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6 Top Tips for Printing Photos as Giclée Prints

old pier photo printed as a giclée print

Printing photos as giclée prints is really about turning your images into something special. It is only when you print your image that you truly get to appreciate what you captured when you first clicked the camera. No longer a backlit image on a screen, but an stunning image revealing all its details, lights and shadows with a 3D feel.

We have created our six top tips for turning your photos into giclée prints, to give you an easier understanding of what you need to think about and how to get the most from giclée printing. We have tried to keep it simple and concise, but if you have any questions please feel free to Get in touch we’re happy to help.

Getting Started with Printing Photos as Giclée Prints

nigella flower in frost photo printed as giclée print1. Digital Image File. You will need a good spec digital image file to begin with. Any flaws within the image will only be magnified in the print. So make sure you have finished all the editing you need and there are no tiny marks in the image. Again tiny marks will stand out on a photo print, especially against a dark background. Basically your image file needs to be a ‘Print Ready file’, this means all editing has been done, the image is cropped to the print size you want and it meets the technical specifications of: 300-360ppi at the exact print size and saved as a 8bit or 16bit .tiff with embedded RGB colourspace. JPEGs are acceptable too, just don’t compress the file. We offer image editing services if you require them.

Screen Brightness

Remember to check the brightness of your screen before editing your image. Too bright and your final print will be dark and too dark and your final giclée print will look too colourful and bright.

2. Print Proof – Test Prints. If you are unsure how bright your giclée print will be or can’t decide between two or three fine art papers, then it may be worth ordering Print Proofs. Print proofs are a small print of an area of your image. This may be financially beneficial to you, if you are ordering a large photo giclée print. Nothing worse than finding out you had your screen too bright or made other mistakes in your file, to end up with a large print of your file, that’s too dark.
Also with print proofs you can try several papers, to see which best suits your image.



3. Choosing Print Size. If you crop an image quite small, it might not work as a large panoramic print. If you are unsure what size you can print your image, then you can use our Digital Image File inspection service. We’ll advise you on what size can be achieved. Also remember the more cropping you do to an image, the smaller your file will become. Any blurring or out of focus areas, will stand out more in the final print, due to the closer you crop in and the larger you print.
Consider how large your print will be when it has a frame and mount. Large prints will suit certain countries and will also have an impact in an exhibition, but they might be too large for your average home.

Don’t forget that we are a bespoke fine art printers, so we can print up to 1117mm wide and 2400mm length. We use fine art paper rolls for fine art photography printing. We discuss choosing a print size in more detail here.

More Top Tips for Printing Images as Giclée Prints
abstract underwater photo of coloured rope printed as a giclée print

Photo giclée print on Hahnemuuhle PhotoRag Bright White

4. Borderless or choosing a Border. Borderless prints can be a great option for more glossy photo papers. If you choose a matte paper, then your print will be more susceptible to fingerprint marks. Choosing a border with a matte photo paper, gives you an area to hold your giclée print, without touching the printed area. We always advise photographers, not to touch the printed area. Also you may decide to have a deeper bottom border, this works well when you are signing prints or want to emboss you print as well. You can learn more about borders here.

5. Should you have Limited Edition or Open Edition. When printing photos as giclée prints, you have to decide what type of edition photo print you want. Limited Edition means you can only print the number of prints you specified on the Certificate of Authenticity, on the giclée paper you specified. This is great if you want to create an exclusivity to your photography prints for your customers. You might choose open edition if you would rather have more freedom with your image. Especially if it is an image you want to use on merchandise. See our Blog about limited and open edition prints to learn more.

6. Fine art Photography Papers or Canvas. Different papers can suit different photo images. It will all depend on the look you want to create. Papers with a satin finish such as Hahnemühle Fineart Pearl can add a lovely sheen to black and white photos and monochrome images. Many photographers are now moving towards matte fine art papers, for a more art aesthetic to their work, such as Canson Rag Photographique.

The benefit of choosing a canvas is you can choose a canvas wrap, which means it is ready to hang. Don’t forget you can try different papers, with our Print Proof service, to see which you prefer. Also when you place your photo print order online we can print, package and ship it direct to your customer. Using our drop shipping service, Get in touch to find out more.

Fine Art Papers and Canvases

At The Artists Print Room we have 19 papers and canvases for you to choose from. They are quality branded fine art papers from the World’s leading paper mills such as, Canson Infinity, Hahnemühle and St. Cuthbert’s Mill. Our papers have a whiteness that varies from bright white through to a creamy off-white, textures from smooth to rough and papers with a matte finish through to a high satin gloss. You can learn more about our papers here.

We also offer a sample book of our fine art papers and canvases with information on multiple calibrated targets, including colour checker passport. We offer a large range as part of our bespoke service. Our aim is to encourage you in your creative process, rather than limit your options.

giclée photo print of wavesFinally… Printing photos as Giclée Prints

We hope you find the above tips helpful in guiding you through giclée printing. Please be aware that fine art giclée printing involves micro dots of pigmented ink, printing with a range of 8 to 12 colours, applied to an archival fine art paper or canvas that has a coated membrane lying on it. Therefore your fine art giclée print is a quality archival photo print, that should last and be enjoyed for generations.

So when you choose to giclée print your photos remember to make sure your image is print ready. Then decide if you want print proofs. Next choose a print size, border sizes, edition type and fine art paper you would like. Then you can finally choose a print finish, such as choosing a deckled edge or varnishing your print. Maybe you want your photo print dry mounted on Mountboard, Foamcore or MDF board.

Our Giclée printing online ordering guides you through each stage of your choices, but if you have any questions then please feel free to Get in touch.




Did you know that we are the only fine art printing company in the UK which has been accredited by Canson Infinity, Hahnemühle Fine Art, Epson DigigraphieILFORD and the Fine Art Trade Guild? Also, why not sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with news, products and future competitions at The Artists Print Room – just complete the form below.

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