Zombie illustrations and a print review

Chris Lane / Design, illustration / / 1 Comment / Like this

Zombie Illustration

Today I have to show a set of zombie illustrations I made throughout the year. These are made for a private event as the invitation poster to give to a select few friends. I wanted to demonstrate first the posters then go in a little deeper and review the two different printing companies I used, shutterfly.com and docucopies.com.

The posters:
Zombie Night poster 1

Zombie Night poster 1 Close up

Zombie Night poster 2

Zombie Night poster 2 Close up

Zombie Night poster 3

Zombie Night poster 3 Close up

Zombie Night poster 4

Zombie Night poster 4 Close up

It is pretty evident from these that I am a big horror and zombie movie and game fan. I take it lightheartedly though, as I think the zombie genre generally calls for it. Most of the movies are really terrible, and in these cases, these movies are the worst of the worst. If you like B-movies, I recommend watching them with a group of friends and make fun of them.
At the end of this post, I will post links to amazon to the games and movies mentioned, for those interested.

Print Review

As for the printing company, the first three were printed by Shutterfly. They did an alright job, but it was about $5 per 8×10 poster to print and ship. Not bad price really, if I were selling them. Problem was, the paper isn’t very heavy and they are most definitely not matte, even though the matte print option was selected. I can’t see the dots per inch (dpi) in the prints, which is good. I uploaded 300dpi images. But what I found odd, and I think it is due to the coating on the paper they use, I could not for the life of me get a clear sharp photograph to view them. I was using a 300mm macro lens on a tripod, but it just wasn’t working. Overall, the printing job was good, but I wanted it cheaper with better options, particularly true matte.
Here is my attempt at showing the closeup. This is 100% zoom from the camera.
Print Close up
You may ask, why did I go with shutterfly in the first place? For one, I was on a deadline and it was the cheapest option I found at the time. I wasn’t going for super high quality amazing prints, these were simply mementos for some friends, after all.

With the 4th poster I found docucopies.com as an alternative. They were a LOT cheaper, or at least I initially thought so. They also have many more options and items that they print. I had my reservations, but thought I’d give them a try. Like I said, I wasn’t worried about too amazing of prints, but I do have my standards. I chose an #80 recycled paper cardstock with no coating. Their order process was very simple. I thought the shipping of $15+ for 10 prints a little ridiculous, but I think each print was only like 12 cents (plus a $7 or so set up fee). In the end with shipping it worked out to be about half the price of shutterfly. Score!
But how did they look? Absolutely fantastic, in my opinion. Initial inspection, I thought it looked like actual ink was printed on the paper. Particularly in the letters. With the naked eye the only place I could see the dpi was on the very edge of the print. You can see that here in 100% from the camera.
Print Close up
So, what I saw with the naked eye was the wavy, almost scalloped edge. You can kind of see the texture of the paper in this photo too, but not great.
As you can see I was able to get a very nice sharp photo of the actual print quality. I think this is because they are truly matte, without any coating like the shutterfly prints. These were sent as 300dpi PDF, which kept the vector ability of the type. I guess I should mention that shutterfly only accepts JPG, which does not have vector. As I mentioned, the red type looked like ink, and I think it was mostly because of the texture of the paper, because you can definitely see the dpi in the closeup here:
Print Close up

Conclusion

So what printing company will I use going forward? Well, at least for this kind of printing I will absolutely choose docucopies.com. I am more than happy with the print results in this case and wouldn’t really hesitate to sell these. If I wanted something really amazing I would use letterpress with real ink, but this is a great inexpensive alternative.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. I hope you liked the posters and I hope I covered everything in the review.

Amazon links

/note/ I do get a kickback if you purchase from these links.
From poster 1:

from poster 2:

Wasting Away is another title for Aah Zombies!

from poster 3:

Dead Nation is a PS3 download only.

from poster 4:

Which poster is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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