In 1988 Graham Nash and Mac Holbert sought a process that would result in archival, museum quality prints of his digitally manipulated photographs. In 1990 they contacted Scitex Industries to develope an inkjet printer that would allow pigmented inks to pass through an inkjet printhead, and accept fine art papers, thus the "Iris" printer was born. The initial output from these experiments were called Digigraphs. It took from 1991 until 1997 to develop the archival life-span and quality needed for gallery and museum acceptance. Iris, because of efficiency drawbacks and the advent of Epson developments, has since gone out of favor and is no longer made.
What is a Giclee?
Giclee is the reproduction of existing works of art or digital pictures using a Giclee inkjet printer. Today the use of specifically engineered inkjet technology for fine art printmaking is a serious industry and artists are turning to this technology for fine art reproductions.
About Giclee Reproduction
A giclee is a high resolution digital print made from an archival ink and media combination. Giclee is also a recognized fine art print category like lithography and serigraphy. It is considered to be the world's best technique for reproducing original works of art.
How are Giclee prints made ?
In the giclee process a fine stream of of pigmented ink - more than 4 million droplets per second - is sprayed onto an archival art paper or canvas. Because no screens are used, the prints have a higher apparent resolution than lithographs and serigraphs. Each piece of art work is digitilized through an optically superior scanner, color corrected using computer softwares, proofed and compared to the original art work.
How involved is the artist with the process?
Because of the vast range of color available through the giclee process, compared to lithography and serigraphy, the artist's color approval and input are essential for creating the final output for the edition. Each edition of art prints is a true collaboration beween the artist and experienced giclee print technician.
What makes a giclee superior to other reproduction methods?
Griclee prints look and feel like original art. Since giclee printmaking is digital throughout the entire process, there is much more control of color and more opportunity for artist interaction. Prints are a combination of continuous tone and stochastic screen patterns which makes it difficult to distinguish between giclee prints and original artwork. The high resolution and digital process allows for greater nuances with respect to the original media, retaining the feeling of techture from oils and pastels etc. Giclees have gained wide acceptance from artists like David Hockney and Robert Rauschenberg as well as major galleries and museums throughout the world. (continued on next page)