Giclee Art Prints are fine art prints usually produced by an ink-jet digital printing process. Giclee is the French term for 'gicler', which means to spurt out or spray. It is a new art form since production of the first kinds of these prints in 1980s. They are affordable means to capture quality, clarity and the color of an original piece of art in a printed art sheet (Barney 234). By been affordable, it means that an artist will earn more from sale of an original painting, and not many people can afford to purchase an original piece of art (Tad, 45). Prints from giclee could cost less than twenty-five dollars, while an original piece of art might actually cost thousands of dollars.
The types of printers used in the creation of these prints are inkjet printers, whose ink are fade resistant, and allow a better variety of colors. The results are finer quality prints, which could even rival the original in matters dealing with appearance (Barney 231). The images shown have the same tonal variations and color that resemble the original art, and then scanned onto a digital printing machine that is very special. This is because the printing process does not use the dot screen pattern; there is no screen or mechanical devices used. It is essential to note that giclee prints support copying onto a variety of papers. Moreover, it allows printing onto canvas so that the results resemble the original as possible (Tad 62).
The earliest forms of giclee prints were on the Iris Graphics models 3047 and 3024 continuous inkjet printers. The developing of these Iris printers aided in the production of prepress proofs from digital files. They were for those jobs that wanted color matching such as magazine publication, and product packaging (Tad 47). Their output essentially checked what colors would look like before the real mass production took place. However, the earlier Iris prints proved to be fugitive, and showed degradation of color just a few years after. It is the use of new and efficient ink sets as well as printing substrates that extends the light fastness and longevity of Iris prints (Barney 238).
Currently, the term Giclee Art Print has association with prints that are fade resistant, and use inkjet printers, archival inks, and the archival substrates. This current crop of printers put to use the CMYK color process and have multiple cartridges for color variations. It increases the color gamut and resolution, allowing smoother gradient transitions (Barney 235). There are numerous kinds of substrates available as well as textures and finishes. The printing that involves the use of giclee inkjet can be an economical alternative to many artists (Tad, 76-80). They do not usually pay for the marketing or storage of the print runs. Moreover, the artists can print and sell each print according to the market demands. It is an advantageous process because the artist takes maximum control of their image productions. In addition to the colors and substrates they print on, they can also decide to own or operate their own printers (Barney 235).
There are numerous advantages with these types of prints; they allow different sizes, and make greeting cards or other forms of stationeries. Consequentially, the artist exposes himself to the outside world than it could have been with one painting. It is essential to keep in mind that, giclee is an art on its own. An advantage with it is that, there are no problems associated with the printing process such as pixels. It creates a copy very similar to an original painting.
A giclee piece of art is very affordable. When compared to block prints or lithographs, it is much easier for an artist to produce a giclee print since it takes a much less time to produce (Barney, 56-70). The ink-jet printer used is of a high quality, and supports the reproduction of an original and two-dimensional work of art. This way, artists are able to give out limited edition prints for a smaller amount of fee than a traditional production.
These types of prints do not usually increase in value; therefore, they seem precious for personal preference, and not a general investment. For a giclee print to be very valuable in the future, it may depend on the skill of the artist, his popularity, quality of ink used, printer method, paper substrate, or the limitation of a run. If one wants to buy a giclee piece of work, then it has to be one appreciated by the individual for its aesthetic value. However, it is significant to note that the process of creating a giclee piece of art is not that cheap. This is because the paper and quality ink used in the production of a giclee, are somewhat expensive. Therefore, compared to a standard lithograph, a giclee print can be more expensive to make. However, it is a more cost effective method as the prints are done on order. Moreover, it requires little or no storage space. This makes it modern and on-demand means of offering art.
Giclee prints have uses in art galleries due to their high quality. They can also be financially beneficial at auctions (Barney, 230-5). Artists usually like using giclee prints for their work because it is the best print reproduction method; the prints that come out look identical to the original drawings or paintings. Moreover, artist's pictures come out in many desirable sizes. The process of printing begins with the scanning of the picture copied. Then, printing it onto any desirable medium follows. Giclee is an art that stands on its own. Spectacular pieces of art can be copied to paper or canvas and last for a long time. The printers that are usually used do not bring out problems such as pixels. The most essential thing is that, the copies that come out resemble the original pieces of work as much as possible.
In conclusion, as earlier mentioned, Giclee Art Prints are fine art prints produced via a process involving the use of an ink-jet digital printer. It is vital to note that, there is no visible dot screen pattern in giclee printing, because there is no use of screen or other mechanical devices. The resulting images usually have all the hue, and tonalities of the original pieces of work. The term giclee is a French word meaning to squirt or spray; this is how an inkjet printer usually works. It is also essential to note that, the printer used is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer, because it is larger. Giclee prints also refer to knitting machine, and measure over one meter in width. Giclee printers use light-fast inks kept away from the sun. The scanning of the images is different in a way that the original appears on a drum scanner. The prints support different types of paper, for example canvas, which is more durable than normal paper, because they do not crease easily when rolled. There two processes involved in Giclee art prints; scanning of the copied picture, then printing it onto a desirable medium. Prints of this category resemble the original copy, and do not have pixels issues.