Northwest Fine Art Printing
March 3rd, 2014
I've been looking for a local printer for a while, a company I can build a professional relationship with, and one on whom I can depend to produce high quality prints of my photographs. Northwest Fine Art Printing are that company. Located in Redmond just outside of Seattle, these guys are the real deal. I found out about them recently through social media, and I'm happy to be able to write up this review here on my site of their services, highlighting one particular product - metal prints.
Metal prints are a relatively new way to present your work. They're relatively light compared to paper prints framed behind glass, and carry a certain quality that makes the colour in the images really pop out and shine.
The crew at Northwest Fine Art Printing offer more than just metal prints, they offer a variety of fresh ways to bring your digital work to life.
Giveaway & Discount Code!
To help launch this review, Northwest Fine Art Printing are offering a pretty great discount to their customers and readers of my website. New retail customers get 40% off all products except decorative tiles with code NEW1. Professional customers who are already eligible for their regular 20% off are also eligble for an extra 20% off with code NEWPRO except for decorative tile.
Now, the really awesome news is that we have a 20" x 30" print to give away! Details for the giveaway are at the end of the review.
The Printed Image
I chose this image from my recent trip to Iceland to be printed, and printed big. Coming in at 45" x 30", this print is light for its size, and looks great on the wall. Here's the original image:
I'm actually very excited by the variety of the product line on offer here. Currently, you can have your photographs printed on:
This isn't your Costco paper print shop folks. These guys are the real deal, and they're out to bring your images to life and help them look stunning.
Check out the pictures to the right for some examples of how photographs may look on their different products.
The metal print that was shipped to me is very impressive. It's rigid, and lightweight for its size. The photograph, like most prints on this medium, is printed directly onto aluminium. Personally, metal prints of photographs that a lot of inherent colour to them really pop under light. They really have a wow factor to them, and this print of the photograph above from Iceland is no exception.
The products all come in standard sizes as well as custom sizes, and have a short production time to get them in your or your client's hands as quick as possible. Very cool.
The shopping experience and ordering experience on the website is smooth and simple - just how it should be. Ordering a print can be an altogether overwhelming task - there are so many options to choose from and Northwest Fine Art Printing make it super easy. Browse to a product, pick your size, style options, quantity, and bam - add to cart and you're ready to go. Love it!
The prices for the various products are all easy to find and obvious during the shopping experience. Some websites I've seen tend to hide these to prevent the "shock factor" and it's very refreshing to see a site that displays them in a way that's easy to find when you need it. Great stuff. Even as you build out a custom print - your kept up to date with what the price of your print will be all the way through.
Uploading files for printing is super simple too, and done right from the same order form where you select size, surface, and style options. Very cool. It's got a nice & fresh drag-and-drop interface which makes it really easy to use, too. Right at this stage, this is where I usually ask the questions - well, what file format is best? what resolution is best? what color space should I save my file in? All these questions get answered right in the upload form. These guys have obviously put a great deal of thought into usability and intuitiveness of their ordering process and it shows. Ordering a print is easy, and fun - just how it should be.
After the order is placed, you're kept up to date via email with the production process as your print moves through the various stages of production and shipping. And they don't spam you with marketing emails and newsletters after the fact either.
You bet I'll be ordering more prints from this print shop. No question about it. I was left feeling very comfortable and confident that my print was in good hands.
There's an added bonus too - professional photographers who have regular printing needs can join their Professional Program to gain access to discounted pricing, extra shipping options, and other benefits.
Shipping & Hanging
The metal print ships very securely. Custom fitting and packing keep the print free from harm during the shipping process. The cardboard box is very solid, and the print is wrapped in plastic, taped down, and kept protected and tight inside the box so it doesn't have any freedom to move within the box. This is one thing I consider crucial in a good, trustworthy print shop, and the crew at Northwest Fine Art Printing have done a fantastic job here.
One very cool feature they offer professional photographers and artists who are shipping a product directly to a customer is that they use unbranded packaging. This is very nice for giving a custom-shipped, professional look and feel to the shipped product.
Click on the images below to see how an example metal print will ship.
Aside from shipping, hanging is another story. The prints come with a "French Cleat" style hanging system. It definitely has its ups and downs. On the plus side, it's got a very secure, always-level support on which the print hangs. The downside is that you need to drill a couple of very long screws into a wall and spend the time to make sure you're drilling in perfectly level. If you're off by a little bit when you hang your print, you'll never be able to level it off without drilling new holes.
Sadly, the option to select hanging hardware isn't given at checkout time. It would have been nice to have the option to select a wire hanger or the french cleat hanger. I have dry wall on the walls at home, so finding a couple of studs in the wall to drill in to has been a problem with hanging this image.
Now, the really awesome news is that we have a 20" x 30" metal print (complete with shadow mount) to give away!. Northwest Fine Art printing are offering an amazing chance to get one of your images printed and shipped to you, and BIG! To be eligible, simply add myself and Northwest Fine Art Printing to your circles on Google+ via the links below.
To be eligible, be sure to follow us both before 5pm PST on March 17th, 2014. On March 18th, 2014, we'll choose the winner at random and contact them to arrange for production and delivery of the print - watch our G+ feeds for the announcement! Very awesome!
Overall, I'm very happy with the online shopping experience, the delivery, and most importantly, the final image that was printed. Northwest Fine Art Printing produce high quality products, and I'm very happy to partner with them for my local printing needs. I can't wait to try out some of their decorative tile or acrylic options - the product range they have is far beyond any other print house I've seen. I'm very impressed.
I encourage all my readers to get behind this giveaway - seeing your image printed, especially at the size they are offering, is always something else, and these guys do a great job at helping that image come to life.