Printing postcards

In my long running quest to sell more art I’ve decided to make postcards. If zines at $20 sell better than prints at $400, maybe $2 postcards will be the big winner. A couple of thousand postcards and we’re talking real money. More likely, I’ll end up with a couple thousand postcards in the basement.

It’s real easy to get 50, 100, 200, or 500 postcards printed. Pricing is such that 100 don’t cost much more than 50, 200 not much more than 100, and 500 not much more than 200. The price falls exponentially. There isn’t an option to print 1000 cards, probably because they would be free at that point.

But how many postcards do I really need? Factor in that I didn’t want them all the same. 500 cards each of 10 different prints would be enough postcards to last a millennium. So I settled for 100 each. We’ll see how this goes. I’m going to the zine fest again this year, so I’ll have lots of merchandise in case there is a run on nude art.

The first sample cards looked and felt pretty good but the shadows were too light. Turns out the general Internet wisdom on the right profile to use to convert to CMYK for digital offset printing is completely wrong. If you use the Photoshop default of “US Web Coated (SWOP) v2”, the printer won’t have any problem with your files, but the results will also be washed out.

For the second batch, I tried “Coated GRACol 2006” after reading a couple of graphic arts articles. The total ink load is increased from 300% to 339%. That should be a lot blacker. The printer has not complained about the ink load. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

But they complained immediately about the subject matter. The Oakland office said they wouldn’t print my job because they don’t print genitals. Whoa, hold on a minute. While I don’t shy away from genitals in my work, I can read, and having read their policy, nothing I sent them contained any genitals. A couple of the images got very, very close, but none of the important parts were showing, except a couple of nipples and they don’t have a policy against nipples. Unlike those big Internet companies.

So I called their customer service number and ended up having an interesting and pleasant conversation about genitals with Melissa in their Kansas City office. Turns out the Midwest office knows more about the subject than the Oakland office. Melissa approved all of my images and was planning on calling the Oakland people to tell them the definition of genitals. Wish I could have heard that conversation.

Here are a couple of the suspect images.

The second one isn’t even close. Unless you can find someone whose genitals are down around the knees.

White on White

For White on White, I got rid of the blacks too. As the name implies, the tones in these images are all white. The blacks are gone as well as most of the grays. The content is familiar.

These images remind me of a ski hill. Down the steep chute, over the bump, and into the wide open bowl.


I’m sometimes known as a photographer that works in black and white, just black and white, none of those pesky grays in the middle. Inky black shadows and brilliant white highlights.

It’s an exaggerated palette that I like for abstract images, but some find unrealistic and annoying on more realistic images. I do try to tone it down occasionally; not very successfully.

Line is an example. The skin is rendered almost pure white except for a few inky shadows demarcating the different parts. There’s nothing but skin in these images.

The subject matter is familiar–breasts, butts, and pubic mounds. My favorite, curvy parts.

I think there are a lot more of these images. I wonder why they aren’t posted on my web site. I’ll look around and see if I can find and post some more. Then I’ll let you know.