Metallic Prints: when?

A friend just asked (and I paraphrase): “I have a picture: should I have it printed on metallic?” He went on to say that it has shiny stuff in it. His picture is here.

And I do like to have my work printed on metallic, for the large prints. Like in this one, which will be for sale at the Oakville awards ceremony this Thursday:

Good question. When do you use the following?

  • Normal paper;
  • Matte paper;
  • Glossy paper;
  • Natural fibre paper;
  • Metallic paper.

Well, here’s my rules of thumb. Very basically:

  • Normal paper: run of the mill paper, never. Make your images look great, and make them last.
  • Matte paper: when you expect reflections. When blacks need to be deep black.
  • Glossy paper: when you want your pictures to look like photos. When reflections will not be an issue.
  • Natural fibre paper: when you are using a pigment printed, and are less interested in the background being pure white, but more interested in long-lasting prints (think centuries). Pigment lasts centuries; natural fibre paper types such as the popular Hahnemülle papers will not fade, since they have no “emulsion” side to fade: “it is what it is”.
  • Metallic paper: when your prints need to “wow!” and they have shiny bits in them. Colours become vivid; black and white greys get this wonderful silvery sheen: strongly recommended. Also, when you want a light print. Silver paper mounted on softcore needs no glass; just a simple frame around the edges.

Based on the above, my friend’s print most certainly qualifies for a metallic print. I’d go and do it. If you (like him) live near Toronto, go to Fotobox in Etobicoke, and tell them I sent you.

One more thing. Settle on a few paper types. All papers have a clear range of things they do best; colours they can express; way with colour and with deep blacks; and so on. Pick a few, learn what they do (use the Soft Proofing function in Lightroom that I discussed here previously!) and then print accordingly.

Talking about prints: I also intend to sell smaller prints from at this week’s event:

If you should be interested in prints for your home or office: I will honour the special Oakville Arts Council pricing until Thursday. Just saying.


A Note for Oakville residents: I just bought those easels and print stands at Currys in Oakville (off Trafalgar Road). The store manager (I think that is what she was), when asked by the very nice cashier if there was a discount for taking the display items (they had run out of boxed items) grumpily looked at me and said “NO. There’s nothing wrong with them.” The brusque and rude way she said that, and the way that she then then went back to her work with clear disdain, apparent feelings of superiority, not liking me, and all sorts of other not-nice-to-customers feelings makes me not want to go back there. At Michaels art store, on the contrary, they were very nice and took all sorts of time even though I bought nothing. Just saying, everyone: avoid Currys Oakville if you want to be treated with respect. (And it’s not the discount: it’s the way she expressed it).


4 thoughts on “Metallic Prints: when?

  1. Micheals for Currys? Please reconsider that statement!
    You have to be kidding, that is like saying Canadian Tire has exellent customer service.
    I dont know who you dealt with, but the store manager with the dark brown hair has great customer service.
    I respect your art, however not your judgement.


    • You’d probably have to have been there, Ron. All I can comment on is what I personally observed: not much judgment needed there. The Michaels guy helped me look at easels; discussed frames at length; it was HE who told me to go to Currys for the easels. At Currys, things were not so good. I didn’t get my Sheridan discount as I did not have my ID card and “they were unable to look up things on the Internet” (what about my smartphone?), nor my Arts Council member discount. Some flexibility would have been nice. But the way this lady scoffed at me was not a matter of “judgment”. When staff ask you to give a client a discount, you do not look up briefly, say “NO. There’s nothing wrong with them”. And look away, ignoring said customer. That’s plain rude. And guess what? I do not revisit shops where they are rude to me.

  2. My name is Margo Maier and I am the Manager of Curry’s Oakville location.

    I would like to begin by thanking you very much for taking the time to let us know about your unfortunate experience at our store on October 7th. I sincerely apologize for the unpleasant attitude you received. I would like to clarify that it was not me you were dealing with, but a member of my supervisory team. I assure you that your experience in our store is not acceptable to me, and is not consistent with how I operate this store. I have had many positive comments during my time here and believe this situation is an exception to the reputation I work very hard to uphold.

    I have spoken with the supervisor involved and came to the same conclusion that you did: a poor attitude has no place in customer service excellence. I can honestly say that I believe this will be a valuable learning experience for her. I take personal pride in the high level of customer service provided here at Curry’s, and hope that we will have the opportunity to illustrate that to you in the future.

    Michael, my #1 priority with Oakville Curry’s is to be the kind of place where creative individuals can come and feel confident they will be served with utmost respect. I am sorry that you didn’t experience that here, and hope that you will accept my apologies.

    I will email you directly with my contact information so that we can work to rectify this situation. I look forward to speaking with you.

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