Getting the Best Wood Print Possible

We have been producing wood prints for a while now. We recently made some changes to a maple wood veneer panel. The new prints allow us to produce a superior quality product which is more durable and has greater image saturation and detail. Our natural wood maple panels, are ready to display. The back of the panels includes a pre-cut keyhole, so it will hang flush on any wall.
At a little more than ½” thick these panels are an ideal choice for many applications and settings without the need to be framed. The refined natural wood sides give it that finished look you require. With wood prints your image is sublimated / fused directly onto the surface. It allows for incredible detail to show while also having the wood grain look required. The surface can be dusted or even cleaned with a soft damp rag without danger of scratching or harming the image. But even with these improvements some of the same practices apply to produce the best wood print possible.

A this time we have about 8 very popular sizes. These range from 5×7 which are perfect for a table top display to 30×40 which is ideal over any large wall space. You can see and order these at the following link:

View & Order Wood Prints

So, how do you know if your image will look good on wood or not? All the images we initially tested and made into our new wood prints have looked fantastic! But we have seen some images really stand out above others. It has nothing to do with the image quality of the artwork or the photography. It has to do with the tones in the image. Fortunately we have invested a lot of time in testing the process which allows me to share with you what we have learned. If that is not enough, our print setup tool attempts to simulate a wood print before you order it so you can get a bit of a preview to help you decide.

Let’s first look at what really helps a photograph or artwork take advantage of the wood textures and grains that you want to show in your wood print. Images with a lot of whites or lighter colors will work best if your desire is to show the wood pattern. Images where you have darker tones may start to cover up the natural wood texture so if it it has black or really dark colors, you may not see the wood pattern very well.

The reason lighter colors show the wood pattern better is  because the way printers work. With some exceptions, most printers don’t print with white ink. At least this is the case in the photo and art printing world. Rather than printing white, these printers rely on the whiteness of the paper the image is being printed on. A classic example is when you print a gray-scale image such as black and white photograph. With that black and white you can sometimes get a warmer tone to the print on certain papers over others if the paper you are making your print on is too off-white.  First you won’t have any pure whites because the wood is not white. But this is what we want to make a wood print in the first place. We want the the hue of the underling wood with the natural wood pattern to be visible to some extent. Keep this fact about whites in mind with wood prints. Even though we are not printing direct to wood but instead sublimating and image to it via heat and pressure, any whites in the image don’t transfer.

As previously mentioned, where you loose the ability to show some of this potential wood hue and natural wood pattern is with an image that may have a lot of dark colors. For instance, when we were first testing the development of wood prints, we produced a number of test prints using various imagery from our stock imagery and staff created collections. It allowed us to see how different types of images would look. One particular image was an abstract art piece. The tones tended toward either deep red, browns and blacks with a few hi-lights in yellow and white. White the print came out looking really nice it did not really show the underlying wood. Because of that I would have probably been better off just printing it on one of our fine art papers and then mounting it on masonite.

So what kind of images look great on wood? Here are some examples of what I think looks really good:

  • Photos and portraits taken with lots of light
  • Illustrations or line drawings
  • Artwork on pure white backgrounds (my favorite)
  • Paintings with bright colors

Photo and portraits taken with lots of light

These give the photo a very vintage look. If this is of interest to you, you will notice the image takes on a somewhat sepia tone. Not completely but just enough of a hint. Because the wood is somewhat yellow in color, you colors are influenced by this yellow tone.

Illustrations or line drawings

These look incredible. It gives the artwork a look as if it was created directly on the wood itself. While making an interesting piece to frame or display, we are already seeing what we suspect are artists intending to simply use these as under paintings which they will later hi-light or paint over with actual paints.

Artwork on pure white backgrounds (my favorite)

Think of say a flower by itself with white in the background. Or a seashell which one customer just did the other day. It looked really incredible. The artwork was centered on the wood print but the white background was not visible. I could see a series of wood prints done displaying various subject matter.

Paintings with bright colors

A good example of on our site is a faerie sitting on a log in a forest. The background sky was a very light shade of color so the natural wood texture coincidentally looked like clouds. Again, you want the wood to show up so if you have too many dark colors, you won’t be able to take advantage of this as intended.

The bottom line is any image can look good on wood but if you want your wood pattern to show up make sure you have images with a good balance of brights, mid-tones and darks. Artworks and photos that best take advantage of the underlying wood patterns will have lots of lighter colors.

Now if this is not enough information for you how about simulating the entire wood print process. It is actually quite easy with a program like Photoshop. We will have to do a video tutorial later on this but for those somewhat versed in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements simply locate or even create a wooden like pattern, complete with a small amount of yellowish hue. Then drag the image  you want to print on top. This should create a layer over your wood background. Set this image layer as “multiply” and it will make your lighter tones turn translucent so the wood pattern underneath shows. Use this to get a general idea because each wood panel will be a little different from each other.

A couple things I want to point out to the very color conscientious. Let’s be realistic. If you are after that specific shade of blue, orange or green that you spent hours trying to tweak and get right on your screen,  you won’t necessarily get it in a wood print. A wood print is not going to be accurate because the wood being printed on can vary. While we currently only offer birch hardwood, slight variations in it’s natural hue will occur. While I am not an expert, I know this can be attributed to things such as the age of the wood and even where the wood originated.  So if you tend to get hung up on colors, don’t with wood prints since you can never predict how the underlying wood will will affect the color. Finally on a similar note, you can’t soft proof a wood print. Soft proofing relies on a white point of the paper or media the image is being printed to. Since we can’t create a color profile with a consistent white point on wood, it is impossible to provide you one.

Hopefully this will give you some insight on wood prints. If you want to test the concept out with your artwork or photography, feel free to start off with something small. I will be surprised if you are disappointed.  Be sure to let us know what you think of your wood prints when you get them so we can share your own insights with others.

Wood Prints FAQs

Ordering

Your print cost is dependent upon a few factors: size, media type, number of copies and style where applicable. Pricing is shown when setup your print. But visit the product links in the main menu for specific pricing of both set sizes. For some products you can calculate custom size pricing.

Category: Ordering

A real-time preview will be visible as you go through the print setup process.  In addition, a time stamped preview of how your image will be printed will show up in your shopping cart before you submit your order. 

If this is not enough, please read our post about 3 ways to proof your work.

Category: Ordering

It will be up to you to select a print size that compliments your image’s current aspect ratio. If your image file does not quite match those dimensions it will be cropped to accommodate the print size selected. Be sure you pay attention to the realtime preview when you setup your print. If any part of it looks cropped then you may need to choose a different size or adjust the cropping.

The production does it best to check prints for obvious defects within the print itself (paper, ink smudges, scratches, etc). If there is a defect in the image or the image quality of the file itself is poor we will usually assume the artist or photographer is already aware of this. Most of the time they are therefore we will print images without question.

Please note that some prints such as Kodak prints or cards are produced by automated machinery that produces hundreds of prints a minute so while we may not be able to catch obvious defects or questionable prints these are guaranteed with our quality assurance guarantee.

 

Category: Ordering

Most prints are ready to ship within 1-3 working days. If your order exceeds 100 prints, production time may be as many as 4 working days, but feel free to contact us if you have concerns about the time frame. Often times we are able to accomodate rush production and will do so if possible.

Category: Ordering

Test prints (also called proofs) are not standard unless you are placing an offline order in which we are producing a large run (1000 copies or more), but if color matching is a concern, we highly recommend working on a color managed system, or at least investigating in a calibration print prior to ordering.

Category: Ordering
Yes. Volume pricing is also available when ordering multiple copies of a particular print in the same order. In many instances simply ordering just two copies of a print results in substantial price breaks. Plus the more you order, the lower your cost per print.
 
To calculate actual price per print when ordering more than one, simply enter the number of copies you want and the new price per print will be displayed in the on the main product page which can be found in the main menu.
Category: Ordering

The first step is to digitize your artwork or photography. Then it is as easy as uploading your image to our website, setting size, preferences, and completing checkout. Read more

Category: Ordering
We generally print 8×8 or larger however in some cases you can select custom size options that are smaller. If a small size is not available to you a couple of solutions can be applied to get around this. One option is to tile multiple small prints onto one large sheet. Another option is to create a margin around your image which will increase it’s print size to equal 8 inches, then remove the excess margin upon receiving your prints.
Category: Ordering

If you have not completed checkout, you certianly can. When viewing items in your shopping cart, look for the options to the right of your small print/product preview to Modify, Remove, or Copy individual items. Once an order is submitted however, we are unable to make changes to images, or other products. If a mistake is made, please contact us immediately so that we can cancel the order for you, and you can, in-turn, reorder correctly.

Category: Ordering

Order as few or as many prints as you would like.

Category: Ordering

Add as many prints to your order as you would like. You can increase quantities within your shopping cart once a print has been added. You can also format multiple images for print within an order, and have them shipped at a flat rate altogether.

Category: Ordering
Adding a border to your print will increase the overall sheet size. It will not cause the print area to be smaller.
 
Check on your order status anytime simply by entering your order number and the email address used at the time of your order. 
 
Category: Ordering

We usually accommodate special orders but it's best for next day pick due to the quantity order and during normal business hours between 10-5 Monday through Friday

Category: Ordering

Knowing a suitable print size from your digital image files may be challenging if you are not familiar with using programs such as Photoshop or other image editing tools. We recommend a resolution between 72 dpi to 300 dpi at the print size you want.

To make things easy visit the Convert Pixels to Inches post.

Problems Uploading Files?

Typically any problems using the upload tool are associated to the web browser being used. In most cases if you do not see any sort of upload tool it is because either Flash is not running in your browser and HTML 5 is not supported. This is usually fixed by updating your web browser.

If you do see an uploading interface but nothing happens when clicking the “add files” or “upload” button, this is also usually fixed by updating your web browser. Here are things to try first:

  • Close then reopen your web browser
  • Try rebooting/restarting your computer
  • Install or try a different web browser than what you are using 

Updating Your Web Browser

The first step is to make sure you are using the latest version of the browser you use. These are going to be Chrome, FireFox, Safari or Internet Explorer. Doing a google search will get you to the websites where these browsers are offered. They will always have the latest version available for free download and installation.

If that does not work, try installing and using one of the others mentioned above. FinerWorks recommends the following in order: Chrome, FireFox and Internet Explorer. If you are on a MAC Safari might be a good choice to try as well.

File Does Not Progress

Another problem which can occur is the file fails to start or complete the upload process as indicated by a progress bar. This is probably not a problem with your web browser itself but is more associated with a disruption in the Internet connection. People tell us usually trying at a different time of day will resolve this problem.

If none of this seems to work, please feel free to contact us and let us know. Please provide the type of web browser you are using as well as specific details of the problem.

Category: Ordering

Size availability is related to the style of print being order. It is best to review our pricing page to see what options are available. All our media (canvas and paper) comes in 44 inch rolls so we are limited to being able to fit the image with any added borders on a roll that size. Visit our pricing page for specific size availability.

Categories: Ordering, Shipping

Softproofing relies on having a consistent white level on the surface of the media the image is being printed to. Since the wood is obviously not white and the hue of the wood can vary slightly dependent upon the age of the veneer, there is no way to profile a wood print.

Categories: Ordering, Wood Prints

Shipping Prints Flat

Mounted prints are packaged in oversized corrugated boxes for added protection. Small to mid size paper prints on fine art papers are usually shipped flat if they can safely fit within a 24×30 inch or smaller area touching the sides of the package. Some exceptions may occur with International orders or if the order also contains prints which normally would be rolled.

Shipping Prints Rolled

Unmounted canvas, regular photo stock prints and and posters will be shipped rolled. Fine art paper prints that are too large to ship flat to be shipped flat (see above) will be shipped in a sturdy corrugated shipping tube.

Shipping non-prints

Other products such as coffee gifts and keepsakes, stationary, etc, will be shipped in various types of packaging.

Drop Shipped Print Orders (Example)

Check out an illustration of a drop shipped canvas here, or a drop shipped paper print here. We package all prints carefully protecting them with corrugated sheets, plastic or foam sleeves and craft paper. Prints which are 20×30 or larger will be shipped rolled in a tube unless it is mounted. Otherwise all prints are shipped flat. Digital prints and products shipped from our Atlanta Pro Lab, will arrive via UPS, the US Postal Service, or Fedex. We have a separate shipping rate schedule for prints shipping from the Atlanta lab.. Prints are shipped either flat or rolled, dependent upon shipping method selected, destination and items being ordered.

 
Categories: Ordering, Shipping

Fine art prints and canvas rates from our San Antonio based headquarters are based on a predefined amount which means you pay one rate regardless of quantity. Items shipping from our Atlanta photo lab will be based on volume and order's contents. Your order''s contents and shopping cart will show you where your order is shipping from. You can also see what shipping options and cost are availble to you when you have items in your shopping cart.

Please note that some shipping options may not be available where print size exceeds the measurements the packaging can hold. In cases of oversized packages (usually when they contains multiple mounted canvas prints measuring 30×40 or larger) additional shipping charges may be required, however the customer will be notified in advance prior to processing the order. 

View shipping rates and learn more about shipping rates for digital prints and products here.

 

Categories: Ordering, Shipping

Production usually is an average of 1-3 business days (some very large orders may take longer) but shipping transit time is based on the shipping option you chose. To see transit time information view our shipping page and look up the various shipping options.

Categories: Ordering, Shipping

Yes. Rush options are often available for giclee print orders, depending upon print size and destination. To find out if your package will qualify for rush delivery, view our shipping page. If rush options are not available to you at checkout, contact us to determine whether your package may still be eligable for expedited shipment. Digital prints and products may be rushed. Cost for rushing digital prints and projects can only be calculated during the checkout process. 

Categories: Ordering, Shipping

Since many of our customers often work with deadlines, we offer USPS  Express w/ Rush Processing service. This allows us to intercept the order so that it will be moved up the line to get out the door quicker. The order is diverted from the regular production schedule and a production specialist is assigned to it to personally see that it is given top priority, even if it means we dedicate an entire print run of it's own. Ready to ship the following day (excluding holidays and weekends) if order placed before 3PM Central Time via Express Mail (1-2 biz days transit time). Max Paper Print Dimensions (print size plus border size): 15×19 inches. 

Categories: Ordering, Shipping

Yes. When checking out, you would enter your friend or family address information as the “Ship To” destination. You can also request drop shipping on the final review page which will tell us not to include any purchase information. With the dropship option selected a generic packing slip is included which does not reflect price. In addition, we will print your billing address on the return address label and not include any mention of FinerWorks

Your images should be in RGB mode. Images in CMYK color mode are more likely to experience noticeable color shifts which may result in a muted or washed out looking print.

The best method for getting accurate prints is something called soft proofing. Soft proofing involves using a calibrated monitor and viewing your image with color profiles assigned to them. For those who are unable to invest their time and funds on a professional calibration system, we recommend one of our calibration prints instead. Read more

Category: Ordering

Aside from providing ICC profiles, we also offer calibration prints in the paper of your choice.

Category: Ordering

Our ICC profiles can be found here.

Category: Ordering

We have a comprehensive video tutorial on how to successfully soft proof. The Internet is also full of videos and tutorials on soft proofing. A simple Google search will yield a lot of useful information.

Category: Ordering

Our calibration print is a special 8×10 print you can order which allows you to adjust your monitor to try to match the print. Once you have done this and start working on your images on your computer you will be working on an image which is more closely aligned to industry color standards. Read more

Categories: Ordering, Technology
Preferred digital file formats are JPG, PNG, AND TIFF.  We also accept PDF, PSD, AI, BMP, AND EPS formats. Please keep in mind that image storage accepts JPG files only.
 

Please contact us within 30 days of placing your order if you are unhappy with your print. Our first goal will be to help you get a satisfactory replacement. If that is not an option we offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

If you wish a print to be refunded we usually don’t require you to mail back the entire piece unless it is framed. For unframed prints, after contacting us, you may be asked to send back a small portion from the center of each print to be refunded so that we can physically document the print as destroyed. Sometimes we have only a limited amount of time to process refunds so to be safe, make sure you do this within 30 days of the purchase. View our return page for more information regarding refunds and/or returns.

Category: Ordering

When you create your prints for sale, it will be up to you to determine what size will be offered. Consider your subject matter, style and technique as one of the determining factors for your print size. Read more

 
Category: Ordering

We do not produce COA for artists, however, many artists do this on their own. Read more

We go through extensive lengths to practice consistently, high quality workmanship. Among proofing images for color differences and any possible media defects, our production and shipping department incorporate a “stamp of approval” system to ensure accuracy and excellence. Read more

 
Category: Ordering

You can! To purchase matting without a frame, just make sure you include a border on your print. Matting options will be found below sizing. 

Please see our turnaround time page for time frame details.

Categories: Frame, Ordering, Shipping

You can login to the order status page or go to your order history (if you have an account). Toward the bottom of the copy of the order we will post your tracking number for orders shipping from our San Antonio printing center, usually shortly after your order is shipped.

Whenever we ship an order we will send an e-mail notice to the e-mail address you provided in your billing information. This email will include a link where you can access a copy of this order as well as tracking information when made available. Note that orders shipped from our partner lab may not always have tracking information available.

Print’s being lost or damaged during shipping is rare however it does happen on occasion (less than 1% of orders are ever reported to us). If this occurs, please contact us by e-mail or phone via our contact page so that we can make arrangements as required. In some instances of damaged prints, UPS will pickup the damaged print so make sure you tell your customer to make it available in the original package for pickup by UPS. With lost prints, we may require an additional several days depending on the time frame the order was shipped in the instance an order is running late or transit information has not been updated by the courier.

If you a history of placing a substantial number of orders on a weekly basis at regular intervals we would love to discuss with you various discount programs we can offer based upon the options you plan to order. We will also gauge this on size and style of prints as well as volume.

We offer a 30 day money back or replacement guarantee for everyone. If in the rare instance your customer decides they need to return the print, you have two options: One is to make arrangement to have them send it to you where you can choose to keep or resell it. The other option is to contact us so that we can provide return instructions. Contact us within 30 days of placing your order and we will work with you on refunding or reprinting  the order as necessary. Please visit our returns page for more details.

No. VAT or Value Added Tax is something not currently applicable in the United States where FinerWorks is located. If you are not based in the U.S. and subject to paying VAT, then this would be your responsibility outside of your purchase from FinerWorks. If you have additional questions about VAT please consult a tax specialist regarding VAT.

We only charge sales tax if your billing or shipping address is in the State of Texas. If you are outside the State of Texas but you have a customer in Texas you will be charged sales tax unless you are registered with FinerWorks as “Tax Exempt”. Contact us for instructions on making sure your account is tax exempt for orders being shipped to Texas.

  1. Account holder will need to enter their business information within their account so that we can later make it tax exempt.
  2. Apply for a Texas Sales Tax Permit in order to receive a Texas Tax Permit Number.
  3. Once the permit number is received, the account holder will need to e-mail us a completed and signed copy of the Texas Sales and Use Tax Resale Certificate / Exemption Certification (Not the Sales Tax Permit).

Please note the following: If you have received a permit for sales tax as described above we cannot refund sales tax charges for previously placed orders. Also, we cannot accept tax exempt forms from other states since they may not be recognized by the State of Texas.

Store credits are issued in situations such as price adjustments, or late returns (after 30 days). These credits do not expire so if you are unable to redeem your credit right away, it will be ready when you are. Unfortunately we do not offer refunds for credit vouchers, nor do we exchange them for any monetary value.

We require returns be processed within 30 days of the delivery date to receive a refund or credit with FinerWorks.  Credits with FinerWorks are non-refundable but they do not expire.

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