What is Digital Paper?
The fine art digital papers we offer at Jackson’s Art Supplies look and feel like traditional watercolour paper. However while inkjet inks would sink and bleed into watercolour paper, and colours would appear duller than is ideal, digital papers possess a special coating that enables ink to sit on the surface of the paper yet still fix into place, with colours appearing their most luminous and permanent. The coatings in some cases even help to increase the lightfastness ratings of the printer ink, and lend stability to the finished print.
Double sided or one sided printer paper
If you are looking for a double sided paper, the choice is between the Someerset enhanced and the Bockingford digital papers. These 2 varieties of digital paper have the special sizing added to the paper during production, so it is present throughout the paper fibres. The Hahnemuehle digital papers are sprayed with their coating after production, and so they are only coated on one side. The coated side is very slightly sticky if you wet it, so if you are not sure which side to use our tip would be to lick your finger and then see if the paper sticks to it once you press the very corner of one side.
100% Cotton or Cellulose Fibre Paper?
Somerset Enhanced and Hahnemuehle papers are both 100% whereas Bockingford is 100% Cellulose. Cotton fibres are longer and therefore stronger, producing a much more durable paper. All papers are acid free and with the correct treatment (keeping in dry conditions away from direct sunlight) they are all able to maintain their quality for a lifetime.
Textures – Not, Rough and Hot Pressed
As with traditional watercolour paper, the surface texture of your digital paper will affect the overall appearance of your print. If you are making prints of a watercolour painted on rough paper, it makes sense to also use a rough paper to print the work on to so that it can resemble the original work as closely as possible. If on the other hand you are printing a highly detailed photograph then it might be wiser to print on to a completely smooth paper. Hahnemuehle digital papers are recommended if you require a specific surface to print on, as they have the greatest choice, which includes both matt and glossy papers in a variety of textures. Somerset can offer 3 textures – Satin, textured and velvet; all very well suited to the printing of fine art works such as drawings, paintings and prints.
Weights of paper and recommended uses
Bockingford paper is only available in the relatively light 190gsm weight and is well suited to printing limited edition books, greeting cards (although paper may have to be double folded so that it is strong enough to stand on its own depending on the size of the card) and limited edition fine art prints.
Somerset Enhanced inkjet paper is heavier, 255gsm, and feels more robust. It is possibly too heavy to be used for the pages of a book but would be an excellent surface on which to print fine art prints or very high quality greeting cards.
The digital papers in the Hahnemuehle range have an extensive range of paper weights, from 188gsm to 410gsm, to suit every kind of fine art inkjet printing need. We suggest you really think about what you’re printing and what weight of paper you need very carefully before ordering, as the weight will significantly impact upon the overall look of the finished print.