Oooh, I thought I'd hijack a bit this thread, as I'm going to send few works there. Could anyone tell about experiences with printing illustrations.Either good or bad experiences.What did you do to achieve at least good quality in prints?What papers were used?Did you have issues with colors and contrast? Did you correct them yourself, or asked/bought printing company employee to do this messy stuff?Has entrants of previous Spectrum editions had problems when works were sent with courier's obligation to receive receiver's signature before delivering works? Organizers of Spectrum suggested to avoid this option, so I'm wondering how big risk that package will be returned after failed delivery attempts due to 'chaos' with entries flying from all sides. No one really wants to just leave package without signature to avoid legal actions. I might be sounding a bit paranoid, but this is my first time and I bet a lot on Spectrum and I wish to be prepared and send it best as possible. I'd appreciate a lot to hear stories or hints.Best, Michal
@Michal:You really should NOT require a signature on your package. The Fenners receive over 6000 entries. Can you imagine if everyone decided to ask for a signature?!! Trust me, the mailman will be VERY familiar with the Fenners this week, and I am certain they will treat ALL of the mail with the utmost care, yours included.As for the prints,Yes, definitely take the time to make them as perfect as possible. A bad print will really hurt your chances of getting in. As for what type of paper, it really comes down to your art. Some stuff looks better glossy, other stuff looks better matte. That entirely personal... just make sure it looks it's best.
Thanks Dan for helpful hints. Wow, 6000 is "slightly" more than I expected. But still, it's very problematic for me to find a delivery option that doesn't require signature (I'm sending from Europe) - that's why I asked if someone could tell how sending with required signature worked. Were there cases with returned packages? Just calculating risk.For papers, I guess you have a point - for works with high contrast and colour saturation, I'll ask to print on glossy photo papers - I see that glossy coating enhances greatly blacks and saturation. There's one work that's mildly contrasted and pretty monochromatic, so I guess there I'll go for matte or satin (which is less glossy than half-matte paper, I believe).I'm keeping eye on two printing companies that seems to have decent machines and operators. Both are pretty expensive and one is much more expensive than second and I have no clue if price difference is equal to quality difference. One company has a local lab, so I'm going there in Monday and see if they have print samples for comparing. It shares printers ICC profiles, so I could download it and use for conversing my digital works and make eventual corrections. Do you think it's better to send them original RGB works, or conversed by myself to printer's colour profile?Both companies offers photo papers that are 230-270g/m^2 paper weight. I'm considering gluing prints with glue spray to some thick paper or foam to make it perfectly flat - I've seen videos of Spectrum 18's judging and seen few works on very glossy materials that showed noticeable bumps of reflected ceiling lamps - I didn't like it. Besides, it will give more safety during delivery process, although the main protection will be two wooden sheets and works are going to be sandwiched by them.
In these security conscious days, many carriers require a signature for delivery of packages to the U.S. from overseas: we expect it so don't worry about it. We'll sign as needed. For packages sent within the U.S. we prefer that the sender not require a signature: it DOES slow things down and delivery can usually be quickly confirmed by checking the carrier's tracking sites. Sometimes things go awry or delayed by one carrier or another: we're both understanding and flexible and packages that arrive a little past the deadline are not disqualified.As for prints: they should look the best you can make them, but don't spend a lot of money to do so. They're just for the judging, not for printing, so we always suggest making them as nice as you can for as little as you can. We'll ask for digital files for anything the judges select for inclusion in the book. Good luck!
Arnie,Thanks for your reply and calming me. In that case, the last worry is getting cooperative and competent printing company - after doing sample prints and corrections, I'm hoping to get properly made prints at a bit high, but reasonable price. I'll send works on Thursday or Friday via Express Mail Service and since it should be delivered through airmail, package should arrive at your place between 30th January and 3rd February.
There was a blog post about submitting last year under a tight deadline.http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2011/01/its-not-too-late.htmlHopefully that's still accurate info because I was going to refer to it myself. =)Just to clarify Dan has said postmarked by deadline. The wording on the entry PDF said received by deadline. I'd trust Dan's statements as truthful but I hate to pay out for extra shipping if I could help it.
Adam, it should be - 3 sources confirms it - I've asked personally Spectrum administrators, there was a global mail to those subscribed to Spectrum and Dan said it. Also, judging will happen in middle of February, but I have no idea how flexible they are going to be with receiving works after deadline - they need some time to prepare works for judging stage, which may take at least few days.
Sending three this year. I'm hoping to break into the Spectrum scene with them. It's probably my 6th or 7th year submitting. The only think you can do is keep trying, right?
Michal--We prefer to have entires in BY the deadline, BUT entries postmarked ON the deadline date or the next day are perfectly fine. If anyone runs into difficulties (weather, accidents, printer crash, etc.), just drop us an e-mail. As I said, we understand that obstacles spring up at the last moment...Steve--Thanks for continuing to participate! Honestly, we never know what each jury will select: we put everybody together and are as surprised at the results as everyone else...
Thanks Arnie! I'm just glad you're still putting out such an amazing book.