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Home > Digital Focus Articles > Article > Page 1 | 2
Making the Grade
A guide to choosing fine art inkjet papers

by Christopher Simmons, executive editor
Copyright © 2001 Christopher Simmons

At the end of this article:
  • Paper Glossary

  • Sidebar: The Life of Digital
    Image Inks and Papers

  • The following round-up includes many, but not all, popular fine art papers for modern inkjet printers. It does not include many common small sheet paper stocks for desktop inkjets that you might find at your office supply store. Roll sizes are by paper width and the roll length and core size varies. Standard cut sheet sizes include 8.5x11", 11x17", and 17x22" with some larger cut sizes available from select vendors. Since weight and caliper can vary, one of the most common ways to judge relative paper wight is through grams per square meter (gsm; abbreviated as "g" in this article).

    About the paper types: un-coated "fine art" papers can give the rich textures and looks of parchment vellum and canvas, but can lack the color range (gamut) or coated stock due to absorbtion of ink into the stock (less ink is reflected) and slight bleeding of droplets which occurs as ink is absorbed into paper. Uncoated stocks perform best with dye-based inks. Coated stocks give more of a "photo paper" look and feel and usually are brighter and are able to reflect more ink "color" (thus, a wider color gamut). Coatings are designed to "hold" the ink and less is absorbed into the base stock. Pigment inks work better on coated matte and gloss "photo" stocks.

    Permanence of the image is subject to many factors including the paper stock, type of inks used, and how the final output print is displayed or stored. Some stocks print better with 4-color versus 6-color (or higher) inks.

    While the following list of paper stocks is not a complete listing of all available papers worldwide, it does provide a guideline for seeking out the appropriate materials for your needs.


    Arjomani Paper Arches Watercolor Papers

    Made in France, the Arches line is one of the most popular in the world, and the one which many other stocks are compared to. Arches has a warm white color. Archival life of Cold Press with Epson inks is 28-30 years, and over 200 years with HP UV pigment inks (see sidebar).

    Arches Cold Press — A smooth surface paper with 300g weight for sheets to 22x30", and 44" roll; 356g for 25x40" and 46x34" sheets and 51.5" roll; and heavy weight 640g 46x34" sheets.

    Arches Hot Press — Very smooth surface with 185g for sheets to 17x22" and 36" roll; 300g for 44.5" roll; 356g for 46x34" sheet and 51.5" roll.

    Arches Rough — Rougher surface gives a slightly more "canvas like" feel. 300g in 44.5" roll and 356g in 51.5" roll.

    Epson

    PROfessional Graphics Media for Stylus Pro 7000/9000 (dye-based inks) and 7500/9500 (pigment-based inks) printers.

    Double Weight Matte — An 8.3mil, 180g, matte finish paper compatible with both dye and pigment inks. Sizes: 24", 36" and 44" rolls.

    Photo Semi-gloss — Resin coated 7mil paper with thin gloss coating to hold large ink solids. Sizes: 24" and 36"rolls.

    Photo Glossy paper — Thin 6mil paper with medium gloss for either dye or pigment inks. 152g. Sizes: 24", 36" and 44" roll.

    Glossy Photo Paper — Premium 8.6 mil, 215g photo paper for pigment inks only. Sizes: 22" and 44" rolls.

    Epson/Crane Smooth Fine Art — Smooth finish paper for pigment inks, 425g sheets, and 225g rolls. Sizes: cut sheet to 36x44"; 24", 36" and 44" rolls.

    Epson/Crane Texturted Fine Art — Light cold press texture for use with pigment ink, 425g sheets, 225g rolls. Sizes: cut sheets to 36x44"; 24", 36" and 44" rolls.

    Hahnemuhle

    Founded in 1584, this old-world paper company creates modern archival ink jet papers combining heritage richness with modern technologies. HahnemYhle Digital Fine Art Collection papers are manufactured to ISO9706 specifications and are 100% acid free.

    Allegretto — 100% cotton paper is off-white and 160g. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Arkona — Heavy weight 335g paper with woven finish, natural white color. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Bugra — 100% cotton laid finish, 140g, available in four colors: natural white, aquamarine, German antique, and mint. Cut sheets to 11x17".

    Japan — A fibre finish, made in Japan. White, semi-transparent with random fibre patterns simulating classic rice paper. 110 g. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Linen — Classic bright white 100% cotton stock, with canvas-like texture. 150g. Cut sheets to 17x22". Structure — Bright white bumpy paper similar to watercolor paper. Cold press, made in Germany. 150g. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Hawk Mountain Art Papers

    Red Tail 100% Cotton — Acid free, 15mil, 250g matte finish, bright white with ISO of 89. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22"; 36" and 50" roll.

    Kodak

    Kodak Professional Enhanced Imaging (EI) Inkjet Media is compatible with both piezo and thermal technology, and is available in photo paper, translucent film, canvas and vinyl materials. Roll sizes from 36" to 54". Cut sheet sizes vary by media type (i.e., self-adhesive).

    EI Premium Photographic Papers are RC photo-stable and recommended for dye inks and indoor use. Glossy finish in 180g and 270g weights, with Satin and Matte available in 180g weights.

    EI Economy Photographic paper comes in a 160g version with light glossy finish, and 165g version which is cast-coated for piezo ink. Ideal for low-cost graphics, POP displays, and indoor signage.

    EI Clay Coated Print Papers are lightweight, easy-to-fold bond paper ideal for package prototypes and comps. 90g and 140g versions, plus 170g self-adhesive version with no-glare matte surface. Indoor use.

    EI Premium Films are available in 7mil Backlit Film for use with illuminators without built-in diffusion; 5mil Clear Film with transparent medium base for illuminators with diffusion; 7mil White Film has high gloss for frontlit displays; 7mil Economy Photo Film has high gloss and low cost for frontlit displays. All compatible with thermal and piezo inkjets.

    EI Specialty Indoor Media line includes Self-Adhesive Glossy and Matte Vinyl ideal for signs and posters; Dupont Tyvek Base banner stock and supports grommeting and sewing; EI Canvas is a durable material with semi-gloss surface.

    EI Indoor/Outdoor Media line includes Flame Retardant Banner material for indoor/outdoor use and pigment inks; Synethic Day/Night Banner stock made from polypropolene materials.

    Legion Concorde Rag

    Concorde Rag — A high quality 100% cotton acid-free archival paper, with a tested image life of more than 150 years using pigment-based inks. Surface treatment makes inks water-resistant. 180g. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22".

    Luminos

    The Luminos line of archival fine art papers are among the highest rated for longevity by Wilheim Imaging Research. With Luminos Platinum and Lysonic E inks you can expect a 120+ year image life. Some papers not recommended for pignment-based inks, and best results obtained with 4-ink printers. Lumijet Portfolio and Preservation Series are also compatible with Epson 2000P.

    Charcoal R — A true fibre photo base paper, 16 mil. Smooth textured double weight paper. Sizes: cut sheets to 17x22". Lumijet Porfolio Series Ultra Gloss — A resin-coated heavyweight 10mil glossy paper which gives the appearance of comparable RC emulsion photo papers. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22".

    Lumijet Portfolio Series Genuine Pearl — RC heavyweight 10mil paper with a textured finish similar to comparable "pearl" RC emulsion photo papers Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Lumijet Portfolio Series Woven Fibre — 100% cotton base, 15 mil, with double weight fibre feel. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Lumijet Portfolio Series Vintage Vellum — Fibre base, with parchment look, 7 mil. Cut sheet to 17x22".

    Lumijet Portfolio Series Faux Linen — Lightly textured, fibre based, 9 mil. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Lumijet Portfolio Series Glossy Two Sides — Medium weight, 8 mil, fibre base, cast-coated. Cut sheets to 11x17".

    Lumijet Portfolio Series Matte Two Sides — Medium weight, 8 mil, fibre base, matte finish. Cut sheets to 17x22".

    Lumijet Premium Glossy — Using a base paper stock originally developed for IRIS printers, this inkjet fibre 11 mil. paper gives the fell of air-dried photographs. Cut sheets in 8.5x11" and 17x22".

    Lumijet Premium Tapestry X — A trye photo fibre base paper, 16 mil. A rough texture much like semi gloss canvas. Sizes: cut sheets to 17x22".

    Lumijet Preservation Series Gallery Gloss — Fibre base, medium weight, 9 mil, 180g. Instant dry, smooth glossy surface. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22"; 36" roll.

    Lumijet Preservation Series Soft Suede — Medium weight, fibre base, 8 mil, 170g, soft matte, ultra white. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22"; 36" roll.

    Lumijet Preservation Series Flaxen Weave — Heavy weight, 14 mil, matte texture, 210g. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22; 36" and 44" rolls.

    Lumijet Preservation Series Classic Velour — Heavy weight, 19 mil, smooth matte, fibre beast, 310g. Sizes: cut sheet to 17x22"; 36" and 44" roll.

    Lumijet Preservation Series Museum Parchment — Thick 20mil stock, fibre base, 285g, with parchment like look and feel. Sizes:cut sheet to 17x22"; 36" and 44" rolls.


    Continued Next Page >

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    NOTICE: All content on this site is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. By viewing this content, you agree to be bound by our Terms of Use. Reproduction, redistribution, or derivitive works in any form is strictly prohibited. Copyright © 1995-2002 Christopher Simmons — All Rights Reserved.
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