HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR PRODUCTS
The most important thing you can do here is to back up your USB. USBs are not intended to be long-term storage, they are a recent phenomena and there is a good chance that the USB I give you today will go the way of the floppy disk in ten years time. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a computer with a working floppy drive? Can you be sure that you'll still have a computer with a working USB port in ten years? Also keep in mind that USBs have a shelf life, most are guaranteed for ten years. So even if you computer has a USB port in ten years time, your USB might not work anymore!
You can back up your images to your computer, to your Facebook account, to cloud storage and so on. The best way to back up the images on your USB though, is to print them out! You won't be able to show your grandchildren the images on your USB. You will be able to show your grandchildren beautiful prints and photobooks.
It's important that you care for your fine art prints just as you would any delicate and valuable artwork. With proper handling your prints will remain in pristine condition for a lifetime, you will be able to pass them down to your grandchildren.
- Natural skin oils or other contaminants can easily transfer to the print, so wash your hands before touching the prints. Even better; wear clean, white cotton gloves that are lint free and designed for handling art.
- Use both hands and support the back of a print when picking up the photograph.
- Never attempt to rub the surface of the image with your finger or fingernail as this could scratch the surface of the print.
Exposure to Elements
- Keep your print out of direct sunlight. Even the best quality materials are subject to cracking or fading if exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight. Normal incandescent light bulbs do not present a problem for fine art prints, but fluorescent lights can emit harmful ultraviolet rays.
- Hang your print away from areas where airborne grime, dust and pollutants such as cigarette smoke can leave a discolouring residue.
- Avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture and temperature. Excessive fluctuations between dryness and humidity, or extreme heat and cold can negatively affect the state of your print. Museums generally keep the temperature around 18 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 40%. If the humidity is too high, be on the lookout for mould.
- When framing your print use a good quality glass specifically designed for protecting fine art and photographic images. I also recommend using an acid free archival mat to prevent the print and glass from touching.
- To prevent accidents, store your print away from anything that might press against the image surface. Some objects may not seem sharp enough to damage the print but you'd be surprised at what will cause a scratch, a tear, or a rip.
- Do not stack prints on top of each other. Separate them with pieces of acid free paper to avoid damage.
- Wrap your print well if you plan to transport it. Be sure to put a piece of acid free paper over the front to protect the print. Rough handling can damage the print so pack it securely.
- Do not cover your print with plastic for long periods of time. If there is humidity in the air, mould may begin to grow. Cotton, acid-free sheets are the best for keeping dust away.
- Dust your print with a clean, soft rag to prevent dust buildup. Never use cleaning products or water as this may permanently damage the print.
- Do not blow on your print as you may inadvertently deposit water droplets that can mark your print.
Your Framed Prints
Just as with your fine art prints, your framed fine art prints are a delicate artwork. With care they will last you a lifetime.
Cleaning Your Framed Print
- To clean your framed print, remove it from the wall and place it flat on a table or other stable horizontal surface. Use a soft, lint-free cloth or a soft brush to clean your frame. Harsh chemicals like glass cleaner can damage frames.
- Clean glass by spraying cleaner onto a soft cloth and then wiping the glass. This helps prevent liquids from seeping into the frame and ruining your print.
Transporting Your Framed Print
- When moving your art, make sure it will be protected from the elements and from damage.
- Wrap your art in plastic to prevent water damage and use towels or blankets to cushion it. Protective frame corners can be used, or wrap the art completely inside cardboard and tape closed.
- Unwrap your art pieces as soon as they have a new place to be displayed.
- With care, your framed fine art print can last for a lifetime, and future generations will appreciate the dedication to longevity.