Fine Art Printing Considerations for your custom print

Each print purchased from my website is a custom work.  Your print is a special addition to your home or office and I want to make sure that all of the considerations of your specific viewing environment are taken into consideration.  Some things to consider:

  1. Do you want your print produce on photographic paper or canvas.  I use only 100% cotton rag paper with either a matte surface or semigloss.  With a canvas print, I produce all of my canvas prints on a poly-cotton blend canvas with a glossy finish.  All of my canvas prints will have a coating that will prevent damage from UV light. None of the media used has any Optical Brighteners added.
  2. If you pick a photographic print on paper, let me help you determine if you need the print on a paper with a matter or semi-gloss surface.  The final printed surface can be very critical to the final look of the print.
  3. Let me know where you will hang the print.  Will it be in an area that has direct sunlight or reflected light?  You may want to consider a non-glare finish to your glass.  I would also consider non-glare if the print will be hung in an office environment where there are traditional fluorescent lights in the ceiling. Fluorescent lighting can be very harsh on viewing a print under glass.
  4. With a canvas print I would not recommend hanging it in an outdoor setting or where it will take long hours of direct sunlight.  Sunlight also creates heat and over a period of time the print may start to sag since the heat will allow the canvas to stretch.
  5. I have over 30 years framing experience, so I would love to work with you on suggestions that will allow your to have the best viewing experience with your new print.

I use only Epson large format inkjet printers for my prints.  These printers use the latest HDR ink set developed by Epson.  The prints I produce on these printers will tested colorfastness of over 50 years and if the prints are mounted and framed with archival materials with UV protective glass their life should be well over 100 years.

For all of the prints I produce on both canvas or paper, I am using only papers that have 100% archival qualities.  I do not produce my prints on Resin Coated (RC) paper because these paper are not 100% acid free and the coatings used in these papers are of a cheaper quality.  I also do not like the fact that all RC papers will allow out gassing to fog the face of glass in a framed print.  Out gassing is going to happen with all ink jet prints, however a 100% cotton rag paper will allow the gases to pass through the back of the paper and not fog your glass.

For matte prints I am now using 2 different papers, Optica 1 by Breathing Color and Epson Hot press (both bright white and Natural).  Both of these papers are 100% cotton and are acid free.  Optica 1 has slight optical brighteners added which allows for the best DMAX of any matte paper I have used.  Optica 1 is a smooth paper with no texture which allows the print to show the greatest amount of detail.  Epson Hot press paper has a slight texture and I use it when I feel the texture will add to the print’s look.  Both of these papers are 300gm weight which is a nice heavy weight paper.  You can mount these prints with either a dry mount process or use a hinge mount. A matte surfaced paper will not have the the deepest blacks, like a glossy paper but the matte surface can allow for a wonderful looking even surfaced print.  Depending on the image selected, I will recommend either a matte or semi-gloss surface.

For glosy prints I like to use either Breathing Color’s Vibrance Rag, or Canon’s Platine.  Both of these papers are 100% cotton rag papers with a 310gm weight.  This is nice heavy weight paper that will  dry mount very easily and can be mounted with a hinge mount if required.  Both of these papers have a textured surface not a 100% smooth glossy look.  In fact there really is not a 100% cotton paper made that has a  smooth glossy look.  Both of these papers will give your print a beautiful deep glossy luster look, with very deep blacks and great contrast.  The surface of Vibrance rag has a bit more surface texture but is also a very hardy surface that is scratch resistant.

On canvas prints, I will print on both matte and Glossy Canvas.  For matte, I use Breathing Color’s Lyve canvas.  This is a poly/cotton canvas with a pure matte finish.  After the print has dried, I will coat the print with a glossy protectant.  This gives the print protection from both UV light and scratches, fingerprints and other issues that can beset a finished canvas print.  The other canvas I use is also from Breathing Color, and is their glossy canvas, Crystalline.  Crystalline has an amazing DMAX and allows me to reach color/black depth that  I cannot obtain with a traditional matte canvas.  I also coat the prints made on Crystalline with a UV protectant.  I can ship you the canvas print stretched or in a roll for you to stretch locally.  Shipping a stretched canvas print is costly so you might want to consider having a local frame shop do the final stretch.  For larger pieces that will be shipped to Arkansas, I can deliver the finished piece for a small fee.

Copyright © Paul Caldwell, Photos of Arkansas