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 them.
Coating All papers explicitly produced for giclee printing are coated, meaning 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.
Texture 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. But you can think out-of-the-box; using textured paper can transform a photograph from a traditional photograph into a fine art print
Size All our giclee papers come on a roll; the widest we stock is 110cm (44"). Rolls are usually 15m in length. You can create a print as large as you like, as long as it will fit onto the paper. Very large images will require a very high-quality digital image.
Weight 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. We do, however, print on thicker papers using our digital flatbed printer. 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.
We are a Certified Printing Lab for the Canson paper 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.
Here is a selection of the most popular giclee papers based on our experiences working with artists over the years.
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.
Canson® Infinity Rag Photographique 310gsm
This paper has an extra smooth surface you would expect from a photo paper but has been developed specifically for fine art digital images. It is a 100% cotton rag paper that gives you dark and full bodied blacks, perfect for photography images as well as fine art prints.
Canson® Infinity Baryta Photographique 310gsm
This paper was developed by Canson to give you the feel of a traditional fibre-based darkroom paper but to allow for printing with the latest digital inkjet technology. It give great contrast between blacks and whites with a wide colour gamit and vibrancy and intensity in the colours. It has a satin sheen to the surface and the edges are best cut.
Canson® Infinity Baryta Prestige 340gsm
An innovative digital print paper with the look and feel of a traditional smooth gloss Bryta dark room paper. This gloss paper has outstanding black optical density, and superb image sharpness.
Canson® Infinity Arches ® Aquarelle Rag 310gsm
This is a traditionally made French 100% cotton watercolour paper that also incorporates the latest technologies for superior giclee printing. The unique inkjet layer produces prints with superb colour rendition, deep blacks and pure whites offering photographers, artists and printmakers the opportunity to create images with superb tonal range, excellent highlights and mid-tones.
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.
A fine paper that blends cotton and cellulose with a lightly textured matt finish ensures your image retains its artistic integrity.
Olmec Photo Matte Archival 230gsm
This ultra-white photo matte inkjet paper provides excellent image quality and sharpness on its reflection free surface.