The Right Fine Art Print & Photo Paper For Your Art Reproduction

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You have a beautiful painting, lithographs, photography, artwork or any artistic creation that you would like to print out for various reasons but the problem here is choosing the right printing paper. There are different types of printing substrates that are available for art reproductions so it can become overwhelming to know the right print paper type for an artwork.

Whether you are printing for the purpose of selling your painting or artwork, for display, for putting into a framed glass, or for reproducing a limited edition print, whatever the reason is, it is important to choose the best type of substrate print for your art image.

Bear in mind that print papers may yield different results, so considering what colour/s your artwork consist of, what you plan to do with your printed artwork; for example, having the intention of reselling it, putting it on display or placing it into a framed glass or any other type of frame, will help you decide on the right type of substrate that will give you your desired result.

The type of paper, it's texture, finish, paper whiteness and its printing method can have an impact on the final result of an artwork print. For example, if you want to print your art image or painting for display and there is a probability that your artwork might be held or touched, it would be best to use the right paper with the right texture and finish that will be fingerprint-proof or if you want to reproduce an excellent white and black photography, choosing the right print substrate is also important. 

You may want the colours of your reproduction to be vibrant, sharp or crisp in this case, you have to ensure that you choose the right paper that will give you this kind of results. So basically, if you want to print out your work and get the best reproduction so your work comes out as intended, you have to first figure out what kind of result you want to get after the reproduction of your artwork, what aspect of the reproduction needs to be more highlighted for example you many prefer your colours to appear a certain way or you many want the black of your black and white photographs to be deep, you may also want your colours to be more detailed. When you have decided on how you want your reproduction to finally look like, you'll then need to go through the print papers and find out its characteristics, how each of it helps to enhance an artwork after printing and how it will be beneficial to your final reproduction.

In this article you will find out the types of print substrates we have in our store, their features and the final and various results they give to artworks; you will be able to know the print paper that will work best for your art reproduction.

There are various print papers that are available for printing different types of images and artworks. Some print papers work for all types of reproduction while some other types of print papers are more suitable for a certain type of art, image or photo reproduction.

 

Print Papers

Fine Art & Photography Prints - Printing Paper Types

There are two main categories of print papers in our store: the Fine Art prints and Photo prints. The Fine Art prints are available in different weights, sizes, textures, finishes, quality, and prices that are based on sizes and weights.

Fine Art prints papers can be used for the reproduction of original artworks, photographs and illustrations. This print paper is perfect to use for any image but note that since each Fine Art paper has its own characteristics such as texture, weight, quality and finishes, each of these papers, due to their unique features may work to specifically enhance or highlight certain components of an art image.

Some Fine Art print paper may work better for certain kind of reproduction and Fine Art print papers such as Budget Photo Paper and Enhanced Matte Art are excellent for all-purpose, Budget Photo Paper is a budget quality print paper while Enhanced Matte Art is a premium quality paper. Other Fine Art prints include Cold Press Watercolour paper, Museum Fine Art paper, Hahnemühle German Etching, Smooth Art paper. The table below shows more details of available types of Fine Art Prints.

The Photography print which is also referred to as Photo prints have variations of print papers. These variations are in weights, sizes, quality, finishes, textures and prices that are based on sizes and weights. This is great for creating copies of photographs that are ideal for retail use or just for decorating your home, posters, event photography, landscape photography with 3D effects, portraits with improved skin details, black and white reproductions, professional photography, fine art photography, art reproduction, photo books and more.

These prints papers are of archival quality. There are different types of Photo prints; Lustre Photo Paper, Metallic Gloss, Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl, Hahnemühle Photo Rag, Smooth photo rag, Budget Photo Paper, C-Types, Sticky Poster Paper, Hahnemühle Photo Lustre, Hahnemühle Photo Flossy. Each of these Photographic print papers has it's own unique features which are different from the others. See the table below for more details of types of Photography prints. 

Paper Types Within Fine Art Prints & Photo Prints

There are three main paper types across the Fine Art prints and Photo prints

  • Alpha-Cellulose Papers
  • Cotton Rag Papers
  • RC Photo Papers

Alpha-Cellulose Papers

These types of papers are matte. They are high-grade wood pulp made from trees and have been refined to remove acid and lignin. They are normally used for Fine Art prints. It is usually less expensive and the feel is sturdier than cotton rag papers. These papers are durable and sturdy.

Cotton Rag Papers

The Cotton Rag Papers are of higher grade and have fantastic strength and durability. They are made from cotton linters or cotton rags, or a combination of the two. These papers are ideal for fine art reproductions as the texture actually helps to recreate the appearance of an original work.

RC Photo Papers

RC, also known as 'resin coated' papers is traditionally referred to as wet-processed photographs. In previous years, laminate was added on both sides of the sheet to reduce processing times, today RC extends to inkjet photo papers. In the case of the RC photo papers, the alpha cellulose-based papers are sealed with plastic polyethene, usually coated with microporous inkjet receptive emulsion. RC Photo Papers are scuff resistant and produces a glossy, satin, lustre or pearl surfaces. A metallic coated paper is also available. This has a multi-laminate base that provides durable prints and this offers a 3D-like finish and accurate flesh tones. 

Print papers, depending on the types, have different feels and look to it. It is worth considering these aspects; the texture and finish, when choosing a print paper.

 

Textures

Your chosen substrate texture can influence the appearance of your work, and certain textures work best for particular art reproductions. For example, smooth-textured substrates will generally look better when exhibited under glass than highly textured papers, also smooth papers support the production of excellent detail and contrast. A more textured print has a pleasant feel to it when held it also helps to enhance image depth and reality.

 

Finish

Choosing the finish of a printing paper is another important aspect to consider as this can add effects to your art reproduction. Making this choice is a personal one and a question of artistic style. Below are our available types of finishes:

Matte

Matte finish papers have a smooth and natural-looking surface without the sheen that glossy papers have. Even the matte papers that are described as 'smooth' still have a slightly grainy texture in comparison to the glossy paper. Our Fine Art papers have a matte finish. A matte finish helps to emphasise different colours and tones and it allows for an authentic look for art reproductions. It works great for black and white photography. Matte finish works best if the print will be hanging in a glass as there will be no glare but it may cause some images to look grainy and the colours may not appear as bright as it should.

Glossy

Glossy finish generally has a smooth and reflective surface which is as a result of a resin coating. This is a great option for bringing out contrast, detail and radiant colour in your art reproduction. The smooth, shiny surface reproduces a pin-sharp detail. A glossy finish is popularly used for posters and consumer photographs. Be aware that displaying your artwork or image on a glossy finish paper may cause glare at certain angles. This paper type also has less resistance to fingerprints than a matte finish so this may be an issue if your print is going to be handled.

Lustre/pearl

The finish of this paper is a medium between glossy and matte substrates. The colour saturation is deeper than matt papers. They have more fingerprint and glare-resistant than glossy paper due to the subtle pearl-like texture. Professional photographers tend to prefer lustre finishes.

Metallic 

Metallic papers have a glossy finish that is distinctive and metallic in appearance. This paper gives an almost 3D effects and it has a durable surface. Metallic papers offer a large colour gamut and a clean and sharp detail. The metallic papers work excellently for black and white prints.

Paper Whiteness

The whiteness of a paper refers to the shade of the sheet of paper. Lower or 'natural' white levels have more of a yellow/creamy colour. Higher or 'bright' white levels are viewed as bluer whites. Papers with lower or cream whites absorb the blue light and tend to work better for yellow-based and lighter-toned images. 

A high-brightness paper may wash out softer, lighter tones. Images that are of natural settings also tend to favour warmer paper because colours appear more natural.  

Papers with higher or 'bright' white tones reflect blue light and tend to be more vibrant. The whiter the paper is, the higher the contrast in colours and so you get a richer colour gamut. The colour gamut is the entire range of colours and tones achievable by an imaging system. Photographers tend to prefer bright white papers for their deep blacks and great dynamic range.

C-types papers colours changes as it goes through chemistry so these types of papers are not measured by their whiteness, but silver halide C-type paper offers vivid colour reproduction and brilliant whites.

Printing Method

All of our Fine Art and Photo prints are manufactured through "giclée" printing, except for our C-type prints. Giclée printing is a sophisticated inkjet printmaking process which creates the highest quality of fine art reproductions. The giclée printing offers extra-fine image resolution, which helps to retain a higher degree of detail from the original fine art or photographic images.

The archival nature of the print depends on the type of ink used and the archival properties of your chosen paper and the conditions in which the print is displayed or stored. Our papers and giclée printing process will produce a print that lasts between 100 and 200 years in good conditions.

We also use C-type printing, this is a traditional photographic print method that uses the latest LED technology to expose your image onto silver halide paper, before going through a conventional chemical developing process.

C-type photographs also have archival quality, vivid colour reproduction, distinct highlight details and brilliant whites. In general, photographers use C-type prints while illustrators and artists favour giclée prints.

Print Paper Type

Recommended Print Papers For All Purpose

Even though we offer a variety of print papers that serve different purposes and produces different results as well as help with meeting any special requirements, The Enhanced Matte Art print paper works well with both fine art and photographic reproduction. The Enhanced Matte Art is a smooth, matte, natural paper that offers a fantastic base for fine art and photo printing. The durability of this paper is excellent and contains no optical brightening agent (OBA) that can damage the longevity of the print.

We have a wide variety of print paper that helps serves any specific requirement. If you can not find the print paper that you need in our store, please contact us.

 

Fine art papers

Paper Name Finish Texture Weight Ideal for Paper Type
Budget art paper Matte Smooth 180gsm All-purpose Alpha Cellulose
Smooth art paper Matte Smooth with a fine grain texture 240gsm Contemporary illustration and photography Alpha Cellulose
Museum fine art Matte Super-smooth with a gentle texture 280gsm Museum quality reproductions of artwork and paintings Alpha Cellulose
Cold press watercolour paper Matte Cotton Rag High texture, tight (resemblant of etching paper) 315gsm Premium portraits and gallery exhibitions Cotton Rag
Hahnemühle German etching Velvety matte Textured 310gsm The look and feel of original artwork Alpha Cellulose
Enhanced matte art Matte Smooth 200gsm Large full colour graphics or illustrations. Alpha Cellulose

 

Photographic papers

Paper Name Finish Texture Weight Ideal for Paper Type     
Budget photo paper Satin Lustre Medium Texture 190-200gsm Photography and Posters RC (Resin Coated)
Lustre photo paper Satin Lustre Subtle pearl-like texture 240gsm Event photography RC (Resin Coated)
Metallic gloss

Metallic

Textured 280gsm Landscape Photography — offers 3D effect RC (Resin Coated)
Smooth photo rag Matte Smooth, highly calendered surface 280gsm Portraits — great for smooth skin tone detail Cotton Rag
Hahnemühle photo glossy High-Gloss Sheen Ultra Smooth 260gsm Photo Books RC (Resin Coated)
Hahnemühle photo lustre Semi-Gloss Smooth, non-textured 260gsm Everyday use & photo books RC (Resin Coated)
Hahnemühle fine art Pearl Mid-Sheen Delicate texture with a silky feel 285gsm Black & White Reproductions Alpha Cellulose
Hahnemühle photo rag Matte Soft with a lightly defined felt structure 308gsm Fine Art Photography or art reproductions Cotton Rag
C-type gloss print High Gloss Smooth, no texture 220gsm Professional Photography RC (Resin Coated)
C-type lustre print Lustre Pearl-like texture 246gsm Professional Photography RC (Resin Coated)

If you need more details of a print paper type listed on the tables above please contact us.

 

Images Sources:

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

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