Choosing the Right Paper for Your Art Prints

When it comes to creating art prints, choosing the right paper is crucial. The type of paper you use can drastically impact the quality and presentation of your artwork. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which paper will best showcase your artistic vision. In this post, we will explore various factors to consider when selecting paper for your art prints.

Choosing the Right Paper for Art Prints

Weight of the Paper

When considering how to make prints of your art, one important consideration is the weight of the paper. This factor is measured in grams per square meter (gsm), and it determines how sturdy or flimsy the paper feels. Lighter-weight papers (around 90-120 gsm) are best for fine art prints that will be framed with matting. These papers are more flexible, making it easier to handle and mount them properly.

On the other hand, heavier-weight papers (170-300+ gsm) provide a more substantial feel and are ideal for standalone artwork without frames or mats. These papers have a luxurious texture that can enhance your print’s visual appeal and give it a high-quality look.


Another crucial aspect of choosing the right paper for your art prints is considering whether you want a coated or uncoated option. Coatings can significantly impact how colors appear on the final print and add durability to the surface.

For vibrant and detailed prints, consider using coated papers. Coated papers have a glossy or matte finish that helps preserve color saturation, sharpness, and contrast. They often offer better resistance to fading over time.

However, if you prefer a more traditional look with subtle texture and organic feel, uncoated papers might be ideal. Uncoated papers absorb ink differently, giving printed images a softer appearance with slightly less color contrast.


The texture of the paper plays an essential role in enhancing or subduing certain aspects of your artwork. Smooth papers are versatile as they work well with a wide range of image styles. They allow fine details and vibrant colors to shine, making them suitable for photographs, graphic designs, or digital art prints.

For artists who enjoy creating traditional media or textured artwork, consider opting for papers with a textured surface. These papers add dimensionality to your prints and can mimic the texture of canvas or watercolor paper. However, keep in mind that highly textured papers may alter the sharpness and details of your digital artwork.

Archival Quality

If you intend to sell or exhibit your art prints, it’s important to choose paper that offers archival quality. Archival papers are acid-free and specially treated to resist fading over time, ensuring that your prints stay vibrant and beautiful for years to come.

When selecting archival paper for your prints, look for those labeled as “acid-free” or “archival quality.” These papers are made from wood pulp that has been chemically processed to remove impurities that could cause yellowing or deterioration. By choosing archival-quality paper, you’re investing in the long-lasting value of your art prints.

Testing Samples

Before committing to buying large quantities of a particular paper brand or type, it is essential to test samples first. Many online retailers offer sample packs that include small sheets of various papers they sell. This allows you to compare different weights, coatings, textures, and finishes before making a final decision.

Make small test prints on each sample sheet using images representative of your body of work. Evaluate how the different papers enhance or detract from the visual impact you aim to achieve. Pay careful attention to color rendering, contrast level, and overall print quality on each type of paper.


Selecting the right paper for your art prints is a vital decision that can significantly impact the presentation of your work. Consider factors like weight, coating options (coated vs. uncoated), texture preferences, archival quality needs, and testing samples before settling on the best paper for your art prints. By choosing thoughtfully, you can ensure your art is showcased in a way that truly represents your creative vision.

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