Before launching my print business, I did a lot of research and experimentation to figure out how best to package my prints so that they arrive at your home in pristine condition. Fine Art Prints are delicate and it’s important to minimize handling, so my approach to packaging needed to reflect that.
There were many lessons learned along the way, and the final packaging approach is not what you might expect!
Large prints are shipped rolled, but NOT inside a mailing tube.
I don’t put prints in a tube. Trying to get something rolled out of a tube can be a bit of a mission. You need to stick your hand in, grab an edge and pull. Not a great way to minimize handling! Aside from the fact that you are grabbing an edge, the print can twist as you try to remove it. All of this handling introduces the chance denting an edge, leaving a fingerprint, or worse!
But mailing tubes are great for stability, so I wrap my prints AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE TUBE. It’s much easier to unroll them this way and involves much less handling so there is less chance of damage.
Once prints are rolled with glassine paper around the tube, the whole thing is put into a poly bag. Glassine paper separates and protects the print when it's rolled, and the poly bag adds an extra layer of protection for the final object.
This package goes into a long box. You will notice that in my shipping mails and on the box itself there are a number of notices about cutting into the box very carefully. You can see why here! Wrapping the print around the tube makes it much easier to minimize handling when unpacking, but it does mean that you need to be careful when you're opening the box.
If you use a knife use a very light touch and be sure not to push too deeply. Your print is close below the surface!
Small prints are sent flat, but with similar wrapping as the big ones. Prints are wrapped first in glassine paper against a cardboard pad to make it stiff and then put into a poly bag. This package then goes into a cardboard mailer for shipping.
All of this material is there to protect the quality of your print and ensure that it arrives at your home in pristine condition!