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Need canvas, watercolor paper or photographic paper for your fine art giclée printer? Print E-mail

Lists, suggestions, links for help in deciding what canvas, watercolor paper or photographic paper to use in a large format printer to make fine art giclée prints.


canvas print of indigenous Guatemalan Maya textile printed on Parrot media from Parrot Digigraphic
FLAAR Director Nicholas Hellmuth with a canvas print of indigenous Guatemalan Maya textile. This view shows the FLAAR office at Francisco Marroquin University, with Epson 7500 printer in foreground. Notice the fine art prints hung on the wall; these are from the art collection of the museum on campus (all printed in the FLAAR facilities).

Canvas is the material of choice for fine art giclée prints. Being a photographer myself, I prefer the original look of a Cibachrome print (now Ilfochrome). Plenty of photobase papers are available for exhibit quality photographs.

Actually some of the newer archival inks for fine art prints may well outlast a Cibachrome print. If you chose the correct media for the appropriate ink your fine art print will outlast a normal color photograph for sure.

The eventual goal of this portion of the site will be to itemize which papers work best with which inks to achieve maximum longevity. For example, ink X on paper Y may last 15 years but the same ink on a different paper may only hold its color for four or five years. To achieve maximum longevity it is essential to select the appropriate media for the proper ink. You can't just mix one with the other. Some papers fade more quickly than the inks (some Epson papers are infamous for turning colors after a while, which of course totally ruins the print).

  • Arches Hot Press paper.

  • Capri Concorde Rag, I believe this is the same as one of the Somerset art papers.

  • Fredrix (Tara-Fredrix) artist canvas, a leading source of giclee materials.

  • Hahnemuehle Albrecht Duerer Paper. We inspected this paper at a CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany. Hawk Mountain Art Papers, a friendly family run business. Legion West Paper, various papers for the fine art giclée market. Legion Paper is the official importer for the USA of most of the better art papers from Europe. Some Legion (desktop sized) sheets are imported by Bogen Photo. Liege Luminos, Preservation inkjet paper designed to work with Luminos Platinum inks Somerset, various media such as rag and Magellin canvas are the choice of many fine art printers. Somerset Enhanced is available from photoinkjet.com. Waterford Xtreme Gamut (this company seems to have gone out of business?)

  • Zanders (International Paper, European branch; their paper has a different name in the USA).


Where to buy? ITNH handles all aspects of fine art giclée inkjet printing for Mutoh, I-Jet, Iris, Ixia, Mimaki.

General sources for fine art giclée supplies:


Tara Media
Nicholas Hellmuth unpacking Tara-Fredrix artist's canvas for use at the FLAAR giclée studio, Bowling Green State University.

Be sure to test a sample before you order a truckload of media. Be sure to get ICC profiles as well. ICC profiles are the instructions that tell your RIP software how to lay down the ink load and colors. If you were to use 15 different kinds of paper your identical image will turn out in 15 different shades or variations of the original color of your image.

Yes, different media causes the ink to appear slightly different cast. The ICC profiles are information your printer and RIP utilize to balance all the factors in order to cause all your prints to appear more or less the same color. Of course this presumes you have a printer which produces consistent color from one print to another. Some printers don't. We are unable to warranty each printer long distance and can only report what readers tell us from their experiences.What causes color inconsistency? Many factors. Let's say you have a piezo-electric printhead system such as a Roland. If the nozzles get a tad clogged (from basic usage or from dust from the environment or dust or fragments from the rough surface of the fancy art paper) then less color can come out of that particular nozzle. Thus your image will gradually shift in color. Roland printers are not the only printer subject to this defect. Furthermore, your Roland may never experience this problem. It is sort of random whether you will experience it or not with your particular printer.Another rude surprise is to find out that the nice new media you selected can't be laminated! Yes, some media does not hold lamination well (we know, we just did an entire art exhibit with a wonderful new waterproof media only to find out it could not be lacquered).

Equally important, the people at ITNH are familiar with the leading RIP´s, so they can assist you in understanding the usefulness of having the ICC profiles that may come with your media. If you wish to generate your own profiles they have the color management software and color tools such as X-Rite to enable you to do everything in your own home or studio.

Printing example

 

Last updated Aug 06, 2012.
Previously checked Jan. 20, 2004, Nov. 8, 2003, Jan. 17, 2003, updated Nov. 12, 2002, modified by webdesigner Aug. 27, 2002, updated Aug. 12, 2001.

 
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