What is the Best Paper to Print Digital Art On?

Table of Contents

Selecting the right paper for digital art prints is crucial for achieving the desired outcome, as it greatly affects the overall appearance and longevity of the artwork. I will tell you various factors to consider when choosing the right paper and provide an overview of popular paper types and their applications.

For the best paper for printing digital art I recommend considering factors like finish, texture, and longevity. Popular options include photo paper, watercolor paper, canvas, and matte or glossy paper. Brands like Red River Paper, Epson, and HP offer high-quality choices.

My top paper choices, in order of preference

HP Professional Business Paper Matte – Check Price

HP Professional Business Paper Glossy – Check Price

Epson Premium Presentation Paper Matte – Check Price

Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy – Check Price

Paper TypePaper WeightFinishSizes
HP Professional Business Paper Matte120 gsmMatte8.5 x 11 inches, A4, etc.
HP Professional Business Paper Glossy180 gsmGlossy8.5 x 11 inches, A4, etc.
Epson Premium Presentation Paper Matte165 gsmMatte8.5 x 11 inches, A4, etc.
Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy240 gsmGlossy4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8.5 x 11, A4

Please note that my table above displays general specifications for each type of paper. Make sure to check the specific product details before purchasing to ensure compatibility and suitability for your printing needs.

Key Factors in Choosing the Right Paper

Choosing the best paper for printing digital art depends on the desired appearance, durability, and longevity of the artwork. Here are my top factors you should consider based on my experience when selecting the right paper:

Paper weight

Measured in grams per square meter (gsm), paper weight affects the thickness and durability of the paper. Heavier paper is less likely to buckle, warp, or tear when printing digital art. For high-quality prints, consider using paper with a weight of 200-300 gsm.


The finish of the paper can significantly impact the appearance of your printed artwork. There are three primary finishes:

Matte: Matte paper has a non-reflective surface, which can give your artwork a softer, more subdued appearance. This finish is suitable for fine art prints and works well for pieces with intricate detail or where glare may be a concern.

Glossy: Glossy paper has a shiny, reflective surface that can make colors appear more vibrant and saturated. This finish is suitable for photographs and images with high contrast and rich colors. However, glossy prints can be susceptible to fingerprints and glare.

Semi-gloss or luster: This finish offers a balance between matte and glossy finishes. It has a subtle sheen that can enhance colors and contrast without being too reflective. This finish is suitable for various types of artwork and is less susceptible to fingerprints and glare than glossy paper.


The texture of the paper can affect the overall look and feel of your printed artwork. Smooth papers provide a clean, sharp print, while textured papers can add depth and character to your print. Choose a texture that complements your artwork and enhances its visual appeal.

Archival quality

If you want your digital art prints to last for a long time, consider using archival-quality paper. This type of paper is acid-free and resistant to yellowing, fading, and deterioration. It is designed to maintain its appearance and integrity over time.

Ink compatibility

Ensure the paper you choose is compatible with the type of ink used by your printer. Some papers are specifically designed for pigment-based inks, while others work best with dye-based inks. Using the appropriate paper for your ink type can ensure optimal print quality and longevity.

Brand reputation

Opt for paper from well-known, reputable manufacturers who produce high-quality products. Some popular brands for fine art printing include Hahnemühle, Canson, Epson, and Moab.

A. Artwork type and desired outcome

Consider the specific needs of your artwork (e.g., vibrant colors, sharp details)

A. Vibrant Colors

When printing digital art, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your artwork, such as vibrant colors. For achieving the most accurate and vivid colors:

  • Choose a high-quality printer designed to handle pigment or dye inks
  • Opt for paper with a high color gamut, ensuring the broadest range of colors can be reproduced
  • Utilize ICC profiles for your chosen paper and printer combination to ensure accurate color representation
B. Sharp Details

If your artwork requires sharp details and fine lines:

  • Select a paper with a smooth surface, such as a matte or fine art paper, which allows for more precise details in the printing process
  • Ensure your digital file is of high resolution to maintain the integrity of the details when printed
  • Opt for pigment inks, as they tend to provide sharper details and better longevity compared to dye inks
C. Balancing Vibrant Colors and Sharp Details

To achieve both vibrant colors and sharp details, consider the following:

  • Use a high-quality printer with pigment inks, as these provide the best balance between color vibrancy and sharpness
  • Choose a paper with a high color gamut and a smooth surface, such as a fine art or heavyweight matte paper
  • Ensure your digital file is of high resolution and utilize ICC profiles for accurate color representation and detail preservation

Determine the desired finish, texture, and longevity

As an artist, your creative vision is reflected in every aspect of your work, from the subject matter to the medium. When it comes to printing digital art, you’ll want to ensure that the final product aligns with your artistic goals. To achieve this, consider the following factors in an engaging style:

A. Finish: Matte or Glossy?

Embrace the power of choice! The finish of your artwork can drastically impact its overall appearance. A matte finish offers a subtle, non-reflective surface that can accentuate the depth and richness of colors, while a glossy finish adds a touch of glamour with its eye-catching shine and vivid color reproduction. Consider the message you want your artwork to convey and let your creativity guide your decision.

B. Texture: Smooth or Textured?

Add another dimension to your digital art with texture. Smooth papers, such as matte or fine art papers, provide a clean and crisp foundation for intricate details and delicate designs. In contrast, textured papers, like watercolor or canvas papers, can add a tactile element to your artwork, giving it a more traditional and handcrafted feel. Think about how the texture of the paper will complement your artistic style, and let your imagination run wild!

C. Longevity: Built to Last?

As an artist, you pour your heart and soul into your creations, so why not ensure that they stand the test of time? When selecting paper for your digital art prints, consider factors such as fade resistance, archival quality, and overall durability. Opt for acid-free papers, which prevent yellowing and deterioration, and choose pigment inks for their increased longevity compared to dye inks. Your future self and your adoring fans will thank you!

B. Size of the print

Ensure the chosen paper can accommodate the print size

When it comes to creating a visual impact, size certainly matters! As an artist, you need to ensure that the paper you choose for your digital art can accommodate the print size you desire. Embrace the power of scale and let’s explore how to make the most of your chosen canvas.

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A. Don’t Let Size Hold You Back

Whether you’re aiming for a minimalist statement with a small print or a bold centerpiece that dominates the room, the size of your artwork plays a crucial role in its overall appeal. Look for paper options that come in various sheet and roll sizes to cater to your creative needs. Remember, your artwork should never be constrained by the limitations of the paper; instead, let the paper serve as a platform to amplify your artistic vision.

B. Compatibility Matters

When selecting the ideal paper for your digital art, keep in mind that not all printers can handle larger formats. Make sure to choose a printer that’s compatible with the desired paper size, so your masterpiece can be brought to life without any hiccups. Research wide-format printers from reputable brands like Epson, Canon, and HP that can handle larger print sizes while still delivering outstanding quality.

C. Thinking Big? Plan Ahead!

If you have grand plans for your artwork, remember that preparation is key. Before embarking on your creative journey, double-check the dimensions of your chosen paper and ensure that it will fit your printer seamlessly. Also, bear in mind that larger prints may require additional support, such as mounting or framing, to ensure they remain in pristine condition.

Consider the impact of size on the overall appearance

When it comes to art, size does more than just occupy space – it can influence the entire atmosphere and character of a room. The impact of your artwork’s size on its overall appearance is an essential aspect to consider as you select the perfect paper for your digital art. Let’s dive into how the scale of your masterpiece can make a lasting impression.

A. Size as a Visual Storyteller

The size of your artwork can set the stage for its visual narrative. Smaller prints may draw viewers in for a more intimate experience, encouraging them to focus on the finer details and subtle nuances of your piece. In contrast, larger prints can make a bold statement and command attention from across the room. When selecting your paper, consider how the size of your print will contribute to the story you want your artwork to tell.

B. Balancing Act: Size and Space

The size of your artwork can also play a significant role in the balance and harmony of the space in which it’s displayed. Smaller prints may fit seamlessly into a gallery wall, while larger prints can serve as a striking focal point in a minimalist setting. Think about the space where your art will be displayed and how the size of your print will interact with the surrounding elements to create a visually balanced environment.

C. Experimenting with Size

Don’t be afraid to play with size when creating your digital art! Experimenting with scale can lead to unexpected and exciting results. Perhaps an image that seems overpowering in a large format takes on a whole new meaning when reduced to a smaller scale, or vice versa. By considering the impact of size on your artwork’s appearance, you open the door to a world of creative possibilities.

C. Finish preferences (Matte or Glossy)

Determine whether a matte or glossy finish is preferred for the artwork

The finish of your digital art print can significantly impact its overall appearance and aesthetic appeal. When it comes to choosing between a matte or glossy finish, the decision ultimately depends on your artistic vision and personal preference. Let’s explore the unique qualities of matte and glossy finishes to help you determine the best fit for your masterpiece.

A. The Understated Elegance of Matte

A matte finish offers a soft, subtle look that enhances the depth and complexity of your artwork. Its non-reflective surface allows viewers to appreciate the rich colors and intricate details of your piece without any glare or shine. This finish is ideal for artwork with fine details, soft colors, or a more subdued visual impact.

Some benefits of a matte finish include:

  • Reduced glare, making it easier to view in brightly lit spaces
  • Greater emphasis on the artwork’s texture
  • A more professional and sophisticated appearance
B. The Vibrant Energy of Glossy

If you want your digital art to make a bold statement, a glossy finish may be the perfect choice. The high shine of a glossy finish intensifies the colors and contrast of your artwork, making it appear more vibrant and eye-catching. This finish works well for images with rich, saturated colors or dynamic compositions.

Some benefits of a glossy finish include:

  • Enhanced vibrancy and depth of colors
  • A sense of depth and dimension
  • A more modern and contemporary look
C. Making the Decision: Matte or Glossy?

When deciding between a matte or glossy finish, take some time to reflect on the specific characteristics of your artwork and the atmosphere you want to create. Consider factors such as the intended display environment, the level of detail and texture in your piece, and the overall mood you want to evoke.

Consider how the finish will affect the appearance and durability

When selecting the best paper for your digital art print, it’s crucial to consider not only the visual impact of the finish but also its durability. The finish you choose can significantly affect the artwork’s appearance and longevity, so it’s essential to strike a balance between aesthetics and preservation. Let’s delve into how different finishes can influence the look and durability of your art prints.

A. Matte Finish: Classic and Timeless

A matte finish is an excellent choice for those who value the subtle elegance of a classic and timeless appearance. The non-reflective surface ensures that your artwork maintains its visual integrity in various lighting conditions while also highlighting the intricate details and textures of your piece.

In terms of durability, a matte finish can be less susceptible to fingerprints and smudges, which helps keep your artwork looking pristine for years to come. Additionally, the non-glare surface reduces the risk of UV damage, further enhancing the print’s longevity.

B. Glossy Finish: Bold and Contemporary

A glossy finish can add a striking, contemporary look to your artwork with its vibrant colors and high contrast. The reflective surface helps create a sense of depth and dimension, giving your piece a captivating visual presence.

However, glossy finishes can be more susceptible to fingerprints, smudges, and scratches, which can potentially compromise the print’s durability. To maintain the print’s vibrant appearance, it’s essential to handle and display it with care, such as using protective glass or UV-resistant coatings.

C. Finding the Balance: Appearance and Durability

When weighing the pros and cons of matte and glossy finishes, it’s essential to consider your priorities. If you value a classic, timeless look and want to minimize the risk of damage, a matte finish might be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a bold, contemporary appearance and are willing to take extra precautions to protect your artwork, a glossy finish may be more suitable.

D. Budget considerations

Balance quality and cost

Choosing the ideal paper for your digital art prints is not only about aesthetics and durability, but it’s also about finding the perfect balance between quality and cost. While it’s natural to desire top-notch quality for your artwork, it’s essential to consider your budget and find a suitable middle ground. Let’s explore how you can strike this balance and achieve outstanding results without breaking the bank.

A. Set Your Priorities: Quality vs. Cost

Before diving into the world of digital art paper, take a moment to assess your priorities. Are you willing to invest more to achieve the highest quality, or are you looking for a more budget-friendly option that still delivers satisfactory results? Understanding your priorities will help you navigate the plethora of choices and find the best paper that aligns with both your quality standards and budget.

B. Experiment with Different Options

One of the most effective ways to balance quality and cost is to experiment with different paper options. Many companies offer sample packs that allow you to test various papers without committing to a full order. This hands-on approach will enable you to compare the quality of different papers and their price points, ultimately helping you find the sweet spot between quality and affordability.

C. Bulk Orders and Discounts

If you’re planning to print multiple copies of your artwork or create a series of prints, consider purchasing paper in bulk. Bulk orders often come with significant discounts, allowing you to access higher quality paper at a more affordable price. Additionally, keep an eye out for sales, promotions, or discounts from your preferred paper suppliers to further reduce costs without compromising on quality.

D. Quality vs. Quantity: The Art of Compromise

In some cases, you might have to compromise between quality and quantity. If you’re working with a limited budget, you might need to prioritize quality for your most important pieces and opt for more affordable options for the rest. By thoughtfully allocating your resources, you can ensure that your most treasured artworks receive the best possible treatment without overspending.

E. Embrace the Journey: Learn and Adapt

Remember that the process of finding the perfect balance between quality and cost is a journey. As you gain experience with various papers and understand their impact on your artwork, you’ll become more adept at making informed decisions that cater to both your artistic vision and financial constraints. Embrace the learning process, and don’t be afraid to adjust your approach as you grow in your understanding of the art of digital printing.

Explore bulk printing options for cost savings

Stepping into the realm of bulk printing can open up new possibilities for cost savings while still ensuring the quality of your digital art prints. If you’re planning to produce multiple copies or have a series of artworks to print, exploring bulk printing options can be a game-changer. Let’s dive into the benefits of bulk printing and how it can help you save without sacrificing quality.

A. The Magic of Volume Discounts

One of the most significant advantages of bulk printing is the opportunity to access volume discounts. Paper suppliers and printing services often offer discounted rates for larger orders, allowing you to enjoy higher quality paper or printing services at a more affordable price. The more you print, the more you save!

B. Consistency in Your Art Prints

Another benefit of bulk printing is the consistency it offers across your art prints. By printing multiple pieces at once, you can ensure that the colors, finish, and texture remain uniform throughout your collection. This uniformity can enhance the overall presentation and professionalism of your artwork.

C. Streamlined Production Process

Bulk printing streamlines the production process by minimizing the need for frequent reordering and reducing the time spent on print setup. With a well-planned bulk printing strategy, you can focus on creating art and leave the logistics to the experts, saving you time and energy.

D. Environmentally Friendly Approach

Opting for bulk printing also contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. By printing large quantities at once, you can reduce waste and carbon emissions associated with multiple small orders. As an artist, this eco-conscious choice can have a positive impact on your brand image.

Comparison of Popular Art Print Paper Choices

“Certain papers are better suited for certain types of art, and choosing the right paper can make all the difference in the final result.”


A. Red River Paper products

  • High-quality papers for various print types
  • Includes options such as River Linen, Aurora White, Canvas White, Premium Matte Plus, Palo Duro Satin, Arctic Polar Luster, Polar Matte Magna, and Arctic Polar Satin
  • Descriptions and characteristics for each paper type

Welcome to the world of Red River Paper, where high-quality paper and passionate craftsmanship converge to provide me and fellow artists with an exceptional selection of printing options. I’m excited to dive into the remarkable offerings of Red River Paper and discover how their premium products can bring my digital art to life.

A. An Array of Exquisite Papers

Red River Paper boasts an impressive collection of art print papers, meticulously curated to meet the diverse needs of artists and photographers like me. From luxurious cotton rag papers and velvety matte options to vibrant canvas and striking metallic finishes, their product range caters to a wide variety of styles and preferences. With Red River Paper, I know I can find the perfect match for my digital art prints.

B. Unwavering Commitment to Quality

What sets Red River Paper apart from the rest is their unwavering commitment to quality. By sourcing their products from top paper mills and rigorously testing each paper for performance and compatibility, they ensure that every print I create is of the highest possible standard. Their dedication to quality and customer satisfaction is truly commendable, making Red River Paper a trusted choice for artists seeking exceptional art print papers.

C. Compatibility and Versatility

Red River Paper’s product lineup is designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of printers, including popular models from Epson, Canon, and HP. Their papers are available in various sheet and roll sizes, giving me the flexibility to print my digital art in the dimensions that best suit my vision. With Red River Paper, I’ll have the freedom and versatility to create art prints that perfectly align with my creative goals.

D. Expert Guidance and Support

Navigating the world of art print papers can be a daunting task, but Red River Paper is here to help. Their team of experts is available to provide guidance on paper choice, printer selection, and technical support, ensuring I have all the information I need to make informed decisions. With Red River Paper by my side, I’ll feel confident and empowered to create stunning art prints that stand the test of time.

B. Epson and HP Matte and Glossy Paper

  • Comparison of finishes and applications
  • Recommendations for specific print types based on desired outcome

As an artist, I’m always on the lookout for top-quality papers to print my digital art. That’s why I’m thrilled to discuss two leading brands in the industry: Epson and HP. Both companies offer matte and glossy paper options that can truly enhance the appearance of my artwork. Let’s dive into their offerings and see how their products can elevate my digital art prints.

A. Epson Matte and Glossy Paper

Epson is a well-respected brand, known for its innovative technology and high-quality products. Their range of matte and glossy papers is no exception.

1. Epson Matte Paper

Epson’s matte paper is perfect for me when I want to achieve a non-reflective finish on my art prints. The matte finish adds depth and richness to my artwork, making colors appear more subtle and elegant. Plus, the smooth texture of the paper ensures that fine details are captured with precision.

2. Epson Glossy Paper

For a shiny, reflective finish that makes colors pop, I can turn to Epson’s glossy paper. This paper type is ideal when I want my artwork to have a vibrant and eye-catching appearance. It accentuates the vividness of colors and adds a professional touch to my art prints.

B. HP Matte and Glossy Paper

HP is another leading brand in the printing industry that offers excellent matte and glossy paper options for digital art.

1. HP Matte Paper

When I’m looking for a matte paper that gives my artwork a sophisticated and muted appearance, I can rely on HP’s matte printing paper. It provides a smooth, even surface that captures all the intricate details and nuances of my digital art, making it perfect for art prints that require precision and subtlety.

2. HP Glossy Paper

If I want my artwork to shine, HP’s glossy paper is an excellent choice. This paper option delivers a lustrous, polished finish that enhances the vibrancy and depth of my art prints. It’s perfect when I want my digital art to make a bold statement and truly stand out.

In conclusion, both Epson and HP offer outstanding matte and glossy paper options that cater to my various artistic needs. Whether I want a subtle, refined finish or a striking, radiant appearance, I know I can trust these brands to deliver exceptional results for my digital art prints.

“Selecting the perfect paper for your digital art prints is like choosing the right frame for a masterpiece; it enhances the beauty, showcases the details, and preserves the art for years to come.”

Ed Shears

Popular Paper Types for Digital Art Prints

A. Giclée Art Prints

  • High-quality, luxurious prints for fine art reproductions
  • 12-color printing for accurate color matching
  • Fade-resistant and long-lasting
  • Best for short high-quality runs and special photography

Are you ready to be mesmerized by the world of Giclée art prints? These stunning prints are the crème de la crème of the fine art reproduction industry, offering unparalleled quality, color accuracy, and longevity. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the magic behind Giclée art prints and how they can elevate your artwork to new heights.

A. The Art of Giclée Printing

The term “Giclée” (pronounced zhee-klay) originates from the French word “gicler,” meaning “to squirt” or “to spray.” This fancy terminology perfectly captures the essence of the Giclée printing process, which involves spraying microscopic droplets of pigment-based ink onto high-quality archival paper or canvas. The result is a breathtakingly accurate reproduction of your original artwork, brimming with life and character.

B. An Unrivaled Color Palette

Giclée art prints are renowned for their exceptional color range and accuracy. Utilizing cutting-edge inkjet printers capable of producing up to 12 colors, Giclée printing offers a more extensive color gamut than traditional printing methods. This means your art prints will burst with vibrant colors, subtle nuances, and smooth gradations, giving your artwork the wow factor it deserves.

C. Long-lasting Masterpieces

Another outstanding feature of Giclée art prints is their impressive longevity. The combination of pigment-based inks and archival-quality paper or canvas ensures that your prints will stand the test of time. In fact, with proper care and display conditions, Giclée prints can last for more than a century without significant fading or color shifts. Imagine your artwork gracing the walls of future generations, a testament to your creative legacy.

D. The Choice of Professionals

Giclée art prints are favored by artists, galleries, and collectors worldwide for their remarkable quality, color accuracy, and archival properties. If you’re looking to create limited edition prints or showcase your artwork in a professional setting, Giclée prints are the go-to choice for a stunning and lasting impression.

B. Poster Art Prints

  • Affordable option for larger designs and bulk printing
  • Available in matte and satin finishes
  • Suitable for outdoor and weatherproof displays

C. Leaflets and Flyers

  • Budget-friendly option for art prints
  • Wide range of sizes and paper options
  • Ideal for quick and bulk printing

D. Postcards

  • Customizable and flexible prints
  • Affordable way to create small decorative art pieces
  • Option to add special finishes like foil or white ink

E. Foil Art Prints

  • Add a touch of sparkle to your designs
  • Available in various metallic shades
  • Digital or block foiling for eye-catching prints

Check out these great books – Click to check price:

1 The Digital Print: Preparing Images in Lightroom and Photoshop for Printing

2 Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book

3 Digital Printing Start-Up Guide

4 Mastering Digital Printing

5 The Art of Digital Photo Painting: Using Popular Software to Create Masterpieces

6 Digital Painting Techniques: Practical Techniques of Digital Art Masters

7 Fine Art Inkjet Printing: The Craft and Art of the Fine Digital Print

Selecting the Right Printer for Digital Art Prints

A. Pigment vs. dye inkjet printers

  • Pigment inks offer longer-lasting prints with greater color stability
  • Dye inks provide vibrant colors at a lower cost

B. Popular printer models and their capabilities

  • Examples: Canon Pro-1000, Epson SureColor P700, Canon PRO-300, Canon PRO-200, and Epson XP-15000
  • Differences in color capabilities, sheet sizes, and price

Tips for Storing, Displaying, and Preserving Printed Art

A. Proper storage conditions

  • Store artwork in a cool, dry place
  • Avoid direct sunlight and heat

B. Displaying artwork effectively

  • Use appropriate framing and mounting techniques
  • Consider the impact of lighting and location on the artwork

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How to select the best paper for art Prints?

A. To select the best paper for art prints, consider factors like your artwork’s specific needs, desired finish, texture, longevity, print size, and budget. Explore various paper types and brands to find the perfect match for your creative vision.

Q. How do I print high-quality art prints?

A. To print high-quality art prints, use a high-resolution digital file, choose a suitable paper type, and select a high-quality pigment inkjet printer. Ensure proper printer settings and color management for accurate and vibrant results.

Q. What factors should be considered when choosing a paper for digital art prints?

A. Consider the type of art, desired finish, texture, print size, longevity, compatibility with your printer, and your budget when choosing the best paper for your digital art prints.


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