Packaging is my least favorite part of my business. I have to package prints, cards and fabric. This is by far the most time-consuming thing that I do, but if I do it right, it makes everything look great, and much more professional. Today was a fabric packaging day, and a printing day for prints for gift shops ahead of the tourist season. I don’t have enough packaging however, so I am waiting on the things I need for the prints.

I have learned a few things over the years about packaging different types of art items. First, people really like to see the majority of whatever the item is when it comes to art, because everyone views art differently. Prints obviously can’t be folded, but fabric can be. I have found out however, it is best not to fold it through the main portion of the image. Consequently, the packaging is big enough for the larger fabric panels to be mostly showing, and I have smaller clear bags for the smaller images.

Clear plastic bags that are acid free and have a seal at one end are my favorite. This speeds up the process. Some of the bags for my cards don’t have a seal and I have to tape them down. This adds to the cost as well as the time involved in packaging. Acid free is important for some of the items I sell, like the prints and fabric, not as important for others, like the note cards, but I tend to pick acid free for everything just so I don’t have to worry about it.

Accounting for the cost of the packaging is something I never used to do. I figured it would all just work out in the end. However, over the years as the cost of packaging has added up, I realized I need to add a little bit at least, because, even if it is pretty inexpensive, it’s not free. It amazes me how quickly even the smallest things add up in a business. The other thing I like about the clear plastic, is that it’s easy to mark with a price that won’t mar the picture, and it’s easy to remove when the prices change or when I frame something and reuse the packaging for something else. People like to see prices. When they come and look at an item, most people don’t like to ask how much it is. If they have to ask, they usually don’t buy.

So, those are a few things that I have learned about packaging my products. Obviously, every business is different, but packaging really does make a difference in the final presentation. Poor packaging will turn away customers, while minimal, clean and clear packaging draws people in to look closer.

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