Art Print Care Guide


TL;DR - Don’t touch the prints with your greasy hands and be careful when storing them. Keep them out of sunlight if they don’t have UV protection. You should probably read the guide if you’re unsure what to do. 

So You Got a New Art

So, you’ve splurged on some art prints and expect them to look sharp for eons? Well, it’s not as simple as throwing them on the wall and hoping for the best. Maintaining the pristine condition of your art prints requires mindful handling and proper storage. This guide offers detailed instructions to help you care for your art prints, ensuring they last for generations. 


Secure Shipping: Prints are either shipped in a tube, within a box for UPS shipments, or flat between two pieces of sturdy cardboard. Archival prints are rolled in acid-free paper or a glassine sheet (or both), suitable for long-term storage. Flat prints will be encased in a polyethylene plastic sleeve. Should your print arrive with any tissue paper, it is recommended that you remove this layer as it is purely decorative or there for extra protection during shipping, and not archival/acid free.

Handling and Unpacking:

Always use both hands when picking up your prints—imagine you're handling a rare vinyl record, not a fast-food taco or a road map in a dust storm. Handle carefully from the sides, or use microfiber gloves if you have them, and for the love of all that is good in this world, before you dive into the packaging, strip off every last piece of tape as meticulously as a surgeon. You don’t want any sticky surprises ruining your new artwork. I know it can be exciting when you receive a package to just get it out and see it, but sticky residue is one of art’s biggest enemies; it lurks in the shadows, ready to mar your magnificent new acquisition with a permanent, ugly blotch. Just take your time.


Proper Storage:

Storing Your Print: It’s strongly advised that you store your prints flat to preserve their quality and integrity. If you would rather, you can keep them in their original packaging, which is designed for their protection, or opt for more specialized solutions like portfolios, archival storage boxes, flat files, or protective poster sleeves. Archival prints are safeguarded by a layer of semi-transparent glassine paper, which is essential for shielding the surface from potential damage over time. Ensure this protective paper remains in place, to maintain the artwork, keeping it in pristine condition for the long haul. Again, if your print arrived with any tissue paper, ditch that before storing it. 

Handling and Cleaning:

  • Handling: If you need to handle your print, and gloves aren’t available, handle your prints only by the edges, as if they're radioactive isotopes or fine French pastries. Handle with clean, dry hands. The natural oils from your hands can degrade the archival quality of your print, and will leave behind a sheen that's as unattractive as it is destructive to the archival quality of your print. You don’t want your nice print ending up looking like a greasy diner window. Avoid the fingerprints and scuffs. This is much more apparent in dark areas of prints.

  • Cleaning: Avoid using your hands to brush off dust from the print surface as this can lead to scratches or scuffs, particularly noticeable on solid black areas. To clean, opt for using a soft brush, or a can of compressed air (lightly and at a distance) to effectively remove dust without touching the surface.

Overall, just be very careful, or you’ll end up with a mess all over the surface of your print, like a red wine and white carpet party, held inside of a punk venue located in a helicopter. I don’t know. I’m tired. 

Flattening for Storage:

Rolled prints need a gentle touch, not an iron fist. Lay them out on a clean, flat surface and delicately place weights on the corners, atop the protective glassine sheet. No glassine sheet handy? Improvise with a plain paper barrier. Remember, you’re aiming for a flat print, not a flattened disaster.


When it comes to framing, think vampire aesthetics—keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible. For archival prints, you may want to use archival-quality materials and frame with a mat to create a buffer between the print and the glass. UV-protective acrylic or glass is a lifesaver if you can’t, or just don’t want to keep your art in the dark, away from the sunlight.


Tube Storage and Transport:

Rolling your print for storage or transport? It’s recommended to store your print in a tube that’s 3 inches or larger in diameter. Too tight of a roll invites creases and ripples that can make your print look like it's been through a tavern brawl.

Archival Prints:

Archival pigment prints are designed to outlast generations. These fine art prints (also called Giclée) boast longevity with up to 200 years of color vibrancy and over 400 for black and white. Printed on luxurious archival paper stocks, with top-tier inks, this print type ensures that for centuries, your aesthetic choices will continue to impress or perplex your descendants.

Digital Prints:

Digital prints are created with a high-end digital printer, often one designed for commercial use. You may occasionally find prints on Odd World Studio available as digital prints, which can range in sizes and paper types. While these are are not archival, this means that they will last nowhere near as long as the pigment prints mentioned, though they are a much lower cost.

Glassine Paper:

Think of glassine as an eco-friendly protector of your prints. Glossy, translucent, and tougher than it looks, it keeps moisture, air, and grease at bay. Fully recyclable and biodegradable, glassine is as kind to the planet as it is to your art.