Endorsing a product has never been so easy. Print technology has matured to the point that choosing between Epson, Canon, or HP often comes down to features, familiarity, and support. When discussing paper, there are many options as well, with some brands actually being produced by the same mill, but then carry a different name and maybe add some small touches to the final product.
Varnish technology, is almost there in universality, but not quite, partly because of the complexity of chemistry and application; switching from one brand to the next yields vastly different results.
Regardless, it's sometimes better to extol the virtues of a particular product rather than diminish another, though some explanation will be required on why others work less efficiently. Breathing Color's Timeless coating, my preferred choice, is just great. My colleagues love this product as well because of its ease of use. Coating with varnish does the following for canvas:
- provides resistance against scratches, smudges;
- UV inhibitors provide resistance against fading from prolonged light (any light, but that's a topic for another day) exposure;
- makes surface easier to clean, though gentle care is still very important;
- possible enhancements for some pictures.
Matte is, by far, the most popular coating choice and Timeless's is just about perfect for giclee prints. Its super flat finish is so unobtrusive, the easiest way to tell a canvas has been coated is by touch, which would reveal a smooth, slightly waxy surface.
Another great thing about modern varnish -- and this feature is consistent with all leading brands -- is its safety. Being a water-based product, it does not rely on other solvents to make the varnish work. Gone are the days of fumigating noxious gas; chalk it up to technology.