michaels is home to Australia's premier Fine Art Printing service and is used by professional and amateur photographers, artists, galleries, art collectors, illustrators, interior designers, advertising firms, graphic artists and a wide array of creative professionals looking for photographic and art reproduction services. Our Fine Art printing options are ideal for reproducing photographs as well as artwork such as paintings and drawings.
Our Fine Art prints (also referred to as Giclée prints) are printed to the highest industry standards and will make your images look exceptional. Using our large format Epson 9900 printer and state-of-the-art high definition pigment inks, you’ll see vibrant colours, smooth gradients and enhanced detail in prints up to 40x60 inches!
We take colour management very seriously. We operate fully colour calibrated monitors and custom-made profiles specifically for each printer and paper combination. This means that every paper in our Fine Art Printing Department is custom-profiled. This guarantees that your print will look its absolute best and also ensures that months or even years down the line, any reprints will continue to match the original.
From archival 100% cotton rag to our more modestly priced photo papers, image quality will never be sacrificed. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the printing substrates available. All prints are made on Epson large format printers using Epson’s UltraChrome K3 inks - the standard for high quality inkjet printing.
The predominance & strengths of blacks is the key determinant in paper selection:
The main issue with matte papers is that the surface of the matte papers scatter light, i.e. the paper diffuses the light. This has a dramatic effect on the appearance of blacks. Blacks are deeper and richer in glossy/semi-gloss papers compared to matte papers.
For a print with many fine details, such as a photo of a fashion model, a glossy bright white paper may give the best result, considering resolution, sharpness, detail and wide colour gamut. A print of a landscape with picturesque scenery may look better on a watercolour paper. Likewise, a Black & White print of a portrait may look best on a paper with a slightly off-white tint, or ‘natural white’ or ‘warm toned’.
While there are many technical specifications to note when choosing a suitable fine art paper, it is still a subjective decision - there is no wrong or right choice.
We offer a huge range of exquisite Fine Art paper options, each one offering its own unique texture and contrast.
The following papers have gloss or lustre finishes. They are ‘shiny’ compared to the matte offerings described above.
We can print your work at any custom size up to 42 inches by almost any length!
*** Fine Art prints come standard with a 1.1″ border unless noted otherwise.
|Acid-Free||This group of papers is made for the ages. The absence of acid in them means they will not brown or decompose the way some papers would. Would you be able to tell the difference as you’re printing? No, not at first, but eventually, when it’s too late, and your beautiful image is stained and discoloured, you would. Good acid-free paper is usually identified as such. Some are made with 100% cotton rag, but it’s also possible to find archival quality papers which are not made of 100% cotton.|
|Fine Art Paper||The term 'Fine Art Paper' is a classification for high quality papers for different applications. Paper containing wood that yellows quickly suffices for the mass market, where long life expectancy is not an issue. Wood-free papers produced from bleached pulp offer improved quality. Fine papers distinguish themselves from bulk papers due to their light constancy and resistance to ageing. They are normally much thicker and is made from archival cotton rag. This results in a product that will last 75-100 years. Museum quality archival prints and reproductions.|
|GSM||Grams per square meter; an indicator of the paper weight. Regular copy paper (used in a photocopier or printer) is typically about 75gsm.|
|OBAs (Optical Brightening Agents)||
Chemicals in papers to make the whites of the papers look brighter to the eye. These chemicals absorb invisible ultraviolet light and then emit the absorbed invisible light as light our eyes can see, in a process of fluorescence.
When this happens, the white of the paper looks incredibly white, “whiter than white,” because our eyes are seeing a combination of the white of the paper shown by standard light and the light being emitted by the chemical in the paper.
|Paper Colour||The paper is not just "white." If you line up multiple papers together, you will see there are many variations to that basic tint. Fine art papers range from warm (sometimes called natural) to bright white. Sometimes OBAs or optical brightening agents are used to make the paper brighter. These can break down over time; though they do not damage the paper, it will lose some of its brightness.|
|Photographic Paper||Prints with a professional photographic look and feel|
Pigment ink printed on acid free cotton rag or alpha cellulose paper is the most versatile commonly available printing being done today. It is significantly longer lasting than prints on colour photographic paper and the choices of papers that can used is far greater.
Pigmented ink particles tend to settle into the tiny fibres that make up the paper. As the ink dries, the pigment particles get stuck in the fibres. Thus, the pigmented inks are more water resistant than the dye-based inks.
Pigment particles are similar to large pebbles on a beach. It is much more difficult for sunlight and chemicals to react with all of the pigment molecules, since most of them are hidden inside the "pebbles". That makes pigmented inks perfect for archival print life and colour stability. They can last more than 100 years on some paper types under ideal display conditions and are therefore considered fade resistant.
Today, inks for serious printmakers are pigment-based. Older model dye-based printers have mostly faded (no pun intended) and it’s generally accepted that pigment-based ones are best for longevity and light fastness.
It is important to think about how long you want your images to survive. Photographic papers can last up to 100 years if well taken care of, but if you want your image to be passed down for generations - a print of a special original painting, or an important family photo - you may want to select a paper made from 100% cotton. This will prevent yellowing and degradation from ruining the image, and can last for hundreds of years.
While a bright white paper is often desirable, for images of great importance you may want to choose a paper that does not have any artificial brighteners, as these can break down over time.
|Rag papers||Rag papers, photo rags or cotton rags are made out of cotton instead of wood fibres. Cotton fibres are longer than wood fibres thus leading to a stronger paper that is more durable. Used for archival quality prints, cotton is naturally pH neutral leading to longer life of photographs.|