See the difference with professional art printing
A professional art print is made using the very best high definition equipment and finest materials, all overseen by master printers. When you order a professional print, you can instantly see the difference.
Type of printing paper
The preferred choice of illustrators, fine artists, painters, graphic designers and most other visual artists. Also, regularly used by photographers because of the paper textures and art & craft feel.
Type of printing paper
Used mainly by photographers, although occasionally by other visual artists looking for a unique effect. The papers are coated and the prints have a very rounded and photographic feel textures and art & craft feel.
CMYK colour model
2880 x 1440 DPI
Higher dot per square inch
A Giclée print is a high quality archival inkjet print. The word Giclée (pronounced ‘Jee-Klay’ with a soft J), comes from the French verb gicler meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray".
We use the latest use best-in-class Epson UltraChrome K3 printers, capable of producing print resolutions up to 1440 by 2880 DPI.
Here at theprintspace we have hand-picked 7 of the best-in-class archival art papers from the world’s top producers, including Hahnemühle, Harman and Canson. Each paper has different textures and colour tones, so making the right choice for your images is very important. To help you select the perfect paper for your image, this article looks at the unique features of each of our 7 professional Giclée papers. NEED HELP?
Giclée Technical Information
Giclée printing advice
1. Why choose Giclée over standard Inkjet printing?
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Giclée printing process. Most importantly, we tell you what sets Giclée prints apart from the type of prints you can produce on your home printer. Not all Giclées are created equal, so make sure you’re getting the best with our list of the three most important things to look out for in a high quality Giclée print.
A Giclée print is a high quality archival inkjet print. The word Giclée (pronounced ‘Jee-Klay’ with a soft J), comes from the French verb gicler meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray". So, what’s the difference between an inkjet print you produce at home and a professional Giclée print? There are three important distinctions:
Giclée printers have a higher dot per square inch resolution than normal inkjet printers, allowing you to do justice to high quality image files to produce finer, less pixelated prints than you could with a home inkjet printer. Here at theprintspace we use the latest use best-in-class Epson UltraChrome K3 printers, capable of producing print resolutions up to 1440 by 2880 DPI.
Like your home inkjet printer, professional Giclée printers use the CMYK color process, except that they feature a multiple ink cartridge, 8 channel printhead based on the CcMmYK color model, adding light magenta, light cyan and 3 levels of black. In combination with theprintspace’s in-house colour profiles (which you can download here), our true Giclée prints deliver unrivalled colour accuracy with superior black & whites, exceptional colour gamut and sublimely smooth gradient transitions.
Giclée printers use a higher quality of fade-resistant, archival, pigment-based inks. When applied to high quality archival substrates, like, for example, the Hahnemühle cotton-based, acid free Rag papers we use at theprintspace, this results in an unbeatable archival lifespan of up to 200 years.
2. Why choose Giclée over C-type printing?
We’re often asked, “what’s better – Giclée or C-type?”. The answer is that each have their own unique strengths, as do each of the papers for each print type, so the choice would depend on the image you’re printing and the effect you want to achieve. For more information on why you might choose C-type over Giclée, see our C-type printing page. This article covers the 3 main advantages of Giclée prints for certain applications.
Unlike C-types, which are continuous tone, chemical process prints, where colours are produced by a chemical reaction, the colours on Giclées inkjet prints are produced by applying pure pigment inks directly to the paper. As a result, you can achieve a wider range of colours (known as the gamut) with an inkjet process, especially the purer colours at the extreme end of the spectrum.
So, if you have an image with bright punchy colours, and having those colours really stand out is an important part of the effect you’re trying to achieve, then you might want to choose Giclée over C-type. On the other hand, C-ypes handle images with gradual tonal changes better (like human skin tones, for example), so the choice of print type really depends on your image.
True black & white
Professional Giclées use 3 different tones of black and grey ink cartridge. Because these inks can be applied to the paper in pure form (without any colour noise from the other colour cartridges), files prepared in Adobe RGB Grayscale can produce exceptionally clean, colour-cast-free black & white Giclée prints. To find out more about how to get the perfect black & white print, check out our comprehensive Black & White Printing Guide.
Wide choice of print papers
The second reason you might choose Giclée over C-type is the wider choice of paper types. We’ve hand-picked 7 best-in-class printing papers, from photographic substrates to heavy cotton based textured papers, popular with illustrators due to the artily effect of the finished print. See the next article for a guide on how to choose the right paper for your image.
CMYK color model
425 PPI (relative 1500 DPI)
So, what are C-type prints?
It’s basically the darkroom in the Digital Age – true photographic prints made using chromogenic materials and processes but with the light source coming from a digital file, rather than directly from a negative. Light sensitive silver halide paper is exposed using an LED or laser light source and put through a conventional chemical developing process.
We use Chroma ProLab and RA4 machines, allowing ultra-fine imaging and optimal colour reproduction across the spectrum.
Here at theprintspace, we have a choice of 4 different C-type printing papers: 3 Fuji Crystal Archive papers, Matt, Gloss, Flex and Kodak Endura Metallic. Each paper has its own unique characteristics which how your image will look in print, so it’s very important to make the right choice for your particular image.
C-Type Technical Information
C-type printing advice
1. Why choose professional C-type over standard high-street prints?
This article tells you everything about the professional C-type printing process. In particular, it looks at the differences between pro-lab C-types and the sort of prints you can get from a high-street lab. Not all C-types are created equal, so make sure you’re getting the best with our list of the four most important features of a professional C-type photographic print.
So, what are C-type prints? It’s basically the darkroom in the Digital Age – true photographic prints made using chromogenic materials and processes but with the light source coming from a digital file, rather than directly from a negative. Light sensitive silver halide paper is exposed using an LED or laser light source and put through a conventional chemical developing process. There are four main differences between a pro-lab C-type versus a high-street grade print:
Print resolution and colour range
There are hundreds of C-type printing machines out there, each with varying output qualities and imaging accuracy. Here at theprintspace we use Chromira ProLab and RA4 machines with state-of-the-art patented light emitting diode technology, allowing ultra-fine imaging resolution and optimal colour reproduction across the spectrum. In combination with the pro-grade archival papers we use, our Chromiras allow us to create brilliant, flawless photographic prints to the highest standards achievable with today’s technology.
Paper type plays an important role in the archival quality of the final print. Cheaper papers produce prints with a lower archival lifespan. Here at theprintspace we’ve hand-picked the 4 best-in-class professional archival photographic papers to ensure the maximum achievable archival lifespan for your print. See the next article for more information on choosing the right C-type photographic print for your particular image.
Perfect colour accuracy
Most high-street labs apply preset colour corrections to all the prints they produce to create the more saturated effect preferred by many amateur photographers. Here at theprintspace, we give full control to you, the photographer, allowing you to realise your artistic vision, free of interference. Our print profiles are created by our own in-house colour scientist (available for download here), allowing you to soft proof your images in Photoshop before you print. In combination with our peerless colour management processes, including daily calibration of all of our machines, this ensures that what you see on your screen is always guaranteed to be faithfully reproduced in your final print.
Large format printing
Another benefit of pro-lab C-types is print size. Our Chromira machines are capable of printing up to 50 inches (127 cm) on paper rolls up to 50 meters, so truly enormous, high impact photographic prints are achievable.
2. Why choose C-type prints over Giclée?
The choice of print you opt for is dictated by your image and the effect you wish to achieve with the final print. For more information for why you might choose Giclée versus C-type, see our Giclée printing page. In this article we focus on the strengths of the C-type printing process.
Real photographic prints
Unlike Giclée prints, which are essentially high quality inkjet prints, C-types are produced by a chemical process on light sensitive archival photographic papers. So in this sense, a C-type is what you might call a true photographic print, producing a rich traditional feel in the final print. For this reason, whereas Giclées are more popular with our illustration clients, C-types are often the go-to choice for photographers.
C-type printing is a continuous tone process where colours are rendered at the molecular level during the chemical process (as opposed to Giclée where ink is applied in dots by the inkjet nozzles). This means C-types are capable of reproducing a much more refined tonal range (up to 16 million colours per square inch, compared to Giclée’s 256 colours per square inch). As a result, C-type prints are superior to Giclée prints at handling subtle total changes, such as skin tones. This is also especially noticeable in darker tones where you can achieve superior definition with a C-type print.
Framing and mounting flexibility
C-type papers are better suited to mounting applications. If you’re planning to mount your print with Acrylic Reverse for example, you’ll need to use Fuji Crystal Archive Matt or Gloss. For more information, visit our mounting page.
How do I get started with professional fine art & photo printing at theprintspace?
Samples & test prints
To really appreciate the feel and quality of each our professional papers, and help you choose the perfect option for your image, you can order a print sample pack online containing all of the 7 Giclée and 4 C-type papers we use at theprintspace. We also offer very reasonably priced test strips either online or in-house so you can see your image on your chosen paper before you commit to producing your final print.
You can also call us or visit our Shoreditch Studios for personal one-on-one advice. Under the guidance of our own in-house colour scientist, our highly trained and knowledgeable production team, all of whom are photography or art graduates, are here to assist you every step of the way. We’re open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday to Friday.
Preparing your files for print
For beginners, you can prepare your files for print using the default colour profile Adobe RGB 1998. Our machines are calibrated daily with our own in-house colour profiles, so you’ll still get excellent results with the default profile. You’ll need to save your files off at 300 dpi at the desired print size (with any borders added).
For the colour connoisseurs amongst you (we love you guys at theprintspace), download our colour profiles and load them into Photoshop to soft-proof your images on each of our 11 different paper types. We even offer a free screen calibration service, so just bring your screen down to theprintspace and we can geek out together!
Our print studio also has 4 private retouching booths, featuring the latest, fully loaded Mac Pros with Photoshop and Capture One Pro and calibrated Eizo monitors. Please call to book to avoid disappointment.
More printing tips
We also have a detailed printing help and advice section, that goes into much more detail on everything from how to soft proof your images in Photoshop to how to set up the professional digital dark room, and also simple step-by-step guides on all our services, including how to order prints online and how to use our new e-commerce software for selling art online.
Our customer's printing choices
I took the production of my digital prints to Printspace a few years ago after looking around as I was impressed by their speedy production, super high quality prints and friendly service. I print all of my digital editions on Canson Aquarelle Rag because it has a beautiful texture and a lovely weighty feel, and the black and colour inks come out intense, vibrant and clear to an extremely fine degree.
I find theprintspace good, very good. It makes my life extremely easy. The simplicity of its service, with its easy online ordering system, thehub. You only need to upload your files once and then you can reorder your prints anytime and have them ready the following day. This means that selling limited editions prints is done quickly, effortlessly and with great quality. Coming from Australia to a big city like London theprintspace makes my life less complicated and I am able to focus more on the other stuff. One of the benefits of tps is using their paper profiles available online, this way I know the print is going to exactly match the image on my screen. The prints are always spot on.
If you're a serious photographer, having your work printed is crucial to the photographic process. Looking at an image on a computer screen just doesn’t come close to the look, feel and even the smell of a printed image. Thankfully, I discovered theprintspace who now take care of all my photographic printing needs. Theprintspace staff are friendly, knowledgeable, efficient but most importantly they are photographers who care about other photographers and that is why I keep coming back. For me it’s no-brainer, I value my work and I wouldn’t trust it in the hands of anyone else!
11 A4 Prints
We only print on the finest papers, with top brands names such as Hahnemühle, Kodak & Fuji Film Professional. A sample pack is the best way to see how they look and feel. Only £5 plus VAT!
Order now and get prints dispatched in 48 hours, or collect same day in our London Print Studio if you order before 3 pm.