FAQ – FILE UPLOADING, ORDERING, PAYMENT, SHIPPING, ETC…

In what format should I upload my files?

We try to be as flexible as possible on this matter. TIFF is our favorite, but PSD, PDF, PNG and even JPEG are valid options. Please upload your files without layers (flatten image) and above all without layers containing fonts or paths. Take a look at out checklist on preparing a file for giclée printing for detail information.

What's better? CMYK or RGB?

Adobe RGB or RBG (sRGB IEC61966-2.1.) at 8-bit or 16-bit. Please take a look at our checklist on preparing a file for giclée printing to learn more.

Why must I send files in RGB if I've always been told to submit files as CMYK for printing?

Don’t worry, we’re very aware of this huge issue concerning the “CMYK tradition”, sub and add modes, all the amazing stories and myths on the “ghost of past prints”, but there are some things you should know before putting your foot to the ground on this “CMYK rules” issue.

Nevertheless, you can use CMYK for any printing order in 2 particular cases, namely:

1) Are you absolutely sure which ICM profile the printing machine is calibrated for; 2) The use of some very special colors where problems of registration and halftoning is much more important than color fidelity which, let’s face it, is exceptionally rare.

For all the other situations, there’s a huge risk of having your CMYK files converted to RGB (actually CIE LAB) and then back to CMYK, in order to match the workflow’s ICM profile. Modern printing workflows (RIP & other stuff) are much more capable at this RGB >> CMYK conversion than your software of choice. Yes, even the amazing Photoshop!

You may quote us on the following: never work or convert to CMYK unless you have full control over the entire – calibrated – workflow. This “control” includes the printers themselves. The best color profile to use at Pigmento is Adobe RGB or sRGB IEC61966-2.1. RGB. We use 12-ink machines, we have a valuable range of inks available, there is no reason to restrict your work environment.

Can you help me with this colour modes and colour profiles stuff?

Sure! Get in touch through the form below or use info@pigmentocoolectivo to place your questions. Also take a look at our checklist on preparing a file for giclée printing for more info on this issues.

What happens to my files after I receive my prints?

Trash Bin! We cannot keep them for two reasons.

The first, less important, is a question of space management on our side. We have to delete the files as soon as we receive notification of delivery and satisfaction. The second, much more important, concerns ethics and intellectual and effective property of the artworks. We cannot keep files beyond what is exclusively ordered by the customer. After fulfilling that contract (printing and arranging delivery), we have to delete the files.

I really liked my prints and I'd like to order a dew more? Must I re-upload the files?

If both parts (you and Pigmento) have already exchanged messages confirming the order fulfillment, most likely your files have already been deleted. You should therefore confirm with Pigmento, but you’ll probably need to re-upload your files.

Do you always publish the prints you produce over social media like Instagram?

No. Just some of the times!

Not always, nor as a way to promote any given customer. It’s simply a way to advertise and publicize the qualities of the service we provide.

If by chance we’ve published an image of your artwork, and you don’t want to see it on our social media channels, please get in touch so that we can delete it.

Nevertheless, we ALWAYS ask permission before any publication and even so, we always tag the authors. Note, however, that if we do not publish an image of one of your prints, that doesn’t mean that we think any less of it. Printing already consumes most of our time! Photographing, publishing, and managing SM, is what we call the “mythical realm of free time”. We record about 35-50% of everything we print. We publish perhaps 10% of that registered parcel.

What is a giclée print?

Excellent question?! This question is also answered on our homepage, and in some other posts on our blog, but nevertheless, here it goes again.

The word giclée (it reads “jee-clay”) derives from the French verb “gicler” which means “to spray”.

The word is a neologism coined about 30 years ago, and is used to describe a fine art digital printing process that combines mineral pigment-based inks with exceptional quality paperi.e., good principles for high longevity or permanence. All printing – most certainly giclée printing – must be produced in a controlled environment with professional color management workflow.

This type of printing technology (giclée) offers smoothness and richness of color as well as the assurance that the print represents the artist’s original work as closely as possible.

Image permanence is a legitimate concern for artists and collectors. Aging estimates – based on laboratory analysis – point to a fading and color change resistance of over 200 years under ideal conditions (dark storage at 22.7°C and 50% R.H.), and up to 86 years when exposed under glass.

Giclée printing is, in short, a method for art reproduction available to artists whose mass production of their works is simply unfeasible. Giclée printing allows artists to use art reproduction that ensures quality and permanence and also, an art piece very close of the original artwork.

Do you issue certificates of authenticity?

Of course! You can choose from two types of certificate, namely:.

A first one, issued by us, with our dry stamp and print specification declaration;

A second kind of certificate is based on Hahnemühle’s hologram system, in which each the artwork receives a numbered holographic stamp that corresponds to the numbered stamp placed on a Certificate of Authenticity.

Elements like the title and authorship, type of paper, printing technology, inks, paper type and batch, etc. are normally present on both kinds of certificates.

What papers do you use?

All the papers we use for giclée printing (except for Hahnemühle Matt Fiber 200gsm) have archival characteristics.

Some have a matte finish option, others have a glossy, pearl, satin, finish (or coating). Matte papers have different texture levels in order to allow the customer to choose the “touch” that best suits their artwork.

There are usually only two price levels for the papers we offer. A value for substrates from Canson Infinity or Hahnemühle and a second tier for less expensive papers like the ones we offer through the PC (Pigmento Coolectivo) line.

What inks do you use?

We use – no matter what – LUCIA PRO original inks. These are pigment-based inks (or mineral inks or mineral pigment inks) of very high quality and durability, especially when placed over papers of an equivalent level of excellence.

Are your papers acid-free?

Giclée printing without acid-free substrates/papers is not giclée printing!

You can quote us on this! The permanence of the final product (substrate + ink) largely depends on the pH value of the paper before printing, as well as its evolution over time.

The presence of lignin also adds more to this already delicate equation, and its exposure to light and oxygen, generates a yellowish hue at the surface of the materials where it is present.

Yes, all our papers are acid-free, even Hahnemühle Matt Fiber 200g/m2. The pH values and other technical information can be found on the individual the pages we have created for each paper (you find all the links at the homepage). More on this lignin issue can be found in the next answer below.

When we use the term “acid-free paper” we’re talking about a conditioning introduced during the manufacturing process. Calcium carbonate is added to the mix to neutralize the acidity of the natural material, and produce a stable alkaline configuration in the finished paper, producing a neutral pH value and therefore a longer print life; This is valid for cotton paper or alpha-cellulose.

Are your papers lignin-free?

The important thing about lignin is that its presence should be noted in the future., many years from now. This is ensured by guaranteeing it does not exist in the present.

Lignin is, chemically speaking, a molecule present in terrestrial plants, associated with cellulose at the cell wall level, whose purpose is to provide rigidity, impermeability, and resistance against biological attacks to plant tissues, mainly over the vascular system of plants. Lignin is, therefore, a good “thing”! It’s just a “bad thing” when we talk about giclée printing paper, but we think you got the point, right?

Lignin is the main component of wood if you don’t count on cellulose. After the paper production process, it is present in large quantities in papers such as brown paper (used in bags for bread and other foods) and cardboard. These papers have some characteristics in common, one is the dark colouration. The presence of a large amount of lignin in the composition of these materials is what produces this characteristic so… brownish!

Lignin gives paper an aged appearance over time, i.e, it accelerates its degradation. Lignin molecules undergo oxidation when exposed to oxygen, this changes make it less stable. To manufacture white paper, lignin must be almost completely extracted. This is accomplished through bleaching (whitening chemicals). During the production process, these chemicals are added to the cellulose pulp that separates and discards the lignin. The result is a white paper with a longer shelf life. 

What are OBAs?

OBA is the short form for Optical Brightening Agents. 

OBAs are chemical compounds added to some papers coating. They are used to enhance the appearance of color, whitening the paper by increasing the amount of blue light reflected and, as a result, offsetting natural yellow tones.

Different papers contain different levels of OBAs. You can confirm whether a paper contains optical brightening agents by placing a sheet under UV light. If it shows a purple color then it contains OBAs, the brighter the purple emitted light, the more OBAs are present in the paper.

In a bit more technical terms, an OBA, or optical bleach, is a colorless aniline, which absorbs UV radiation and emits it as visible radiation. The presence of optical bleach on the paper imposes a predominant reflection in the blue region of the spectrum, positively influencing the reproduction of cool colors (greens, blues and derivatives), thus negatively interfering with the reproduction of warm colors.

Why is cotton paper so famous?

Cotton has a long tradition on paper manufacturing.

Even nowadays you can find “rags” of old clothes in the composition of recycled papers (hence the “cotton rag”) however, papers for giclée or fine art printing, only use high quality cotton lints, i.e., the short fibers which are attached to the cottonseed after ginning, and which in fact, also contain cellulose that helps to give stability to the finished paper sheet.

Thus, and due to the origin of cotton, this type of paper produces a much softer feel when compared to 100% alpha-cellulose papers. Theoretically cotton paper also has better strength and durability than wood pulp papers, but that will be a whole other discussion and will surely be dependent on trends and other non-technical reasons.

Cotton also has recognized strong archival characteristics. It is common to say that for every percentage point of cotton contained in a paper, we can count on one year of resistance to deterioration through use. For example, 25% cotton paper can be handled for 25 years without showing signs of deterioration. You shouldn’t take this for granted, of course.

What's alpha-celullose?

Alpha-cellulose paper is made from wood pulp and is, therefore, a natural product (or fiber). A-cellulose is the basis of wood pulp; it is made up of several sugar molecules joined together to form a chain.

During the paper making process, the afore mentioned chain is broken, and refined to remove unwanted elements (like the lignin mentioned some questions above) and then reformed to add strength to the final sheet of paper.

To create different finishes on the surface of the paper, occasionally alpha-cellulose fibers are combined with other materials such as cotton lints.

There are many different types of alpha-cellulose paper for fine art and giclée printing, and their quality is absolutely indisputable and even suitable for many types of artworks. It is mostly sought after in the illustration segment.

Do you print in traditional paper/brown paper/silk paper/cardboard/etc.?

We print , exclusively, on paper prepared for inkjet printing. which is the only surface available for a giclée process.

Can you guys order a certain type of paper from your suppliers so I can test a few prints?

It depends! We have access to all papers – except when they’re stocked out at the supplier level – by Canson and Hahnemühle. Still, “having a paper available” represents a significant investment in a certain quantity or stock of paper.

If your request for a quote is for an amount that, even though it represents a loss for Pigmento, presents itself as feasible, we can try to bring the paper in. If on the other hand, your order is for a couple of prints, we can hardly be of any help.

No matter how much we love to be helpful, a business will always be a business and it is, in practical terms, impossible to have stock for all the papers on the market. Even if we are talking about only 2 brands.

How can I order?

That’s easy! Just follow the steps point at our “How to order…” webpage.

How long do you take to process an order (turnaround time)?

Upon payment confirmation, we’re currently taking 3 or less working days to fulfill an order.

How much is the shipping cost?

For an updated info on this issue, you should take a look at our “Shipping Information” webpage.

How much does a 25 A2 size order weigh?

Although the weight of paper and the respective printing inks represent a considerable part of the weight of each order (1684g only for paper in a 25 A2 size order using PC White 270gsm), it’s imperative to count on the weight of the packaging materials.

Thus, from experience, an order for 25 A2 prints on PC White 270 gsm weighs approximately 4500g (4.5Kg).

Add approximately 235g-250g for an equivalent order in Canson Rag Photographique 310gsm or Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm, i.e. approximately 4735g for an order of 25 A2 size prints.

Is there a minimum order size?

No! We print every order, big or small, with the same commitment.

What payment method do you provide?
Payments can be made through Bank Transfer (CGD), MB WAY, Paypal or Stripe
How are the prints shipped?

All prints are shipped flat using CTT Expresso

Are prints well protected?

Yes! Very well protected. We don’t save on good packaging materials. You pay for a giclée not a simple digital print.

Can I track my order?

Yes! All of our shipping include a tracking number you can use o follow your orders. Shipping within Portugal when the client provides a mobile number, may also take advantage of an SMS notification service.

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