Printing and mounting images

In February 2021 a number of questions about printing and mounting images were sent to members, this is a rough collation of the responses. Thanks to everyone that responded.

Do you print your images yourself?

What printer do you use?

  • Epson R2880
  • Epson 3880
  • Canon Imageprograf-2000 (24” Fine Art printer)
  • Epson P600
  • Epson R2000 A3 (old version)
  • Epson P5070
  • EPSON SC-P800
  • Epson R2400
  • Canon MG6250 multifunction A4 with a hybrid ink set (5 dyes, 1 pigment)
  • Canon PRO-100S
  • Epson Surecolor P800
  • Epson 3880
  • Epson Stylus Photo 1410

Where do you buy ink for a reasonable price?

  • Shop around online
  • Image Science
  • I purchase all my supplies from Totalimage Supplies in Fairfield
  • From Epson when they have specials
  • Starleaton
  • Have to buy from Kayell as can’t find it at inkstation.com which is my normal supplier
  • I use 300ml bottles which I buy from Marriot in the UK
  • Ink and paper have to be consistent, especially if you’ve had the printer profiled, so it’s genuine ink. Computer and Parts Land, or Officeworks at a pinch
  • Inkjet Wholesale (https://www.inkjetwholesale.com.au/).
  • Ink Station
  • I use the original Epson inks and purchase online after comparison of the different genuine ink suppliers. I end up buying my inks also from Image Science
  • I never compromise – Epson ink only.

Where do you source your paper from?

  • Shop around online
  • Image Science
  • Totalimage Supplies in Fairfield 1300 768 015
  • Image Science,North Melbourne
  • Starleaton
  • Kayell
  • Various
  • Matt paper from Image Science – Jeremy recommended Epson Archival Matte – there’s no sheen whatever, no brighteners, but it’s not archival, surprisingly good even with my Canon dye inks, fair quality monochromes, less than 40 cents an A4 sheet !, and fun to use. Gloss paper is a dwindling packet of Canon glossy-2 (custom profiling gave some improvement over the Canon standard). When I need more glossy I might ask Jeremy for a more readily available option, and get a custom profile.
  • Paper is not easy to get – recently I have bought from C R Kennedy (https://www.crkennedy.com.au/) when they run specials, and Borgs Imaging (https://borge.com.au/).
  • I purchase my papers from Image Science in North Melbourne
  • Kayell and Epson on-line

Do you tailor the paper to the specific image? (metallic, art rag, etc)

  • No, liked the look of Ilford Smooth Pearl so have stuck with that
  • Generally No.
  • YES but lately I have been using Shil Masterclass Metallic Pearl High Gloss media. I am also looking at Acrylic mounting for images
  • Not usually, only just starting to play with different papers, Mostly use Ilford Smooth Pearl (a general use paper)
  • I have a range of texture, matt and glossy – Canson Aquarelle, Canson Rag Photographique, Canson PrintMaking, Canson Platine
  • Yes
  • Matt if it looks good that way, gloss if I need higher contrast. Soft proofing helps decide
  • Sometimes – for serious stuff.
  • For WCC print comps recently I have been using Canson Rag Photographique. At home for 6×4’s, 5×7’s (family shots that frequently get changed in the frames around home) I use Ilford Smooth Pearl. Paper choice is very personal and is an evolving situation as you hone your own aesthetics and requirements over time. There is no one answer suits all situations. The papers I use today are different today to what I used 3 years ago.
  • Sometimes, very comfortable with Canson Platine Fibre Rag for most of my work
  • https://imagescience.com.au/knowledge/choosing-a-paper-for-your-next-print

Do you use a commercial printing service?

  • Yes. I use Harvey Norman for 10×15 inch prints – no assistance but they use Fuji machines that seem to be fairly consistent. I wait till they are on special – last was $6.95. Quality OK but not spectacular. I choose images that I think will work with their systems.
  • I normally print at Harvey Norman (used to use BigW) both use good Fuji Printers. In person, never online
  • SMLXL on occasion
  • Not until I want bigger than A4. I’d prefer a service that makes it’s printer profiles available for soft proofing
  • I do not use commercial printing for competitions (but I do for my own framing for home when I need greater than A3+).
  • ​I use Harveys and Officeworks. For servious stuff I use: http://www.theedgephoto.com.au/
  • In-person at Frames Now or Camera House Ringwood. Frames Now Doncaster mostly ($7-17, depending on the size (A4-A2!)
  • DigiWorks in Hallam. I pick them up personally but they do post out.

Do you cut your own mat board?

  • Got a full sheet mat cutter from Frameco. Get matt board in bulk on special (about half price) from frameco when its on sale. Mostly black or white, but we have a few other colours for when we want to use them.
  • I get them cut on a machine at Frames Now, 577 Dorset Rd, Bayswater North
  • Yes, I cut my own mat board.
  • No, Frames Now Doncaster (they will do it on the spot for less than $10)
  • I have bought board and cut my own at our workshop nights (sometimes the person running the workshop cuts them. I pay them for it.

What cutter do you have? where did you get it from?

  • Logan Compact Classic Mat Cutter 301 (from eBay many years ago)
  • Matt Cutter 660 FrameCo
  • I have a Frameco Mat Master
  • I cut my matts with FrameCo cutter and Ruler Guide.
  • Frameco Cutter
  • Logan Artist Elite from a guy on Gumtree
  • Logan 2000. It’s just an angled blade holder, which you run against any plain thick straight edge, preferably hardwood or a steel bar to reduce friction.
  • I have a Logan 350-1 Compact Elite (I get my blades from The Art Shop in Bayswater (https://theartshop.com.au/)).
  • Logan model 440-1
  • A Logan 1m modified and permanently mounted to clamp board when cutting
  • Logan compact classic mat cutter (81cm)

Where do you get your mat board from?

  • Framing shops or shopped around online
  • Any framing shop
  • Gumtree I haven’t had the need to use it yet.
  • I buy the large sheets of Matt Board from FrameCo.
  • Any framing shop ie: Frames Now
  • Various Artist Supplies
  • I bought the remainder of WCC’s when it was sold off and haven’t bought any for a long time. Previously I have purchased mat from Riot Art.
  • To date FrameCo but will look for other alternatives next purchase
  • I purchased my last mat board from https://www.artstoreonline.com.au 53 Warrigal Rd Hughesdale Vic 3166.
  • I buy large white mat boards and cut to size.

What colour mat board do you use?

  • Off-white
  • Generally black, sometimes white
  • I use Either Dark Charcoal or Off White coloured matts.
  • Black or white
  • I have a few shades of white .. warm and a cooler white, textured and non textured surface
  • WHITE ONLY
  • White
  • Near-white. It looks good, and doesn’t make smudges on the next print in the comp box
  • I predominantly sue white for competitions however for personal use I use a wide range of colours.
  • ​Standard ‘off white’, not sure of actual name
  • I mostly use black mat board because I like the strong contrast of the black to the tones of my images
  • Black and white mainly!
  • I have both black and white board. I have a couple of boards that I was given to me by a framing company that had loads of spares

Do you buy pre-cut mat board in standard sizes, or order mat board cut to your dimensions?

  • No
  • Never
  • I order cut to specific dimensions, mostly I recycle what I have at home
  • Purchase in full sheets size and I cut to whatever size I need at the time
  • Yes I get a few sizes cut to my normal printing size of photos. I buy a few at a time and they give a discount for multiples.
  • Cut to A2 and then I modify it from there
  • I cut up the big sheets with a “stanley” knife, with difficulty. I size the mounts to fit a cheap frame (eg 30 x 40 cm from the variety shops) to hang the print on the wall for a while.
  • I buy sheets and cut to size myself.
  • No
  • I custom cut my own mats to the printed image.
  • Order mat board cut to my dimensions mainly!

What do you use for backing? (foam core, box board, backing board, etc)

  • 3mm foam core
  • For competitions thin cardboard.
  • 3mm foam core – also in bulk from Frameco (on sale… have enough in stock for a couple of years more before we need to find another sale)
  • 3mm foam core, or mat board cut offs, or just cardboard for smaller prints.
  • Screen board
  • Use foam core at 3MM thickness. I Buy the large sheets and then cut it to the size.
  • Foam core usually and I take no notice of VAPS stupid 5mm rule
  • All the strength of a mount is in the back, frames can cope with only so much thickness, so I use a single piece of cheaper but still heavy card.
  • I use foam core for backing.
  • Mat Board
  • Just a thin creamy white art backing cardboard that is easy to cut with my blades
  • Foam core before, but prefer backing board now!
  • Foam core, self-adhesive & non adhesive, 5mm & 3mm.
  • I attach print at top only, with tape. The backing board is the piece cut out of the mount board, reversed and attached with quality masking tape.

How do you attach the print, mat board and backing board together?

  • Print hinged top middle with tape to the mat board, pieces of double sided tape to attach mat board to backing
  • Magic tape top left and right on print, Hinge mat to backing on the top. Then double sided on the sides and bottom
  • Hinging tape at top of print onto back of matt board. Double sided tape patches around print and outer margins of matt board to hold backing
  • I stick print onto Matt with masking tape. Thin cardboard goes over back of print, never had a problem with print moving or buckling
  • The image is attached with acid free tape, the mat board/ foam core is attached with double sided tape, If I only have cardboard then I use masking tape.
  • Mounting tapes specific and double sided tapes
  • I use a couple of pieces of printing tape at the top of the picture to hold it to the mat and then I use the adhesive dots from Bunnings to hold the mat and foam core together.
  • Double sided Tape
  • I use photo-corners stuck onto the backing card. I transfer the window location from the mat to the back by assembling them and pricking each corner, to avoid getting pencil marks on the mat. Then I rule short extension lines on the back so I can position the print and slip the photo corners on. Once the mat is on the print doesn’t fall off. The two cards get joined face-up with little dots of PVA glue about 3~4 inches apart. A book or whatever on top holds and protects it while that’s setting. The mat can be opened later on, by inserting a table knife and twisting, and it’s re-usable after the little lumps of glue are prised off. No tape or glue ever touches any part of the print, front or back. No sticky tape or glue is anywhere on the outside of these mounts.
  • I use masking tape across the top of the print and double-sided Sellotape around the backing board to hold it to the mat. I find this to be simple and very effective.
  • Double sided tape
  • I use a one sided invisible tape (if you want maximum longevity-use acid free tape) to position the print on the mat board and then a double sided tape (Kikusui 12mm) to adhere the backing board to the mat board with the image in-between.
  • Use mask tape, double sided tape mainly, but time consuming and stressful as it is hard to get it just right!
  • Mostly top hang print to matboard (free hang), then double sided tape for board to backing

Any other advice you have to offer?

  • If you stick to standard sizes of print you can buy pre-cut matt board online, but I never seem to have a standard size after cropping the image.
  • Unless using a high end printer, black and white printing is tricky at home. (colour casts are very hard to avoid.)
  • If people are new to printing, you need to have a tutorial about paper profiles. Soft proofing. Monitor correction for printing
  • Use a very sharp stanley knife when you are cutting the foam core. i normally stick the mat onto the foamcore before cutting. it is easier to get it straight on the mat board just lining up 2 edges instead of 4. i sit it on one corner of the mat board and then once stuck i will cut around the other two edges
  • Use your printer often but, if the nozzles clog, use printhead cleaning fluid. Attach an external waste ink tank to your printer
  • I don’t print much, but the aim is monitor-to-print match (or at least no nasty surprises) no matter who prints it (so long as they publish their profiles for you).
  • Calibrate things, first the printer-paper-ink-driver_settings combination, also the monitor if it’s not certified “accurate out of the box”, and pay attention to the print viewing light. My knowledge resources are Jeremy Daalder’s notes at imagescience.com.au, and Les Walking’s advice at our meetings and at the big trade shows. I use a couple of RGB custom paper calibrations done by Image Science (one for the gloss paper, one for the matt paper, $50 each, sometimes they are half-price in March or April).
  • I got a good monitor when I upgraded my PC, and consider it worth it. It’s controls do what they say without weird interactions, eg I can calibrate and profile it at one colour temp, then to match the room lighting at another time I can adjust it to another temp and brightness and then do a print without getting nasty surprises.
  • After adjusting I use soft-proofing, which often makes the picture look (very) dull – but that is how it will print. This uses the custom calibrated printer profile file. People using commercial print services should be able to get these files from that service, for that services printers and papers (most definitely not “canned” profiles). (see imagescience.com.au/services/fine-art-printing/icc-profiles or ??).
  • Printing is an art in itself and not to be taken lightly, there is much to learn about paper selection, preparing for different papers, changing brightness for prints compared to digital images etc. Calculating the cost of ink is difficult and if my printer failed, I may not purchase another as paying a professional printer yields better results (though at a cost).
  • I found using a mat cutter is a skill easily learned within an hour. Selecting the best paper to suit a particular image I find extremely hard.
  • Having a good dedicated working area helps immensely.
  • Having a systematic method of working from the original image dimensions outwards ( ? needs explanation} – it’s all about custom framing.

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