So, you have chosen your preferred photo and you are thinking to buy a fine art print or maybe to have it printed on canvas, right?
The choice of the paper and canvas is key to guarantee that the print can show the same lights and colors you have seen on the screen and that your print will be able to give you the same emotions, every time you look at it, in the years to come.
What paper and canvases do we use?
How disappointing would be if the print had different tones from the ones you had fallen in love with? How will you be able to appreciate the soft color shades if the light will be reflected by the surface of the paper or the canvas? What about if a bright white will progressively fade into a yellowish tone?
These papers and canvases are the same used by world-famous artists for their limited series prints; the same used for the masterpieces exhibited in the most renowned museums; the same you will have in your house for your precious fine art print.
What are the most important factors to be considered?
There are dozens of factors which should be considered when selecting the paper or canvas for your fine art print. You don’t have to learn them all to select the best products on the market, as we have already done it for you!
However, just to shed some light on what are the criteria to assess the quality of what you are buying, here below you can find some of the most important ones:
Large color gamut is necessary to guarantee a faithful reproduction of the photograph. The larger the color gamut, the more precise and radiant the images will be.
Ink Limit is a threshold indicating the maximum value of ink that can be absorbed by the paper/canvas so that the print will have sharp edges and details. The higher that value, the higher the color precision of the print and better color brilliance. High-quality papers have an ink limit value exceeding 200%.
The higher the value, the more intense the colors will be (especially the blacks)
Resistance to bleed measures the capability of the fibers to absorb colors without showing them on the reverse side of the print. This is a very important feature especially in the case of double-sided printing (e.g. in photo albums.)
The optical properties of paper are determined by its color (naturally white, white, bright white) and by its surface structure. The surface structures of the paper should emphasize the artistic traits of the picture. The surface must also be water-resistant.
This feature is particularly important in the case of inkjet paper, as it is intended for double-sided printing, e.g. for albums with photographs and painting, as well as for works of art mounted and presented against a dark background. The higher the opacity value, the less transparent the paper is. We recommend the choice of paper with opacity > 96% (DIN 53146).
Resistance to light
Light can alter the color hue and this is why each type of paper should be light resistant for at least 60-70 years.
Resistance to ageing
Papers designed for archival storage are acid-free (basic PH), which makes them highly resistant to ageing. The paper should also be lignin-free, which means it should consist of linters or alpha-cellulose. Lignin-free paper does not yellow.
The paper thickness, or volume, determine its feel (tactile properties), and thus defines the quality of the print. High-weight paper (> 300 g/m²) is recommended particularly for large-size artistic reproductions.
Hahnemühle papers and canvases
All the Hahnemühle media allow for fine art prints featuring an extensive colour gamut, best contrast and finest nuances for impressive pictures. The surface variety, the impressive feel of the mould-made and cotton paper as well as their conservational properties have won international TIPA, BIPP and American Photo awards.
A premium coating on the original artist papers preserves their haptic exclusiveness and guarantees long-lasting true-to-detail prints that meet the requirements of museums and galleries (ISO 9706).
The Digital FineArt papers and canvases in our Digital FineArt Collection are available in three product ranges:
- Matt FineArt (smooth and textured) for papers with matt surface coating in smooth or structured finish – such as the industry’s benchmark Photo Rag®
- Glossy FineArt comprises all the Hahnemühle papers featuring a glossy coating, such as barite (Baryta) papers for the inkjet print
- Canvas FineArt provides canvases with different grammage and matt, glossy or metallic finishes