The advent of Giclee printing has revolutionised fine art printmaking, and paper manufacturers have risen to the challenge of producing an amazing range of specialist papers that make the most of these cutting-edge printing technologies.
So which is the best paper for you to use?
The type of paper you choose can enhance an image or even change how the viewer interprets it. We have worked with artists and paper manufacturers over the years and experimented with how you can use the different types of paper, so here are our top tips on getting the most out of your paper choice.
Giclee papers come in a wide variety of textures, from rough watercolour papers to super smooth photographic papers. Think about your image and what texture would suit it. Do you want to compliment or replicate the media the original was one or do you want to use and different texture? For example using textured paper can transform a photograph from a traditional photograph into a fine art print.
All paper is weighed in grams per square meter; the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper. The weight of the papers we stock range between 210gsm and 320gsm. Paper can be deceptive as textured papers often feel thicker than smooth papers even though they have the same gsm.
A heavier paper is not necessarily better quality; it is just heavier. A lighter paper may have other properties that make it more appealing. For example, Awagami Unryu Thin paper is just 55gsm, but it is such a gorgeous and unusual digital paper. It's lightweight is part of its unique character.
Coating and Colours
All papers explicitly produced for giclee printing are coated. This means the surface has been treated in some way to enhance the performance of the digital printmaking process and inks. Coated papers, therefore, usually have a right and a wrong side to print on. The coatings can contain optical brightens that make the colours of the paper brighter.
Different papers handle colours differently and some perform better than other with particular colours for example Canoson Rag photographic paper has been developed to give one of the highest achievable Dmax (which is the contrast on blacks).
All our giclee papers come on a roll; the widest we stock is 110cm (44"). Rolls are usually 15m in length. This means we are not restricted to standard paper sizes and can print any image up to 109cm on its shortest side.
Very large images will require a very high-quality digital image, if we have photographed your original there should be no problem going up to this size.
Our digital flatbed printer can print on larger and thicker papers including the amazing 640gsm Waterford colour paper.
We are a Certified Printing Lab and print on many papers in theCanson range. Canson has assessed our printing to ensure we get the best performance out of their papers and that our print quality always conforms to their high standards.
You can view all our giclee papers here,
or find out more about our most popular papers below.
Somerset® Enhanced Fine Art Inkjet Paper 330gsm
This is one of our most popular papers. It is a 100% cotton rag watercolour papers made by St Cuthbert’s Mill in Somerset. It is the same as their watercolour paper, but the surface has been treated to make it work perfectly with the inkjet inks. It is great on a whole variety of images not just watercolours, including paintings, digital artworks and photography. The edges can be hand-torn to give a deckled edge or straight cut.
Fabriano Printmaking Rag 310gsm
This 100% cotton rag paper is popular with our customers for its rough textured surface and the way it renders blacks. It works well with watercolours and graphic images. It can be hand-torn to give a deckled edge.
Minuet Printmaking 310gsm
This is a fantastic fine art paper made form 100% cotton rag by one of Europe's top paper mills. It has a smoother surface and a slightly lighter weight than our watercolour papers. The surface coating on this paper makes the colours vibrant and punchy and the silky texture allows for fine details to be printed clearly. It works well with almost all images and the edges can either be hand torn or cut.be hand torn or cut.
Canson® Infinity Rag Photographique 310gsm
This is a beautiful 100% cotton rag fine art paper with a super smooth surface. It has been developed to work for photography and fine art images and is fantastic and handling blacks. It has a matt surface and give both deep blacks and vibrant colours.
Awagami Unryu Thin 55gsm
This is an amazing specialist inkjet coated version of the Japanese Awagami factories traditional washi paper. Developed specifically for giclee printing, this paper also has all the traditional washi paper properties with the random pattern of natural Kozo (mulberry) fibers and a light and delicate weight. The Awagami Factory has been producing high-quality fine art papers in Japan since the 18th century.