Picking the Best Paper for Your Art Prints, Made Easy!
You could say that Mindzai Creative knows a little something when it comes to art prints. Most of us are artists ourselves, after all! While we think a hard lesson in sizing and proportions is overdue (ah-hem!), for now, we're going to focus on choosing the right option for reproduction: digital art prints or giclee prints?
First, ask yourself this: "Is color-matching to my original imperative? I will absolutely DIE if my prints do not match my original 100%"
If you nodded your head in agreement just then, skip, do not pass go: Giclee's are the right choice for you! If you still need help deciding, then keep reading. We're going to break it down for you!
Watercolor prints are one of our most popular printing services for artists. The main reason is, affordability! Depending on the size of the print, watercolor prints run anywhere from $1-$3.50 each! Because we run these on our in-house, digital press, full color is a non-issue. We also offer even deeper discounts if we opt for the "Mindzai tag" on the back (this is just a small Mindzai logo that we print on the back, it does not interfere with your artwork on the front).
Don't let affordability trick you into thinking "quantity over quality!" Watercolor prints are printed on a 10pt, woven-felt cardstock. They come out beautifully, yet leave enough of a profit margin for you to sell your work if you so choose.
There are a few (just a few) cons, however. Watercolor prints are limited in size, the largest we can print is 13x19. And, because these are digitally printed, you may have varying degrees in darkness and lightness between print runs. We usually over-estimate this by saying there may be a 10% difference in coloring when compared to your original drawing or illustration. This is rarely an issue, but it is something to keep in mind. Because of the slight texture to this paper, photography is not recommended with this medium.
Close-up of the watercolor stock
The turnaround on watercolor prints is a standard 24-48 hours plus shipping. Rush services are available!
COMIC ART PRINTS:
Another digital print option is our comic art print. This is not just reserved for those who illustrate comics! It's available to any type of artist who is looking for more of a "flat stock" to convey more detail. This stock is a 12pt cardstock (so a little thicker than the watercolor prints. Think a standard postcard thickness), and does have a semi-gloss sheen to it. If your work is photography (and you're looking for something thicker than photo paper), or something with a ton of detail, this stock is a great option for you!
It has the same size limitations as the watercolor prints, and the same 10% variable in coloring applies here as well. But we can churn them out fast, in just 24-48 hours! Pricing varies from $2.50 - $4 a piece, depending on quantity.
Close-up of the comic art stock
Here's where people tend to have the most questions. We offer three different types of giclee paper stocks, and because of the higher price point, artists want to make sure the product is worth the cost. Hint: it totally is.
Giclee prints are made using a 12-color archival pigment process, instead of a typical 4-color process with a digital printer. This means prints are true to colors, and we even offer color-matching services for a nominal fee. Giclee prints tend to be a little more vibrant because of this. As an added bonus, archival inks mean they last literally FOREVER.
There's much more wiggle-room when it comes to size options, too. We can print up to 24x36, and offer lower minimums to help offset the higher printing cost. Giclee prints normally run anywhere from $8-$12 per square foot. The higher price tag is WELL worth it, though. These are gallery-quality and last an entire lifetime. Now, how do you choose which stock and weight to use? Here are your options:
Light weight - Hahnemuhle Albrecht Durer - Single side coated, traditional fine art media. The textured matte surface of this 210 gsm mould-made paper is designed for high-quality digital fine art reproduction.
Heavy weight - Hahnemuhle Etching Paper - This is a 310 gsm textured mould-made, acid-free water color paper with the smoothest surface in the range. It’s ideal for images that are highly detailed and require photographic quality.
Thickest Paper - Velvet Rag 330 gsm - 100% cotton rag base, with a smooth velvet (or etching like) surface. This paper is designed to meet the highest printing standards needed for museum quality and limited edition prints. It's our most popular choice!
Scanning, proofs, and color corrections are available upon request (additional charges may apply) for all our giclee printing services. These truly are the highest-caliber of art printing and replication out there.
Close-up of the velvet rag, giclee stock
We hope you find this information helpful when deciding what stock to use for your art prints. As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to the Mindzai team!