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How a Giclee Print is Made
Digital Technology meets Old World Craftsmanship
The extraordinary quality of giclee prints is made possible through the recent advancements in digital printing technology. The remarkable printing heads in the new digital printers create prints with a color accuracy and tonal range that was unattainable in past printing processes. Giclee prints are made with newly developed pigment based inks that have a very wide color gamut and unparalleled archival stability. The fine art papers and canvases developed for Giclee printing have advanced coatings that produce prints with beautiful highlights, extended mid range and rich dark values. The combination of the printing heads, pigment based inks and custom substrates result in prints of unsurpassed beauty.
Digital technology offers an enormous amount of control over the printing process. The printers ability to utilize these controls contributes greatly to the quality of the final print. While the process is entirely digital, it is the eye of the printmaker that determines the final print quality. The digital controls need to be skillfully finessed to produce a master print that matches the color, chroma and hue of the original artwork. At Eyekons, we combine years of experience in fine art printmaking with extensive expertise in the color management of digital images, to create our beautiful giclee prints. Buy one and see for yourself.
Creating a Fine Art Giclee Print
1. DIGITIZING THE IMAGE: The process begins by professionally photographing the art. The digital capture is the foundation for the print, so it is imperative that it be of the highest quality possible. Special attention is paid to lighting the artwork to optimize it's unique qualities; whether it's a painting, watercolor, woodcut or drawing. The rule is always: the better the file, the better the print.
2. COLOR CALIBRATION: Once the image is digitized, the file needs to be formatted and calibrated to insure the best reproduction of the artwork. The color balance, saturation, contrast, brightness and density of the image is evaluated and adjusted to create a file that matches the original art. Photoshop is used to clean the image and correct any imperfections. The optimized file is then properly sized and ready to print.
3. PROOFING: Custom proofs are then made to find the correct combination of color, saturation, contrast and density that produces the print that matches the original artwork. The experienced use of the printing tools in Photoshop and Lightroom and the extensive attention to print detail are what give Eyekons Giclee prints their remarkable print quality.
4. FINAL PRINTING: The extensive proofing process produces the Master Print File. This Master file is then printed at the optimized file settings on the specified fine art media, whether it be printmaking paper, watercolor paper or canvas. The result is a giclee master print. The full edition of the print run is then printed insuring consistent print quality throughout the edition.
5. CURING & COATING THE FINAL PRINT: The pigment based ink used to make the giclee print needs to dry and cure for 48 hours. After that is is done many of our prints receive a clear lacquer coating for protection against moisture, UV light, humidity, dirt and fingerprints. The lacquer creates a "print shield" that adds significantly to the archival stability of the print and also enriches the image quality.