Not sure how to start? No worries, we are here for you!
Before printing your next best gift idea or home decoration, it is important to be clear of your selection criteria.
Firstly, to consider which company in Singapore you want to employ.
Everyone claims to be the best in business, we would too – but we will also genuinely listen to all feedback and critics!
Logically speaking, if the printed image is blurry, damaged, smudged or faded, then even with the most beautiful piece of work cannot be expressed. As a Chinese saying goes : “With the skin gone, what can the hair adhere to?”.
All prints from our shop are done with EPSON Sure Colour printers, using 100% genuine Epson UltraChrome Pro ink.
There are a total of 8000 micro print-heads in this printer, with the smallest possible droplet size being 3.5 pico-litres ; resulting in beautiful printing with ultra-fine detail and vivid, lively colours.
Epson UltraChrome Pro ink have been lab-tested to have print permanence rating (see Wihelm Research for details) of up to 200 years for coloured prints, and up to 400 years for black u0026amp; white prints – if kept under recommended environmental conditions.
This feat is achievable only by Epson’s state of the art micro print-head technology. So your first step in looking for us for your print job is correct!
Below are some other factors to consider :
1) Content display style
a) For a Chinese-style print …
We recommend using rice paper (Xuan paper) or artificial silk for printing. Prints can then be mounted onto hanging scrolls, which makes them beautiful, lightweight, easy to hang, easy to keep, easy to change! They are inexpensive and can be interchanged easily according to the season’s theme (or even your mood), all without burning a hole in your wallet!
Chinese painting hanging scrolls can be manually mounted or machine mounted. Since the cost of reproducing fine art from a Giclée printing is cheap, we recommend only using machine mount for the prints, which cost South of $100, and you can get a decent couple of decades’ use from it. Traditional manual mounting is more long-lasting, but they have the potential to cost up to a thousand or more, depending on the size – therefore they are only more suitable for authentic artist drawn painting, not reproductions.
b) For a Western-style print …
We recommend using canvas or archival fine art paper for printing. Canvas can be made into stretched canvas whereas fine art paper can be mounted into photo frames.
You can even add a floating frame outside the stretched canvas to further enhance the appeal.
c) For a traditional photo print ….
There are many possible media choice for printing photos – because a photo does not particularly lean towards any style (unless otherwise arranged to be). Rice paper, artificial silk, canvas, fine art paper, photo paper, and all suitable for it. We recommend mounting into regular wooden photo frames after printing. Both rice paper and artificial silk however, due to the thin nature of the media, need to be mounted on backing paper first to flatten the piece and make suitable for mounting.
Benefit of photo frames are that they are both beautiful and serve as a tough protection for prints. The con would however be that the frame is too heavy and bulky, making it hard to keep, interchange, or to collect ; the cost of photo frames are high too.
The three print content styles listed above above can be interchanged without affecting the print quality, all thanks to the highly detailed Epson micro print heads in our machine.
For example, you can be creative and print your photo on rice paper and mount onto a Hanging Scroll. You will then own one of the most unique printings around in Singapore!
Alternatively, an option that is getting more and more popular is to frame a traditional Chinese painting in white photo frame with 1 inch white matting.
Next up, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various materials and mounting methods for your reference.
2) Material selection for the print
There are many choices of paper material when it comes to printing.
However, we believe it essentially comes to just 2 general rule of thumb to suit the print content
i) Gloss / Non-gloss surface (and to a certain extend, how good a print comes out on the paper)
ii) Archival rating (this, however we believe is premium when the cost gets really high)
There are also other selection criteria for printing material, for example, anti fungus, anti pest, and so on. However, in general, for the same cost, most material have their own pro and cons (other than premium brands). For example, rice paper are known for their long life span ; however, to fight off pest and also to enhance the beauty, chemicals are added, resulting in a decrease in expected lifespan. Only premium brands have achieved a much better balance – but at a much steeper production cost.
a) Rice Paper / Xuan Paper
Suitable for water colour and Chinese paintings. The rumours that rice paper are “thousand years paper” is a little exaggerated, but not too far from the truth. Rice paper are in general a good and affordable option for paper longevity.
b) Silk Imitation
Suitable for water colour and Chinese paintings, and depending on the artwork, Western paintings too.
Real silk is expensive, therefore silk imitation are much more a common place in the market.
Silk imitation are very slightly more expensive than regular rice paper. However, they offer alternate benefits like : brighter colours u0026amp; not torn or crumple easily. Due to their texture, they are also slightly more versatile.
The cons? Imitation silk might not capture as much details as paper ; print permanence is also slightly lower than paper.
Suitable for Western paintings. Good canvas are thick, therefore they have durability higher than imitation silk. Due to the demand for canvas, they are one of the more well-developed u0026amp; refined printing media. Print permanence ranges from couple of decades to a few centuries.
d) Photo Paper
In general, photo paper’s longevity is much lower than other medias, due to the coating for either matte or glossy that helps to emit and capture light.
e) Fine Art Paper
These paper are also suitable for Western paintings, and are the second most preferred choice for artists.
f) Acid-Free Media
It is hard to make a good acid-free media without sacrificing beauty, dMax, and such. Therefore there are not many choices on the market for the inexpensive yet good acid-free material.
g) “Premium” brands (i.e. Hahnemühle , Sihl)
Brands like these are the premium that we recommend only customers with deep wallets should go for. They are recognised to be the best without a doubt. However, having said that, the difference in printed quality between a premium brand and a regular brand is not easily noticeable by the untrained eyes, other than by professional who pay attention to even the most minute detail.
The slight increase in quality however is offset by an additional cost that is a few times more than that of the regular paper. For these premium brands, longevity is measured in terms of decades, with the “century longevity” just another basic property. They also achieve a great balance between beauty and longevity, but at a cost much more than the general market.