Fredrik Udên’s journey into the print business began in Sweden, where he worked as a photographer and darkroom technician. Since relocating to Australia in 1989, Fredrik has been involved in countless large and small-scale projects involving high-quality images via PosterFactory, his Sydney-based print business.
“Many of our clients have been cultural institutions and exhibitors,” he explains. “We have worked with many photographers and artists for commercial applications, such as the Olympic Games and movie-set backdrops.”
By focusing on providing museum-quality prints and excellent customer service, PosterFactory allows artists at all career stages to expand their audiences by adding a print component to their business. Shipping across the globe from the Inner West suburb of Marrickville, the company offers a comprehensive range of services, with canvas printing and stretching, framing options and dropshipping all available.
“For artists and photographers, dropshipping takes the stress out of managing print sales – we take care of all printing, packaging and shipping,” Fredrik explains. “We also offer a wide selection of quality papers, and custom sizing is an option. Our widest roll width is 1500mm and we can print to almost any length.”
PosterFactory’s commitment to quality is reflected in its ‘100% Happiness Guarantee’, which not only ensures any customer issues are quickly resolved but provides artists with an extra layer of protection and the confidence to give prints a go.
Here Fredrik offers tips for getting started with prints and opening up the possibility of generating extra income.
Interview by Lisa Doust
When did you launch the business and what are the benefits to artists using your services?
PosterFactory was born as an idea in 2014 and the real growth has been in the past three years. We offer an educational approach to high-quality printing for creative people looking for exceptional printmaking at affordable prices.
We facilitate services so that artists can generate additional income from their art while at the same time widening their audience. This is the opportunity to maximise – or ‘10X’ – the return on your art, as printed artworks will generally cost less than original artworks but can look just as great on the walls.
To help artists get started and show them the quality of our work, we offer a free test print – just reach out and we will make this happen!
What are your tips for artists looking to start selling prints of their original work?
Start small. Use the camera, scanner or phone you already own, and get a test print. This is a creative journey and it takes some time to understand how to use these tools. Remember, prints do not have to be identical to the original, although if you invest time in understanding printing processes, they do come very close.
Sometimes when the artist has painted using non-archival materials (napkins, newspapers, marker pens, etc), the printed artwork becomes the only artwork that will stand the test of time as it is truly archival. This is why museum-grade, cotton-rag papers are used for archival art printing.
Some of our artists also paint on top of printed artwork, which then becomes a new original. Don’t forget that printmaking was pioneered by European artists such as Picasso, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and Francisco Goya.
Many artists also generate the original artwork in a computer, so the printed output is the first version of that art that can be touched.
When it comes to successfully selling prints, what are the elements that make top-selling artists stand out?
They are, in some cases, business people first and artists second. That is a very general statement, but every artist will find their own comfort zone in this space. The artists that make AU$100K plus per year generally know how to market their work online, including using advertising.
How do you stay up to date with trends in printing, and what are you most inspired by at present?
With our background in photographic high-quality printing, it’s easy for us to see what is real and what is hype. We recently launched two products that we know will create new opportunities for artists at a great scale – our XL Art Canvas Frames and our Naked Art Frames, with prints on metal.
What are your business goals for 2024?
Grow awareness among artists on how to ‘10X’ their art and support them in doing so. It has never been a better time for an artist to reach more people and make a sustainable living by doing what they love. It’s exciting to be able to share this opportunity, and the only investment for artists is time!