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When you choose to print your images using Giclee printing technique, one of the very critical steps would be how to choose the right media. VG-Lab has conducted a guide to help you pick the right media in 4 steps.
Step 1: Consider the look
We believe the first thing you should consider is how your prints will look. The print’s aesthetic will directly affect your creative direction.
As for the look of the media, we divide into two main categories: The gloss and The matte.
Each category will have many different sub-categories, VG-Lab has concluded a reference table as below:
|The Gloss||The Matte|
|Semi-gloss||Pearl||Matte||Fine texture matte|
Note: the names in the sub-categories are for reference purposes only, same surfaces have the same names can look different in reality.
Step 2: Consider the thickness (Basis weight)
The next step is to consider how thick the print should be. However, in reality, we can base on the basis weight as it’s more common and often be clearly labeled than the thickness value. It’s the “gsm” figure (Gram per square meter).
So when thinking about the thickness of the paper, we can divide it into 2 categories:
- Heavy-weight/Thick: >=250gsm
- Light-weight/Thin: <250gsm
Until this step, we are already half way through, our paper options have been narrowed. Moving to the next step:
Step 3: Consider media foundation (What is it made of?) or How long your prints will last?
Yes, knowing the foundation of the media is very important. It’s the main factor to determine how long your prints will last (print longevity).
In fine art printing, cotton based, bamboo based or other fibre based medias yield better print longevity than resin-coated/polyester based medias. Each will suit different usages/occasions.
Better print longevity is also known as archival property.
Note to the artists/photographers: If you tend to make limited edition prints, it’s highly recommended to print on archival media (cotton, bamboo and other fibre based medias).
The last step: Consider the cost
We understand that the cost will affect your investment decision. The prices are varied, depending on the market price, currency exchange and the choice on different papers. We have set up a set of standard sizes to cut down the costs, therefore lower the prices, such as 20x30cm, 30x45cm, 40x60cm, 60x90cm, 73x110cm and 110x165cm. If you need to print any other sizes, please let us know, we can quote you on your custom sizes.
We sincerely hope that this guide is able to make it easier for you to pick the right media for your works and purposes.
Till next time,