Acid Free - Acid free paper is paper that is free of acid, lignin and and sulphur. Paper which in NOT acid free becomes yellow and brittle with time.

Alpha Cellulose – this is a high grade, archival paper made from wood pulp rather than cotton rag. It is acid and lignin free

Archival - Refers to inks and papers that will last years rather than a few weeks. Inks in small format desktop printers can fade in as little as a few months. Unless the ink and paper vendor guarantees the longevity of their prints even large format prints may fade.

Baryta - A thin layer of barium sulphate introduced in 1884 and used to brighten photographic papers. The layer of barium sulphate allow the emulsion, or now inks to sit on top of the paper and not be absorbed into the fibres giving a brighter image with denser blacks. Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta is stocked by us, prints really well and offers a really nice gloss finish with an old school history.

BAT - “Bon a tirer” or good to pull or print. This is the last stage of the proofing process when the artist can elect to produce one full sized print as the final proof. Traditionally this print remains the property of the printmaking studio.

CMYK Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK, are the traditional offset printer colors used by commercial presses. This color model has a narrower color gamut than the RGB color model which computer monitors use. In order to increase the color gamut for inkjet printing many, but by no means all, digital printer use light color inks to increase the color range of a print. Our Epson printers have a much wider color gamut than offset or high speed digital presses.

C.LC.M.LM.Y.K.LK.LLK Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow, Kblack, LKLightBlack, LLK, LightLightBlack ink colors used in some inkjet printers to acheive a much wider color gamut than offset or digital presses can achieve

Chine-Colé - a special technique in printmaking in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier paper in the printing process. We use this process in digital combination prints where we can print in full color on rice paper which is then bonded to a heavier paper with an etching.

Cold Press Paper - Paper traditionally came in three finishes rough, cold press (textured) and hot press (smooth). Rough was dried by hanging up the paper, cold press by interleaving with blankets. Hot press was cold press paper run through heated rollers to give a smoother finish. We have several cold and hot press papers available for printing.

Color Calibrated -  A computer system where the monitor and printer are calibrated to match each other. Not as easy as it sounds, as we print in an RGB color space most monitors can only display 70% or less of that color space and are calibrated to watch video and not to match prints. You can use a monitor calibration device that helps your monitor match the prints and, even better, buy a monitor that can display 98% of the RGB color space (they cost between 2,200 to 9,000 dhs) and even then nothing is perfect.

Color Space - See FAQ's

Continuous tone - An image which is produced in smooth solid color rather than discrete droplets. A traditional photograph is an example of a continuous tone image. Ink jet prints all show some form of dot although you may need a magnifying lens to see them.

Copyright - Make sure that you copyright your images and especially put your copyright and contact information in the metadata. You can do this automatically in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Digitize - Usually referring to scanning an artwork or photograph. An artwork or photograph is generally made up of a continuous tone image, digitizing the image converts it into a series of tiny dots that can be edited and printed by a computer.

DPI - Dots per inch. This is sometimes used interchangeably with PPI or Pixels per inch.

Dye-based Ink - Some printers use ink where the color is in solution. This is not as strong a concentration of color as the pure pigment and can result in prints that fade in a shorter time. This is not true of all dyes or all pigment based inks.

Duotone - a half-tone illustration made from a single original with two different colors at different screen angles. Mostly used for two or three color printers that use spot colors but you can make very cool Duotone and Tri-one images

Edition - The number of prints that an artist makes of a single image. In traditional printing these are usually printed at the same time. In digital printmaking the process gives the artist the freedom to print an edition over time. The artist can spread the cost over time and only needs to order a print when it has been sold. The term edition still tends to be used for a digital print although strictly speaking they should be considered a series.

For more information about editions for Artists and Fine Art Photographers

EPS files are generally vector-based files although they can also contain bit mapped or raster based files.  Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and CorelDraw! are all vector based programs and can save files in EPS format. Just to be confusing Photoshop can also save in EPS format but is only generally used for DuoTones.Vector files may contain raster based files which will degrade if enlarged.

File Formats - AI, EPS, JPEG, PSD, TIF are acronyms for file formats used by a variety of software programs to create digital art. . JPG files are compressed file and can have compromised image and color fidelity.  PSD Photoshop native file format. TIF raster, or dot-based, file-types are optimal for printing.

Fourdrinier - A type of paper making machine patented in 1806 that could and can make continuous paper rolls.

Giclée print - A term created by one of the earliest IRIS printmakers to describe IRIS prints. In ink jet printing a stream of ink under pressure is focused onto the page. Giclée is a French word for spurting of liquid. At this point the term giclée can mean any kind of ink jet print and does not denote any archival rating. We avoid the term and call our prints "pigment prints".

GSM - Denotes the weight of paper measured in grams per square meter.

Hot Press - see cold press

Inkjet print - Any print produced by a wide range printers from the small printers that many people have for personal use to printers which produce prints of unlimited length and many feet wide. A continuous stream of ink is broken into droplets by electrical vibration of a crystal (piezo-electric crystal technology). A variety of methods are then used to focus the droplets to form the image. Ink jet printers most commonly used by artists are made by Epson although Hewlett Packard and Canon have similar offerings.

IRIS Prints - IRIS printers were the pre-eminent ink jet printer. The printer was originally created for proofing graphic design layouts. The advantage with the printer was that it could print on anything, paper, wood, plastic and fabric. Until recently it was the only printer with a variable droplet size enabling it to produce an almost continuous tone print. Each droplet is less than the size of a human blood corpuscle and the printer produced 4 million droplets of ink per second during printing. An IRIS printer capable of producing a print of 34" x 46" cost well over $100,000 when new. IRIS printers became obsolete when Epson, Canon and HP introduced inexpensive roll fed large format printers.

Laser print - A printer in which powdered carbon based toner is fused to paper using heat.

Lenticular Print - This is the combination of a specially prepared print viewed through a many angled plastic sheet or lenticular screen. The image will then appear to move or look 3-Dimensional. Specialized software is required to produce the printed image.

Lignin Free - see acid free

Metadata - Is information attached to your image that can identify the copyright owner and contact information of the image creator. Some information is automatically saved when the images is taken such as Camera and lens information. Other important information is not automatically embedded and it needs to be added by the copyright holder. (How)

Monitor Calibration – see color calibrated

Momme - The weight in pounds of silk 45" wide x 100 yards long. 1 mm = 4.340 gsm so a 18 mm silk would be about 78 gsm.

Mould-made - Mould made papers simulate handmade paper in a mechanized process. These papers can be mistaken for handmade, but there are distinct differences. The mould is not held by the hand; instead it’s replaced by a slowly rotating cylinder mould, which picks up the paper stock from the vat. The paper is then deposited onto a continuously moving woollen felt.

OBA’s - Optical Brightening Agents, should be mostly avoided as they tend to degrade over a short period of time and the paper will revert to its natural color so the color of the print will change.

Painter - A software program marketed by Corel Corporation that emulates the tools that artists use to create images, trial versions are available

PDF - Portable Document format from Adobe systems. It's a cross platform file that can be viewed and printed on any computer with a FREE Acrobat reader (available from (We can print PDF files).

PhotoTEX - This a sticky backed material which can be applied to pretty much any surface and will remain in place for days or decades and can easily be removed and re-applied without any residue. Perfect for temporary artwork, wallpaper, signs etc. Ask us for a sample.

Photoshop - One of the most widely used software programs for making digital images.

Pigmented Ink - The color is formed by having small pieces of pigment suspended in a liquid. Actual pigment is used so the inks are usually more archival than dye-based inks.

Plotter - printer which uses pens or nozzles to produce lines rather than solid washes of color.

Printers's Proof / PP - Traditionally, the printmaker would pull test prints to check color and image quality before inviting the artist to see the final, hopefully, version of the print. Not so relevant in digital but it offers the opportunity for the artist to gift a print to the printmaker or to make additional prints outside of the edition.

Raster - Computer files that are formed by dots, most files produced by Photoshop are raster based. (see vector)

RC Based - Resin Coated paper similar to traditional photo paper

RGB red, green, blue - the way a file is normally scanned and the color model used in computer monitors.

Scanner - A device that can be used to digitize (convert to dots) negatives, photographs, and drawings. These dot based files can then be changed or edited in the computer. Some artists use the surface of the scanner as their composing space - scanning 3-D objects directly.

Series - A number of prints of the same image printed over time.

Sintra - A lightweight yet rigid board of moderately expanded closed-cell polyvinyl chloride (PVC) extruded. It's an archival mounting board with a hard surface unlike foam board but it's flexible.

Vector - Computer files where the image is formed by mathematically determined lines, most files produced by Adobe Illustrator are vector based.




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A Series Paper SIze Chart

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