Andy Farrer Photography

Caring for your fine-art giclée print from Andy Farrer

Giclée prints are renowned for their extreme longevity and for delivering vibrant accurate colour; this is why they are displayed in the world's finest museums, art galleries and private art collections.

Correctly cared for, your Andy Farrer fine-art giclée print should bring pleasure to you and your loved ones for generations. 

Please read and follow the care instructions below. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me using the contact form and I will be happy to advise.

General points for handling your giclée print

Giclée prints should be cared for in the same way as an original piece of art.

This means that dirt, dust, moisture, oils, adhesives, solvents, heat, and anything that could scratch, dent or crease the paper should all be avoided when you are handling your print.

I therefore recommend taking your print directly to the framer, in its packaging. However, if you want to unpack your print at home, here are some general handling guidelines: 

  • Use clean, dry hands at all times when handling your print (or, even better, white cotton gloves) as skin oils can stain the paper.
  • Use two hands to support your print so it will not bend as dents and creases in the print are also likely to be permanent.
  • Hold your giclée print only at the very edges of the paper to avoid finger-smudges on the face of the print which will be very difficult or impossible to remove.
  • Use a clean and dry, flat, smooth and hard surface for laying your print out.
  • Keep your new giclée print covered with the acid-free tissue paper in which it was packed, until it is framed, to avoid damage.
  • Don’t use your hands to wipe off any dust as this can also damage the surface of your giclée print – use a dry, clean, white lint-free cloth or a photographer’s lens-brush.

Flattening your rolled giclée print

The printer I use is a roll-fed wide format printer and the printable side of the paper is on the outside of the roll. Your print has been protected in acid free tissue paper and rolled with the curl of the paper (with the image side out). Rolling it against it's natural curl will cause damage to the print. Follow the steps below to allow the paper to relax to prevent damage.

  • Prepare a clean, flat, smooth, hard surface for working. Be sure it is clean of any grit and particles that might bruise, scratch, or stain your print. 
  • Remove the rolled print, still in it's tissue from the tube.
  • Remove the paper sleeve taking care not to tear the tissue. Discard the sleeve away from your work surface.
  • Carefully begin to unroll the print face down onto the acid-free tissue.
  • If the print has a tight curl, it is a good idea to place a few clean and dry, smooth, flat and  heavy objects (i.e. books) on the ends while you unroll it.
  • With the tissue paper still covering the print’s image, place more weights (books) on the other end.
  • Let your giclée print relax over-night, at least - if it still isn’t flat when you remove the books, replace them for a few more hours. 

Some papers have a more vigourous curl than others. This is perfectly normal. I pack in wide diameter tubes to minimise the curl as much as possible.

Please never scrape the back of your print over the edge of a table or use an iron, steam, or moisture to flatten it – this will certainly damage it! 

Framing your giclée print

We strongly recommend that you get your print professionally framed.

Professional framers will dry mount the prints to an acid free substrate which will ensure a perfectly flat finish.

Ask for archival, acid-free materials for mounts and backing, as this will add to the life of the print.

Non-reflective glass – ideally UV protected – is also definitely worth the additional investment for displaying and protecting your print.

Displaying your giclée print

As with any valued fine artwork,  giclée prints should ideally be displayed in indirect lighting conditions. Prolonged direct sunlight is likely to cause discolouration in your print (as it will with furniture, carpets, wallpaper, etc). High humidity, heat, airborne dust, solvents, adhesives, smoke and other similar contaminants can also permanently damage your print.