Fine Art Paper vs Photo Paper (What’s the Difference Between Them?)

What Is the Difference Between Photo Paper and Fine Art Paper?

When it comes to printing photos, there are two main types of paper: photo paper and fine art paper.

Photo paper is designed for printing photographs, while fine art paper is better suited for printing artwork.

Here’s a closer look at the differences between these two types of paper:

What Is Fine Art Paper?

Art prints and fine art prints are typically made with a type of fine art paper. This type of paper is very durable and is usually made with archival, acid-free cotton (or a cotton blend).

Fine art paper is usually matte and thick and can be smooth or lightly textured.

Fine art paper is a type of paper that is specifically designed for use with artworks. It is usually made from high quality materials and has a lightly textured surface to allow for easy printing and mounting. Fine art paper is available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, depending on the needs of the artist.

What Is Photo Paper?

A photo prints, also commonly called a photographic print, is a reproduction (copy) of a photograph or artwork, and it must use photo paper (paper coated with light-sensitive chemicals). This type of paper is smooth and has a gentle polished look or a glossy finish.

Today, most of the high-quality photo prints sold online are what you call silver halide photographic prints (see images on Redbubble). Silver halide photographic prints are printed by exposing photo paper to light and having the image infused in the paper through a silver-based chemical process.

High-quality photo prints are known to have colors that look very natural yet vibrant with amazing highlights and shadows.

Another great thing about a photo print is that the dye is inside the paper, as opposed to laying on top of the paper, so it’ll be resilient to being damaged by things like scratching and liquids.

Conclusion: What Paper Is Best for Art Printing?

When it comes to printing art, there are two main types of paper to choose from: fine art paper and photo paper. So, which is the best option for you?

Art prints and fine art prints are typically made with a type of fine art paper. This type of paper is very durable and is usually made with archival, acid-free cotton (or a cotton blend).

Photographic prints are made of photo paper. This type of paper is resin-coated and light-sensitive.

Fine art paper is usually matte, thick, and lightly textured. Photo paper is glossier and typically thinner and smoother than fine art paper.

Photo paper also helps in giving the print a high contrast look (amazing highlights and shadows) compared to the more muted look of fine art paper.

However, compared to other papers used (like photo paper), galleries usually prefer fine art paper because it tends to last longer with less fading, cracking, and yellowing.

Fine art paper can have a lifespan of 100+ years.

So, which type of paper should you use for your next art print?

It really depends on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for the highest quality print, go with fine art paper.