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Giclée print media overview

Giclée printing has become highly regarded by many of the world’s best traditional medium and photographic fine artists, collectors, galleries, and museums. It combines digital printers with traditional archival fine art print media and provides the artist with creative opportunities previously unavailable. Giclée prints are produced one at a time on an as-needed basis with each print being exactly like the first, even if different sizes. We have considerable experience with digitally processing images for color, brightness, contrast, and detail.

Our standards for giclée prints

  • We have the ability to exactly reproduce photographs and original artwork without evidence of the technology used
  • Our archival standards with fine art all-cotton paper are comparable to those of fine art prints in museum collections
  • We have the capability to complete the entire printing process in-house, from scanning to coating to mounting, all with a color-managed workflow
  • Our prints and mountings use the highest quality products available and we fully disclose these products
  • We have a reputation for honesty and integrity among artists
  • We perform on-going research and development to improve the craft

Our print media and coating choices

We print on the following five types of media: Canvas, SmoothPhotoCloth, Fine art paper, Luster photo paper, and Metallic photo paper. The first three have a matte (non-reflecting) surface before coating that displays especially well under almost any lighting conditions. Our protective coating can provide a surface reflectivity of matte or gloss on all but the photo papers. We recommend our gloss coating that brings out colors and deep blacks with glare much less than that for glass. These media work very well with our mounting and framing options that do not make use of glass cover. Read more about the specific papers we use from our sources listed in the box.

The matte vs. blacks compromise

With all papers there is a trade-off between a Matte (non-reflective) surface and the highest D-max (deep dark blacks). The price you pay for good blacks and rich saturated colors in photo paper is more reflections from lights and windows in the room. You should choose a paper and coating based on which is more important for you -- deep blacks and bright colors or reduced glare. When you hold small prints in your hand, you can turn them to avoid reflections (you probably do this without thinking). A glossy paper that works well for 4x6 prints may not be what you want for large prints since it is not so easy to avoid reflections from prints hanging on your wall. Overhead lighting works best for glossy prints.


Our most popular option, canvas is especially durable and so is a good choice if you display without protection of glass cover. The texture of the weave works beautifully with large prints. If you have not seen photos or art giclée printed on canvas, you certainly should give this a try...more


SmoothPhotoCloth is a smooth synthetic cloth which works well with all of our mountings except Box mount and with minor texture shows more detail than does Canvas...more

Free samples

We provide on request 3x3-inch free samples of a test image printed on the seven media we offer and the different coatings. Just send us email with your postal address to request this free sample pack.

Fine art all-cotton paper

Also called watercolor paper or rag, this choice is great if you want an archival medium and want to see the fine detail in your photo or art. To see fine detail, you also need to have a high resolution image...more

Luster photo paper

To see really dark black areas and brighter colors in your image, you need a surface that reflects more light than the above media. The luster paper looks like a traditional color print...more

Metallic paper

Until recently Metallic paper has not been available for Giclee printers. We now stock metallic photo paper and you should try it soon...more

Print size: Too big? Too small?

Our customers often regret that they did not order a large enough print. Get out a tape measure and hold it up to the wall. Check the resolution and sharpness of your chosen image by clicking on the thumbnail on the print building page.

Coatings and protection

The coatings on our prints protect them from color changes by UV light, from airborne contaminants, and from spills and fingerprints. They also allow you to adjust the reflectivity and "pop" (matte vs. gloss) characteristics of canvas, SmoothPhotoCloth, and fine art papers...more

It is impossible for us to fully describe or illustrate the range of surface characteristics of our coated papers, so we have a sample package we will send you on request. When observing them, you will quickly see that the glossy ones have deeper blacks and brighter colors. If you display your prints with overhead lighting, the glossy prints will work best for you. If you don’t have special lighting, the matte prints might display best.


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