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Guidelines for Packing Art for Shipping

 
FOR UNFRAMED ARTWORK


We recommend that you never lift an unmounted print or drawing by the corners. When lifting a print or drawing, slide a sheet of cardboard beneath it as a support and hold the cardboard, not the art. If you must use your hands, please use tissue paper or photography gloves so that your fingers do not touch the artwork since oils from our fingers damage paper. Remember to support the long sides of the cardboard with both hands.


Shipping material you will need:

1) A Flat Pack or Print Pad. If you can not locate these items, then use a sturdy piece of cardboard for the art and possibly corrugated cardboard for the outside packing material.

2) Packing tape.

Protect the artwork with acid free tissue paper on both the front and the back.

Place two or three layers of cardboard on both sides of the art to prevent any sort of bending. Tape around the outside of the cardboard pieces so they stay together. You might consider leaving a lip of tape where you fold the tape over at the end so it is easier to remove upon receipt.

To prevent the art from moving around within the cardboard: Fold a sheet of paper into a triangle that has one open end. Place a triangle on all four ends of the print or drawing. Then tape ONLY the triangles to the cardboard.  The triangles can be easily removed by removing the tape on the triangles when it is received. Leave a lip of tape on the triangles as well so they are easier to remove. Never try to bend the print into a triangle. Place each triangle on an edge of the artwork, then tape each triangle to the cardboard.

Place the taped up cardboard between two pieces of corrugated cardboard and tape all sides securely. You could also further pack it into a mirror pack or another couple pieces of cardboard to prevent any type of bending during transit.

NOTE: Serigraph prints are best shipped flat since they are prone to crack. Also, if the work of art is a valuable investment, it is not recommended to roll fine art since corners can get bent and the art could be accidentally creased.


FOR FRAMED ARTWORK

Strong Boxes:
Air Float Systems (http://www.airfloatsys.com) manufacturers Strong Boxes that come in multiple sizes with different custom foam inserts.  Simply call them or visit their site and tell them where you reside and they will let you know of a dealer in your area where you can pick up a box to fit your artwork. You must give them all three dimensions (length, width and depth) of your framed piece to order the appropriate sized box. Strong boxes are a patented item and can be a bit pricey but are well worth the money to deliver your artwork safely. If you can't find a strong box in your area, a Mirror Pack Box might work for you.

Mirror Pack Boxes:   These type of boxes are found at most moving companies or storage companies and are reasonably priced. If you have an artwork that has quite a bit of depth, then purchase two so that you can make the box deeper.  The cardboard used for this type of box is quite thin so how you pack the actual artwork within the box is what is truly important to keeping the artwork safe from damage. You'll need the following shipping materials:

1) Bubble wrap.
2) Packing peanuts.
3) A bed sheet or large enough tissue paper.
4) Packing tape.

The mirror box will adequately package a framed piece that is approximately 20" x 30" x 1" or 3"- 4" deep if using two boxes as suggested above.  Should the frame on the artwork be larger than 20" x 30", buy enough boxes to actually create a large enough box to allow 3" of packing space around all four sides of the frame.

Wrap the framed artwork in a piece of material or simply cover it with tissue paper. This will protect any glass from the sticky substance of bubble wrap which you will apply next.

Wrap the bubble wrap completely around the material or tissue paper making sure to cover all corners. Specifically, protect all the corners of the frame since the corners tend to be the points of impact when the box gets moved around during shipping.

Place some packing peanuts or additional bubble wrap inside the bottom, top and sides of the mirror box to create a cushion for the artwork. Place the bubble wrapped piece on to a layer of packing material inside the mirror box and stuff the sides and top with additional packing material. A tight fit will ensure the artwork does not slide around in the box.

Tape the entire box securely by taping completely around the edges.

NOTE: You should call your shipper to learn their package standards and size limitations since not all shippers will accept the mirror pack box.

FOR PACKING ARTWORK IN A TUBE

We do not recommend this for Limited Edition prints
. The only time we recommend packing artwork in a tube is for storage or transport to a framer. A work on paper should never be rolled or placed in a tube. Rolling can promote flaking of inks and/or pigments, can distort paper fibers and cause tearing or creasing if the roll is accidentally crushed. You might wish to roll posters for cost effective shipping.

SHIPPING GUIDELINES

It is highly recommended that you use a shipper who allows you to insure the art for its full value or at least the price in which it was sold. You should never ship artwork as "ground" service since it allows too much time for the piece to be damaged during transit. Insuring your shipment will secure gentler handling.

If you have a framer or shipper pack the artwork, please make sure to have them follow the guidelines listed above. Keep in mind that not everyone knows how to ship artwork. And it's also a good idea to keep all of your tracking numbers and receipts from everyone involved just in case a claim must be filed for damage.

NOTE: Artwork is easily damaged in shipping if it is not packed properly. If you have doubts about how to pack artwork for shipping, please consult a professional shipper of art, a museum, framer or a gallery.


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