ArtisanJS Versus The Printer
An article by
I was so proud, I finished up a piece of art in ArtisanJS that I really loved and wanted to print. So, I found a printer and started thinking about what I’d need to give them to make something better than a digital print. After a minute of thinking about it, the reality of the situation started to hit me, I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to do what it was that I wanted to do. Rather than send a volley of 30 emails back and forth to clarify something as crazy as “I have this piece of art that I’ve created in HTML and I need it printed”, I decided to call.
I’m glad I did, because the printer and I went over the process and thought through all the options. In the end, it became obvious that it just wasn’t going to happen. Why? You might ask… Well, even if I could convert all of my ArtisanJS work to a vectorized format (something I’ve been working on), there’s still the underlying factor that some of my work relies on images, flattened pieces that will never be vectors.
Why are vectors a big deal?
When you send files to be screen printed, they separate out the layers based on color and print them in a series, one on top of the next. With vectors, you have a nice, clean line around each shape. With an image it’s not quite that way. An image will alias around the edges, and even if it’s at half-tones, it’s still not as clean as a vector, which means you won’t get great results from your print.
So where does that leave me? Well, I built ArtisanJS as a way to do art, and I think it does that well. It’s just not high quality, printable art. It can still be high quality digital art. This website is built using ArtisanJS, and I think a lot more could be done with it. But is it worth converting it to vectors like I had been thinking? Maybe not. I think the history and layering features I have built into ArtisanJS are enough like vectors to do what most people will need on the web.
Am I upset? Not so much. Everything has its ups, its downs, and its possibilities. But it is a bit frustrating when you’ve spent so much time aiming for a goal that, as it turns out, would never have panned out, and you just didn’t think far enough down the line to see it.