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What are Bluethumb's Packaging Requirements for Artists?
What are Bluethumb's Packaging Requirements for Artists?

Packing > what happens if an artwork is damaged in transit (artist side of things)?

Kate Revill avatar
Written by Kate Revill
Updated over a week ago

All artworks sold on Bluethumb are required to be packed well for transit: the work may be travelling interstate or even internationally. As such, we need to ensure it's ready for its journey to its new home.

Below is a guide on how to package your work. These requirements are for safety and insurance purposes - failure to meet minimum requirements can result in your artwork not being insured. If you feel extra packing is required, please do so.

Please note Bluethumb does not cover any costs associated with the packaging of work(s); we recommend artists incorporate this into their pricing.

When sending boxed artwork ensure:

  • Acid free tissue paper or glassine paper is laid on top of the artwork surface.

  • Protective corners are placed on each corner of the artwork.

  • Artwork is wrapped in a minimum of 2-3 layers of bubble wrap, securely taped down ensuring the corners of the work are sufficiently padded and protected with additional cardboard corners.

  • Artwork is placed into a double thickness cardboard box. The artwork should fit in the box snuggly once wrapped, and not slide around.

  • Alternatively, use services such as Pack & Send to pack your artworks (please note, Bluethumb does not cover the costs of packaging so this will be at the artist's own expense).

  • Fragile tape/stickers/writing should be clearly indicated on the box.

  • For extra-large artworks, or artworks with heavy texture use wooden crate or extra-heavy duty cardboard.

For artworks being sent boxed, we do require the size of the box to not exceed 10cm greater than the artwork listing size in width and height, and the depth can not exceed 10cm (unless the artwork depth is greater than 5cm). This is to help keep shipping costs down, and also provide better protection to work, as excessive movement within boxes can lead to damage.

For example if a work measures 55cm (W) x 65cm (H) x 4cm (D) then the final boxed dimensions would not exceed 65cm (W) x 75cm (H) x 10cm (D). If final dimensions are greater than 10cm and additional fees are enforced by the couriers (e.g. oversized fees, manual handling fees) we may pass on this additional cost to the artist at our discretion.

When sending tubed artwork ensure:

  • Acid free tissue paper or glassine paper is laid on top of the artwork surface, paper should be slightly larger than the image to fold over the edges.

  • Artwork is rolled with the artwork surface facing outwards.

  • Artwork tube is a minimum of 2mm in thickness and 1-2cm longer than the work at each end.

  • Ends are secured onto the tube with tape.

  • Fragile tape/stickers/writing should be clearly indicated on the tube.

When sending high value artwork:

  • We recommend additional bubble wrap to be used.

  • Adding an additional cardboard insert to the front and the back of the work.

  • Alternatively you may wish to crate your work - still wrap the work with bubble wrap first before placing inside the custom crate.

Accurate Booking Info

If you choose to ship the work with us, please only book a collection after the work has been fully packaged (as per the above guidelines) so you can take accurate measurements and weight of the final package artwork.

Couriers measure and weigh packages once collected. Any package that is larger or heavier than what was booked may incur additional fees (over sized fees, manually handling fees etc), and we may pass on these additional costs to the artist at our discretion.

Photos of Packaging

Make sure you have taken photos of the packaged artwork as proof of packaging correctly and hold onto these until the order has been finalised. These are pictures are required if the artwork is damaged in transit for us to submit an insurance claim, or if we need to dispute a courier charge, we will contact you directly if we need these. We need a photo of:

  • Each artwork once it has been bubble wrapped and/or rolled (before it goes in the box or tube); and

  • Three photos of the final packaging (the sealed box or tube) before the artwork is shipped showing measurements (so with a tape measure or ruler next to the package showing the size)

    • One of the front

    • One of the back

    • One of the depth or side

If photographs cannot be provided when requested by the Bluethumb team, your work will not be eligible for an insurance claim. If we can not submit an insurance claim we cannot pay you for the work. If we cannot dispute a claim with a courier due to missing images, associated fees may be passed on.


All artworks shipped by Bluethumb are insured against loss and damage in transit as long as you follow the above packaging and photograph requirements.

If any artwork is damaged in transit, we work with our insurers and take care of all the paperwork. The artists are paid the payout value of the artwork once the claim is approved.

Circumstance not covered under insurance are:

  • Glass Breakage - Frames with glass are not covered under our insurance. Any damage to glass, or to an artwork due to glass breakage is not covered.

  • Insufficient Packaging - if the artwork packaging has not met our guideline.

  • False/Misleading Booking - if a booking is made with false/misleading information and there is a discrepancy between what was booked and the actual (e.g. size and weight of packaging, content).

We will contact you directly if an artwork has been damaged or lost, and request for the photos to be sent to us.

If you're looking for the collectors side of things - here's more info on that.

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