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What's Giclee? What are its advantages over other digital photo printing methods out there? These are just some of the things that you probably want to know about Giclee printing. And that's what this page is all about. We are going to share with you the answers to some of the most common questions you may have about the subject. Here they are:

What is Giclee?

It is a printing method that employs inkjet technology. However, it is different from regular printing because Giclee printing uses pigment based inks instead of the dye-based ones found in regular printers.

For more information on Giclee printing, please check out our 'What is Giclee?' page.

What's the advantage of Giclee printing over other methods available?

There are actually a number of advantages to using Giclee printing. For one, the use of pigment based inks, and the printing method that Giclee uses ensure that the prints remain faithful to your original artwork or photograph. The result is that the colors are more vivid and even the most subtle tonalities of the original artwork are retained in a Giclee print.

Another thing is that this method allows you to print your artwork on different materials such as glossy, matte, textured, smooth papers or canvas. This means that you will have a wider range of options depending on the creative decisions that you make. And because prints are printed on archival grade materials, your works will truly last a lifetime.

Why is Giclee printing more expensive than regular photo printing?

It all boils down to the equipment and materials being used in the printing process. Again, Giclee printing employs a combination of high-grade pigment based inks and archival grade papers to ensure high-quality prints are made.

In the long term, however, Giclee prints keep their value better since they can retain their luster and detail long after prints from photo labs have faded.

What do I need to know about choosing the paper for my print?

There are several things that you need to know about your paper. The first one is the raw material. In Giclee printing, we use papers made of cotton fibers. Although we generally recommend the use of cotton, we also use alpha-cellulose papers such as the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl, which are known for being acid-free and retains the look of traditional darkroom paper. The reason for this is that cotton is able to retain more detail in the prints, and is less likely to fade and deteriorate over time.

The coating of the paper is also important. Different coatings yield different results, so it is important that you choose your paper's coating wisely. Color is another important factor when choosing a paper. Some have what is called an OBA or an optical brightening agent, which results in whiter whites especially when printing black and white photographs. Those without OBAs, meanwhile, have a warmer tone to them.

Some artists prefer paper that has OBAs, since the whites in the photo are rendered more faithfully than compared to OBA-free papers wherein whites are slightly yellowish in tone. Like every factor we mention here, the choice of paper that's OBA-free or not depends on the artist.

Then there's the paper density and the thickness of the paper. A higher paper density (measured in grams per square meter or gsm) is more apt in fine art printing, while a thicker paper requires more ink to print an artwork.

Papers also come in different textures. Smooth textures such as high gloss, pearls and satins are great for getting sharp images and producing deep blacks. Meanwhile, matte and velvet papers give more texture and organic feel to the prints.

Finally, there's the paper size. Larger prints usually produce greater impact when displayed in large galleries, while smaller ones provide viewers a feeling of greater intimacy with the image.

All in all, your paper of choice depends on the combination of the factors above.

What else should I know about papers?

It is important to note that not just any paper will do when it comes to Giclee printing. This is partly a creative decision, but it also a practical one. If you would like your prints to last longer, you should choose papers that are acid-free and have a neutral pH rating of 7.0 to prevent environmental pollutants from destroying your work over time.

How long is the print drying time?

Printing using archival inks and archival papers allow for quick drying but we require at least 24 hours curing time before shipping regular (non-canvas prints. We also require an extra 24 hours before shipping gallery wraps since we still need to stretch and mount them first.

What is a Gallery Wrap?

Gallery wrap is where the canvas is stretched and secured to the back of the wooden frame. Unlike canvas stretching, a gallery wrap has no visible staples or nails. This enables the gallery wrapped artwork to be hung without a frame.

Our gallery wrap prints require extra 3 inches on each side in order to stretch and mount the canvas on the stretcher or strainer bars. With this in mind, please add the corresponding extra inches to your image. For example, if you want an 8.5 x 11 inch print, the actual canvas will become 14.5 x 17 inches to create a gallery wrapped print.

It is also important that you resize and crop your image to your desired print size so that we can maintain the aspect ratio of the actual print.

This service is initially available to our Philippine-based clients. We will do our best to offer this to our other clients in the future.

Do you resize and crop the images we upload?

To ensure that you get prints in your desired size and aspect ratio, please resize and crop your image to your desired print size before you upload it. Otherwise, we would need to crop your image if its aspect ratio is different from the available print sizes.

Why does my prints have borders/margins?

Printers require margins in respect to the size of the paper being fed to it. For example, a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inches will have the required margins, and so not all of the paper will be utilized for the actual print.

You may choose borderless printing if you wish to use the entire sheet for your print. However, this is only limited to certain roll sizes that allow borderless printing.


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