Art Term

C-print

A C-print, also known as a C-type print or Chromogenic print, is a photographic print made from a colour negative or slide

Introduction to C-print

The colour negative or slide is exposed to Chromogenic photographic paper (wet process paper) that contains three emulsion layers, each of which is sensitised to a different primary colour. After the image has been exposed it is submerged in a chemical bath, where each layer reacts to the chemicals to create a full-colour image. Because the chemicals are so complex, the image continues to react even after the process is completed. The chemicals are also extremely sensitive to water, light, and heat, making it difficult to protect C-prints from deterioration.

‘C-type’ was originally the trademark used by photographic company Kodak for the paper they used for making prints from colour negatives, but it is now standardly applied to all colour photographic prints.

Related activity for kids

Tate Kids: Digital to Kit: Digital to Chemical
This great ‘to do’ activity shows kids how to create a negative from a digital photograph and turn it into a cyanotype print.

Related glossary terms

Digital C-print