All About Giclees Art Blog
by all_about_giclees , March 12, 2010—12:00 AM
A gicl__e print, although done one at a time, involves several steps to create. It begins with an image capture, whereby the original art is scanned or photographed with a digital camera-back scanner. It is then careful color corrected to match the original work of art. This process can often take several tries to get a very close match. The proofing process is painstaking and for the gicl__e printer ___almost there___ is not close enough. The initial image capture can take a great deal of time and expense to be sure the finished product is the best it can be. When contrasted to the POD process where fast and cheap is the prime goal, gicl__e printing could be considered slower, more expensive but much higher quality.
The next step in creating a gicl__e is the printing. The inkjet printers used for fine art reproduction are high-end technology. The printers often use 8 or more ink sets (compared to the traditional CMYK [cyan, magenta, yellow and black] of the traditional printing industry). They are slow by industry standards. The ink is sprayed onto the substrate in very fine droplets which are not visible to the naked eye giving the appearance of continuous tone imaging. Each print is made one at a time and carefully inspected for any defects. Unlike a print that is not expected to last a lifetime, a gicl__e needs to be close to perfection. Giclees are printed by a master printer, and each print is a work of art in its self.
Print on Demand (POD) is a printing industry term used to define a digital printing process used to create limited runs of nearly any printed product. It is popular as a book printing process as well as banners, point of purchase displays, brochures or other printed products. Printing, prior to digital, was usually done by a process called offset printing. Because of the set-up expense of offset printing, it was usually cost prohibitive to print just one or even a few of anything. When the digital revolution came to printing, individual prints became feasible. Hence POD became a popular product for print consumers. It is less expensive, fast and without the high price of creating negative, plates and running a huge press. Print on demand comes in a range of qualities, from disposable direct mail to high end annual reports. The printing may be well done, but there is no color match to an original and it is not archival. Some examples of POD would be vanity press books, posters, brochures or point of purchase displays. Usually the originating files are created in the computer, much like any other printing process.
Like any product, there will be those of higher and lesser quality. But if an artist wishes her or his work to be respected by collectors they will seek out the finest gicl__e printers they can find to reproduce their work. Being ___almost there___ is not good enough when it comes to your artwork. When you plan to reproduce your art work, don__™t think ___print on demand___ but demand and expect, the best.
Nancy Bryant, Giclee New England