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Download our custom made ICC papers to prepare your images for printing.
What is a Giclée print?
Giclée is a French word, meaning “a spray of liquid” and a glicée print is the term used to describe the printing process.
Essentially giclée printing is inkjet printing. Printing with archival pigment inks onto a substrate, paper, canvas etc.
The pigment inks and substrates have improved enormously and now the longevity of giclée prints is superb. The paper coatings, inks and accuracy of the dot placement provides museum grade print quality. The high degree of consistency also means prints will be accurate each time they are printed, so the high cost of reproducing a complete edition of prints in one go can be avoided.
We have noticed artists reproducing prints tend to refer to theirs as giclée and photographers more commonly refer to them as fine art prints. They are the same thing.
How long will my prints last?
Under normal lighting conditions, our archival pigment inks last at least 80 years or more. We offer a variety of archival papers which are acid free and approved by The Fine Art Trade Guild, which maximise archivability.
What is Soft Proofing?
Image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom have the ability to simulate on screen, how an image will be when printed. By installing the custom ICC profiles we have created for our papers and printers, you can assess on screen whether any adjustment is required before sending us your files. Don’t worry if you’re not able to do this, just let us know when you are ordering and we can make any necessary tweaks to ensure the images print well.
What is Hard Proofing?
A hard proof is a physical print, normally a small section of a large print, printed at actual size, to evaluate. We suggest requesting a sample if you are ordering a very large print, a high quantity or uncertain of a new paper choice.
What is an ICC profile?
An ICC Profile is essentially an “ID” or “colour map” of a device (monitors and papers). You can think of them as Display profiles and Output profiles.
The ICC Profile contains information on the gamut (amount of colour) that your display, or in the case of output, paper/ink, can correctly display/print.
Once a custom ICC profile is created for your screen, the operating system uses that in favour of the generic one and you are then viewing the most amount of accurate colour for your specific device.
When printing you specify the output ICC paper profile for the media you are printing on.
We offer downloadable ICC profiles for our papers for the most popular photo printers, as well as a custom ICC profiling service when you order our papers.
This custom print ICC profiles account for the inks in your printer and the specific colour and brightness of each paper base you are printing on.
Essentially with a calibrated display as well as an output profile you are able to preview and adjust your images to ensure the colours you see on screen are accurate and can be printed faithfully. The profile understands how the output device, screen or printer, is interpreting the colour and adjusts them to meet the ICC standard.
You can use soft proofing in Photoshop or Lightroom to preview your images with the output profiles and inspect and adjust any out of gamut colour or reduction of contrast and so on.
It can be very useful to use these profiles to make informed decisions about what paper to choose as well as reduce waste.
How do I install the ICC profiles?
Profile Installation Instructions - PC
- Save the profile to somewhere convenient – My Documents or Desktop.
- Right-click on the saved file (which should show as an RGB triangle).
- Select the top option from the menu – Install Profile.
- Open Photoshop. If already open then close and reopen.
- So where has your profile been put? Navigate to My computer/ local disk C / windows / system32 / spool / drivers / color And there you are, this is where your profiles are.
- To use your profiles correctly go to page 18-20 of your Test Chart Printing Instructions.
- To uninstall your profile either right click on the profile on the desktop and choose UNINSTALL or go to the profile as shown in and delete it. Profile Installation Instructions - Mac
- Drag and drop the profile onto your desktop.
- Navigate to: HD/ Your name/ Library/ ColorSync/ Profiles
- Drag and drop the profile into the profile folder.
- Open Photoshop. If already open then close and reopen. N.B. You cannot rename our profiles.
How should I calibrate my monitor?
Screen calibration devices are fairly inexpensive and enable you to be sure your monitor is displaying the correct colours at the correct brightness. We recommend your target White Luminance to be 110cd/m2 with Gamma L* and White Point D65 unless you have other specific requirements. Actual instructions vary per device, but the above targets are pretty widely regarded as standard for photographers.
Why are my prints lighter or darker than I expected?
Most likely, you monitor is too bright (dark prints) or too dark (light prints). I.e. paper reflects light, rather than transmitting it, like a monitor. When a monitor is very bright, dark images appear far brighter on screen than is possible for even the whitest of papers to reproduce. Vice versa for dark screens, you end up brightening an image to see it on a dark screen and then the print will appear bright.
Modern ultra-bright monitors can be way too bright out of the box - See “How should I calibrate my monitor?”
How do I use your ICC profiles?
With your file open in Photoshop, go to View > Proof Setup > Custom then select the paper profile you would like to soft proof. Tick ‘Black point compensation’. ‘Simulate paper colour’ is very useful for simulating the effect a paper bases luminosity and base colour/whiteness. This is most noticeable on MATT papers and those with warmer bases. It is very useful to observe whether colours become subdued and blacks lose depth.
It’s worth trying several profiles if you are new to this process, to see the different papers characteristics.
This simulation is often over-emphasised on matt papers though, so please have this in mind when you are making adjustments.
Toggle Proof Colours on and off with cmd+Y (on a mac) CRTL+Y (on a PC). or choose View > Proof Colours to see what your image will look like as a print. (Your file’s title will change when viewing proof colours). You will notice when you toggle back and forth from the working space to our profiles that vibrant colours and deep blacks may appear dull, especially on matt papers.
You can now make adjustments to make this differences less noticeable and to optimise the image for printing on the paper chosen. Typically with matt papers extra contrast is required or dark tones deepening. Often saturation benefits nudging up, although this will depend on the image. Some glossy papers require no or very little adjustment.
View>Gamut Warning will set any clipped colour to grey, on screen, so you can easily spot any parts of your image which are over-saturated. This can be rectified In a number of ways depending on the image. Global hue/saturation adjustment, or more localised adjustments, a small tweak to white balance or a curves tweak will often fix small amounts of clipping. N.B. Try proofing stubborn images with alternative paper profiles to see if there is a better candidate without making huge image adjustments.
When you’re satisfied with the file, send it to us with the source profile embedded (usually Adobe 1998). You can assign an RGB profile such as Adobe 1998 or sRGB by Edit>Assign Profile.
It is important you DO NOT embed our paper profile because your image will not print correctly!
After installing your profiles you need to enable them in Lightroom before you can use them.
In the develop module, check the box underneath the main image “Soft Proofing” then in the right hand panel, underneath the histogram click the profile currently selected. This will open a list of installed profiles. Click “other” to bring up another box which lists all the profiles installed. Simply check or uncheck the boxes, until you have enabled our profiles.
Then you can select the profile for the paper you are choosing, tick the box for “Simulate Paper & Ink”
From here the process is more or less the same as photoshop. If you do need to make adjustments to the image, a virtual copy is created with the name of the profile appending the file name, which can be seen at the top of the image (Press I to toggle through the metadata overlay if it’s hidden)
When ready, export the file as per our requirements. (See ordering or further support questions for info)
Why do you varnish canvas prints?
Although the canvas prints are archival directly from the printer, because they are not behind glass the surface is exposed and therefor vulnerable to external damage. The varnish we use allows canvasses to be carefully cleaned and dusted without the ink being rubbed. The varnish also contains a UV inhibitor. Our printer inks are already archival, so it’s a belt-and-braces approach.
How long will my order take?
Generally we aim to print and ship giclée prints within 48 hours. Canvas prints require an extra day to allow for the varnish to cue properly before stretching.
If you are in a hurry for an order or to check our current turnaround time, please call. We will do our best to help you if we can.
In the future we expect to be more streamlined, but we are still currently getting our new premises as we want it.
What Printers do you use?
We use the latest Canon imagePROGRAF printers. The PRO-4000’s and PRO-1000’s. We have found the print quality to be streets ahead of the competitors printers with far sharper results.
I like a paper you don't list, can you use different papers?
Sure, we are happy to look into different papers. If you print smaller images in house and like to have bigger images on the same paper, we understand. Get in touch and we can discuss your requirements. Please allow an extra few days to make a custom ICC profile and obtain the paper stock.