Important Dos and Don’ts Of Digitizing Artwork

by | Published on Mar 15, 2022 | Digital Photo Enhancement

Converting information into digital format is essential for businesses to operate in the digital environment. Digitizing improves accessibility, flexibility and manipulability. Today, art is finding a niche in the digital economy. Artists are relying on document scanning companies to digitize their work and gain exposure online. Once the digitized materials are placed online, it becomes easy for people to view an artist’s work from anywhere at any time. With digital artwork, you can do many things: store and retrieve the images to and from a digital storage disk, edit it in software programs like PhotoShop, and compress it for a web broadcast. 

Paintings, illustrations, and photographs come in all shapes and sizes and need to be digitized correctly to maintain quality. 

There are two valid to digitize artwork: taking digital photos or scanning. Scanning can be done using a high quality scanner or outsourced to a document scanning company. Though both these methods will deliver a high-resolution digital file of your artwork, the quality and detail of the digitized file will vary depending on whether you photographed or scanned it.  Many artists prefer scanning as it provides superior results. This relatively simple process does not require equipment such as extra, lenses, cameras and lights that are required for photography. Moreover, quality scanners can provide very excellent results and prevent the artwork reproduction from being degraded by outside influences such as lighting, shadows or distortion caused by lenses.

Before digitizing your artwork, there are some dos and don’ts you should know about:


  • Clean up your work: When you scan your hand-drawn artwork to your computer, clean up the lines using digital illustration software. Also, make sure the background of your design is transparent, as it will help your work look polished and professional.
  • Save the digitized file as a png or tiff: The best file formats to save your digitized artwork is PNG or TIFF format. These lossless compression file formats will ensure that the images retain their transparency and also include a vector-based clipping path. Moreover, unlike a standard JPEG file, a TIFF file using lossless compression (or none) can be edited and re-saved without losing image quality.
  • Save the digitized work in RGB color format:  There are two types of color profiles: RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) and CYMK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). Generally, RGB is used for digital art and CMYK is used for print. However, for digitizing an artwork, the preferred color format is RGB, as it enables to get a closer match between what you see on-screen (digitally) and the finished product.
  • Consider professional document scanning solutions: For efficient artwork scanning and preservation, artists can rely on a professional document scanning company. They offer bulk document scanning services and can handle large volumes of material efficiently.


  • Save the digitized file as a GIF: GIFs may be a great option for posting your art online, but avoid if you want it to print your work in future. GIF can only render from a limited 256 colour palette and are basically useless for photographs as it compresses images to achieve a smaller file size that loads more quickly on the web.
  • Save at a Low Resolution: Avoid saving the digitized artworks as low resolution images. A good rule of thumb is no less than 150 dpi for a typical image and 300 dpi if your artwork has fine details. You can shrink and/or crop your work later.
  • Digitize without a plan:  Devising a plan is essential for any project, including digitization. For instance, you should first decide on which of your works you want online, review the colors you used in it, and so on. Having a plan for the artwork you going to be digitized will help prevent mistakes and ensure better outcomes overall.  

Document scanning solutions are available for artists looking to build a digital archive of their artwork. To find the right document scanning company, do your research well. Check out their experience, track record, client testimonials, and turnaround time. 

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