When presenting your designs, it’s very important to be able to show the right look and feel. Things like quality of paper and ink are very important and can be really decisive in the way your end product looks. Through doing quite some research, I found out that a lot of prints are available cheaply. What I also found out, is that most cheap prints last for only two years. Some printer even told me that two years is quite long for a poster to be up upon a wall but I strongly disagree. Maybe for some simple poster it is, but for artwork it’s not. Usually, nice artwork is being kept on a wall for way longer than just two years.
So, I had to do some more digging. This time, I found some way of printing, called Giclée. I will tell you a bit more about Giclée printing in the near future. One important aspect in this printing process, is the type of paper used. Generally speaking, the quality of paper is very high and contains a lot of cotton, rather than wood, as a base.
In the image right above this text block, I have used Enhanced Matte paper. This is, in my opinion, very nice for most vector illustrations, because it’s beautiful matte, white, paper with a flat structure. This way, the smoothness of vector lines shows in all its greatness. It can make the image really pop. Due to the fact that it is matte, there’s hardly (if any) reflection of light, distracting you from the actual image. In case of these ancient window panes of the Amsterdam houses I make though, I,m looking to bring in a bit more depth into the image. Because of that, I have chosen to print Windows of Amsterdam on German Etching paper by Hahnemuhle.
The images above show the difference quite well.
Although both images have a nice look and feel, the German Etching paper on the left gives the image more depth and therefore more warmth. In my opinion, it lifts the overall presentation of the image to a higher level. The paper on the left, is the paper I use in What’s Going On, for example. Or with my bird prints. They’re small, crisp images that would also do well with German Etching paper. I prefer the smoothness of the Enhanced Matte paper in those cases as they accentuate the crispness and detailes in the images.
So, to sum it all up, paper and ink quality does a whole lot for the end result of your images. Because there is no acid in the paper provided by Hahnemuhle, the ink keeps its colors a lot better than cheap prints. These prints will keep their color for about a century when being uncovered. If you keep them in a dark place, they’ll hold even longer but what’s the point of printing when you are keeping it tucked away somewhere?
I hope this has been an interesting article for you! If you have any additional questions, please let me know!