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What is a Print Proof and how does it help Artists and Photographers

print proofs of fish artwork for giclée printing

We’ll explain what a print proof is and what purpose they serve. It is surprising to discover that many artists and photographers are unaware of what a print proof actually is and how useful they can be. We’ll also show you some examples of proofs, so you can have a better idea how beneficial they are to artists and photographers.

What is a print proof ?

A Print proof is also known as a test print. A print proof is an initial print of your artwork or photo, before you decide on the final look of your giclée print. They are usually a cross-section of your digital file printed at 100%. So within the print you’ll be able to see a printed area of your digital image file at the full image size, you want your final giclée print. Also a proof will accurately demonstrate the colours, tones and hues that will be replicated in your final print.

Before any giclée printing can begin you need a print ready file. See ‘What is a print ready file’ for more information.

giclée print proofs of woman's portrait photo

Photo Print Proofs, on the left Canson Infinity Platine Fibre rag and on the right Hahnemühle Photo rag Metallic

Benefits of print proofs

Ordering a print proof can be really helpful to artists and photographers. Firstly you’ll be able to see how your colours look in print. Next you will be able to assess if any further editing needs to be done to your digital image file. For example there may be marks, dust specks or areas that need sharpening. Also you’ll be able to assess if you like the fine art paper you chose for your artwork or photo image. All giclée papers have different white points and colour gamut, so your art or photo will look slightly different depending on the paper you choose. We discuss this in more detail next.

Most importantly though, print proofs help with colour accuracy. What you see on your screen will not be the same as your fine art printer sees. At The Artists Print Room all our technical equipment (including screens and printers) have been calibrated for colour accuracy.

Print proofs can be very useful if you’re considering a large print run. It’s better to have proofs and check you’re happy with the giclée print first, rather than end up with a costly mistake.


Click here to order Print Proofs


print proofs of giclée printsHow print proofs help when choosing a fine art giclée paper for your print

There are a wide range of papers available for giclée prints and not all papers suit all types of art or photos. By ordering a print proof of your image on several fine art paper choices, you’ll be able to assess which paper you actually prefer. Each paper has a different colour gamut (range), D-Max and brightness, texture of paper and paper finish. Then when you see your proof or proofs you’ll be able to assess, which paper suits your work better.

Sometimes the paper or canvas you choose isn’t always the best one to technically suit your art or photo. In the end it comes down to personal preference. You’ve created the work so it’s your choice. That’s where print proofs are extremely helpful. You can order the same image on several different papers. It’s only when you hold the giclée proof in your hand you’ll know what feels right.

You’ll also get to see close up how each paper affects the shadows, the lights, metallics and colours within the art or photo image. You can see in the image to the left, the same artwork on three different papers. The black colour is darkest on the top print and the middle print brings out a metallic quality to the artwork.

At The Artists Print Room we have 19 papers and canvases to choose from, please click here for more information.

canvas print proofs of art painting portrait

Canvas Print Proofs with slight variations on colour hues

Choosing your fine art paper or canvas for Giclée prints

At the Artists Print Room we have the largest range of fine art papers and canvases to choose from for giclée printing. We believe in offering you a great choice of beautiful quality fine art giclée papers, so you can have greater freedom in having a print that truly reflects your art and photo images. Did you know we offer the largest range of Hahnemühle giclée fine art papers in the UK.

To help you choose one of our fine art papers and canvases we have a sample book. Each paper has information and shows its colour gamut (range). There’s also a leaflet included explaining how to get the most from the information provided. By handling the paper samples you’ll also be able to see the thickness and texture of the giclée papers and canvases too.

Click here to order our Samples of Substrates book





Photo giclée print proofs of dog portraits

Photo proofs Custom Size. Notice the bottom print has warmer yellow tones – Printed on Canson Infinity Rag Photographique

Custom Print Proofs

Normally we offer set sizes for print proofs, but you can have larger, custom sized proofs. You can do this by clicking on the link that says (for full sized print proofs click here). Firstly go to print proof online ordering. Alternatively if you want something more specific then please Get in touch we’re always happy to help.

Print proofs for Limited Edition giclée prints

When you decide an image is going to be a limited edition giclée print. You have to declare on your certificate of authenticity what giclée paper your edition will be printed on. It’s wise to try a few print proofs of different fine art digital papers first. This ensures you are not stuck with a paper that you don’t actually like. You can’t change the paper with a limited edition once you start selling the limited edition giclée prints.

Print Proofs saving time, cost and hassle

So overall we hope you have a better understanding of what a print proof is. You should also now understand what the benefits of print proofing can be and how this will help you, when ordering giclée prints. We hope you find this information really useful and also saves you from any costly mistakes. If you want to discuss print proofs further or have any questions 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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