The art of fine art printing is now precise with the advent of the Giclée printing process. A Fine Art Giclée print is as rewarding visually as it is technically amazing. For brilliant, exquisite color and razor sharp detail, it is unsurpassed. For art reproduction purposes, this type of art is the standard in the art industry and has become widely embraced for its quality by major museums, galleries, publishers, and artists. The cornerstone of this process is the enhanced digital ink jet printer. These printers are specifically designed for the rigorous and precise criteria of fine art collectors and connoisseurs of museum quality, limited edition prints. Producing a Fine Art Giclée print is a slow and meticulous process which requires the skill of an artist to create museum quality prints. The technology calls for special equipment and techniques to obtain the best color accuracy, sharpness, continuous color tone and artistic interpretation available to fine art prints. A well done Fine Art Giclée print has no perceptible dot pattern, an endless array of richly saturated color, and every nuance represented in the original negative or transparency from which it was taken. Because Giclée technology allows the image to be stored on a disk, the artist has the choice of printing a Limited Edition on a “print-on-demand” basis. The resolution and color can be brilliant and is often better than lithographs.
Giclée prints are widely accepted at museums and galleries. Many museums in the United States and abroad have either mounted exhibitions of Giclée prints or purchased prints for their permanent collections, as well as, creating their own Fine Art Giclée from works of art in their permanent collections. These include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Museum of Fine Art (Boston), The Philadelphia Museum, the Smithsonian Institute, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum of Art, The British Museum, The Washington Post Collection, The Corcoran Gallery, Laguna Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Art.
- What is a Giclée?
The word Giclée ( pronounce as “zhee-clay”) has been derived from the French word “gicler”, which means ‘spraying’ or ‘spurting’, to indicate a technique which uses non-interrupted streams of ink to set colors on a substrate-like canvas, watercolor paper or photographic paper.
With an apparent resolution of 1440 dots per inch for watercolor paper and 2880 dpi for photographic paper, the detail and color vibrancy exceeds traditional print-making technologies such as lithographs and serigraphs. Unlike desktop ink-jet printers, large format printers like the Epson use a sophisticated seven-color print head that can produce a single droplet as small as 4 picoliters to create a smooth, continuous tone print and incredibly sharp text and line art that rivals a final press sheet. With the Micro Piezo DX3 Technology, each print can produce up to three different dot sizes which greatly decrease print times while optimizing quality. Average imaging time is 30-60 minutes per print. The prints have a “made-one-at-a-time” quality that is very appealing to the artist, dealer, and collector alike. Giclée prints have a unique artistic feel that must be seen to be appreciated. Preliminary data from Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. indicate the light-fastness of color UltraChrome prints made by the Epson 9600 printer will be rated from 82 to 100 years under glass on specific Epson media.
While making an investment in just the Fine Art Giclée print without framing is less expensive and shipping costs are substantially reduced because of reduction in weight, it is important for the collector to understand that when investing in an unframed print, it should be framed using current archival materials under glass or Plexiglas as soon as is possible to minimize print damage from environmental agents. This is very important for the print to achieve the light-fastness and print life estimates.