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How Good Is Pictorem for Artists?

    Pictorem Website

    We recently put Pictorem.com to the test. Of their many products, we tested two: One HD print on metal, and one 3/16th inch acrylic. Both prints measured 20 x 15. Both featured an abstract art design.

    Pictorem is a good print company for artists. They have great print quality, they pack the work very well for shipping, and have free shipping in North America. Their mock-up tool makes it worth signing up for an account. But, you should be cautious of the overall turnaround and shipping time for the more involved substrates. Also, although the shipping time from Canada to the US was quite reasonable, it may seem long for your customers if you are using the white label service.

    Watch this video on YouTube.
    Overview and Final Thoughts on Pictorem for Artists

    In this review, we ordered two prints: one HD metal print and one 3/16″ acrylic print. We did not notify Pictorem that we are reviewing their service and products. The following is a complete breakdown of our experience:

    What is Pictorem.com?

    Pictorem.com is an art and photography printing company based in Montreal, Canada. They have a passion for art and photography and making the highest quality wall art possible. According to Pictorem:

    “We use only the finest printing materials, and innovative and precise printing solutions to produce masterpieces that will stand the test of time and conditions, and deliver years and years of viewing joy.”

    Pictorem.com Products

    Pictorem offers a wide array of wall art print options. From paper, to canvas, brushed metal and acrylic – Pictorem has it covered.

    Pictorem offers a sample pack of material substrates for free. If you are uncertain of the options, we recommend that you request the sample pack so that you can feel the weight and texture of the materials.

    One small note, here though. We first requested the samples via email. They weren’t automatically sent out. When we were setting up our gallery, we had to put in a tech support call (more on that later.) We asked again about the sample pack, and they were sent out right away.

    The sample pack came with a tri-fold presentation on heavy weight gloss bond paper. The presentation reviews their options: canvas, acrylic, metal, HD metal, wood, frame and mural. (There’s also a puzzle option on the website.)

    Watch this video on YouTube.
    Video overview of the sample set that Pictorem sent.

    There are a multitude of options, which would be near impossible to cover for the purposes of our review. Most options come in various thicknesses, finishes (High gloss, satin and matte), shapes (rectangular, circular and triangular), frames, and more.

    One thing we noticed though, is that some of the options do not come standard on the website gallery mockups and ordering. When we asked about this, we were told that some types of orders must be placed over the phone.

    Pictorem Product Cost

    We ordered two prints, each were 20 x 15″.

    The HD Metal Print had a wholesale cost of $94.00. We were given an additional 15% off, bringing our cost down to $79.90.

    The 3/16th Acrylic Print had a wholesale cost of $91.00. Our additional 15% discount brought the cost down to $77.35.

    Quick reminder here – shipping is included in the price. We calculated the cost to ship from Pictorem in Canada to our location in California, using the package size and weight. UPS Standard (8 day service) is estimated at $78.28. Nearly the full cost of one of the prints. Even though we expect Pictorem has a wholesale account with UPS (and therefore paid much less) the fact that the shipping is included brings the overall cost down significantly when comparing prices with other print companies.

    In order to place our order, we had to open a Pro Account. The process was easy, a simple webform and an account is automatically opened. We were automatically approved for a 15% rebate on all orders.

    Once in the account, we navigated our way to the “My Online Gallery” tab. This is where we uploaded our image. Pictorem’s Image Size Calculator told us how large of a print we can order based upon our digital file size.

    The largest standard print size is 60 x 40″. Pictorem recommends a 300 points per inch, therefore, if you are designing for this platform, you should size your work at 18,000 x 12,000 dpi.

    However, Pictorem will print in almost any custom size, just give them a call to discuss. Stretched canvas can be printed as large as 96″ x 48″, and rolled canvas as large as 120″ x 54.” Acrylic and Brushed metal print as large as 96″ x 60.” HD Metal Sublimation prints as large as 60 x 40.” Wood as large as 72 x 46,” and murals can be unlimited in size but are supplied in 30 – 40″ rolls.

    Once we had our images uploaded, Pictorem offers an online gallery. This is run similar to a marketplace. Artists can upload their artwork and consumer can order the prints directly from Pictorem. However, using the Pictorem online gallery is not required, and to be candid, we’re glad. Instead, we will order the prints and have them shipped via their white-label service, leaving us in control of our relationship with the buyer.

    Pictorem.com Mock-Ups

    Once our artwork was loaded, Pictorem.com automatically generates several mockups for each of the substrates. Although we had a website glitch during this process, we find the Pictorem mock-ups to be a stroke of genius once everything was working properly.

    The first thing to note about the mockups is that they do not generate automatically. Some substrate sets appear faster than others. In some cases, the acrylic mockups did not generate until several hours later. However, when the did – we were impressed. Not only do you receive a full frontal view of the artwork in various sizes, you receive detail edge views. Very nice.

    The mockups alone are worth a Pictorem account, just for the ability to provide some context to your work when you post to social media.

    Pictorem.com Customer Service

    When we were waiting for the mock-ups to generate, there was a glitch with one of the files. The mockups generated for all of the other files, but one in particular just. would. not. load.

    We reluctantly called Pictorem using their 800 number listed on their website. We were delightfully surprised to have a completely human experience. We were treated kindly and warmly as we were walked through some instructions that got the mockup generating back to producing its magic. That’s also when we mentioned we had not received our samples and they were quickly sent out.

    Although it’s always a bummer to have to call in and deal with customer service, the fact that it was entirely human and very helpful gives us extra confidence in Pictorem. If there is ever a problem with an order, it’s nice to know a real person who is knowledgeable about the process will be available to help.

    Pictorem.com Shipping

    Once our digital files were uploaded, it was seamless to order the prints. In your gallery view, there is an option to order the print at the wholesale rate. Click, click, enter some credit card info and done.

    Shipping Cost

    An important and impressive feature of Pictorem is that all of the wholesale pricing includes free shipping to North America (both Canada and the Continental United States.) This is impressive because shipping artwork can be very expensive.

    Shipping Time

    Once the order was put in, Pictorem begins the work. The total time from the date of order confirmation to the date we received the notice of shipment was 15 days. The order shipped from Canada to California via UPS in 9 days. Overall, the entire order took 24 days from placing the order to arriving at our doorstep.

    We should say, we did order substrates that require a multi-step process. These orders are virtually hand made by the staff at Pictorem. That said, if you choose to white label these higher-end substrates through your website, you must make it abundantly clear to your customer that it will take several weeks before they can expect delivery.

    We note that the turnaround time for canvas and paper prints is substantially lower as noted by Pictorem in the checkout interface.

    Shipping Packaging

    The shipping packaging was fantastic. We were very impressed by the layers of protective foam and wrap that were utilized to protect the artwork as it made its journey from Canada to the United States.

    Pictorem Packaging
    Pictorem’s careful packaging ensure safety during shipping.
    Pictorem Packaging
    We were very impressed with the multiple layers of packaging including bubble wrap, foam, and cardboard bumpers.

    Pictorem.com Print Quality

    The HD metal print quality was fantastic. The finish was glossy, almost like glass and the colors were perfect. We could not find a flaw.

    The 3/16th inch print quality was also very good. At first, we thought the image was scratched, but on further review, it turned out the scratch mark was actually in the original digital file we uploaded. Therefore, it was our own fault. In addition, our original image was mostly black with a little sky blue. In the final print, the sky blue appeared greyer than blue.

    We should mention that Pictorem has a digital upload review service that costs an additional $15. We wish we would have used it for our first upload.

    Special Features

    Pictorem.com White Label Service

    The Pictorem White Label Service may be one of its greatest features. Essentially, it turns Pictorem into a wholesale drop shipping company for your wall art.

    What is White Label?

    White Label service means that Pictorem will create your art prints, and send them to your customers, with YOUR branding. In other words, your customer will receive a package that looks like you shipped it – not a print company. This is helpful for the customer journey.

    In order to accomplish this, you upload your own logo (suggested 600 x 150 px) and box label. The box label must be a square design (1200px x 1200px.)

    Using a white label service has the advantage of allowing you to offer multiple substrates and print sizes without first purchasing them. It also has the benefit of making your website appear more professional since your work is coming directly from you – not an online art marketplace.

    But beware – remember to make the turnaround times abundantly clear in your listings. Otherwise, your art buyers could become discouraged and wish to cancel the order while it is still being processed.

    Pictorem.com – Promotional Tools

    You’ll find three helpful promotional tools on the “Promote” tab:

    1. The first tool offers social sharing options to link your mockups out to social media, your email, and a host of other apps.
    2. The second tool is a link that shows your gallery without the Pictorem header and footer. and
    3. The third tool is a block of code that you can insert into your own website that will display your Pictorem gallery. We tested the code and we think it looks great – just keep in mind that each of your art pieces links back to the Pictorem site, where your customer will choose sizing and print options and check out.

    Feel Good Factor – Plant a Tree Program

    We would hate to forget to point out that Pictorem promises to plant a tree for every print. This is a great feel good promotional item you can share with your customer.

    Now that we think of it, we should mention that the prints ordered for this blog post resulted in the planting of two trees. Doesn’t that feel good? We think so. Everyone loves trees.

    Final Thoughts

    In all, we recommend Pictorem. There are a lot of print companies available, but few offer both excellent mockups and white label service. The white label service makes it possible to sell through your own website or marketplace, and have the product shipped directly to your buyer which saves you from the cost of purchasing and storing prints before they are sold.

    If you decide to use the white label service, we suggest that you order a print or two to ensure that you are satisfied with the end product and that you have uploaded your digital file correctly. As we learned from our acrylic piece, it is very easy to upload a file that has a small defect that you do not see until it is printed full size.

    And finally, if you decide to use the white label service, clarify the turnaround and shipping times in your product listings so that your customer knows what to expect. Some of the higher-end substrates take much longer to create than the standard canvas and paper prints. Good things take time, and your customer will be patient as long as they know what they’re signing up for ahead of time.