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What Makes Us Different

What Makes Us Different

When searching for the right print to buy, it can be hard to decide between different vendors. Prices and options vary, and it may not be clear what makes one different from another. We know what makes our prints different from others, but we want to make sure you know as well.


Our Materials

When buying fine art prints, it can often be a “get what you pay for” industry. Very low-cost prints are often made using cheap materials that are not always archival.

Paper 

Our paper prints are made with Hahnemuhle’s Museum Etching paper. This paper is 100% cotton, and guaranteed archival. The paper has a premium matte inkjet coating, allowing us to create sharp, beautiful prints. At 300gsm, this is a heavyweight paper, making it much sturdier than cheaper materials.

A black and white photograph of Crater Lake

 

Canvas

For our canvas prints, we use Breathing Color’s Lyve canvas, paired with their Timeless varnish. This canvas is a poly-cotton blend, certified archival, and free of optical-brightener additives. It features an acid-free, neutral pH coating. The Timeless varnish is equally archival, and provides a protective layer over your print, helping prevent any future damage.

Inks

Epson’s UltaChrome inks are museum-quality, archival inks. They create rich, vibrant colors, as well as deep black and white neutrals. These inks are rated to last over 100 years without fading, giving you gorgeous prints to last a lifetime. 


Quality Checks

Many print retailers are making prints en masse, and not checking the individual prints for quality before packaging them for you to purchase. This leaves it up to the buyer to be able to spot any potential flaws, which isn’t even possible to do when buying online. At Old Town Print Gallery, we don’t think that should be your responsibility. We want you to be confident that the print you receive from us comes pre-checked and approved.

Material Flaws

Our paper and canvas are of the highest quality, but flaws can happen in any manufacturing process. When checking our paper prints, we carefully look over the image area to make sure no ink has flaked off the surface. We also check the borders, as occasionally small hairs or specks can end up embedded in the surface of the paper. If these imperfections are very close to the surface, they can often be carefully removed without leaving a mark. If they are too deep, and cannot be removed, we will reprint your image to ensure you receive a flawless print. 

A group of 5x7 paper prints of vintage photography packaged for sale in plastic sleeves

 

A selection of packaged for sale prints available at our studio in Alexandria, Virginia

 

When checking our canvas prints, the main thing we look for is cotton seeds in the canvas. These don’t show up often, but when they do they interrupt the weave of the canvas, creating a noticeable spot. As with a flawed paper print, we would reprint your image to get a perfect print.

Printer Flaws

Printers are not always perfect machines, and errors can happen! When printers cause flaws in prints, such as banding or inaccurate colors, it generally means the printer is ready for some maintenance. Once that’s taken care of, we’re back to making you the perfect print.

For answers to some other common questions about our process, check out our FAQ page!

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