Different types of print media

May 27, 2013




Fine Art Printing is fairly new to most photographers in India, even some of those who have been shooting for more than a decade or two and have been getting their pictures printed and framed for an equal amount of time.

We get a lot of queries regarding the same and a couple of the most commonly asked questions are about

  • different types of print media for Fine Art Prints
  • how to get the same colours from the monitor on the print

Let’s talk about the different types of media for now.

There is so much of a choice when it comes to selecting a Fine Art Paper to create those life-long-lasting prints, that most times you get confused as to what to go for. Let’s see the main differentiators between them, and what choosing those papers mean.

1. Pearl/Lustre Paper
  • Its a fairly glossy paper
  • Shows fine details
  • Works well with both glass and lamination
  • Most popular surface today
  • Most common surface that the regular print labs use

2. Smooth Gloss
  • Highly reflective paper
  • Best for deeply saturated colors
  • Commonly used for commercial work and portfolios

3. Matte
  • Non-reflective paper
  • Comes in both smooth and textured surface
  • Works well under glass and lamination
  • Less contrast than gloss
  • Shadows are bit lighter
  • Ideal for smooth pastel colors and Black&White prints

4. High Gloss and Metallic
  • Extremely reflective paper
  • Highly saturated
  • Vibrant colors
  • Not too good for laminates
  • Great for display prints

5. Canvas
  • Similar to the painter’s canvas
  • Similar weave pattern
  • Gives a painterly effect
  • Can be sprayed or coated with varnish
  • Frames well
  • Texture hides imperfections in the skin
  • Works well for images not requiring the finest details, such as portraits

Going through the broad spectrum of Fine Art Print media, you should now have a basic understanding as to what to look for in the media, when sending your pictures for a print – depending on what you are getting printed.