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Everything Begins

Best Types of Art Prints

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Amy There have been 0 comments

When looking to buy art for the home, many people ask what are the best type of art prints to purchase? Why does the price differ so much? There are many printmaking processes artist use to create artworks and also materials of varying quality.

Here we set out to demystify the types of art prints available to you and how to ensure you are buying the best quality prints that will stand the test of time.


Archival prints are museum-quality, fine art reproductions. The artworks are printed using the finest archival inks and papers, meaning that they will last for more than 100-200 years without fading or any noticeable change to the colour and integrity of the print.  Choose Archival prints to guarantee the longevity of your chosen artwork, meaning the pieces that can be handed down from generation to generation.


The two processes used to make Giclee or Inkjet prints are different from one another. Giclee processes are far superior in quality to those used to create inkjets and result in not only a higher quality piece but an artwork that is more durable, lasting up to hundreds of years.

  • Giclee Prints use Archival Paper and Inks
  • The Application of inks is more accurate than inkjets
  • Giclee inks have superior colour accuracy due to the ink quality and concise application.
  • When viewing a Giclee print versus an Inkjet print the difference is highly visible – you will notice the vibrancy and vividness of colour, sharpness and overall visual appeal immediately.


A screenprint (also known as a silkscreen print) refers to a variety of stencil printing, in which the artist uses a screen made from fabric, usually silk or synthetic, which is stretched tightly over a frame.

To create the artwork, the artist creates a series of stencils to block out the non printing areas. Ink or paint is then forced onto the paper, through the open fabric with a squeegee (rubber blade). The artist will continue, layer upon layer until the piece is complete.

Due to the manual printing process used, the result is a unique visual piece, with no two screen prints of the same artwork ever being the same.


It is really important to pay attention to the type of paper when investing in art. The type of paper used will not only have a significant impact on the immediate quality of your artwork, but also it’s longevity.

Generally speaking, there are three types of paper used in printmaking processes:

  1. Acid–free
  2. Acid–neutral
  3. No idea what’s in them and it’s not disclosed!

Acid Free papers, also known as Archival Paper. These papers are the absolute best and are made for longevity. The absence of acid means that they will not brown or decompose over the years.

Good acid-free papers are identified as and certified as Archival. Some are made of 100% cotton rag, however it is also possible to find archival papers which are not 100% cotton. When purchasing art online always check the product description to ensure the art print uses certified Archival Paper.

Acid Neutral Papers. These papers are more economical to make than acid free, archival papers. Rather than being produced without acid, the manufacturer neutralises the acids by infusing the paper with a chemical. As these papers are not archival papers they can’t be used for fine art or museums and generally are not used for prints of a collectable nature.

The “it doesn't say” Papers. If you are looking at artworks on a website and it doesn’t state anything about the paper, then it is likely they are chock a block full of acid. Anybody who knows there stuff and is serious about buying and collecting art, is not going to buy anything other than artworks printed on Archival/Acid Free paper. Any artist or online gallery is going to want to make sure you know of the quality, not least so you understand the pricing – as such if it is not stated to be archival paper, be very wary of what you are buying.


The type of ink used in the printing process is as equally as important as the type of paper the artwork is printed on.

Manufacturers of printers have literally spent millions researching and developing the inks for their printers, and not just to widen the range of colours achievable, but perhaps more importantly to provide maximum longevity of the finished artworks. Serious print makers worth their salt are today using only pigment based, archival inks.  These inks will not fade or discolour with no visible change to the colour and vibrancy for quite literally 100 - 200 years.



This post was posted in Artwork for Sale, Limited Edition Prints, Wall Art and was tagged with Archival Ink, Archival Prints, Best Type of Art Prints, Fine Art Prints, Giclee Prints, Limited Edition Prints, Museum Quality Prints, Screenprint, Types of Art