If you shop for wall art on platforms such as Etsy, you will notice that many sellers offer digital files or "printable wall art." In general, many people prefer to purchase wall art that is printed on posters, fine art paper, canvas, or even wood. However, digital files are a good alternative for those who find themselves in a time crunch or do not want to incur the cost of shipping.
If you are interested in purchasing digital art but do not know what to expect, this article is for you! The following blog post will outline how to choose high-quality digital art and how to convert your digital art into a physical product.
How Printable Art Works
Printable art is artwork that is sold in a digital format rather than as a physical item. When the customer purchases digital art, files are sent to the customer's e-mail. Typically, these files are usually JPG or PNG images. The digital files can be used to print the artwork on a home computer or at a local printing business.
Where To Buy Printable Art
The most common place to buy printable art, also known as digital artwork, is Etsy. However, some artists have their own websites for printable art. Creative Market is another great place to find printable wall art.
The aspect ratio of an image is simply the ratio of its width to its height. It is typically expressed as two numbers separated by a colon (e.g., 2:3, 3:4, and 4:5). In other words, the aspect ratio conveys the proportions of the print. When purchasing digital art, it is important to know the size of the wall art you want.
|Aspect Ratio||Common Print Sizes|
|2:3||4x6, 12x18, 20x30, 24x36|
It is worth noting that some sellers offer digital art that is mean to be printed on International Paper Sizes. It may be harder to have posters of these sizes printed in the United States.
|A0||33.13 x 46.81||84.1 x 118.8|
|A1||23.38 x 33.13||59.4 x 84.1|
|A2||16.50 x 23.38||42.0 x 59.4|
|A3||11.75 x 16.50||29.7 x 42.0|
|A4||8.25 x 11.75||21.0 x 29.7|
|A5||5.88 x 8.25||14.8 x 21.0|
|A6||4.13 x 5.88||10.5 x 14.8|
|A7||2.94 x 4.13||7.4 x 10.5|
|A8||2.06 x 2.94||5.2 x 7.4|
The resolution of your digital artwork is important. A high-resolution image will appear crisp and clear while a low-resolution image will appear blurry and pixelated. Resolution is often quantified in units of dots per inch (DPI). DPI refers to the number of dots that can be placed along a 1-inch line. A higher DPI represents a higher resolution. Typically, you want your digital artwork to have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. If you want to enlarge the artwork significantly, you may want an even higher DPI. If you are unsure about the resolution of the artwork, message the artist prior to purchase. This is important because digital art is usually not refundable!
Where to Have Your Digital Art Printed
Unless you plan to use your digital art as a screensaver or something similar, you will probably want to print your digital files.
Some people try to print digital art using their home printer. In general, I do not recommend trying to print digital art at home. This is because wall art often requires a significant amount of ink, and the final may not look great on computer paper, especially if your printer is starting to run low on ink.
Instead of printing digital art at home, I recommend using a local photo center. It is not very expensive, and you will be happier with the final product. In my experience, CVS and Walgreens are great places to print art and they often have coupons available. Walmart is another option for printing digital art. However, I recommend checking the final product before leaving the store. If your product comes out blurry, they will reprint for you.
If you prefer to use an online vendor to print your digital art, Shutterfly and Vistaprint are good options. Walmart and CVS will also ship to your home.
Steps To Printing Digital Files on the CVS Website
This section is a step-by-step guide for printing your digital art on a poster at CVS. The process is VERY similar for Walgreens and Walmart. These places often offer same-day pickup!
Step 1: Navigate to CVS Photo and select the product you want
Step 2: Select the size you want and click "Create New"
Step 3: Navigate to the folder containing your digital file/art
Get Photos → My Computer → Select Photos → Navigate to where your digital art is located and click.
Step 4: Enter shipping and credit card information
Finally, click the "Review & Buy" button on the right side of the screen. You will be prompted to enter your shipping and credit card information. You should receive a confirmation e-mail shortly after placing your order.
Can I Resell Digital Art?
Do not resell digital art purchased on Etsy unless the artist explicitly gives their permission for you to use their art for that purpose. Most digital downloads are sold for personal use only! If you wish to resell digital art, contact the artist about licensing. Although many people online steal artwork to resell, it is illegal and you could face legal ramifications.