To be fair, is not the only company producing prints of vintage Hawaiian nostalgia, so why would you choose us over our competition? Below, we offer you some comparisons without falsely accusing our 'competitors' or intending to bring damage to their business, not even the ones that have painstakingly copied our prints! We believe that just like us they want to impress you with their best images. We've simply placed their and our prints side by side in order to let you compare while we explain why our images look as good as they do. So good, in fact, that all major Hawaii department stores carry our prints and not our 'competitors.' Ultimately, the choice is yours and while some of our 'competitors' are more expensive, others may save you a nickel. However, if it comes to quality there's simply no comparison. That said, let's compare!
First, all our prints are Giclée Art Prints, not posters (even if we use the shorter word 'poster' as we do throughout the website), so what's the difference? Our Giclée Art Prints are of the same quality or better as Limited Edition Fine Art Prints you may find at a gallery. They are printed using 8-color Archival-Quality Pigmented Inks on heavyweight art papers or painters' canvas, while posters are printed using the same 4-color process inks as used for magazines on flimsy 20 Lbs. paper. Posters will soon fade and turn bluish, while our prints are guaranteed not to fade for at least 80 years when kept behind UV-glass or UV-Plexiglass and away from direct sunlight.
Every image we add to our ever-expanding portfolio is derived from antique originals which we buy and sell (we'll soon list originals we have for sale). Each of these originals is carefully and expertly restored, using digital technology. Apparently, we're doing such a fine job we found inferior photocopies of our studio-produced prints at several stores around the islands and on the web, with the most flagrant violators being waikiki.com and daysofaloha.com. The lesson is, buyer beware!
Ordering directly from us is your guarantee that you are buying the very same quality we print for stores that demand the highest quality such as Macy's, Hilo Hattie, Duty Free Shoppers, and other fine retail establishments in Hawaii, mainland USA, and Japan. At over 500 images, our online collection is more extensive than any store can display.
When preparing a print for reproduction we pay great attention to detail. Often, time has not been kind to the original prints we encounter. In the case of Gill, the artist of the above image, who was active during World War II, scarcity of quality materials caused him to produce his serialized airbrush art with cheap oil paint on untreated cardboard. Hence, no originals have survived and we must rely on photographs to bring his art again to the public. As we can tell from the above images, restoration is also a labor of love. Which image do you prefer?
Some of our "competitors" make prints of worn and/or damaged antique prints. When you buy an original antique print, a certain degree of wear and tear contributes to its charm, but we believe our prints should look as fresh and appealing as when the original menu, brochure, or poster first hit the market. So, we restore them to their original luster, rather than selling the only part that has survived. Which print would you rather display?
Another sample where the public is offered an image that chronicles its journey through time. Our version has undergone extensive image editing to restore its original appeal. Which one would be your choice?
All prints sizes are adjusted for framing in standard size frames. Some "competitors" distort the image to fit a standard size mat and frame. We, if neccesary, subtly adjust the areas around the subject. Wouldn't you rather buy an undistorted looking image?
Even though the images below are different versions of the same label, they show the different approach vintage print publishers take. The topmost image suffers from type being cut off and looks like it has not been color-corrected while our image, like all our images, has undergone extensive color corrections to compensate for fading. Which image would you rather display?
Again, a sample of how distorting the image (in the case below to make it fit a 2:1 ratio mat) affects a print's appearance. Notice the cut-off headline at the top; the unnaturally tilted head of the left dancer; and her sister's weight gain. Additionally, the image on the left suffers from extreme fading and lack of contrast. Which one do you find more pleasing?
The Hula Apples label images below also make for an interesting comparison and beg several questions: Why were parts of the left print cut off? And what about the modern typeface used? Looks like "Arial," developed by Microsoft in the early Nineties. Likely, the image was produced on a PC. While we have nothing against PCs (some of our best friends use them) all our work is performed on color-calibrated Apple computers, the superior graphics platform. And why are the colors so over-saturated? This print does not come with any explanation about its altered appearance. Also, the image on the right is a copy of our hard work, as sold via the waikiki.com and daysofaloha.com websites. Finally, our original is displayed below. Which one would you rather buy?
Below, we encounter images from two publishers with approaches different from ours. The image on the left has been given a border which cuts off the airplane and the bottom text. It looks very reddish. The image on the right is washed out and unfocused. The bottom type which appears to slide down to the right looks like it's being hit by a flashlight exposure. The image of the surfer appears stretched to fit the standard size mat and frame. Now compare with the third image. Ours.
Rather than applying a few rough crops and stretches before printing, we painstakingly restored the image, keeping a close eye on the original. Many hours of hard work go into making each print look its best, but not all publishers seem to have time for that. Which print would you take home?
It becomes even more interesting when "vintage prints" are offered that turn out to be painted copies of a vintage poster. This indicates that original posters have become so scarce publishers resort to painted copies. If only they would explain this to the buyer. Which UAL poster image would you rather hang on your wall?
Color and contrast remain subject to personal taste, but when your portfolio numbers over 500 images, it becomes second nature to make the necessary adjustments to produce the most pleasing image. Which one is your favorite?
When more than 80 years have passed, an original image can have lost quite a bit of its color and appeal. We have bought and sold originals of very different quality, upgrading our prints every time we encountered a superior image. The publishers used as example on this page have no doubt all wrestled with the delicate balance between faithful rendition and adjusting the image to appeal to modern taste. In the end, it's a matter of taste. Then again, the second image below is a copy of our product with high-contrast and blown-out highlights as sold via the waikiki.com and daysofaloha.com websites, while the third one is our original. Which of the images below would you choose?
John Kelly's illustrations for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel menus are legendary for their sensitive and sensual approach of their subject matter. Some fifty years after their publication these menus remain widely traded with increasing value. For those who can't obtain or afford an original there are prints for sale, published by various companies. We've seen prices for a 20x28 print range between $160 and $20. Our price is 34.99. You can buy the original "mint condition" print below on the left from an art dealer for $240, or our print in any of 5 sizes ranging in price between $11.99-$34.99. What would you buy for your money?
Anyone with a computer, a scanner, and a printer can start in this business and try to make a buck by dumping their prints all over Waikiki at firesale prices. People soon learn to discern between professionals and amateurs. Inadequate experience leads to trial and error results, and often the repetition of bad habits become the "hallmark" of a publisher. The magazine cover below is from 1932. You have to wonder what had more influence on its appearance: time, or too much tinkering in Adobe Photoshop? Which one would you pick up at a fair price?
All matted prints on our website come double-matted, offsetting your favorite image handsomely. Some of our "competitors" merely emboss the image into the paper, creating the illusion of a mat. When framing, you'll still need custom matting to prevent the image from touching the frame's glass, raising the price significantly of your "affordably priced" print. Which quality product would you rather buy?
Still not convinced? Read what our customers say about us.