Giclee (fine art printing)
We offer a selection of high quality fine art papers. Along with all standard paper sizes, we can print up to 44” wide to virtually any length. Paper samples are available in our office or by post on request.
We have been providing our fine art and photo printing service for several years now, during which we’ve produced prints for one-off exhibitions through to multiple editions for artists selling work all around the world. Many of our regular customers choose to keep their files on our system so that upon request we can produce another run of prints that will be ready just 48 hours later.
How to order
Artwork can be saved in a number of formats but TIFF or JPEG is preferred. Once you have used the price calculator below or contacted us for a quote you can upload work to us using our Client Upload facility. We will print onto the paper you have requested and contact you on completion. Turn around is 2 to 3 days but a rush service is often available. Simply pay on collection.
Please ring or email with any questions.
Today we are going to have a conversation about fine art printing, archival printing and also known as giclee printing. A common question we get asked is ‘do you do giclee printing?’ What does giclee actually mean? The reality is that it doesn’t mean much. It is a term created by the industry which has now become prevalent in order to create a sense of quality around a print process that had a bad reputation in it’s early days. In the past, a lot of large format printers used dye based inks which weren’t very fast.
Now, print technology has improved exponentially. As long as your printer is using a good quality paper stock and a good quality ink set your prints will be giclee and archival. The enemy of any print’s longevity is either sunlight or acidity. So, when we talk about a good quality print stock we are talking about an acid-free media. That’s a media that over time is going to remain acid-free. For that it is essential that there is no wood pulp in the paper. Traditionally paper is made from wood but for fine art paper it is made of cotton. The advantage of cotton is over time it will not become acidic so it will not yellow or spoil the print. When it comes to the ink set you will need an ink set that is chemically neutral. This means, once again, that there is no acidity within the ink chemistry so the print is going to theoretically last for 150 years. This should be long enough, for any artist, to keep their customer happy!
Other than longevity, another thing you should know about archival printing is that in order for it to remain truly archival you shouldn’t apply any irreversible processes to it. This means that when it comes to displaying your print, you pretty much have one option which is to frame it. The second you mount it or use an adhesive, are you confident that this doesn’t have acidity in it. It can be tricky to tell. So for an archival print it usually needs to be framed. However, this doesn’t mean that mounting your print onto dibond, or aluminium, or foam centered board, or even creating a canvas means that your print will look awful after 5 or so years. It just means that no one is going to rate it to last 150 years.
Other than the way your colour is reproduced in a fine art print, the other important thing quality. A fine art print is produced on an inkjet printer. It has a print head that races back and forth along the media as your stock is fed out of the media. If the print head is not properly maintained or the print is rushed through on a setting that is too fast (for the quality you are looking to achieve), you can be left with a by-product. A flaw in the print which is referred to as ‘banding’. That description is pretty accurate as to what you will see. On close scrutiny on these prints, both this deep rich black and the areas of flat bright colour will look perfect on close inspection. You shouldn’t settle for anything less.
Lastly, I am going to mention surface treatments to protect your prints. With a canvas, you can apply an archival varnish which is rollered onto the top of the print. This has a slight sheen finish to it and is quite hard to achieve complete matte. The varnish will make the surface of your print generally more durable and slightly more moisture resistant. It will also prevent cracking of the canvas and ink pigment when you’re stretching your print around a stretcher bar. A fine art paper stock is slightly different. It is quite rare to treat the surface. They are quite delicate, however if you treat it as a piece of art, as you should do, then there’s not really an excuse for anything to touch the surface of the print so it’s delicacy should be irrelevant. I would suggest that you keep the acid-free tissue paper, that would usually be provided by your printers, on the print at all times until it is in a plastic portfolio sleeve once it has been framed. From then on it should be safe.
I hope you have found this information useful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at Exhibit Printing.