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Digital Print

Farideh Sakhaeifar
Pending , 2015
Digital inkjet print
40.6 x 55.9 cm (12 x 16 in.)
Series of eight individual digitally manipulated photographs
Courtesy of the artist and Trotter&Sholer, New York

Compared to non-digital printing processes such as gelatin silver print, the history of digital printing is relatively short, with its rise in popularity and accessibility just dating back to the early 1990s. Where non-digital printing is produced through a chemical process by imprinting a negative on a photographic paper to make a positive image, digital printing uses a digital exposure system to project the image on a surface such as paper, canvas, or linen. Different methods of digital printing are preferred by artists to achieve the intended quality or effect.

Barbara Ess
Rio Grande , 2012/2019
Archival pigment print
50.8 x 67.8 cm (20 x 26.69 in.)
Courtesy of the artist and Magenta Plains, New York

Archival pigment print

Of all digital printing methods, archival pigment printing is the museum standard as it uses refined pigment particles to achieve the highest resolution and can last up to 150 years - hence the name, “archival”. Pigment-based inks have greater stability, which allows them to hold their shape for a longer time.

Daido Moriyama
Color , 2016/2017
Lambda print mounted on aluminium
99.7 x 132.8 cm (39 1/4 x 52 1/4 in.)
© Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation / Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery, and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo. Photo: Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation

Digital chromogenic print

Chromogenic print (C-type print) are the most used printing method and can be both digital and non-digital, depending on how the image is transferred. Non-digital chromogenic printing is more common than digital and can be compared to gelatin silver printing as both use chemicals on treated paper in the darkroom. Sometimes the word “Lambda” appears in the description of C-type printed artworks, which means the work has been printed using a Lambda machine.

Niqui Carter
Filtered Trees #6 , 2020
Archival inkjet print
40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)
Courtesy of the artist


Inkjet printing was invented to quickly reproduce images developed on the computer; it is purely digital and does not go through a darkroom developing process. Here, a printing machine sprays ink onto a surface following the pattern of the digital image. As an easy method of everyday printing, domestic printers often use inkjet and so printers that produce fine art inkjet prints use trade names such as Giclée to differentiate themselves.

Related categories



Documentary Photography

Diaspora / Migration

Image Production/Reproduction/Transformation

Painterly Photography

Reality and Fantasy / Illusion / Imagination

Self Taught Artist

Chromogenic Print (C Print)



Gelatin Silver Print

Inkjet Print


Smooth and Flat Surface

Landscape Photography

Archival Pigment Print

Blurred Images

Praise for Nature


Art Fair

Artist's Frame

Artist's Book

Appropriation Art