Support, help, technical guides and other such boffinry
Operating hours, walk-ins, appointments and schedules
Imagefoundry operates as a workshop/boutique/consultancy, not as a retail outlet. At times everyone is busy or in a meeting, or working on location - so it's impossible to accommodate every walk-in - although we try. Please be considerate.
We much prefer booking an appointment ahead of time. And, while on this subject - booking a 12PM appointment and showing up at 2PM, for example, is pretty disruptive. Thank you very much for your understanding and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Please plan ahead. Certain materials - oversized mounting substrates, frame mouldings, inks, some papers and chemicals - has to be ordered in, as we do not stock rare items. Delivery times on some materials can be as long as two weeks - as is the case with Platinum/Palladium printing supplies and papers.
A quick guide to efficient communications
Over the years I have seen countless episodes of what can be affectionately called a "failure to communicate". This paragraph is an attempt to lay down some basic guidelines for getting in touch with us in the least frustrating manner possible. And so without further ado:
- please don't send text messages to our office phone number. This usually results in a phone call with a computer trying to read your text, with predictably hilarious results. It's also pretty much incomprehensible.
- if you do text my cell phone (ie. the one on the business card) - please start with stating who you are :)
- on an average day I receive around 75 email messages. Sometimes it'll be hours before I can read and reply to yours - so please make your message as readable and as to the point as possible. And, oh - please don't be one of these people who send 5-6 emails one after another.... it tends to induce a complete email paralysis on my part.
- do not use email to communicate time-sensitive information - ie. "I'll stop by in 15 minutes to pick up my print" is a fail. I might not even get to your email in 15 minutes - I usually try to sit down and deal with incoming email once an hour, on an hour.
- I'd say if you need to convey some important numerical information - as an example, sizes, dimensions, quantities, etc. - I would much prefer to have you email us rather than doing the dictation bit over the phone. Sending credit card info over the email is not a great idea, though.
- we generally do not read incoming email outside of normal working hours. Emailing on Sunday and asking for something to be ready by 10am on Monday... let's just say this might not work out as you expected.
- please remember that shipping information MUST include the phone number and a postal code of the person/company you want us to ship to. One would think this is obvious, but clearly not to everyone.
- Fedex usually picks up between 2 and 3 pm on weekdays. Anything later than that means that your package would be shipped next day.
In conclusion, I just want to say this: every project has a certain "fatigue" point, the point after which it is increasingly difficult to continue to care. One can reach that fatigue point by doing useful, forward-looking things - like making more corrections and proofs, having productive meetings, and so on. Or one can get there by slogging through a sea of inane email and phone conversations, mutually-exclusive revisions, "changes of mind", requests for further quotes and re-quotes, and things of that nature.
No matter what, you can always be assured that I will do my utmost. But being a good communicator can make everything a much more rewarding experience.
Typical turnaround times and rush orders
On average, a custom reproduction project - ie. scanning original artwork, paper selection, colour corrections and proofing, followed by crafting a final print - takes about 1-1.5 weeks to complete; sometimes longer for complex images that require a lot of deliberations, meetings with the artist and so on. It is possible to rush through a project but in my experience quality is the first thing that goes out of the window when timelines are too compressed.
Custom framing usually takes about a week, and scanning jobs take 1-2 days, depending on how difficult the original is. Most simple printing jobs can be completed in a day.
Digigraphie by Epson
Digigraphie is a two-part program designed to assist artists in making and managing the highest-quality limited edition prints using giclee printing technology by Epson.
Part one focuses on technical aspects of making a perfect print. A printmaker must use one of the approved printers and inks, along with a limited selection of fine art papers and custom color control tools. Only top-of-the-line equipment can qualify, guaranteeing that Digigraphie prints are technically excellent.
A printed quality control sample is sent to Epson France every month to ensure a consistent quality monitoring and adherence to a specification; a printmaker must demonstrate a high degree of skill to be approved as one of authorized Digigraphie suppliers.
Part two of Digigraphie program focuses on providing an artist with online tools for managing and tracking edition prints. Every Digigraphie print must be numbered, signed, stamped with a Digigraphie chop and accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity. Each print is entered into an online database maintained by Digigraphie France.
Why use Digigraphie?
At the simplest, Digigraphie label serves as an independent quality seal, making sure that the works in question are printed on best materials and best equipment available - and are guaranteed to meet and exceed quality and archival expectations of art institutions and collectors. It's somewhat like an ISO 9002 certification for fine art printing.
Secondly, adherence to Digigraphie guidelines signals the artist's commitment to maintain the integrity of the edition and ensures the uniqueness of each and every print. Having an independent agency track and maintain all the edition records adds a valuable management tool for both artists and art institutions/collectors. A searchable online gallery helps to keep track of the artist's print collection.
Visit Digigraphie.com for more information.
Yes, you can send us files online. We presently use WeTransfer.com for all of out upload/download needs. Please give it a try! It's easy and free.
Imagefoundry is 100% colour managed shop - every part of our colour workflow is set up with correct colour profiles and colour transforms. As such, all digital artwork coming in for printing must be compliant with industry-standard practices and procedures.
Images submitted without embedded colour profiles are assumed to be in sRGB for RGB colour images, Gamma 2.2 for grayscale images, and US SWOP coated for CMYK images. Incomplete Pantone colour numbers are assumed to be from a solid coated set, ie. 7542 is assumed to be 7542C.
Default colour profile for scanned images is Adobe RGB 1998. Because certain artists materials are capable of producing colours outside of AdobeRGB 1998 gamut, some scans might be provided in ProPhoto or Wide Gamut RGB colour spaces. Default bit depth is 16bit/channel.
Other colour spaces can be used upon request.
Fine art paper worth printing on
Out of many large and small paper manufacturers, there are 5 that, in my humble but educated opinion, are worth considering for fine art printing purposes. Here they are, in no particular order: Hahnemuehle of Germany, Canson of France, Fabriano of Italy, Awagami of Japan and Crane of U.S.A. You would also probably notice that some of these companies are known for manufacturing papers that national currencies are printed on; this is not a coincidence.
Epson-branded papers are a mixed bunch. Some of their better papers, particularly "Signature-worthy" collection are simply re-badged products made by one of the big 5; others are also worth considering for specific uses - for example if you thinking of laminating your print I might want to consider one of the papers that I won't touch otherwise, like Epson Premium Lustre or some such.
Our fine art scanning system, at maximum resolution, delivers 16bit/channel, RGB images sized at 16,000x26,000 pixels, or approx. 50"x80" at 300dpi. In practical terms this means that original artwork measuring 30"x40" can be scanned at native, uninterpolated resolution of over 500dpi. Resulting scans can be as large as 1.16Gigabytes (8bit RGB).
Reporting and collaboration tools
Imagefoundry now uses Trello project management and collaboration system. We offer full logistical support for complex projects (such as edition printing), including up-to-date progress reports, time/cost tracking, secure messaging system, file exchange, soft proofing and more. This service is offered free of charge to all qualified customers.
Typically we store all client files permanently. As in, nothing ever gets deleted, unless you specifically ask us to. This makes re-orders and editions easy and gives you some peace of mind as far as backups go.
Imagefoundry follows Canadian copyright law very carefully. We would not, under any circumstances, make unauthorized copies of copyrighted artwork.
It's a bit more complex than that, though. Certain uses of copyrighted work are perfectly legal, and - not being lawyers - the best we can do is to ask you to sign a waiver acknowledging that you, the client, are fully responsible for following the law. Should you like us to research your particular situation we would be happy to refer you to an expert. Legal fees might apply, depending on the complexity of the issue.
We are proud to be a green business. What does it mean to be green, in a printmaking shop context?
One - we recycle everything. Very little, if any, of our waste goes into landfill. Two - we re-use up to 75% of packaging materials. The rest gets recycled. Three - we only use water-based inks as well as adhesives made from natural materials. Four - all chemicals used in our photographic processing are safe, food-grade and can be found in consumer products such as Coca-Cola and orange juice. Five - 95% of our lighting needs are provided by long-life CFL and LED lamps. Six - we use high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and tripple-insulated, very low transmission glass in our shop windows and doors. Seven - all our computer and imaging equipment is EPA EnergyStar compliant, including high-efficiency 85+% power supplies and battery backup systems. Eight - we use a solar panel to power our emergency lighting systems and battery backups. Nine - we operate an electric vehicle for pickups and deliveries.
The importance of being happy
If you are making a living (or thinking of making a living) by creating/selling art you already know how hard it is to close a sale. Imagefoundry's raison de vivre is to give you, the artist, that extra edge with our expertise and our total excellence of execution.
However - mistakes do happen. They happened before and, unfortunately, would probably happen again. Sometimes it's because of compressed schedules, sometimes because of some shenanigans with suppliers, sometimes just bad luck (like that time when a single fly got into a studio and crapped on a finished artwork ready to be framed - true story). But never because we don't give a damn.
So the worst thing that you, the customer, could do - is just go away, quietly disappointed. Please, don't! Speak up, make your concerns known and we would do our best to un-fubar your project. Really.
Bottom line is - we would absolutely not stop, like the Terminator, until you are completely satisfied with the results (or dead?... sorry, just can't stop cracking silly jokes today).