a very time-consuming process that may generate subpar images that devalue the artwork and do not properly represent the time, creativity, and effort that went into the artwork.

However, new professional large flatbed scanners can scan items that are up to 48” x70” and even larger. These new professional scanners can also be color calibrated to ensure that colors are accurate regardless of whether you have a drawing or a painting.

Also, when it comes to resolution, new large flatbed scanners can generate superb high quality 600dpi images in various image formats.

Another advantage of large professional flatbed scanners is that they can handle delicate, fragile pieces as well as curled, torn or otherwise imperfect pieces.

6. Which is Better TIFF or JPG?

In most cases, the photos you take with your cell phone are JPG images which are compressed images. These are great for sharing, posting on websites, and for social media.

TIFF images are uncompressed and contain much more data which can be edited to enhance the image as needed. The TIFF image is also a great backup for long term archiving.

Another way to explain this is that a JPG image can be generated from a TIFF image. Meaning that a high quality uncompressed TIFF image can be compressed to a lower quality JPG image.

If you zoom into a JPG image, you will quickly begin to see distortions, and if you try to edit the image, you will find that options are limited. So typically, both the JPG and the TIFF are generated by a professional art scanning service so that the artist can save both but use the JPG online and the TIFF image for high quality printing.

The TIFF image contains all the data that was generated during the scan process, and a professional flatbed scanner will generate a tremendous amount of data during the scan process which will generate a better quality image that can also be edited as needed. More information on JPG and TIFF images can be found at this link Widen.com

7. Reduced and Enlarged Artwork Prints

The TIFF image can be used to generate prints that are smaller than the original if needed. Alternatively, the TIFF image can also be used to generate enlarged prints as well. In both cases, this can be done while keeping image proportions and maintaining image integrity to ensure that there are no distortions on the digital or printed image.

8. Artists Referrals and Scanned Samples

Nothing beats the reviews of fellow artists who have had their work scanned and printed in a manner that surpasses their expectations, which is why a professional art scanning service will have plenty of examples and referrals. Such as can be seen at this website Chica Prints as well as on social media at Chica Prints Instagram

The images at these links are the lower quality JPG images, and as you can see, they cover a great variety of art styles, colors, dimensions, and media. The TIFF images are not typically used online, but they are of an even better quality, which is why they are used for archiving, printing and editing.

9. Summary

In conclusion, the technology for digitizing art has greatly improved, and prices to have art scanned have greatly decreased, providing great advantages for artists.

Moreover, this is because there are now large professional flatbed scanners Chica Prints that can scan artwork as large as 48”x70” and even larger. In most cases, the scanning is done in one pass with a camera that is very close up to the artwork and which scrolls along every inch of the artwork with even and cool LED lighting capturing professional images at a high DPI with accurate colors and dimensions.

A professional scanning service will also generate a JPG image for social media and a higher quality TIFF image for editing and printing. All this is often done at much lower costs than old-style photography while generating higher quality images at a true high DPI with accurate dimensions and superb resolution that accurately represent the quality and value of the original artwork.

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