Brilliant are making some of the best photo paper out there for inkjet printers right now – here’s our guide on how to buy the right photo paper for you!
Digital photos may be all the rage, but in terms of longevity, nothing beats a physical print on the best photo paper for printing. Properly produced and cared for, a printed photograph can last for more than a hundred years, making it an invaluable way to secure your memories for the future.
However, if you’re not accustomed to printing at home, it can feel a little daunting to start with. Which printer you choose and which paper you print on will have a clear effect on the appearance and quality of your final print – so it pays to choose carefully. We’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite photo printers on the market right now – head here for our look at the best printers for printing at home, which includes a selection covering all different budgets.
But that’s only half the equation – what paper should you choose for printing at home? We’d like to talk about the stock from one of our favourite manufacturers – the appropriately named Brilliant, who make a fantastic selection of papers for inkjet printers. If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to printer paper, you can’t go wrong with the Brilliant catalogue!
Let’s take a deeper dive into the selection and find the right Brilliant photo paper for your inkjet printer...
Brilliant Supreme paper
Brilliant’s papers are divided into two overarching categories – Brilliant Supreme and Brilliant Museum. The Brilliant Museum papers are pitched towards fine-art photographers who want the best of the best – we’ll drill into those a little closer in a moment, but first let’s take a look at Brilliant Supreme.
Brilliant Supreme papers are bright white, and feature special microporous coatings that are specifically designed to prevent bleeding (colours running into each other, degrading the quality of the final print) and over-laydown of inks and dyes. This coating also allows the image to be instantly handled the moment it comes off the printer. This is a useful feature if you’re an events photographer looking to produce quick prints to distribute to guests and clients.
Brilliant Supreme papers are available in three varieties: glossy, lustre and double-sided matte. Let’s take a quick look at what these terms mean:
- Glossy: This is the most widely used paper finish, and probably the one you’re most used to seeing. Glossy paper is coated with a shine that allows for prints of impressively high quality, with even the smallest details discernable (though they are susceptible to glare).
- Lustre: A more professional, textured finish, lustre is quite unique, providing a professional look to images without too much gloss. Your images will have vivid colours and smooth tonality, though it tends to be more expensive.
- Double-sided matte: Matte paper, as the name implies, doesn’t have the sheen of glossier options, but it tends to be more affordable and is a good choice if you’re planning on making a lot of prints.
Brilliant Supreme Ultimate Glossy Inkjet Paper A4 - 50 sheets
This pack contains 50 sheets of A4 Brilliant Supreme Ultimate Glossy inkjet paper. Brilliant Supreme paper is engineered to provide optimal image quality, making it ideal for photography and fine art
Brilliant Supreme Lustre Paper A4 x 50 Sheets BP0520
This pack contains 50 sheets of A4 Brilliant Supreme lustre inkjet paper. Brilliant Supreme paper is engineered to provide optimal image quality, making it ideal for photography and fine art.
Brilliant Supreme Double Sided Matte A4 x 50 sheets
Brilliant Supreme paper has been engineered to provide fine-art images with exquisite photo-quality output from your inkjet printer. This bright-white paper's special coating on both sides prevents bleeding, over-laydown, allows for instant handling, high resolution, and vivid colour saturation. Image quality is best when optimizing the print driver settings.
Brilliant’s Supreme papers are available in both rolls and sheets in a variety of sizes, so whatever your printing workflow, there should be a product to accommodate it. You can also head to the Brilliant website to download the specific ICC profile for your printer – it’s worth checking if your model is on the list.
Brilliant Supreme Glossy Paper Ultimate 44inch x 100 foot Roll
Brilliant Supreme Glossy Ultimate paper features improved surface characteristics and a brighter base whiteness than previous versions.
Brilliant Supreme Inkjet Paper Matte 44inch x 100ft Roll
1118 mm x 30.5 m (44" x 100') roll of matte inkjet paper.
Brilliant Supreme Lustre 44inch Ultimate 1118mmx25m
Brilliant Supreme Lustre 44" Ultimate 1118mmx25m
Brilliant Museum paper
If you want your prints to look as good as they possibly can, then Brilliant Museum is the paper for you. Specially engineered for fine-art photographers demanding the utmost in quality, Brilliant Museum paper, thickness 300gsm, comes in a choice of base tones – White and Natural. The White paper has been optically brightened a little to give prints a little extra punch, while Natural is a non-brightened paper that has been optimised not to produce the dull yellow look that can plague non-brightened paper.
The Museum paper is also available in two different substrates, SilverGloss and Satin Matte. Let’s take a closer look at what these mean:
- SilverGloss: Brilliant’s SilverGloss papers, a glossy style, are alpha-cellulose papers that have been specifically designed to emulate the kind of classic glossy fibre-based silver-halide papers that have been used in black-and-white printing for an age.
- SatinMatte: These papers are, as the name implies, more of a matte finish, and are constructed from a 100% cotton rag substrate media designed to produce a surface that is matte but not flat or lifeless, as some cheaper papers can be.
Brilliant Museum Inkjet Paper - SilverGloss White A2 25 sheets - 300gsm
Introducing a new line of Super-Premium rag and alpha-cellulose fine-art photo papers. Brilliant Museum digital media are manufactured in Germany to exacting standards using the most technologically advanced methods. This cotton and alpha-cellulose fine-art paper is optimally coated for the latest pigment inks but will also secure superb results with dye-based inks.
Brilliant Museum Inkjet Paper - Satin Matte White A3+ 25 Sheets
A pack of 25 sheets of A3+ sized satin matte white inkjet paper from Brilliant Museum. These satin matte papers are cotton based and are coated in alpha-cellulose.
Once again, it's worth checking on the Brilliant website if you can find the Brilliant Museum profile for your specific model of printer.
Brilliant Museum Inkjet Paper - Satin Matte White111.8cmx12m (roll)
Calumet offers you a series of Fine Art Papers under its own Brilliant Label, allowing you to get the most beautiful printouts from your own printer. This paper has a very fine surface structure and is made of 100% cotton fibers without the addition of chemicals. This makes it acid-free. We recommend this paper for archival proofs or exhibition prints (with appropriate printers / inks). Brilliant Fine Art - Photos do not just look like works of art, they are. Satin Matte White: 100% rag (cotton), light white, 300 gr / m², 100 ISO brightness and 99% opacity.
Brilliant Museum Inkjet Paper - SilverGloss Natural 1118mm x 12m (1 roll) - 300gsm
Introducing a new line of super-premium rag and alpha-cellulose fine-art photo papers. Brilliant Museum digital media are manufactured in Germany to exacting standards using the most technologically advanced methods. This cotton and alpha-cellulose fine-art paper is optimally coated for the latest pigment inks but will also secure superb results with dye-based inks.
You can browse the full range of Brilliant Museum papers available at Wex here.
About the Author
Jon Stapley is a professional journalist with a wealth of experience on a number of photography titles including Amateur Photographer, Digital Camera World and What Digital Camera. See more of his writing on Jon's author page.