Artist Gift Printing – Creating Merchandise From Your Original Artwork.

Faux silk printing.

 

If you’re an artist, whether you’re a painter, designer, photographer, digital artist, illustrator, or whatever kind of artist you happen to be, one of the ideas you’ll undoubtedly have is about turning your artwork into merchandise. 

Artist gift printing is a term many use to refer generally to turning original artwork into merchandise for retail, but for some artists this term may carry a certain degree of stigma. There can be a fear, understandably, of cheapening your brand/image by merchandising your artwork with “run of the mill”, lower quality gift items.

If you’re working with Meshtex Printing Services, this isn’t something you need to be concerned with. 

Meshtex have been in business since the early 1970s, 1972 to be exact, and we have a lot of experience of working with artists and designers.

Artist gift printing - Vegan Suede cushions.
Vegan Suede cushions we recently printed for one of our artist customers.

We work with some of the UK’s leading brands, but more often than not, we are working with individual designers, artists, photographers and emerging brands, helping them to create top end, high-quality merchandise from their artwork. 

We don’t tend to refer to our work as artist gift printing, however we’re using this term for the purpose of this article simply because it’s a term that we know some of our artist customers use when searching for ideas. We would simply refer to what we do as creating high quality, high-value products from our customer’s artwork, designs or photographs. 

We produce fabric products, including cushions, tea towels, aprons, oven gloves, Aga covers, tote bags, tablecloths, table runners & more.

Wooden items including high-quality wooden coasters and placemats.

Glass products such as tempered glass chopping boards and coasters, and many other homeware, tableware and giftware products.

So whatever ideas you have for creating gift products or other merchandise from your original artwork, there’s a very good chance that we can help you. 

To receive our standard finished product price list, which should hopefully give you some ideas, please email us, use the quotation request form, or give us a call on 01625 876949.

If you get our price list, and there are ideas that you have for merchandise from your art that is not included in the list, please ask, as it may still be something we can produce for you, even if it isn’t yet on our price list. 

Printing for the top end of the market. 

It’s important to be aware as an artist looking to turn your artwork into printed merchandise, that there are different markets when it comes to product manufacture, and there are printers and manufacturers who specialise in different ends of the market. 

Artist gift printing - photography gift printing, glass chopping boards.
High quality tempered glass chopping boards recently produced for one of our photographer customers.

There are the larger competitive markets including lower-end high volume retail, where price is usually the number one priority  – and then there are the higher end markets where quality is key.

There’s a big difference between an individual artist selling their products via platforms such as Etsy, Folksy & Not on the High Street, and/or via their own websites and social media profiles – and bulk sellers trading huge numbers of more generic much lower end products. 

What we often discover is that artists and designers wanting to create products from their artwork, and entrepreneurs in the process of developing new high-quality brands, are focusing too much on cost – and too little on quality – which could lead them inadvertently to working with printers and manufacturers who have set up to deal with the higher volume lower quality markets. 

At Meshtex Printing Services, we focus on the higher quality end of the market, which means some of the decisions we’ve made in terms of which fabric we work with, where we source it from, what print technology we use, who we get to make up the products and so on, are made in favour of quality rather than price.

Artist gift printing - printed cushions for one of our artist customers.
Satin cushions recently produced for a local artist.

In short, if you’re wanting to produce and sell a product with the emphasis on price, then you will find cheaper solutions than working with us, both within and outside of the UK. If however, you’re wanting the highest quality products to best represent your artwork, designs or brand, then just ensure you’re matching like for like if you’re comparing our prices. 

Pushing your brand, not ours.

If you’re researching merchandising your artwork, it means you’re wanting to develop your own branding, of course. You need every customer to be exposed to your branding as much as possible.

For example, if you have your stunning artwork made into high quality vegan suede cushion covers, or heavy weight canvas tote bags, every time one of your customers shows off one of your products to their friends or family, it’s important that they see your branding. 

Given this is obviously the case, we always find it strange when we see companies working with artists and designers, who put their own branding into the products via the product labels. 

We would never do this, we would always recommend that the customer has their own branding either printed into the design on the product, or via their own printed labels which we will add at no extra cost to any product that we are manufacturing from fabric that we have first printed via direct to textile printing. 

If for some reason the customer decides not to have their own label sewn in, then care label would simply carry the wash instructions along with “Made in the UK”  – we would never put our branding onto our customer’s products. 

Friendly, understanding and patient service

We understand that as artists, designers or photographers, you may not have a lot of experience when it comes to product printing and manufacture. As a result of this, we completely understand that you may have one hundred and one questions, or even one million and one questions ;-), and as far as we are concerned, the more the merrier. 

Our customers quickly come to realise that we really are a friendly bunch. There’s never even a hint of impatience or intolerance from our team towards our customers. You can ask what you may deem to be the most ridiculous question conceivable, and we would still answer it as thoughtfully and as helpfully as possible, without any trace of agitation or arrogance. 

So if you’re feeling uneasy about the concept of spending time discussing your artwork merchandising ideas with someone who may blind you with science and jargon, and who may not have the time to work with you to properly understand your requirements, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about when working with us. 

We’ll give you all the time you need, and even if we end up spending hours speaking to you over a period of weeks or months, to only produce a small order of maybe 10-20 items, we’re not concerned. This is because we know from experience, that great designs made into fantastic high-quality products, sell very well – and small initial orders turn into larger repeat orders. Also, tiny startups often turn into thriving businesses, and even into household names!

If you’re interested in having a chat to us about your artwork merchandising or artist gift printing ideas, just email us or give us a call on 01625 876949.