How To Choose A Paper For Giclée Art PrintsAugust 18, 2021
As artists, we understand the role media plays in our creative expression. Printing is no different! We have an expansive selection of printing papers at Opus Print Space and Opus Art Supplies, but how do you know which to choose? There are a few terms and specifications to choose from to enhance your art reproductions, whether it’s a landscape of the Rocky Mountains or a classical portrait. No matter, if you are reproducing artwork or photographs for gifts, home, or for sale, you’ll get impactful, quality, and long-lasting archival results with Opus’ Fine Art Printing Service and the amazing brands of fine art papers we carry by trusted brands including Canson Infinity, Moab, Hahnemühle and our Opus house brand.
Giclée Art Prints
Giclée prints are high resolution, perfect for reproducing the wide spectrum of colour used in illustrations, paintings, photography, and more. Together with our top of the line commercial Epson printers and UltraChrome ink, we can produce these impactful giclée prints on paper (and canvas too)! Our prints are long lasting and archival with the highest colour gamut compared to any other pigment inks. (Read Article: What is Giclée)
How to recognize a good fine art printing paper?
A good fine art paper has several qualities that assure it will be archival, colour accurate, enhance your artwork, and work with your frame or display. For example:
- The Material (Cotton, Bamboo, Wood Cellulose etc.)
- Weight (typically 190gsm to 350gsm)
- Coating (Gloss, Matte, Lustre)
- Acid Free (pH of 7.0 or greater)
- Texture (Smooth, Textured, Textured+)
- Colour (Soft White, Natural White, Warm White, Bright White)
When choosing a fine art paper for giclée printing, be on the look out for cotton/rag fibre and wood cellulose (some are a mix of the two!). 100% Cotton paper is typically more expensive due to their archive ratings of 100+ years without fading or fibre degradation. For example, the award-winning Moab Entrada Rag Natural is 100% cotton and has superb ink handling and archival qualities. There are also bamboo papers like the Hahnemühle Bamboo Matte Fine Art Smooth paper, these are are typically mixed with cotton and meet archival standards. Plus, bamboo is a more sustainable resource as it grows back much faster.
In addition to the paper’s fibre content, there is typically a coating finish – like an inkjet coating or resin coating – that assure the colour will look its best and resist fading. Finally, you’ll want to ensure your paper is acid-free with a pH of above 7, as acid will affect the ink causing fading and discolouration. Not to worry, all of the papers we offer through Opus Fine Art Printing service are acid-free.
The weight of the paper can effect the results as well – typically a heavier paper is preferred to increase durability and prevent curling. Paper weight is measured in gsm, grams per square meter. Many artists like to choose a paper 290gsm or heavier; the 300gsm Moab Lasal Photo Lustre, 340gsm Canson Infinity® Baryta Prestige Gloss paper or 350gsm Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper are great options for heavier weight prints that exude a quality feel in the hands. Although, we do offer lighter papers if durability is not a concern, like with some framed prints.
The surface type is one of the most important factors, it can effect the look of your artwork or photograph. Typically a textured surface like Opus Cold Press Watercolour Paper is preferred by artists for art prints. Although, smooth papers like Moab’s Lasal Photo Gloss or Opus Matte Photo Paper are favoured by photographers and printmakers for their sharpness and range of matte, gloss, and lustre options.
Many artists look for our recommendation, and it depends on the artwork and budget, although a few great options we always come back to are:
|Paper||Finish||Weight||Whiteness||Acid-Free||Sheet Size||Texture||Great For|
|Opus Cold Press Watercolour Paper||Matte||300gsm||Soft White||Acid-Free||Up to 42”||Textured+||Artworks like Paintings & Mixed Media|
|Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White||Matte||310gsm||Bright White||Acid-Free||8.5”x11”
|Smooth||Photographs, Fine Art, Greeting Cards, and more|
|Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige Gloss||Gloss||270gsm||Bright White||Acid-Free||8.5×11”
|Smooth||Great for Photography and Black & White Images|
|MOAB Entrada Rag Bright||Matte||310gsm||Bright White||Acid-Free||8.5″ x 11″ & 13″ x 19″||Textured||Artworks like Paintings & Mixed Media|