How to Pack Artwork

How to Pack Artwork

Posted in Packing Tips

One of the biggest challenges when selling or moving art is packaging. Artwork needs to arrive at the destination in top condition, therefore suitable packing is essential. Some artworks are best shipped flat, while others travel better rolled – depending on the material, texture, and flexibility of the art medium. Here are some tips that will assist in making the right choices.

Make sure you take all care to support artworks with a lightweight frame and bubble-wrap. It’s not enough to simply put a ‘do not bend’ or ‘fragile’ sticker on the package. If you are expecting to have the artwork returned to you it could be a good idea to supply the sender with the appropriate packing materials. It’s best not to use foam peanuts for packing, as they are a nightmare for the person unpacking the box, and will almost certainly not be re-used properly when repacking for return. Never assume that everyone will care about your work the way you do.

Many art pieces can be slipped inside a plastic cover. This is recommended for work that could otherwise be water damaged. The package should be larger than the art piece and filled with cushioning material that will stop the artwork shifting and piercing the packaging. If possible move artworks unframed. The moving and sending costs will be much less, and the purchaser or owner can then choose a suitable frame to match the new surroundings. Boxes specially designed for artworks are a reusable option for framed works, especially those being returned or sent on elsewhere, as the package is custom designed to suit specific requirements. Special edge guards or corner protectors go a long way toward keeping picture frames in tip-top condition, and even cling wrap around a frame can be the difference between a shiny or scratched surface.
Selecting an appropriate shipper/courier is the most important decision. Do your research regarding terms and conditions. Some cartage companies offer a packing and unpacking service, along with storage and delivery. Hiring the services of a professional moving company can save money and provide peace of mind. Valuable art works should be insured at all stages of their existence, and moving can be an especially anxious time for many. In the right hands, even the most delicate works can be safely moved to a new home, exhibition, or customer.

Shifting expensive artworks is an art in itself, with extensive information guides and entire books dedicated to the subject. Many people insure their works against loss or theft, but fail to realise that damage during transit is the number one cause of unnecessary expense. It’s also a good idea to consult with the moving company regarding package dimensions suitable for shifting and safe storage. Try to keep the size of the box or crate within requested dimensions, as your work will probably not be the only item in the moving/courier van. Only re-use boxes if they are extremely durable and suited for the task at hand. It is ludicrous to save a few dollars using inadequate packaging at the risk of destroying your much loved artwork.

Label the box or package clearly, in large bold letters. Keep all requisite paperwork, and if you have any questions or concerns, always ask your courier/mover. A reputable company will be more than happy to answer all questions and ease your concerns.

By Corey K (follow me on Google )

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