Choosing A Photo Printing Service

Congratulations! You just bought some awesome printable art, and now you need to get it printed to put it up on your fancy-pants wall. . .but which printing service is the best?

The first thing to know is that all printing services are not created equal. But instead of me droning on about technical reasons that support my preference, let’s go straight to some image comparisons!

As you can see below, I took two different designs and had them printed at both a one-hour photo service and also online from Persnickety Prints. I’ve scanned the unaltered results and placed them on either side of the original image files. Take a look:

What immediately strikes me here is how dark the one-hour photo print turned out. The blacks are too black, too pronounced, which has robbed some of the contrast from between the deer silhouette and the background texture. The Persnickety version doesn’t match the original image perfectly either, but I much prefer the slightly lighter result that retains the subtlety of the chalkboard texture.

And here's a colored print:

Now we’re really cooking with saturation! Not only has the one-hour photo version once again crushed the darks like in the previous example, but the colors have also been (very) overly saturated. The Persnickety Prints version, on the other hand, more closely resembles the original design in its overall exposure and color saturation, although it is once again slightly lighter than the original.

So which printing service is the absolutely number one, best, most perfect printing service? Whichever you prefer! I use both depending on my purpose or time frame, and I’ll continue to do so. Philosophically I prefer Persnickety Prints to quicky, one-hour photo services as I feel their results more closely resemble the original image. On the other hand, if you prefer a more saturated coloring to your image, a one-hour service could be a great bet!

On the other other hand, you can always print your art directly from your home printer on photo paper or even on a regular piece of paper — it’s like your own in-house printing service!

Think of each option as a tool in your printable art arsenal, to be used based on your circumstances and time frame, and don’t worry about losing any sleep over the decision. It’s going to look great on your wall either way, and your friends are gonna be all like “Oh dang, I’m jealous of your art!”, so you have that to look forward to ;-)

Always Dream Big!