What is "Giclee" Fine-Art printing?
All work listed in the "Fine Art section" of my webshop is printed as "Giclee Fine Art" on "Fine Art paper".
I put a lot of effort in creating my images. All images are carefully captured and processed. Each image is edited and retouched by hand: one by one, each in its unique look. I never will offer mediocre images that are processed by imaging-scripts or ready-to-use digital filters. The images I create are unique due to this way of working: they carry my own style-signature. I put the greatest craftsmanship in my work and the overal workflow is done with passion and the highest level of authenticity.
To deliver my images to you in the way it's intended I make sure that the final part of the workflow is also of the highest profesional level. My work and you deserve only the highest quality possible: that is the reason why I only offer my work as "Giclee fine-art" print!
Fine art printing is the term often used to refer to professional photographs being printed on very high quality paper. This designation, which is by no means a label, meets certain quality criteria, with regard to the paper in particular, which are sought after by many photographers and printers.
Professionals attracted by fine art paper
The difference between fine art paper and normal photo paper lies in the composition of the paper itself. As a matter of fact, natural fibres (usually cotton or alpha cellulose) must be included within the composition of fine art paper. The paper is not artificially bleached with chlorine, thus ensuring that the photos stand the test of time. A major asset in the sphere of art photography!
Normal photo paper meet the needs of some users when it comes to printing photos to be viewed on an occasional basis, whereas fine art paper will ensure that images are shown off in their best light and provides good performance when exhibiting prints.
Fine art paper: prints that are made to last
Because fine art paper is intended for the printing of high quality photographs, its quality must be ideally suited to receiving inks and pigments. The composition of the surface layer must allow the ink to adhere well over time, while offering a neutral pH to ensure that the paper also stands the test of time. Lastly, a fine art paper will allow you to emphasize the composition of the image, while providing the ideal support for intense colours and marked contrasts, while also enabling a wide range of grey tones.
Fine art is defined as:
"creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic or intellectual content" according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
A Digital Fine Art print is defined by meeting the same standards as any other fine art medium, and it is produced using archival quality surfaces and inks. It is designed to last a life time. Archival inks and papers are museum-quality materials which are designed for longevity and beauty. Papers are acid-free, preventing yellowing and distortion of color. Archival inks are less likely to fade.
Digital art and photographic art are not reproductions!
A print of an oil painting is trying to create an exact replica of the original painting. It is copying something already in existence. A digital print is an original; it reflects that moment in time when it was created through the printing process.
Once the digital image is printed; it is an original. Each printing of an image file creates a unique print that often reflects the artist’s attempt to improve or vary the feeling or message of the image. The colors, saturation, size, paper, ink, and cropping may all be changed as the image is used to create prints. Many digital artists print their own work to control the creative process right through to the finished product. The process of laying the ink down on the paper is the moment that the image comes alive as a piece of art.
What is a Giclee Print?
Giclee (pronounced “jhee-clay”) is a French word meaning “spurting ink”. A giclee is a high resolution inkjet print.
Giclee is considered the world’s best technique for reproducing original works of art. Giclee prints look and feel like original art.
A giclee is often produced on canvas or a high quality rag paper like watercolor paper with an archival ink. Giclee art is very stable, and resistant to fading and color shifts. Estimates of longevity for giclee prints are usually around 100 years with proper care
Why are giclées so much more expensive than lithographs or "normal" photoprints?
The technology used to create these prints is very expensive and the output is painfully slow - most giclées are produced one or two at a time. Furthermore, true giclées like those you see here are printed on top-quality, acid-free, archival grade papers or canvases for durability and improved appearance. The inks used are state-of-the-art for accurate color rendition & lightfastness (the ability to better resist fading).
Reproductions produced by lithography are printed on high-speed presses, hundreds at a time with a very high initial investment. Lithographs can't be printed on the heavy watercolor papers, nor canvases, these giclées are, and the inks simply aren't as stable. The artist must care for a large number of prints of each image in inventory. But the cost, once distributed among those many hundreds of prints, ends up being quite reasonable.
In contrast, the giclée process permits the artist to have only a handful produced at a time, with initial set-up costs that, though still considerable, are a fraction of that for offset lithography. The cost per print, however, is many times that of the lithographs. Fortunately with that cost comes the ability for the printmaker to fine tune the color and contrast of the giclée image to better mimic the original in a way that lithography can't quite match. Furthermore, the giclée process also allows the artist to put more of his or her images into print without having to "sell the farm" to afford the up-front costs.