We are knowledgeable of every step from planning to production of Museum and Institution collections.
- Exhibit Printing and Production
- Image Editing
- Dye Sublimation Printing
- Mounting and Framing
- Imaging Center
1. Exhibit Printing and Production
Ken Allen Studios can execute anything from wide format murals to small labels as well as the mount fabrication for these graphics. We can print, mount and computer-cut the creative elements for your design. If the original print is too delicate for exhibition and you’re using photo reproductions, KAS can digitally reproduce the print with surprising accuracy. All images are edited and color-corrected to create the finest prints for exhibition.
Whenever possible, we follow the principle: "Scan once and scan for multiple uses." Image capture is the first and most crucial step in the digital imaging process. State-of-the-art equipment and meticulous procedures are essential to producing high-quality images. Our goal is preservation of the image through digitization. To this end, we first create a master file, i.e., a digital negative or input-referenced file. This master serves as a surrogate file and, with advanced color management to ensure accuracy, it is used to generate derivative files which may be adjusted in color and contrast to improve quality, as required by the institution or users. When appropriate, this process can be automated.
3. Image Editing
A perfect print begins with a perfect digital file. Our experience in a variety of image editing processes will let you get the results you need, from retouching and correcting positive images to color negatives and converting files for specific end uses. For your convenience, we can maintain master-copy files of all images.
- Image Optimization
To achieve the best contrast and color options, you need not only a skilled eye, but the experience to understand the requirements for the final end-use of the image. There is no single contrast, color, and sharpening process that will work for all applications. This applies to RAW capture processing, CMYK conversion, toning, and global color correction. Color negatives are handled in a unique process developed by Ken Allen, delivering superior color and contrast control.
- General Retouching
This includes defect removal, masking, local color correction, and simple compositional changes. Advanced retouching and composition services are specialized for each industry.
Contact us to request samples of our work.
- Color Negative Color Correction
Achieving the best color from color negatives can be a challenge. Automated settings in most scanning software often results in mediocre color with clipped details. Our custom process ensures beautiful, handcrafted color and contrast for your images. If your color negative film is scanned by a third party, we recommend that you have the film scanned as an uncorrected, 16-bit per color channel, negative image. This will give you the most options to customize the color so you can get the results you want.
- CMYK Conversion
Many issues can surface when converting an image from an RGB file for reproduction as a CMYK offset print. Images need to be adjusted for the final medium whether it is a book, magazine, or a newspaper. We work directly with the printer to ensure that you get the best results possible for your images.
4. Dye Sublimation Printing
A relatively new process in fine art printing, dye sublimation prints have a unique, dimensional quality while also having lightfast archival characteristics that go beyond traditional lab chromogenic prints.
This process starts with a dye inkjet print onto transfer paper. The paper is then loaded into our heat press with the specially coated Chromaluxe® metal. Under high temperature (400˚F) and pressure, the dye is transferred permanently into the coating. Dye sublimation prints are durable because the dyes are below the coated surface, resulting in a fade-and-scratch resistant piece. The aluminum is .045 inches thick, which can stand alone or be backed with any of our substrates, braced, or framed.
These are like white paper and come in these finishes:
- White Gloss: high-gloss, glassy finish.
- White Semi-Gloss: non-glare semi-gloss finish.
- White Matte: non-glare and non-reflective finish.
- Aluminum Matte: Transparent non-glare coating; the brushed metal shows through light and white areas of the image.
- Aluminum Glossy: Transparent glossy coating; the brushed metal shows through light and white areas of the image.
In addition to the standard sizes, there is the option of computer controlled cutting (CNC cutting) to any shape.
5. Mounting and Framing
KAS offers mounting, basic framing, and packaging. Smaller, photographic framing is done in-house; larger pieces are done off-premises at our mounting facility. We handle all sizes and mount on:
- Pressure Sensitive UV Lamination, available in matte, luster, or glossy finishes
- Pressure Sensitive Polycarbonate Film, scratch-resistant Lexan
- Foam Core, available in either black or white finish
- Gator Board, available in either black or white finish
- 1/8” and 1/4” Masonite
- Sintra (PVC), available in either black or white finish
- .063 Anodized Aluminum or 3mm Di-bond
- Flat Plexi (no polishing, cut only)
- Gallery Plexi Package: Plexi with 1/8” Sintra back, painted poplar wood brace
- Gallery Plexi Package with .063 Aluminum Back, choice of 2-1/2” wood brace or 1” aluminum brace
- Sandwich Plexi with 1” Aluminum Brace
- Custom Braces with Cleats and Museum Box Mount
6. Imaging Center
Ken Allen Studios provides digital imaging solutions for workflow, color management, system design, and automation. In working with large archives of artworks, our goal is to find the right solutions for a collection’s particular needs and budget.
There are two options for institutional imaging:
- Setting up an imaging center on-site in the institution that is operated by our trained personnel
- Outsourcing the project to our Williamsburg facility.
The best solution depends on the types of objects to be digitized and the scope of the project.
When collections are properly digitized, high-quality digital files are created. Derivatives of these files can modified for use in fine art printing, general media publications, and to establish online collection databases. Art institutions, historical societies, university libraries, and numerous other institutions have already begun the digitization of their artworks and artifacts; this is not only an aid to scholars and curators, but gives access and information to a larger public about your institution and its collections. (See Services: Consultation)
- Digitizing Objects
In creating a digital archive, there is no single approach that is right for all objects. Different protocols are required to create an optimal digital file for different works of art depending on the type and condition of the object. We can advise you on creating Digital Master Files that contain the maximum technical information possible for each type of object. (For more information, please see Services: Digitization)
- Setting Up Imaging Centers
KAS is pleased to consult with you on setting up work centers for scanning, archiving, and creating digital assets from art collections. We can design a customized workflow for your institution, from evaluating your current set-up to specifying equipment and training personnel. In addition, we provide consultation on process control, quality assurance, color management, and general problem-solving for existing institutional image centers. (For more information, please see Services: Imaging Centers)
Ken Allen periodically conducts free seminars for museums and photographers. Contact us to find out when our next seminar is scheduled. If you have a large group and would like a private seminar on a specific subject, please contact Ken Allen for rates and availability. (For more information, please see News: Seminars)