FAQs - art

Every image has a shape. Some are square, most are rectangular. Aspect ratio is simply a description of the image's width and height. This is most often expressed as a ratio such as 4:5, 16:9 and so on. This can express length:width or width:length, depending on whether the image is oriented to portrait or landscape.

Aspect ratio and resolution describe different things about a file. Aspect ratio and resolution are related (one describes the numerical relationship between the length and width, the other measures how many pixels per inch are available) but they are not the same thing.


Every square image, regardless of its size, has an aspect ratio of 1:1.  That means that the length of the image is exactly the same as its width. That's what we mean when we say "square".


Most photos come off the camera as some sort of rectangular shape. Common aspect ratios are 4:5 and 16:9.

Cropped images

If you crop your own images without paying attention to aspect ratio, it is very likely you'll end up with a non-standard size that will require custom framing. We are capable of printing most non-standard sizes without any trouble at all; but be aware that when you reach framing stage you may encounter some trouble with standard frames.

So what aspect ratio should I use?

That depends. What size print do you want? If you want a 12" x 12" (square) print, you need to crop the file to be square. If you want an 8" x 10", there's no use in sending us a long panoramic photo or a square photo. Common aspect ratios are below.

Common aspect ratios include:

Moving columns requires cropping
Moving rows requires 
changing resolution




4" x 6" 4" x 4.53"  4" x 5" 
8" x 12" 8" x 10.67" 8" x 10" 
10" x 15" 9" x 12"  9" x 11.25" 
11" x 16.5" 11" x 14.67" 11" x 13.75"
16" x 24" 16" x 21.33" 16" x 20"
18" x 27" 18" x 24" 18" x 22.5"
24" x 36" 24" x 32" 24" x 30"

What's the difference?

RGB colour is made up of Red, Green and Blue colours. This is typically used for screen graphics: monitors, handheld devices such as smart phones, and other screens. See

CMYK colour is made up of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black colours. This is also known as process colour, full colour and four colour. CMYK is typically used in inkjet, digital and offset press printing.

Spot colour is made up of whatever inks are chosen or the job. Typically designers will use a black ink plus one, two or more 'spot' inks. We create one press plate per colour, and these are each printed in turn to create the finished image. True spot colour printing can only be done on a press, but many digital devices (inkjet and digital printers, for example) are able to emulate spot colours.

Which one should I use for my files?

It depends entirely on the job.

Production method

Best colour model

Typical examples

Full colour offset press CMYK brochures, fliers, posters, rack cards, some stationery 
Spot colour offset press spot colour stationery, forms,  some posters and promotional printing
Large format inkjet  RGB posters, exhibits, displays, maps
Digital colour CMYK  reports, booklets, business cards, stationery

If you accidentally provide the file with a mismatched colour model, that's fine. Our prepress operators have a lot of experience swapping files from one to the other.

Still confused?

Don't worry about it. Give us a call.

No. You must be the legal copyright holder (i.e. you are the artist) or have permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the artwork.

All artwork in Canada is automatically copyrighted, whether or not it has the copyright © symbol.

If we do not have reasonable grounds on which to believe that you either are the artist or have permission from the artist, we will refuse to handle the piece.

Copyright law protects everyone's interests: authors, painters, artists, sculptors. It's in everyone's interest to see the law upheld. Please don't ask us to reproduce something illegally; you're asking us to break the law.

There are some things we won't print

We understand that the world of art is diverse and sometimes makes audiences feel uncomfortable. However, we reserve the right to refuse to print art and photography that is pornographic, exploitive, racist or derogatory.

TAGS: copyright

In general, it's a three-step process:

  1. scanning / capture
  2. image correction
  3. printing

Learn more about the process and what we print on here.

TAGS: art, canvas

Yes. But there are some things that you need to understand about the term giclée.

"Giclée" used to refer to an art print that was created on an IRIS printer. It refers to the production method wherein ink is 'squirted' or 'sprayed' through the printer' nozzle onto the paper to make the image.

Today, a huge proportion of art reproductions are done on inkjet printers. So, loosely, the term applies to almost any fine art inkjet print. Normally it is used to refer to an art reproduction that is run on the same media on which the original was created (fine art paper, canvas, etc.) with the intention of creating a reliably accurate copy of the original.

Our art reproductions are usually run on an Epson Stylus Pro 9800, which is indeed an inkjet (i.e. ink spraying through nozzles) technology. That qualifies these to be calle giclée prints.

So the term giclée doesn't actually have a very solid definition or meaning. But by regular usage of the term, any and all of our fine art reproductions can indeed be considered to be giclée prints.


Print size depends on what we're printing on. Your art must fit the roll width of the media we're printing on. Length is virtually limitless.

  • Our canvas rolls are 44" wide
  • Fine art paper rolls are 36" and 24" wide
  • Photo paper rolls are 44" and 24" wide


We usually tile-scan artwork originals. Because of this, it's difficult to capture originals that are excessively large. Art up to 24" x 30" is getting near to our upper size limit for scanning. Call us to discuss your original.

TAGS: inkjet, scanning

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