At Third & Wall Art Group we work with some of the most exceptional artists in the industry. They are market-savvy, prolific, and total pros at creating upscale contemporary artworks that reflect color and decor trends.
However, those trends tend to morph and shift as they cycle throughout the industry. The result is that sometimes a customer may love an image for their project, but its colors may not reflect the unique needs of their design project. As a member of the Production Department at 3&W, I and my fellow digital color specialists spend a lot of time immersed in Photoshop, digitally changing colors and customizing art to meet precise specifications.
Our customers are like snowflakes – each one is unique, with diverse ways of communicating their digital alteration needs. One customer may simply provide a general vision, like “I’d like the greens to be more sage green, not so Kermit the Frog green”; others may send us a JPEG they want us to match; some will specify Pantone numbers or commercial paint swatches; and others will send fabric swatches and ask us to change elements of the image to precisely match their décor schemes.
Sometimes a project requires a suite of three images, but only two images exist – so rather than wait several weeks for the busy artist to paint a third image, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat we digitally create a third image out of thin air (ta da!).
Other client requests have included altering nude figures to be more modest (I’ll leave that to your imagination); making figures less “frumpy”; removing road signs or telephone wires from landscape photographs; removing birds from tree branches; restoring damaged vintage photography; moving elements of paintings around to create different compositions; changing the height of horizon lines – the list goes on. And just when we think we’ve done it all, our customers are always coming up with intriguing new customizations to challenge our skills and Photoshop know-how!
In most cases, there’s almost nothing our fabulous Production Department can’t match or alter. However, there are a couple of things to remember when requesting image customization:
1) Customization Isn’t Free: Digital image customization is a highly-skilled and specialized service, so there is a nominal fee for digital work. For more information check with your 3&W Account Manager.
2) Avoid Extreme Light to Dark/Dark to Light Changes: It is very difficult to digitally change a very light or white image area to very dark or black; and vice versa.
3) Be Conscious of Original Size When Enlarging: Enlarging a small image (or a small piece of crop from an image) can result in fuzziness, unintentional gigantic brushstrokes or canvas texture, and even the dreaded pixelation – so be sure to check the original size of your image before asking for an enlargement. If the original is 12×12” and you want it to be 60×60”, odds are it’s not going to have the clarity you want, no matter how carefully it is enlarged. And always request a test strip if you are requesting a big enlargement.
4) All Monitors Show Color Differently: Remember that every computer monitor shows color differently – so if you are requesting us to match colors in a JPEG you sent us, we will match what OUR monitors show us, which is not necessarily what your monitors are showing you. If color is extremely important, please specify a pantone or commercial paint chip color, or send us a physical color reference.
And now…bring on the challenges! Let’s customize!
– Patti Mann, Digital Color Artist, Third & Wall Production Team