Fine Art Paper – how do I choose?

“Which fine art paper would you like” can be much more of a daunting question than some may realise! With so many options available, which do you select? Smooth surface? Oh, what about textured though? So many options to consider – and you thought the hard bit was over when you took your incredible photograph or created your amazing piece of artwork!

But what is fine art paper? How is it different to just standard copier paper? Well, it is normally made with cotton (although it’s composition can vary of natural fibres), it’s acid free (guaranteeing longevity, which is vital to your print).  It’s not artificially bleached and the surface of these papers are specifically designed for receiving high quality inks and pigments. Additionally, most of these fine art papers are much heavier than your standard printing papers, with weights up to 500gsm+!

Art Reproduction
Museum Etching - The Artists Print Room
©Hahnemühle Museum Etching

First things first though, when selecting a paper for your print: You need to consider your original artwork (photographic pieces can be slightly different!) Many fine art papers are designed to replicate the papers you would have created your original on, whether that be a watercolour piece or sketch or pastel etc. Ideally, select a paper closest or most similar to what you have already used to produce the artwork on. For example the Hahnemühle Museum Etching paper has an incredible rough texture similar to a watercolour paper. It is a heavy 350gsm, natural white paper making it ideal for reproductions of landscape pieces.

Photographic Printing

For photographic pieces, you really must consider the colours in the image and the finish you would like. With regards to ‘glossy’ fine art papers, don’t get scared that they will have a similar finish to the holiday prints you used to get from Boots! The glossy finish on these papers are much more subtle and beautiful. For example the Fine Art Pearl from Hahnemühle  is a 285gsm a-cellulose fine art paper with a bright white base. This paper produces stunning prints with impressive contrasts for, both colour and black and white photography. Your image will be finished with a stunning sheen. A reliable fine art paper to go to for fine art photographers.

The main thing to remember when selecting your paper for your prints, is that it is your own personal choice – there is no right or wrong answer! We are here to help make that decision slightly easier for you though! Book a free introductory meeting with us, we can show you examples of our work as well as the fine art paper options we have available. In the meantime, take a look at our giclée papers and canvases page to read about all the papers we have on offer.

What is Giclée?

What is Giclée Printing and what is behind the process?

Let’s start from the beginning… Well possibly one of the best places to start is the Oxford English dictionary which gives the following definition:

“Giclée is a digital printing process in which an inkjet printer is used to produce a high-quality art print”

Another good place to start, is how do you actually pronounce it? Well, Giclée derives from the French word, ‘squirt’. However, if your French isn’t too good, you pronounce it, ‘Zeeh-clay’. The term was coined by Print Maker Jack Duganne in the early 1990’s making it still a relatively new process. Traditionally the term encapsulated the process of digital artwork reproductions and photography printing, however, as trends and technology have evolved it can now additionally include entirely digital artworks.

Simply put, the Giclée printing process involves an inkjet printer ‘squirting’ microscopic dots of pigment ink onto archival quality paper or canvas. It can be argued that Giclée printing is the highest quality of art reproduction available. 

The Giclée print process requires four aspects; resolution, inks, archival quality paper/canvas and the printer.


Images you see on computer screens are usually at 72ppi (pixels per inch), however, for a Giclée quality print, an image must be at a minimum of 300ppi when an image is being viewed at 60cm or less distance. With a minimum of 300ppi, you are guaranteed the best quality print and ensuring your final image doesn’t appear to be ‘pixelated’.


Here at The Artists Print Room, we only use genuine Epson UltraChrome HDX pigment inks. These particular inks have high density levels of pigment giving you the most accurate of colour reproductions. In addition to this, the genuine Epson inks guarantee longevity when combined with the other aspects involved in the Giclée printing process.

Paper and Canvas

A vital part of the process which can also seem very daunting! With so many options to select from, the most important factor here is the archival qualities of the substrate. A fine art quality paper or canvas needs to be acid free and certified to last for at least 75-100 years. We stock the widest range of Hahnemühle Fine Art papers in the UK and you can find out more about our papers and canvases here.


A Giclée printer is very different when compared to a standard desktop inkjet printer. Typically to produce a Giclée print the printer requires at least eight different inks. Our Epson SC-P9000 printer provides the most superior quality images and can produce prints up to 44″ wide!

To find out more about our printing services please visit our Giclée Printing page.  


Our New 44” Epson Fine Art Giclée Printer

New 44” Epson Printer

Have you heard?

William's off to ChinaAt The Artist’s Print Room we’ve just bought a brand new 44” Epson SureColor Printer, this means you’ll be able to order even larger Giclee prints from now on. You’ll still get a quality archival Giclee print, but now you have a wider range of sizes to choose from. We know you love the quality and depth of colour and deeper blacks we create for you and felt to meet your needs further we needed to offer you a greater choice of sizes, making your Giclee prints stand out.

There is a table price list, with samples of sizes and our competitive Giclee print prices.

You know we love to chat so if you have any questions about Giclee print sizes or any of our services please give us a call on 01746 325 911

We’ve been listening to you and have made quite a few changes to our services to suit your needs, whilst continually providing you with a high level of customer service.

Don’t forget all our paper and canvas substrates are top branded heavy weight quality, you can order a sample pack.

csm_DFA-Sample-FineArtPearl_01_8379da2a3cWe are also NOW offering Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl 285gsm, beautiful photo paper for high definition shadow detail in both colours and black ‘n’ whites with a pearl finish.

What else have we done?

At The Artist’s Print Room we pride ourselves on the stunning images we capture when photographing your artwork, we believe the quality of these images beats scanning. We produce large files that capture every small detail patiently painted by you, bringing all the colours of your artwork to life. Not only do we photograph your paintings, but love creating images of your 3D artworks regardless of the location challenges this can bring.

Therefore after many requests we have opened up a special Artwork Photography rate for all your paintings that are under A4 (max), so

A4 max artwork + 15mins colour correction + print proof for £35.00