Care of your Prints

With the proper care and storage, our museum quality prints can last for centuries.
Here is a list of things you can do to prolong the life of your investment.

Handling

If you need to handle your print, use both hands and hold it by opposite corners (very gently) to avoid creasing. Do not touch the printed area at all, and try to touch the paper as little as possible.
Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your prints - this is to avoid any dirt, oils and lotions that might be on your hands as the paper can be extremely receptive to oil and moisture, which will leave marks on the print.
For extra peace of mind, wear a pair of clean, white cotton gloves when handling your prints.
Take your time when removing a print from a postal tube or frame as it is extremely easy to crease, dent and tear the paper while trying to uncurl it. Also, make sure to keep food and drink away from the print while it is out in the open.

Proper Storage

If your print is not on display or being viewed, consider storing it flat in a way that will protect it from creases, bumped edges and scratches (flat file, archival box or rigid folder). Always package your print in acid-free archival materials - especially if storing for the long term.
Try not to keep the paper rolled for long periods and never fold the paper as the creases are difficult and sometimes impossible to correct.
The work should be protected from light, dirt, humidity and high temperatures while being stored.

  • Long-term storage artworks and prints should be packaged in archival materials only.
  • Stored prints should not be in direct contact with each other
  • Avoid storing in attics, basements, and other locations with high risk of environmental extremes or leaks.

Finished prints should be interleaved and stored carefully to prevent scratching. Fine art ink and print surfaces are delicate, and the prints must always be handled with care.

Factors to Avoid

  • Light - Ultraviolet light is extremely damaging to prints as well as original artworks. Exposing your prints to direct sunlight and even strong artificial light from fluorescent lightbulbs can cause the colour to fade or discolour. Light damage is irreversible and may even damage the structure of the paper, causing it to become brittle
  • Extreme fluctuating temperatures - extreme temperature fluctuations can cause your print to warp, which is extremely difficult to correct - in some cases irreversible. It can also increase the rate of deterioration of the paper which could become brittle and discolour.
  • Humidity - Humidity needs to be at a controlled level as both too high and too low humidity can cause problems on a print. High humidity can cause mildew, mold and foxing (brown spots). It can also attract insects such as silverfish, which eat paper. Too little humidity can dry out the paper causing it to become brittle. Extreme fluctuations between the two can cause the print to warp.
  • Pollution - Atmospheric pollutants like sulphur and other airborne particulates, dust, dirt, sweat and oils from your hands when handling the print as well as acids from the paper itself (our photographic and art papers are acid-free) and mounting materials from framing can cause fading of the print or discolouration of the paper.
  • Pests - Insects like silverfish like to eat paper causing irreversible damage to your artwork.
  • Poor Handling - Handling the paper incorrectly can cause creases, bends, tears, scuff marks, fingerprints, oil marks etc., that in some cases can not be removed.
  • Storage - Storing your prints incorrectly can cause them to come into contact with factors on this list - too much light, fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels, insects and dirt.
  • Mounting - Some framing materials contain acid, which can be transferred to the print over time and cause discolouration, brittleness, and fading. Mounting and framing with the correct materials is very important. Choose a reputable framer and ask for advice on the best materials to use.

Mounting and Framing Art Prints

Good quality mounting/framing protects and preserves prints for many years - however, if done incorrectly can lead to damage. Always take your investment to a framer who has experience framing fine art prints and understands archival and preservation mounting and framing.

  • Prints should be mounted on pH neutral backing only.
  • Avoid self-adhesive tapes to mount prints.
  • Consider UV glass for protection against light.
  • Prints should not have any direct contact with the glass (glazing material).