Best options for digital art prints?
April 14, 2008 9:01 AM   Subscribe

What are the best options (paper types, inks, etc.) for making prints of digital art?

I'm a fledgling in the digital art world (with no formal training) and would like to get a few prints of some of my pieces made (just for experience/personal use at the moment). I have no experience in this area so I am bringing it to the hive mind to help me understand the various printing options and what I should be looking for when getting a print made.

For some background, the pieces I am interested in printing are in vector graphic format (.svg files made in Inkscape), and I am looking for color prints that are 8x10 (or 8.5x11 with excess white boarder) in size. And while these are just for personal use, I'd like something on par with a print that could be sold.

I've seen terms before like "acid-free ink", "archival paper", and "70# text" used by digital artists, but that's the extent of my knowledge in this area. So any help regarding types of paper, paper weights, inks, etc. would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!
posted by mehum to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Most of the paper in any standard print shop will be acid free. Now what I'd suggest is going in and asking to see samples. I work at a kinko's part time and I'd imagine the color machines we have there would do what you want. The weight of the paper won't have much influence on the quality of your print, it's just a preference as to if you prefer a cardstock type paper. A 70# paper is probably just about right, not a cardstock but has some stiffness to it. As for getting something that is on par with a print that could be sold, I'd imagine your looking at quite a bit more money and I'd think you would need to find a more specialized printer.
posted by huxley at 9:35 AM on April 14, 2008

Printing on an inkjet from digital files is called Giclee.

If you're just starting off you're as well trying it yourself at home on a regular inkjet. You'll be amazed at the quality you can get at home and if you're not producing large editions it's a lot cheaper than professional printing. Also it'll give you a chance to tweak colour profiles and reconcile the differences you'll see between print and screen.

RE paper: Any decent print shop will be able to show you samples on different stock. They should have a few sample packs of paper available too. I have a Hahnemuhle A5 sample pack here and it has a pretty decent range of weights and textures, it might be a good place to start.
posted by rog at 11:11 AM on April 14, 2008

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