IF YOU’RE A FINE ART photographer selling your prints to discerning collectors then you’ve got a responsibility to be providing a product that you know for sure has stood the test of time and is going to reinforce your reputation. Not only has the print you supply got to look amazing and be the perfect complement to your vision, but you also need to be totally sure that, if displayed correctly, it’s going to last for decades.
Choose to work with Hahnemühle papers and you’ll certainly be covered on this front. We’re talking here about a company that has the strongest of heritages – it’s been producing paper at the same site for a staggering 435 years and counting – and its products are hugely respected and happen to be used by some of the world’s top museums and galleries.
Hahnemühle also has a strong background in terms of the papers it provides to those who are looking to produce and sell giclee prints. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the company’s highly regarded Digital FineArt line and, over the past quarter century, countless fine art photographers have utilised products from this range as their front-line media of choice.
And small wonder. These are high quality artist papers that feature a cotton or cellulose base, and which come with a clearly visible and distinct surface texture that provides a unique tactile feel. Furthermore, they’ve been designed to fulfil the high-end fine art demands for excellent reproduction of colour and detail while also featuring impressive contrast and deep blacks. In terms of longevity these are also papers that are also very much right up there amongst the very best available. Lifespan should be 100 years or more and, being acid and lignin-free, the media fully fulfils museum and gallery standards.
There’s a wide range of choice within Hahnemühle’s Digital FineArt line-up, one of the most popular products being Photo Rag 308. Highly valued as an all-rounder for high-quality fine art inkjet printing, this white cotton artist’s paper has a characteristic, wonderfully soft feel, and boasts a lightly defined felt structure that lends each artwork a threedimensional appearance, along with an impressive pictorial depth.
Combined with the matt premium inkjet coating, this substrate produces outstanding prints that feature brilliant colours, deep blacks, striking contrasts and perfect reproduction of detail. This acidand lignin-free classic meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and is specially designed for fine art applications. As a special highlight, Photo Rag 308 is also available with hand-torn deckle edges on all four sides, which results in exclusive prints that truly come into their own in a shadow box frame.
Another media with a huge fine art following is German Etching. This is a traditional mould-made copperplate printing paper, complete with an inkjet coating designed especially for fine art applications. The white art paper, made from 100% alpha cellulose, is characterised by its extraordinary velvety tactile feel and its fine, clearly defined felt structure. Being acid and lignin free it also meets exacting requirements in terms of age resistance.
CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Respect for the environment is another huge message that has been resonating particularly strongly in recent years, and this is an area where Hahnemühle’s fine reputation as a paper manufacturer and its well-established green credentials neatly dovetail together in its Natural Line Collection. This range focuses on the company’s four Digital FineArt inkjet papers that are made from unique raw materials: bamboo, hemp, agave and sugar cane.
All these are plants that require minimal maintenance, which have the capacity to grow quickly and which, crucially, don’t require any pesticides. Their rapid growth means that more cellulose can be produced from the same crop than with other raw materials, and they also require much less water, helping to save valuable resources and so protect the environment. While the green message is coming over loud and clear, however, there are no compromises being made in terms of the quality of the substrates, and fine art photographers at every level can choose to utilise these products in the safe knowledge they are still working with premium materials while doing their bit for the planet.
What is particularly encouraging is that the introduction of these papers is no mere PR exercise from Hahnemühle. Far from it, because when you dig a little deeper you discover that care for the environment runs deep in this company’s psyche. For a start the Hahnemühle factory is located within a nature reserve in Germany, ensuring that the business needs to be run with great care and responsibility. And, since 2008, the company
Hahnemühle‘s Green Roster Initiative
To celebrate World Earth Day and as part of the company’s Green Rooster Initiative, 2000 trees were recently planted by Hahnemühle trainees and volunteers. Read more here.
has been supporting both regional and international environmental protection projects through its ‘Green Rooster’ initiative, including reforestation, animal protection and environmental education programmes.
These projects are very important to Hahnemühle and the company contributes a share of its profits from Natural Line to environmental and climate protection. To date, more than €300,000 has been invested in various environmental initiatives, with an ongoing commitment to keep on donating 5% of the profits from these superb ‘green’ papers.
That’s a brilliant message for fine art photographers to be conveying to those who collect their work, one that will no doubt help to encourage print sales among those who are choosing ever more carefully who they purchase from. Furthermore, Hahnemühle is delivering the complete package, with initiatives such as Certificates of Authenticity, that can be issued by the artist to the collector and then archived within a section of the myartregistry.com website. Here a collector can find details of the artist, the title of the artwork and the certificate number, and it all adds to the reassurance that an artwork is authentic and has value.
There are also archivally secure Portfolio Boxes available from Hahnemühle that can be used to store fine art prints and, again, these show the collector that the photographer is deadly serious about their fine art.
For those that want to demonstrate their commitment to their art and the quality of their presentation Hahnemühle has the complete answer. The company is continuing to provide high quality products to the fine art community just as they’ve done for nearly 450 years now, and it’s a golden opportunity to tap into some of that incredible history.
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