"Test Prints" before making large prints


I have seen piezzo printers making a batch of small test prints, before making committing to making a very large piezzo print.

Just wondering, what are these printmasters are looking for in the variations of small test prints that they do not see on screen?

thank you in advance.


Proofing is a very important part of the printing process, and we do the same here- print a smaller proof to evaluate the colors, density, details, etc… to make sure everything is perfect before making a large print. You’d be going thru a lot of paper if you print large without proofing first, then notice some things you want to change, and have to edit and reprint. In our studio, we often print VERY big (like 44x60 or larger), so proofing is a crucial and sometimes the most time consuming process to get everything the way the artist wants before printing full size. Visibility changes with the print size, so depending on the final print size, you may be able to get away with small letter size proofs, but for very large prints, we occasionally print bigger proofs, and/or small proofs of full size sections to review.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


For a Black & White Peizo 17x22 print, what size proofing print do you recommend?

any tips of what to look in the proof print to improve my print?

are the black black enough, details in the highlights, is the print overall too dark, too light…

anything that you can suggest is so much appreciated.

thank you again Dana.


For a 17x22 final print size, I would proof at least 8.5x11, but ideally 1/2 size proofs are best for seeing detail and transitions well. It will take some experimenting and time examining images printed at different sizes to discover what can be seen differently at various sizes, to decide the best size for you to proof depending on your image subject and final print size. You should check every inch of the print and look for flaws such as imaging marks, transitions, details, range of black to white, how the image works overall, etc… and get it right at the proofing stage before printing large/final size.

All the best~ Dana :slight_smile:


[QUOTE=stump4545;1957]For a Black & White Peizo 17x22 print, what size proofing print do you recommend?

any tips of what to look in the proof print to improve my print?

are the black black enough, details in the highlights, is the print overall too dark, too light…

anything that you can suggest is so much appreciated.

thank you again Dana.[/QUOTE]

I’ll take this opportunity to jump in with my first post on this forum.
My prints are a minimum size of ~10x15 in. on expensive archival paper such as HanPhotoRag, or currently, Canson Rag Photographique. I have found that I get a quite good hard proof using Epson Presentation Matte, a much less expensive paper. I typically print to an 8.5x11 in. sheet to check for tonal range, sharpening, perspective, defects etc. Printing is done with an R2400 using K7 Neutral inks in a SuperjetUSA CISS.



Yes, you can use a less expensive paper for proofing if you wish, and this will still show you things like editing flaws, and overall contrast, though the paper will change things such as the ink tone, density and crispness. It’s fine if you wish to use a different paper for proofing technical things, but when you get it where you are happy, it’s still a good idea to print a small proof on the paper you’ll be printing the final on. When artists come to our studio to work on a project, and we are starting off by showing and trying different papers, we will make suggestions based on what the artist is drawn towards (rag vs. gloss, smooth vs. texture, white vs. natural, etc…), then print proofs of their images on a few different papers for them to evaluate before making their final decision, before moving forward with additional proofing, imaging or final printing.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


when making a final print, how many test prints might you go through before arriving at the final print?

thank you Dana.


This totally depends on the image, artist, and desired effect. I have made anywhere from just 1-2 to 20+ edits and proofs of an image before printing the final. The thing is, if you give the same raw image to ten people, they will all edit it differently depending on their personal taste- none is necessarily “right or wrong”, but personal preference. Some people are more skilled at editing and printing then others, some are more picky than others, and some like natural beauty where others like to really edit images, etc… An image is ready when you, the artist, are satisfied with how it looks overall (which depends on their experience and taste). There is no right answer to this question- in my experience with a wide range of artists I’ve worked with over the years, I feel the proofing and editing process if often the longest and most important part of printing.

I have even found that I like an image several different ways, so have made multiple different versions of the same image with a range of different effects- some soft, some crisp, different contrast, BW or color, different media and sizes, etc…

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


Thank you Dana, please write a book as I will buy it and there is nothing out there that focuses on the details of Inkjet Fine Art Printing.

If you are using a calibrated display, a good display like an Enzo/Nec, the proper paper profiles ect, what is not apparent on screen, that many proofs are required?


Even the best equipment and soft proof profiles can not make your on-screen preview perfectly match every aspect of the print on paper, though it’s certainly best/easiest when using a quality and well calibrated setup. We have the best equipment and viewing environment, but still work with several artists who’s workflow and aesthetics require multiple proofs/edits before they’re completely satisfied and sign off on the final print.
The look and feel of ink and paper, the life and light a print has compared to the on-screen screen preview, and several other factors make ink on paper look and feel different from seeing the image on your monitor. Some is scientific/exact, and some is feeling- I feel a balance of both are important to achieve the best output.

Happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile: