your print, always understood, let’s talk now
07775 332385

Fine Art Print. How lessons learned in this niche influence my print consultancy

High-end, beautifully produced fine art print catalogues are essential marketing tools when selling high worth, items through galleries and auctions. Easily carried and easily shared, they allow individuals to enjoy an exhibition from the palm of their hand, and impeccable image reproduction allows buyers to make an informed and accurate purchase decision.

To achieve the best printed image requires a specialist skill set. One that NEXUScpp owner, Gill Robinson, has refined over her 28-year career working with over 50 galleries, studios, and artists around the UK and beyond and continues to use in all areas of her print consultancy.

‘Although we take care of all the detail from strategy to delivery, some understanding of the process of image reproduction and print production techniques is useful when it comes to achieving your desired result. That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide that outlines the key decisions we’ll make together to produce print that accurately represents your work whether your medium is pencil, paint, pottery, photography, sculpture, jewellery, furniture, fashion or interiors.’

And even if your creation is not in these areas, we believe at NEXUScpp the values remain the same. If you want your work to be presented the best it can be in print, stick to these principles and you won’t be disappointed.


Good quality photography is essential for accurate image reproduction. It might be good enough for Instagram, but photos taken on a phone will never capture your artwork or, in fact, any product in the best possible light. Print and web require different image quality – print needs the detail; web and social need to load speedily.

When it comes to print investment, the output is only ever as good as the raw materials, so invest in the best photography you can afford.  For fine art printing this means a professional photographer who is experienced in capturing a single image, without skew or reflection; is aware of shadows and highlights and records the image faithfully. So, think carefully of your purpose – what do you want to show with your images and brief your photography accordingly. If you want, we can point you in the right direction.


Really accurate colour reproduction is a specialist skill.  It’s an iterative process, combining observational skills, colour perception and sequential inkjet proofing by professionals who have a thorough understanding of CMYK colour management, mad Adobe Photoshop skills and tons of patience. It has become more accessible with tech – requiring a fair bit of processor power and the best colour-calibrated screens. But let’s face it, we are converting an original (formed from infinite colours), through light-based pixels (formed from 3 primary colours), into ink (4 secondary colours). This is always going to be challenging, but in the right hands it is very doable, and the results are amazing.

If your colour work does not require this degree of accuracy but you want your images to be the best they can be, talk to your photographer about what you want to portray. All professional photographers edit their images before you see them, and we can liaise with them to get the best files for print. Graphic designers are also trained to manipulate images to fix issues like contrast, brightness, and focus, their time and knowledge is chargeable so be prepared.


While graphic designers will focus on displaying your content at its best, we are standing by to help with all the technical aspects of the production that will make sure that design shines when it is realised in print.

Margins affected by binding, image file sizes, formats and finishes are all best decided at the beginning of the design process, and we happily work with designers at this early stage. It’s the best time for us sort out your budget. We look at the design files while work in progress to anticipate and head off any potential problems. When the print ready file arrives with us, we are checking again for any problem areas that might have slipped through so they can be adjusted before print.


In the fast-printing world, screen proofs – pdfs – are the default. They are quick and inexpensive and can be distributed to a team very quickly. However, viewing a pdf proof on a screen that is colour-calibrated to a press standard is essential when we need colour accuracy coupled with fast turnaround. In my fine art printer life I have installed these in a client’s premises to improve the workflow and meet tight deadlines.

Otherwise, hard copy proofs come in two forms – an inkjet proof and a print (or wet) proof.

In litho printing these are very expensive, they use a full set of printing plates, a quantity of paper and a press makeready.  These days they are reserved for colour-critical printing such as limited editions, stamps, and banknotes.

In short-run digital printing, however, it is possible to produce one copy of a book or a selection of pages, as a proof. Because of the fast production throughput expected from these highly automated machines, they are calibrated daily to avoid wandering away from preset press standards. But they do not have the operator input that a litho press will have – some slight colour differences may occur between the proof copy and the production run.

Print Screen

Screen is the tiny patterns of dots that apply ink to the page when printing your artwork. There are different types of print screen that each affect the tone and depth of the colours.

We want the screen to be virtually invisible at an average reading distance.  The print screen frequency for outdoor posters, newspapers, and commercial print whether litho or digital are very different.

Printers generally choose a screen type and a screen frequency and stick to it regardless of the type of work that is coming through their door. Their objective is to get the best result, for most of their clients, all the time, keeping their presses on constant settings that avoid press downtime.  We choose our print partners to find the best solution depending on your needs and desired output.


Different papers reproduce images in different ways. This is because papers have different levels of absorbency, which affect how soft or vibrant the image appears on the page. There are two main types of paper:

We work directly with paper merchants to find the best paper for you, and we will aid your choices with samples. For some, image accuracy is of prime importance, whilst others are more interested in the texture and feel of a brochure.


You may wish to add a coating or finish, such as lamination, foiling and/or embossing to the text and cover of your printed brochure to add further texture, protect the ink or to highlight areas of the page. Finishing works with your paper choices, and we will always advise on the best combination of these for your design aspirations and any print and binding production constraints.


NEXUScpp are very skilled in print production, and we have experience of different sectors, creative, commercial, and industrial. For the fine art market, we understand how galleries and auctions work and the importance of invitations, catalogues, brochures, and books in engaging with high-net worth buyers. We also have a huge appreciation and understanding of colour and colour reproduction and just how important it is.

We apply these standards to everything we produce, and we work hard to understand the business requirements of each sector we work in. So, when you want this insight and understanding applied to your next project, let’s talk, we will work out what you need and the best way to achieve it.

Gill Robinson
4th June 2021


Love what we print. Love how we print.

Get in touch
for a first class print experience

Let's Go
Created with by PAGE