Photo Printing FAQ

What is a Lumira™ print?

A Lumira print, a trademarked product of Fine Print, is a digital photographic print made from a digital file using a ZBE Chromira 5x printer and Fuji Crystal archive paper. Lumira digital photo prints are notable because of  their exceptional sharpness, color saturation and color accuracy. Lumira prints may be printed on your choice of Fuji Crystal Archive paper: matte, lustre or gloss. For more info on the Chromira printer, go to www.zbe.com. For info on Fuji paper, go to www.fujifilmusa.com.

What’s the difference between Fine Print Imaging Custom and Fine Print Imaging Express prints?

Prints produced by Fine Print Imaging Custom are made to the highest of photographic printing standards. They are color corrected to match a customer provided guide or to match to your digital file as viewed on our color calibrated, professional monitors. Master color technicians, working closely with the customer, are involved in every step of the printing process. Once the print is approved by the customer, both a guide print and a digital file are saved at Fine Print for future printings.

Fine Print Imaging Express is an online-only printing service designed to be used by photographers and artists who want to control all creative aspects or their art by doing their own Photoshop work and save money as a result. Prints made through Fine Print Express are made from customer provided digital files which are considered to be print ready. Fine Print technicians visually inspect Express files before printing and also visually inspect prints for flaws prior to shipping.

Both services use precisely calibrated digital printing equipment and high quality photographic paper. All Fine Print Imaging prints are produced on Fuji Crystal Archive paper using a ZBE Chromira printer.

Can I buy individual Lumira prints?

Yes. You can now order Lumira prints individually in all sizes. And, if you wish, you can save money by using our online printing service, Fine Print Express.

I can’t find the size of print I want (9x12, for example), in the Lumira print price chart.

Is that not available? You can order any size Lumira print you want as long as one dimension is 30″ or smaller. To order a print size not shown on the Lumira price chart, find a size that is close to the one you are ordering. Using 9×12 as an example, you find “8×12″, but you need 9 inches on one dimension, so you can’t order an 8×12. The next size on our price list is 11×14. Both 9 inches and 12 inches fit within the 11×14 size. You will therefore order a 9×12 print but pay the 11×14 price. Naturally, since you’re paying for an 11×14, you could actually order and receive an 11×14.

Do you make prints smaller than 5x7?

For Lumira prints, you will pay the 5×7 price for any smaller prints ordered. See “I can’t find the size of print I want…” above.

Can I have borders placed on my Lumira prints?

Yes. Make sure that you specify the size of borders and whether you want white or black borders. Keep in mind that the borders will be proportionate to the size of the image and the outside dimensions size of the finished print. Because there are so many variables when ordering bordered prints, we encourage you to consult with one of our Customer Service technicians first.

Why do I have to crop my DSLR file or copy of my artwork to get a full 8x10 or 16x20 print?

Many of our Fine Print customers have trouble with this at one time or another. It’s all about understanding proportions. If we print all of your digital file on a 16×20 sheet of paper, only 13.25 x 20 inches of the paper will be printed on. In other words,13.5″ x 20″ matches the proportions of a DSLR file. In order to cover the entire 16 inches of the paper, we have to enlarge not only the 13.5″ side, but also the 20″ side. To print a 16×20 print means that we have to “crop out” the long dimension of your image. For a assistance in determining proportions, here is a great online proportion calculator.

How long will my prints last?

There are many factors* that enter into image stability and print longevity. Prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper have a life expectancy of 70 years These are approximate numbers based on prints kept under appropriate fine art viewing conditions.

Fine Art Paper (Giclée) Printing FAQ

What is a giclée print?

Giclée (pronounced Zhee-Clay) is derived from the French word “gicler” which means “to squirt, to spray”. A giclée fine art print is produced by specialized large format inkjet printers using archival inks and high quality archival canvas or fine art paper. The process is relatively new having its beginnings in the1990s when an IRIS inkjet printer was modified to make high quality photographic prints on watercolor paper. Now a variety of printers can be used to create giclée fine art prints, including the industry leading Epson wide format printers which we use.

Our Epson 11880 printers use the proprietary UltraChrome K3 ink set which includes Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Vivid Magenta, Vivid Light Magenta, Yellow, Photo Black, Matte Black, Light Black, and Light Light Black. The combination of these colors on our canvas and our wide array of archival papers provides long-lasting prints displaying vivid colors, rich subtle tones and detailed blacks. Because these inks are watercolor pigment based, the prints made with them on archival paper can last from 70 to over 100 years without showing signs of noticeable fading.

From a marketing perspective, giclée fine art prints are considered to be among the highest quality prints available and are sold through galleries and museums throughout the world.

What’s the difference between Fine Print Imaging Custom and Fine Print Imaging Express Giclée Fine Art Prints prints?

Prints produced by Fine Print Imaging Custom are made to the highest fine art printing standards. They are color corrected to match a customer provided guide or to match to your digital file as viewed on our color calibrated, professional monitors. Master color technicians, working closely with our customer, are involved in every step of the printing process. Once the print is approved by the customer, both a guide print and a digital file are saved at Fine Print for future printings.

Fine Print Imaging Express is an online-only printing service designed to be used by photographers and artists who want to control all creative aspects or their art by doing their own Photoshop work and save money as a result. Prints made through Fine Print Express are made from customer provided digital files which are considered to be “Print Ready”. Fine Print technicians visually inspect Express files before printing and also visually inspect prints for flaws prior to shipping. We do not save guide prints or digital files with express printing. However, Fine Print Imaging Express does allow you to save your files online.

Both services use precisely calibrated digital printing equipment and high quality fine art paper and canvas.

Why are borders included in giclée pricing?

Our giclée prints are priced by the square inch. Printing substrates (watercolor paper or canvas) used in fine art giclée printing are very costly. Therefore if you request borders on your prints, you are billed for the total amount of material you request, whether or not the material is printed on.

What is a substrate?

Substrate is a printing term used to describe the material on which images are printed. Our giclée substrates include a variety of fine art (watercolor) papers and heavy weight canvas. Our Lumira and traditional prints are produced on Fuji Crystal Archive photo paper.

What is a fine art paper giclée?

A fine art paper giclée is a fine art giclée produced on high quality watercolor paper. We offer a variety of papers. Click here for details.

What is a canvas giclée?

A canvas giclée is a fine art giclée produced on high quality canvas. A canvas giclée can be stretched on stretcher bars or mounted on a solid surface like archival mount board.

What is a gallery wrapped canvas giclée?

A gallery wrapped canvas giclée is produced by stretching the outer edges of the finished canvas giclée around a stretcher bar. The sides of the gallery wrap show a portion of the image or alternately a selected color, making the finished gallery wrap suitable for wall display without finishing it with a frame.

Fine Print produces three different styles of gallery wraps.

Gallery Wrap–Image Wrap: The outer 1 ½” edge of your image is wrapped around the stretcher bars.

Gallery Wrap–Continuous Mirrored Image: The outer 1 ½” edge of your image is mirrored on the wrapped edge.

Gallery Wrap–Black, White or Colored Border: A classic black, white or colored edge is added to your image.

Learn more about Gallery Wrapped prints HERE.

Can I get my canvas giclée as a print only, not mounted or stretched?

You can receive your canvas giclée unstretched. Make sure you let us know whether you need borders for stretching.

Can I send you files from my digital camera?

We accept files from digital cameras for all of our printing. The quality of your prints will be directly proportionate to the quality of the submitted file. You can request one of our technicians to make adjustments to your image to “Make it sing.”

Are my 35 mm slides suitable for reproduction?

You may submit slides for reproduction. We will need to scan your slide prior to producing prints.

Can I upload my digital files to your site?

We have an easy to use file upload system for sending us your digital files. Click here for more information.

How should I prepare my digital files for canvas giclée printing?

For complete information on preparing files for canvas giclée production, click here.

Can you make alterations and corrections to supplied digital files?

Yes. if your files require color changes, retouching or digital alteration – anything is possible. Our cost for making adjustments to images is $80.00/hour, billed in ¼ hour increments. We can contact you with an estimate of charges.

Will the canvas giclée you send me look exactly as it does on my computer screen?

Unless you are using the same monitors, the same monitor calibration devices and the printer profiles we use, it would only be by chance that the printed giclée will perfectly match your monitor. The way a picture appears on your screen depends on your screen settings like contrast, brightness, color profile, etc. The same picture may appear different on different screens. The same picture printed on different media or on a different printer will appear different as well. What you can count on is that the print will look beautiful and very close to the original artwork or digital image.

How large of an image can you print?

We can print canvas giclées 59 inches wide by virtually any length you require.

How long will my prints last?

There are many factors* that enter into image stability and print longevity. Below are approximate numbers showing how long the papers and canvases mentioned will last under normal fine art viewing conditions.

  • Fine Art Paper Enhanced Matte 70 Years
  • Decor Textured 70 Years
  • Somerset Velvet 100 Years
  • Hahnemühle Bamboo 100 Years
  • Fine Art Smooth 100 Years
  • Canvas Museum Canvas 120 Years

*NOTE: Actual print stability and longevity will vary according to image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, atmospheric conditions, and post-printing treatments. While manufacturers do not guarantee stability or longevity, Fine Print Imaging stands behind every print we sell. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or lamination or properly store them.

How should I handle my canvas giclées and are they waterproof?

Each giclée print has been inspected before it leaves Fine Print.  All of our giclées should be considered fine art pieces and treated with great care.  In some ways a giclée is even more delicate than an original piece of art. To ensure the greatest longevity of your giclée, take note of the following:

  • Keep canvas giclées out of direct sunlight and they should last over 100 years.
  • Avoid putting pressure on the surface of the print, especially in the areas where the canvas is in contact with the wooded stretcher bars.  Pick up by wire on back, touching the back and sides of a gallery wrapped canvas.
  • Avoid stacking, adds pressure to the surface of the giclée
  • Avoid big changes in temperature, and humidity.   This can lead to cracking; for example, while traveling to and from art shows, and attending outdoor shows, swamp coolers, heaters, storing in a shed, or a furnace room.
  • Avoid too many people handling the giclée.

You can clean your canvas giclée with a slightly dampened cloth using light pressure.

Do you coat or varnish my canvas giclées?

All of our canvas giclées are coated with a protective sprayed finish which makes the canvas cleanable and less prone to damage from UV light (sun).

Can I ``embellish`` (add painting strokes) my canvas giclée?

In the world of giclée printing – most notably canvas giclée printing, embellishing is the hot trend. Should you embellish your giclées? What choices are there for embellishing, what products can be used, how does embellishing affect archival properties and what the heck IS embellishing, anyway? Click Here for all of the details on embellishing giclées.

What is a limited edition print?

A limited edition print is one that is limited to a predetermined print quantity. The edition is often signed by the artist and each individual print is numbered. The numbers on the print denote the individual piece number in the edition over the total edition size. For example, a print numbered 10/150 would be the 10th print in a series of 150)

What is Open Edition?

An open edition is a series of similar or identical looking prints, sculptures, or other fine art reproductions that do not have assigned numbers but could still be hand signed by artists.

What is a certificate of authenticity?

We provide a Certificate of Authenticity with each canvas giclée we produce. This certificate assures the purchaser that their print was produced with the highest of standards, and, if the edition is limited, provides the edition size and number. It is the art industries accepted mechanism for assuring the purchaser that they have bought an authentic canvas giclée produced under the direction of the artist.

Art & Film Scanning FAQ

Art Scanning

How do you Scan (copy) artwork?

Fine Print utilizes the industry’s most advanced 4×5 digital scanning back for copying artwork, the BetterLight Super6K. Lighting for your artwork is provided by Northlight HID copy lights, specifically designed to bring out the best in the BetterLight back. We can accommodate artwork up to 4′ by 5′. Please call us if your artwork is larger.

Once our skilled experts copy your artwork, the digital file created is carefully adjusted in Adobe Photoshop so that it closely matches your artwork.

What 's the difference between ``Premier Art Scan`` and ``Art Scan Only``?

Premier Art Scan provides you with:

  1. A high resolution scan of your art,
  2. Making adjustments to the scan so that the resulting digital file closely matches your original
  3. A proof print on paper or canvas of your choosing.

Art Scan Only (a raw scan) provides you with high resolution scan of your art, but It does not include any color work or a proof print. This service is designed for artists who want to do their own color adjusting or will take their digital file to another service provider for finishing.

I have original artwork. Can I do my own copy work?

The simple answer is yes…but…

The quality of your prints is directly related to the quality of the digital file used for the printing. Our BetterLight 4×5 digital back and matching Northlight HID lights have the capability of producing images that far exceed the capabilities of even the most sophisticated 35mm digital or film cameras. If you are hoping for color matched, incredibly sharp, faithful reproductions of your artwork, there is no substitute for professionally copied artwork. If you intend on sending us digital files or slides that you copied yourself, please contact us before shooting the artwork and we’ll give you some pointers.

Film Scanning

What’s the difference between a Premier Scan and a Raw Scan?

A “scan” is a digital copy of a slide, transparency or of paper/artwork. Before making prints from slides or artwork, the original has to be scanned – converted into a digital file. Both our Premier and Raw scan are produced on the industry leading ICG drum scanner – producing the highest quality scans available anywhere. For copying artwork, we use a “digital back” on our 4×5 copy camera. Our BetterLight digital back is essentially a scanner attached to a camera.

Our Premier drum scan includes clean-up, minor scratch removal, color, density and contrast correction and are crafted to closely match the original transparency. Also included in the price of the scan is either an 8×10 or a 16×20 proof.

Our raw scans are created for the photographer or artist who needs a high resolution file and wants to do their own color work. This service includes burning the raw scan to a CD or FTP’ing the file to you. It does not include color work, scratch removal or a proof print. Warning! The file from the raw scan will not appear “correctly” on a monitor or be ready to produce a print. The file needs to be adjusted and may need additional cleaning and/or scratch removal done by someone proficient in working with a color adjustment program such as Adobe Photoshop.

How do I know what size scan to order?

We’ve provided a chart that shows what size scans will yield the best results for various film sizes. There is a common misperception that bigger is better. Each film format has a set amount of information available for scanning (for example, 35mm film has approximately 65 megs of recordable information). In lay person terms, increasing the scan size simply means that the scanner will be required to “invent” pixels to place in between the actual information recorded from the film.

The good news is that today’s printers, especially our Chromira digital photo printer that produces our Lumira prints, do an incredible job of printing sharp, color saturated prints in large sizes from relatively small files. When in doubt about scan size, ask your customer service representative.

General Scanning Info

What's difference between TIFF and JPEG?

JPEG (pronounced jay-peg) is an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is a lossy file format. The term “lossy” is used to describe a mathematical process that produces a smaller, more manageable file that is not identical to the original. Each time an image is saved as a JPEG, information is compressed, and when the image is re-opened, the data that is opened is based on the compressed information. Some of the original information is lost along the way. For this reason, the JPEG file format is not good for image editing, although it can be a good format for output to various printing devices and for web uploads. The unofficial site for JPEG’s is www.jpeg.org. You can find more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jpeg.

TIFF is an acronym for Tag(ged) Image File Format. It is a loss less file format and one of the most popular and flexible of the current public file formats. Fine Print uses TIFF files for printing and requests that customers send us files in TIFF format. TIFFs are the file format most frequently used when saving an image after editing in Photoshop (when the ultimate purpose for the image is output to a printer). TIFF files are larger than JPEG files, and for that reason, aren’t used in digital camera capture. Check this site at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TIFF for more information.

What is “resolution” and why should I care?

Resolution is a term that describes how much detail an image (or a monitor displaying an image) contains. The higher the resolution, the more information the image contains. When referring to digital images, resolution interacts with image size. For example, a digital file which is 8”x10” and has a resolution of 300 pixels per inch is said to have a higher resolution than a digital file which is 8”x10” and has a resolution of 150 pixels per inch (ppi). Fine Print prints most images at the output size at a resolution of 300 ppi.

How do I get copies of my scans?

If you have previously ordered Premier Scans or scans from your original artwork, you’re in luck. We retain all of these scans on our Image Archiving System (IAS). Simply contact your customer service rep, provide them with your image title and number, and request that we send you a copy of your digital file(s). We retain both PSD files (Photoshop files that are color/density corrected but not cropped or sized) and TIFF files (which are purposed for printing an image with a set crop and size).  There is a fee for providing CDs of your images. See our “other services” page for details.

If you ordered Fine Print Raw Scans, CDs are provided only at the time of the original scan. We do not retain these scans in our files and cannot provide CDs after the original order for these scans has been completed.

Miscellaneous Digital FAQ

I already have digital files. How should I send them to Fine Print?

You have three options for sending files to Fine Print. With all options, you are required to either send “Print Ready Files” or, send information with the files requesting that we alter the files per your directions. Additional fees will be assessed if you request that we alter your digital files.

  1. You can FTP the files to us. Click here for details.
  2. You can send us a CD, DVD or a thumb drive with your images enclosed.
  3. You can order prints through Fine Print Express which allows you to upload digital files and order prints online. See the next question for details.

What is FTP?

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol, which allows a user at one computer to send a digital file to another computer at an off-premise location. All of our FTP uploads and downloads are completely confidential and are hidden from other users. Click here to access direction on how to send us a digital file using our FTP site.

What’s a ``ready to print`` file?

Ready to Print files are digital files prepared by you for the purpose of printing on Fine Print’s equipment. For files to be considered ready to print, they must adhere to the following requirements:

  • RGB and in the Adobe RGB 1998 work space.
  • 300 ppi at output dimensions.
  • Is 8 bit and does not contain layers or alpha channels.
  • TIFF with no compression.
  • File name has maximum of 30 characters.
  • For Lumira printing, the appropriate output profile must be embedded (see ICC Profiles). Images intended for ink printing should NOT have profiles embedded.

What is a Pixel?

Pixel is an abbreviation for “Picture Element”. It is the smallest individual dot that can be displayed on a computer screen. The terms “dots per inch” (dpi) and “pixels per inch” are sometimes used interchangeably, but have distinct meanings, especially for printing devices. In digital photography or scanning, the proper term to use is Pixels.

Where can I find your printer profiles?

Go to our ICC Profiles page, you will find profiles for Lumira photo prints and  watercolor giclée prints.  Make sure that you follow directions for downloading the profiles to the appropriate location on your computer.

How should I use printer profiles and what is “Soft Proofing”??
 (Intended for those who understand Adobe Photoshop)
Go here for a complete description on how to use printer profiles and how to Soft Proof: www.fineprintimaging.com/print_services/icc.htm .
* If your image is not already in the Adobe RGB 1998 work space, convert it by selecting (Image – Mode – Convert to Profile) from the top menu bar. Use Adobe Ace as the Engine, and Perceptual as the intent for converting.

Why should I order a proof print (a test print) prior to printing my final order?

Ordering a proof print is the best – maybe the only – way to guarantee that your final prints meet your expectations. Fine art printing is a subjective art form. Even if you provide us with transparencies, your original or guide prints, there is no assurance that our printing equipment can exactly match the colors and tonal ranges in your original. Exact matches are subjective and rarely achievable. It is important that you become a part of the printing process by asking for and assessing a proof print prior to final printing.

Do you keep copies of my digital files?

We keep copies of all files that were used to print giclées and photo prints. We do not keep files printed through Fine Print Express, nor do we keep files where a raw scan was requested.

If I order reprints at a later date, will they match the original printing?

Yes, within reason. While we maintain extremely rigid controls on our printing equipment and monitors, factors beyond our control can affect repeatability. Upgrades to equipment, changes in paper, chemicals and ink technology, software changes, aging of enlarging lamps… these and many other factors make it virtually impossible to guarantee exact matches to previous printings. Having said that, Fine Print has developed a reputation for being the best in the fine art printing world at providing consistent, exceptionally close matches with all reprint orders.

Shipping FAQ

What shipping options do you offer?

We ship both FedEx and USPS (US Mail). Small parcels (11×14 and under) ship less expensively via USPS. Larger parcels ship less expensively via FedEx. Oversized shipments are shipped via FedEx Freight or Old Dominion, depending on speed of delivery and cost.

We do not ship outside the US.

Will my prints be shipped flat or in a tube?

We ship either flat or in tubes, depending on your request. In sizes 11×14 and larger, tubes are usually less expensive. When we use tubes for larger prints, we use large diameter tubes to minimize print curl.

Can you give me a shipping rate estimate?

Because of all of the variables in shipping, we cannot provide shipping rate estimates on the fly. We will, however, provide you with rate estimates if you fill out and submit the information in this form. Allow a minimum of 24 hours for a return response. Click Here to open the Shipping Rate Request form.

What happens if my prints arrive damaged?

Very Important! Save all of your packaging and the damaged prints. FedEx will ask to see all of this to determine reimbursement. Call us to describe the damage – 800-777-1141. We will reprint and ship your order ASAP and, unless it was determined that the damage was not caused by FedEx, we will cover the cost of reprinting and shipping. We may ask you to take photos of the damage to provide to our FedEx rep.

How much will it cost to ship my prints?

Shipping varies based on many factors including geographic location, order size, etc. You can request a shipping estimate here.