I like big prints, I cannot lie…
(with sincere apologies to Sir Mix-a-Lot)
I confess, I am a big print fan. I like big prints. When I was a kid, made 8″x10″ prints, and I always lamented that the Speed-EzEl had fixed 1/4″ borders, so that I couldn’t eke out a slightly larger image. And then years later, I printed routinely on 11″x14″ paper, and then on 16″x20″ paper. Only the cost of paper larger than that, and the hassles of either running prints in drums or setting up a larger tray line restrained by desire to make prints bigger than that.
And when I plunged into digital printing, naturally I got a 40″ wide printer, and I made some truly large prints. It was relatively easy, and a lot of fun. Sadly, it turns out that there are not very many places I can hang a 36″ x 45″ print, so I didn’t make too many. And now I have only a 24″ wide printer, so the largest print I can make is something like 22″ on the short side. Still pretty big, that is.
But my trend seems to be heading smaller. Having made a number of Blurb books (in the roughly 8×10 landscape size), and done a bunch of online PDF portfolios (limited to the size of the screen, which might be small but might be large), I find myself thinking about both books and portfolios of loose prints.
If you haven’t seen them, you might look at what Brooks Jensen has done with what he calls ‘Folios’: http://www.brooksjensenarts.com/foliodesc.html
I think these folios are interesting, because they seem to offer an interesting sort of blend between book-ness and print-ness. So I’m thinking of making a few of these. Naturally the next question is “What size?”
I have, essentially, two sizes of paper for my printer – 17″ wide rolls and 24″ wide rolls. In my imagination, I’d mark the images I want in the print portfolio in Bridge, apply an automated photoshop action, and go for a walk with the dog. When we returned we’d find a bunch of prints in the printer basket, cut to the right size, and I’d just gather them up, pop them in the cool paper cover, and I’d be done. Whoot! Of course, in reality, I’d need to flatten the prints, which means another step.
But a portfolio of 14″x17″ prints would be pretty big. You probably wouldn’t sit down in your comfy chair next to the crackling fire, glass of wine close at hand, and go through a folio of 14″x17″ prints. You might do that with prints sized around 11×14. Jensen makes his prints 8″ x 10.5″.
My fondness for big prints rebels at the idea of making prints that small. My desire to make something that can be held in the lap and enjoyed that way insists they must be that small.
There’s this outfit: http://www.danecreekfolios.com/ that sells pre-cut folio covers. They make them 8.5″x11″. It would seem sensible to make a few at that size, as an experiment. 8.5″x11″ is a convenient size for me, since I can print two up on 17″ wide paper and then cut the prints apart with minimal hassle. So I’ve gone ahead and ordered a few of the folios; I’ll report back on this when I have them in hand.
Comments/suggestions/insights on appropriate size for folios from readers would be most welcome.