Monday, September 12, 2011

Printing Options - Paper Surfaces and Printing Processes

At, we offer 8 different types of prints. We're regularly asked to explain the difference between the various options. Please read on to learn more about the Printing Processes we use and the choices you have when you order prints from

We use two different printing processes at (1) Photographic Printing and (2) Giclee or Photo Inkjet printing.

Photographic Prints
Our Photographic Prints are traditional Photographic Prints. They are printed by exposing light sensitive paper with light and then running the paper through a chemical process. There is no ink involved in the process. These prints can be described as Silver Halide Photographic Prints, Chromogenic Photographic Prints or C-Prints.

We proudly use Kodak Professional Supra Endura VC Digital Paper to print all of our Photographic Prints. This paper offers an extraordinary color gamut and state-of-the art image stability. Photographic Prints are available in four different surfaces: Glossy, Lustre, Matte and Metallic.

Giclee or Photo Inkjet Prints
Our Giclee and Photo Inkjet prints are made by applying ink to paper. We use Epson Ultrachrome professional archival inks to produce our Giclee and Photo Inkjet Prints. These prints are available in Somerset Velvet, Canvas, Glossy & Lustre.

Cost Difference Explained
Many people assume that the higher price of the Giclee and Photo Inkjet Prints means a higher quality print. However, the answer actually has to do with production costs.

The Photographic Printing process has been highly optimized for a digital workflow, meaning that it takes a lot less hand holding to make a Photographic Print than it does to make a Giclee or Photo Inkjet Print. We also don't need to spend any money on inks because there is no ink involved in the Photographic Printing process. Whenever we save money, we always pass those savings on to you in terms of lower prices.

Archival Quality Prints
According to Kodak's website, you can expect Kodak Supra Endura Photographic Prints to last 100 years in typical home display, 200 years in dark storage, and 1 to 5 years in commercial display.

According to Whilhelm Research, you can expect our Giclee and Photo Inkjet Prints to last over 60 years in typical home display, over 100 years in dark storage, and more than 30 years if displayed unframed.

Choices, Choices
Choosing the best finish for a particular purpose is really a matter of personal preference. The best way to learn about the different finishes is to actually see them for yourself. That's why we include our Paper Sampler and Calibration Kit with every customer’s first order (unless the order is a drop shipment to a client!).

We also regularly see customers ordering the same image on a few different surfaces to see for themselves how their images are reproduced by the various printing processes.

For a full listing of Print Sizes and Surfaces available at, please go to

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