Our process

I started Ellipress as an experiment to see if I can make prints and sell them, while sticking to some basic principals: I only sell things we like, and I use the best quality tools and materials I can find. Most prints are made to order.

I make most of the prints using Epson inkjet printers with Epson Ultrachrome HD inks. These pigment inks have a really long life and a wide colour range, especially when used with top quality archival art papers.

Some people call these kinds of prints giclée but I think this is a made up word to try to make the inkjet process appear artisanal. I just call them archival prints. This website is giclée free!

Giclée

Giclée is just a fancy French term for inkjet. Originally it was ascribed to output from Iris printers but now includes any archival inkjet large format printer.

Papers

The papers I use have a very small amount of surface texture and give excellent colour rendition, making them perfect for illustrations and graphic art. Some of these papers contain a small amount of Optical Brightener Agents*, which help boost their white appearance by reflecting UV light, just like you might add to your washing machine.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag is my favourite premium archival 100% cotton artist paper. It’s smooth and white with just a tiny amount of texture. It’s available in 308 and 188gsm weights. I tend to use the heavier weight.

Canson Rag Photographique is an another archival 100% cotton artist paper. It has a slightly flatter, smoother appearance than Hahnemühle Photo Rag and is ideal for really detailed reproductions. I use the 310gsm weight.

Printing

Each sheet and roll of cotton art paper is hand brushed before being loaded into the printer. This removes any loose dust or paper particles. Prints are left for a few hours to dry. Most prints will also get a couple of coats of Hahnemühle's UV protective spray so they are easier to handle.

*Optical Brightener Agents (OBAs)

Most of the art papers I use contain a low amount of Optical Brightener Agents, or OBAs, in them. Some printers would recommend that you should print into papers without any optical brighteners in them at all. A small amount of OBAs makes paper appear a little whiter. Which is nice right? There’s no proof that OBAs in paper make prints less archival but it is true that OBAs in the papers lose their effectiveness over time revealing the natural, often slightly more yellow, colour of the paper behind. So if the print is behind glass and not placed next to non-OBA papers for comparison then the effect will be minimal.