Printing Materials and What's Right for You
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Are you an aspiring artist looking to get your art reproduced? Or struggling with the decision-making process of printing in general?
Mindzai is a great first step, possessing high quality print standards and the latest equipment and materials to produce exactly what you’re looking for. With all the options available, it can be tough deciding what is the right choice for you. If you’re not well versed in printing jargon (who is?), then here’s a quick field guide to perfecting your print before it lands in your hands.
Choosing the size of a print goes beyond the space you’re displaying it. Imagine trying to paint the Mona Lisa on a penny: if you couldn’t see her eyebrows before, you definitely can’t see them now. You’ve invested the time and effort into the details, it’s only right to make sure to choose a size that does your work justice. This isn’t to say that you need a floor-to-ceiling print in your living room, but keep in mind that the smaller you go, the less there is to see. Our print sizes range from 4x6” (the size of a standard postcard) to something as large as 24x36” and beyond, if need be. Take a look at your design and decide which size would maximize the impact and details of your art.
One of the most difficult choices to make when ordering a print is knowing what differentiates one paper from another. Unless you make prints for a living, all these paper options can sound like a foreign language (especially those actually in German). You may think that paper is paper and your art won’t change much between materials, but it actually plays a large part in the color range and depth of an image and can drastically alter the quality. As an artist, this is something incredibly important to keep in mind so that your prints are kept as close to the original painting as possible. A quick look at the media types Mindzai provides can give you a better idea on what to select when the time comes.
An important concept to understand before selecting paper types is weight (what one could also consider to be the “thickness” of a paper). GSM, or grams per square meter, is how the weight of art paper is measured. Just like when we step on a scale, the higher the number is, the heavier the paper will be. For reference, the GSM of a piece of standard printer paper is around 80gsm while cardboard can range from 200gsm to 1000gsm. Weight matters most when considering how you’ll transport, ship or display the art.
As for the actual types of paper, here are the choices we offer for fine art printing, and what each media type can do for your art print:
Hahnemuhle Albrecht Durer
This stock is the closest to watercolor paper that we offer. It’s lightweight and coated on one side to ensure a beautiful surface for vibrant colors and rich blacks alike. It has a considerable amount of tooth (grooves & divots in the paper) which gives reproduction a tactile quality your customer can see and feel.
Hahnemuhle German Etching
Moving up a weight class, our etching paper has a much heavier weight while still maintaining a considerable amount of tooth. It features more surface area than the Albrecht Durer, thus allowing for excellent image sharpness and finer details. Expect crystal clear details and richer blacks in your prints as the German etching paper holds more ink. That being said you will need to handle these prints with care.
Smooth Touch Cotton Rag
Another heavy weight paper with the added luxury of a soft-to-the-touch surface. While all of our prints are complete with archival pigments that ensure long lasting quality, this paper takes it the extra mile with its 100% cotton base. This adds a level of durability to your print and eliminates the risk of yellowing over time.
The last of the papers is our heavyweight champ as our thickest paper offered. Similar to Cotton Rag, this paper is made of 100% cotton for that same soft feel, now with a toothy surface similar to an Etching paper. This opens up more room for the finer details, without sacrificing the softness one might desire. If you have a one-of-a-kind, limited edition print to display, this paper supplies a quality of the same caliber.
This media is pretty self explanatory, and in a category of its own. For a final product that looks like an original painting, this is the way to go. Canvas will provide the heaviest feel of all and can be easily mounted on stretcher bars as a finished product.
We offer complimentary color matching and email proofs on all fine art printing of over 10 units.
Wrapping It Up...
And with that, you’re now able to order a print with confidence knowing that the high quality print you desire is exactly what you’ll see hanging in your home. Art is about expression and detail, and starting with the right paper is key to representing the work in the most honest way possible.
Need help scanning or archiving your art? Stay tuned for future blogs. In the meantime, feel free to email us with questions!