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Fine Art Printing and Minimising Waste

Just like a lot of small businesses, we are making a greater attempt to minimise our environmental impact with every order that heads out the door. We wanted to highlight one way in particular that we can create a more environmentally friendly business with the help you, our customers.

Inevitably, we are sent quite a bit of packaging in the course of a week. From rolls of Fine Art Paper that is wrapped for its protection, to products for the shop and ink cartridges. We invest a lot of time and energy in reducing, reusing and recycling these items - which you can read about in our next blog post - but unfortunately we cannot avoid it entirely. One thing we can do however, is drastically minimise the amount of paper wastage that we produce. This requires a team effort from us and you, so please keep reading to see how a change in ordering habit can make a big difference.

Let's start with what Fine Art Printing actually looks like:

Our Fine Art Printer works only on rolls of paper that are 24 inches wide. This is due to the style of the printer, which is exactly the type of professional set up you want for exceptional quality and why people keep coming back for our prints. Below is an example of an order of '6x4 Fine Art Prints', which will be hand cut with white borders.

6x4 Fine Art with border, images by Jon Gazzignato.

When the customer orders the recommended amount of prints (what we used to refer to as "sets"), the images fill a full width of paper and we are left with very minimal paper off-cuts, as you can see below.

Paper offcuts from the above print order.

When the customer does not understand the concept of ordering in a "set" (or chooses to ignore it), we end up printing a width of paper that contains more wasted space than image space, as you can see below (pardon the Photoshopping - this actually happens in real life but we didn't want to waste a heap of paper just to show it to you!).

Example of what ordering one 6x4 print looks like - 20 inches of wasted paper!

Any inches of blank space which are left unused, unfortunately cannot be re-fed through the printer and therefore becomes scrap paper. Not only is this a waste of resources which impacts the environment, it is also a big factor that contributes to increasing print prices. Resources cost our small business a lot of money and any items that land in the waste basket rather than in a customers letterbox, inevitably drive up the cost of printing for everyone.

So, what are we going to do about it?

We know that many of our customers found the terminology of "ordering in a set" just plain confusing - don't worry, we found it confusing to explain as well. So after much feedback from some of our most trusted clients, we have decided to move away from that terminology altogether. From 19th July 2019, you will notice a change on the website and ordering software, highlighting our new 'minimum order' requirements. These minimums have been calculated to keep costs down and wastage to a minimum, which is a win for everyone.

If you are committed to keeping your environmental impact as low as possible, we ask that you continue to strive to total your orders in such a way that fills these pages up. All the minimum order requirements reflect the amount of prints it takes to fill the width of a 24inch roll, so by keeping that in mind you are making sure your order is as environmentally friendly as it can be! For example:

If the minimum order requirement is four prints, you know that it takes four prints to fill the roll. Therefore, instead of ordering 10 prints in total, you might choose to order 12 and use up three full widths of paper. Make sense?

We hope this clarifies the process of printing on Fine Art Paper and why your friendly Tasmanian printers have been harping on about "sets" for months. We think you will find ordering a minimum much more straightforward, but as we said, please think about your order totals if being environmentally friendly is a key factor to your business and/or personal journey.

Kate & Harley

Signing off with a little Fine Art love x