James D. Kramer; portfolio of works

What’s a ‘digital giclée’?

As defined in Wikipedia.org;

Giclée (pron.:/ʒˈkl/zhee-KLAY or /ˈkl/), is a neologism coined in 1991 by printmakerJack Duganne for fine artdigital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.

Origins

The word giclée was created by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working at Nash Editions. He wanted a name for the new type of prints they were producing on the IRIS printer, a large-format, high-resolution industrial prepress proofing inkjet printer they had adapted for fine-art printing. He was specifically looking for a word that would not have the negative connotations of “inkjet” or “computer generated”. It is based on the French word gicleur, which means “nozzle” (the verb form gicler means “to squirt, spurt, or spray”).

Current usage

Beside its original association with IRIS prints, the word giclée has come to be associated with other types of inkjet printing including processes that use fade-resistant, archival inks (pigment-based, as well as newer solvent-based inks), and archival substrates primarily produced on Canon, Epson, HP and other large-format printers. These printers use the CMYK color process but may have multiple cartridges for variations of each color based on the CcMmYK color model (such as light magenta and light cyan inks in addition to regular magenta and cyan); this increases the apparent resolution and color gamut and allows smoother gradient transitions. A wide variety of substrates is available, including various textures and finishes such as matte photo paper, watercolor paper, cotton canvas, or artist textured vinyl.

Applications

Artists generally use inkjet printing to make reproductions of their original two-dimensional artwork, photographs, or computer-generated art. Professionally-produced inkjet prints are much more expensive on a per-print basis than the four-color offset lithography process traditionally used for such reproductions. (A large-format inkjet print can cost more than $50, not including scanning and color correction, compared to $5 for a four-color offset litho print of the same image in a run of 1,000.) Four-color offset lithographic presses have the disadvantage of the full job having to be set up and produced all at once in a mass edition. With inkjet printing the artist does not have to pay for the expensive printing plate setup or the marketing and storage needed for large four-color offset print runs. This allows the artist to follow a just-in-time business model in which inkjet printing can be an economical option, since art can be printed and sold individually in accordance with demand. Inkjet printing has the added advantage of allowing artists to take total control of the production of their images, including the final color correction and the substrates being used, and it is even feasible for individual artists to own and operate their own printers.

My giclées are printed on canvas using UV-resistant inks, and are protected by an additional UV coating. The canvases are stretched on gallery bars for exhibition and hanging; suitable for framing if desired. Reproductions are also available on archival paper, and are delivered ready for framing.

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