Hello! Im going to be in an artist alley for the first time and I've been doing a lot of research. One of the questions I have which I can't seem to find an answer to is how do artists store their prints? Both at home and during the convention to keep them safe?
How exciting! Good luck with your first artist alley!
There’s a whole world of information out there on storing art prints that Google can reveal to you! (Example) That said, a lot of it is targeted for high end art prints. For artist alleys and conventions, your needs are likely more utilitarian, though the same basic ideas apply.
you want something that will help keep the prints flat and protect them
from exposure (dirt/dust/water/weather elements) and contact with other surfaces/objects that could
deform, dent or damage them. Ideally this form of storage is portable
and relatively easy to pack - most people don’t transfer their prints from one storage container to another between home and event, it just gets too cumbersome. You also ideally want some way of
organizing the prints so that you can find the right one quickly when you’re selling.
The following are a few systems we’ve used and/or seen; you can find pretty much all supplies at your local office supplies shop, dollarstore or art store.
- Sheet protectors in a binder. Works well for
letter-size prints. Another handy thing is that by putting them into
individual sheet protectors they’re basically already in packaging that
will protect the print from contact with other things! Slip your
business card into the back and you’ll have a binder of ready-to-sell
prints. (Example) Some people also use the sheet protectors+binder setup for displaying individual sample prints, a bit like a catalog.
- Expandable/accordion folder. They come in a variety
of sizes, and work well for smaller things (e.g., postcard or photo
prints, bookmarks, laminated keychains). (Example)
- Envelopes. Clear poly envelopes
are quite popular, available in a number of different sizes (including
ones that can accommodate larger prints), and you can separate different
prints with a paper/tab insert. (Example)
a box. Appropriate
sizes may be provided by the printer if you have a large enough order,
and may accommodate some larger sizes (e.g., 11 x 17). Depending on the
material of the box, some may be more or less sturdy. Also, this works
better if you have more rigid prints (i.e., on thicker cover/card
Similar to the sheet protectors in a binder idea, but art portfolios
will allow you to accommodate more sizes, and can also be used for
display. They’re more expensive than most of the other solutions. (Example)
Depending on your print sizes and also how many you have, some may be more or less appropriate.
At home, depending on your space they could go into a closet, on a shelf or under a bed until you need to drag them out for your next convention.
If anyone has other suggestions, experiences or thoughts, please do share!