Sunday, February 26, 2017

RedBubble Postcards Review

Good morning!

Today I'll be sharing with you my impression of the postcards from RedBubble.

On February 2nd, RedBubble celebrated it's 10th Birthday and to thank their participating artists they were giving out vouchers respective of the sales made that day.
I was thrilled to receive a $10 voucher and in the end decided to spend it on getting postcards made with some of my latest artwork.

These are:
-$1.58 USD each in "artist price" (Meaning if you have a RB account and order postcards of your own work, that's what you'll pay)
-300gsm card with a satin finish
-Discount of 20% on every order of 8 cards
-Discount of 30% on every order of 16 cards

*Postcards do not come with envelopes

I had ordered pieces from RedBubble's greeting card category before and wasn't too satisfied with the quality, but as that was 6 years ago (in 2011) and there were many improvements on the RB site since then I thought I'd give cards another go.

I ordered my cards on February 16th and they arrived on February 23rd. Impressively fast considering I chose the standard shipping option!

Now, lets evaluate the quality.

Accuracy Verdict: Mixed Feelings
At first glance they seemed pretty solid, but once I had a closer inspection I was a little less happy with the product.
-Looking at the cards with my Illustrator and Photoshop made vector trees that have really smooth curves in the original file, on the printed postcards they appeared to have a more jittery appearance. Given how much effort I spent making the branch curves smooth, it made me sad to see them with these jitters. If I had to guess, I'd say there was some compression issue.
My  original image
Original image closeup: as you can see - nice and smooth lines.
The RedBubble postcard. (Click on the image to view larger)

Close up of the jittery lines (Click on the image to view larger)

In comparison, cards featuring this style of artwork printed from, don't have this issue.
Postcard printed from Zooming in to view the full sized image you can see the lines are very crisp in comparison.

-However, the jitter was much less apparent on the postcards with my painterly artwork, without outlining or heavy straight lines, such as "The West Wind". As the artist, I can still see a little bit of it, but I wouldn't be too worried about my customers noticing it on postcards featuring this style of art.
RedBubble Postcard with "The West Wind" Illustration.
Colour Verdict: Good
The colour correctness was very good. The hue was accurate for all cards, though I noted that for the Elvish Trees series cards the printing came out darker and some of the subtle colours in the textured background were lost. (This is easier to see in person vs on the photos due to the interference lighting causes.)
My tree elven images. (Click on the image to view larger)

RedBubble Postcards (Click on the image to view larger)
Paper Quality Verdict: Good...but watch out for scuffs
The paper has a nice weight to it and a smooth surface. Like indicated under the product info: a satin finish. The back side of the card has the nice classic postcard layout, making it really easy to see where (should you use the postcard in the traditional way) the recipient's address and stamp should go, as well as clearly printed artist's name and their RedBubble url.

(The downside, is that if you're an artist ordering your art as postcards and aren't happy with your RedBubble artist url, then that's just too bad for you, there's no customization available for the backside of the postcard. Then, you can be like me and regret becoming active online during the time where everyone had weird pseudonyms instead of using their names. Please don't ask me what ozureflame was supposed to be.) seems that the combination of the ink and this type of paper make the edges of the cards prone to scuffing if the image goes to the edges, particularly with a dark background. Knowing this, an easy fix would be to upload images or order pieces which have a white border or a light coloured background.
Scuffs appeared shortly after I received the postcards.
The product has very good potential. My suggestion would be to invest in postcards if the art you're printing has a painterly style, rather than something very simple and graphic in style. Also, I would again advise in adding a subtle, white border to your works in order to counteract scuffing.

At this time I'd like to note that I haven't experienced any issues I described today with RedBubble prints outside of the greeting card category and was very happy with the results of my prints. To see my review of their art prints, check out this post.

Thanks for reading and I hope this has been useful to some of you. If you're enjoying my reviews and impressions type posts, stick around because next time I'll be reviewing Society6 ceramic mugs.

Bye for now!

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