The Art & Science of Printing Media

Because we are using the most stable inkjet pigments available today for your work, we also have gone out of the way to find and specialize in using the absolute best media available for these inks, even if it costs us more.

For most of our work we use the top premium papers available by the French company Canson. Canson has been making great art papers since the Renaissance, and still makes some of the best drawing and intaglio papers available today, and that tradition is carried into their media with inkjet receptor coatings used for digital inkjet imaging. The three media used here the most are Canson Rag Photographique, Canson Edition Etching, and the fiber semi-gloss media Canson Platine.

There are quite a few good European, Asian, and American inkjet papers made today, such as Hahnemuhle and Harmon, but in the case of Canson they have gone the extra step of using pure pigments as whiteners of their premium media, instead of dye optical brightening agents. As a result they have by far the greatest longevity of not only any other inkjet media, but far greater than all the analogue media for gelatin silver prints and analogue color prints as well (See permanence page). In short, dye optical brighenting agents can burn out fairly quickly when exposed to light, and leave the highlights of the print an ugly grayish hue. In additon to the pigment whiteners, another significant benefit to the Canson fine papers is their coating, which is much more durable and flake resistant than any of the others, which can make a big difference when a lot of ink is laid down. They also have visibly better sharpness, greater maximum black, and a better color intensity than comparable brands.

For canvas work the Breathing Color Lyve media we use also uses pigment whiteners and is the only other media company besides Canson that offer this.

The other fine media we use are Hahnemuhle William Turner, which is a natural white, 100% cotton, mould made, beautifully textured great paper that has been made for centuries, and also the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl media, that like Canson Platine resembles the surface of an air dried gelatin silver paper. Fine Art Pearl and Photorag Pearl media have slightly more surface texture than Platine, but the texture is very smooth and natural in appearance. Although it does contain a slight amount of brightening agents, Hahnemule F.A. Pearl does a good job of keeping them to a minimum in this product. The fade tests are good for this media as the whiteners are added in very minimal amounts to the paper base, not added later in the receptor coating process. It is a great paper to use for limited edition portfolios where the prints are to be handled fairly regularly. It also has a great color gamut and black point. We also use Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta for a fiber paper with a semi-gloss surface and it has a natural print color with no brighteners added. It is especially effective with warmer hued prints, both color and monochrome. All of our semi-gloss papers are post coated with the Hahnemuhle Protective coating to double their life in most cases. This coating also protects against scuffing, scratching, fingerprints, and shields against uv light and pollutants like ozone in the environment that are as toxic to inkjet prints as daylight. There is no charge for this added protection.

If the premium papers are out of your price range, we offer a couple of high quality but less expensive papers. See "Photo Paper" for details.