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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Considering my Art Prints

So, I'm considering changing the paper my art prints come on. Currently I use Hahnemuhle brand paper, it's really top of the range "watercolour" feel matt paper. But honestly, it's a massive pain in the rear. It doesn't co-operate with my printers, doesn't feed into the printers on it's own, I have to stand there with the printers to feed the sheets in. It catches and splodges easily, and after all that, there is just so much waste. I hate waste. Waste also makes things very expensive to produce, and the paper isn't cheap to start with anyway.
Yes, the prints come out really beautifully, and being a matt paper, they are very true to the original artworks look. But they are also very delicate, easily scratched.
I'm considering switching back to the paper I used previously. It was good stuff. A high quality "silk", semi-gloss surface. Not super glossy slick, just a slight sheen to it at the right angle. It was also really tough stuff... you could run your prints under a tap and they wouldn't be worse for wear (seriously, I did this). They also printed through my printer with near no faults or wastage, and I could stack the sheets in and leave my printer to it's work without babysitting all day and night.

Many, many benefits there. Also, if I switch back, I could maybe even offer a slightly reduced price for my prints. It's all very tempting, except for that ONE problem... the surface type. I simply love the slightly textured matt look of the Hanhemuhle... but everything else about it is wrong. And yes, I have extensively tested and tried many other brands and styles of matt and textured papers, and they pretty much all have the same issues as the Hanhemuhle for me.

I'd love some feedback from other artists or print collectors on this. Does the surface type (semigloss VS matt) matter to you? And does it matter more than the toughness of the print (and thus it's longjevity and flawlessness)?

My other option, which I could fairly easily acheive, is simply offer a few paper options for the prints. I did already do this at one stage. But part of me cringes just knowing when people order the Hanhemuhle, I'm going to have headaches...

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