"Giclee" Art Reproduction Service (pronounced gee-clay)?
The word Giclee is a made up word based on the French word "gicleur", which means "nozzle" or "sprayed" and is traditionally used to describe fine art reproductions of original works of art created on high quality ink-jet printing systems using archival quality pigment based inks and acid free media that are designed to provide a high degree of color saturation, color longevity, and fade resistance over time.
Many artists find that giclee prints are an affordable option for creating reproductions of their work. Over time, giclee reproductions of original works of art generate additional income for the artist.
When is a giclee NOT a fine art print?
There are several types of printing systems currently being used by printing companies. Any print that uses sprayed inks can be considered a giclee, but not all giclee prints are fine art prints.
Many printing systems use "dye based" inks. Dye based inks are liquids and will continue to evaporate over time. This results in rapid fading and color shifting of prints created using dye based inks. In some cases, dye based prints will have faded or color shifted to noticeable levels within 5 years of printing, even if stored in a dark box. Exposure to bright light or sunlight will accelerate the fading and color shifting.
Pigment based inks use finely ground minerals suspended in liquid for application purposes. The liquid evaporates within 24 hours of applying the pigments to a media like canvas or fine art or photographic paper. Pigment based inks do not continue to evaporate over time. Consequently expected lifespans of pigment based prints can be well in excess of 100 or 200 years.
Another factor in determining if a giclee print is a "fine art print" is "original file resolution". Museum grade or art gallery grade prints are similar in resolution to "photographic quality" prints at the size they are printed at. Photographic quality is typically considered to by 240-300 dpi. An 11 inch by 14 inch print requires 14 megapixels of resolution to provide a museum quality print. Larger prints need higher resolution files to print at the same quality (300 dpi). A typical 30 inch by 40 inch needs 108 megapixels of resolution to be true photographic quality (all detail is captured and displayed). As a general rule, for prints larger than 12 inches by 16 inches, most consumers do not own a digital camera with sufficient resolution to create an art gallery or museum quality print. Giclee prints created using files that do not have enough resolution will appear lacking in fine or medium detail.
Giclee prints that are created at San Diego Photos and Prints are printed on a Hewlet Packard fine art printing system using eleven pigment based inks and fine art media designed for fine art printing. This combination of inks and media results in high quality giclee reproductions with excellent color saturation, color fastness and fade resistance. The projected lifespan of my giclee prints is more than 200 years.
For more information about Print Permanence Ratings visit Wilhelm-Research.
I will create a color accurate digital file from your original work of art that will be used to print your reproductions. A copy of the digital file is always provided to the artist on CD or DVD. What is nice about short run giclee reproductions is that the artist can "pay as he or she goes". There is no minimum on how many prints have to be ordered at San Diego Photos and Prints. I offer discounts for multiple print orders.
Digital files created at my facility are calibrated to my color managed workflow process and may not print with the same degree of accuracy at other printing companies. The same can be said for files created at other companies. Their files are calibrated to their color managed process and may not print with the same degree of accuracy on my system without some adjustment. For greatest accurancy, reproductions should be printed at the same location where the digital files were created and adjusted for accuracy.
Giclee art reproductions can be the same size as the original, larger than the original, or smaller than the original. There is quite a bit of flexibility in sizing of a giclee print due to the nature of digital printing systems. Art galleries recommend that reproductions should be smaller than the original.
How much does it cost?
There are usually two costs when creating giclee prints.
1. Creating the digital file (digitizing and proofing) that will be used to create the prints varies in cost from $90 - $300 (per original painting). The cost is based on the amount of resolution that is required to create museum quality prints at the intended print size. This is a one-time-only cost, per original art work.
2. Printing the giclee prints. In general terms you should expect to pay between $15 - $22 per square foot of media used to create your finished giclee print on canvas, fine art paper, or photographic paper. Giclees printed on photographic paper or fine art papers will cost between $15 - $18 per sq. ft. Prints created on canvas will cost $17 a square foot (printed only) or $22 a square foot (printed and varnished). We strongly recommend varnishing canvas prints prior to stretching and mounting on stretcher bars.
We are often asked if an artist can bring in their own digital file. The answer is yes. There is a $35 set up charge (per digital file) which includes the cost of one "test proof strip" to make sure the digital file has sufficient resolution for creating giclee print and that the digital file is color accurate to the original work of art. Additional adjustments and "proof strips" are charged at the standard rates shown above. In our experience, unless you are making very small prints, most digital cameras do not have sufficient resolution to meet the requirements of fine art digital printing. If you have files created elsewhere, do not save the file in JPG format at any time. JPGs use compression and the result will be a loss of detail and color accuracy in your print. The preferred format is TIF or PSD. Both are "uncompressed" and retain 100% of the detail possible for the resolution of the camera. If the camera system used only saves files in JPG format, the camera is not suitable for museum grade quality prints. The camera system used must have RAW format or TIF format capability.
Calculating square feet is easily done using the following instructions:
Giclee prints on photographic papers or one of our fine art papers . . . .
Add 2 inches to each of the dimensions you would like your print to be. The additional inches are for unprinted borders that are used for handling and matting.Take the Horizontal dimension (in inches) and multiply it by the Vertical dimension (in inches). Take the result and divide by 144. The result will be square feet. Then multiply the square feet by the media cost you will be printing on:
Super Heavyweight Plus Matte Paper: $15 sq. ft.
Glossy or Satin finish photographic paper: $15 sq. ft.
METALLIC photographic paper: $18 sq. ft.
Textured fine art paper: $18 sq. ft.
If you do not have a "ready to print" digital file, San Diego Photos and Prints also offers scanning/digitizing services for clients that will be using our printing services. The cost of creating a digital image file varies by the size of the original artwork and the type of scan required but will generally be between $90 to $300 per artwork. This is a one-time-only cost to cover the cost of the time and materials required to create a calibrated digital file that is suitable for fine art printing. Once the file has been created and calibrated for printing, it can be used over and over again.
Prints on canvas you plan to mount on stretcher bars . . . .
Add 6 inches to each dimension that you want your piece to be printed at. The additional canvas will be used to create the mirrored side panels needed for mounting your print on stretcher bars without losing any portion of the original piece. The extra canvas is also needed for stapling to the back side of the stretcher bars.
Take the resulting Horizontal dimension (in inches) and multiply it by the Vertical dimension (in inches). Take the result and divide by 144. The result will be square feet.
To estimate your cost, multiply by $17 if you only want us to "print" the piece and you'll be taking care of varnishing it. Multiply by $22 if you want us to take care of varnishing your piece. Varnishing is strongly recommended prior to mounting and stretching you canvas print. Your print is created using "pigments" which are sprayed on to the canvas. Pigments are not as flexible as dyes but last much longer and are more suitable for fine art reproductions. Varnishing also helps to bond the pigments to the canvas making it less likely that the pigments will flake or crack along the edges of the stretcher bars when the canvas is wrapped around the bar frame. Varnishing also helps to protect the print from scuffs, scratches, and finger prints that can happen over time as the print is handled. A varnished canvas print has better longevity than an unvarnished print.
We do not currently offer mounting and stretching services but we do work with another company if you'd like us to take care of getting your print mounted and stretched onto stretcher bars or framed. The price they charge us is added to your invoice plus $10 for dropping off and picking up your print.
Prints on canvas that will be glued to a backing like foam core, masonite, Gessobord®, wood, or will be matted and framed . . . .
Add 2 inches to each dimension. The unprinted portion will be used for handling purposes and when varnishing and framing.
Take the resulting Horizontal dimension (in inches) and multiply it by the Vertical dimension (in inches). Take the result and divide by 144. The answer will be in square feet.
To estimate your cost, multiply by $17 if you only want us to "print" the piece and you'll be taking care of varnishing it. Multiply by $22 if you want us to take care of varnishing your piece. Varnishing is strongly recommended as it helps to protect the pigments from accidentally being scuffed or scratched over time and it increases the longevity of the print and helps to bond the pigments to the canvas material.
Proofing is the process where we will generate a series of test strips of the reproduction to show the artist. Adjustments are then made and a new test strip is generated. This process continues until the test strip matches the original as closely as possible and the artist tells us he or she is happy with the result. If we digitize your work of art, there is no charge for the proof strips. If you bring us a digital file for printing, proof strips cost $15 - $31 each depending on the length and media or each proof strip. Proof strips come in 24 inch, 36 inch, 42 inch, and 44 inch lengths. Not all lengths are available in all medias.
For optimum print quality prepare your file in Adobe 1998 or sRGB colorspace, 16 bit or 8 bit, and save the file in an uncompressed format like PSD or TIFF. Avoid the JPG format as JPGs are a compressed format and will throw away 40 - 60% of the detail as the file is saved. To retain maximum quality as you edit your file, save your working copies in an uncompressed format. JPGs are unsuitable for fine art reproduction except as the final saved file after all editing has been completed. To retain the maximum in fine detail and color graduations, work your file in 16 bit color depth.
Custom retouching and artistic washes are billed at $90 per hour.
Digitizing and setup fees:
Scanning/digitizing your original work of art: $90 - $300 Based on size and resolution needed. (Most pieces fall in the $90 - $150 range)
Scan from 35mm slide, negative or other transparency or print: $90 (includes up to 5, test strips to check for accuracy and make adjustments). If additional test strips are needed they will be charged at $10 - $15 per strip.
Setup charge (only applies to digital files you bring us): $35 (1st 6" wide proof strip is included in setup charge)
Why is there a setup charge?
Digitizing / scanning / retouching and calibrating of the resulting digital file for accurate reproduction printing takes time and materials. The setup charge is to offset those costs. Our setup charge is based on the amount of time it generally takes to prepare a digital file for printing. In general, we have found that most photographers do not have the camera and lighting equipment needed to create a high quality, color accurate, digital file that is suitable for fine art printing.
Under U.S. Copyright law, a work of art is automatically copyrighted the moment it is created. The artist retains the copyright for his or her entire life unless the artist specifically transfers that copyright to another person or organization. The transfer of copyright must be in writing.
If you purchased or own a work of art and wish to have it digitized to create giclee prints, be aware that we will require a letter of authorization from the copyright holder (the artist) prior to moving forward with the the creation of giclee prints. If you are the creator of a work of art, we will ask you for I.D. prior to creating any giclee reproductions of the artwork you bring us.
San Diego Photos and Prints respects the rights of artists and will not violate an artist's copyright.
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Our giclee art prints are created on a variety of fine art printing systems dependent on the size and media selected. We can create prints up to 42 inches in one dimension by 15 ft. in the second dimension and anything in between. There may be some limitations in size due to availability of paper or canvas stock. The estimated life of our giclee art prints is 200+ years.
If you'd like more information or an accurate cost estimate, or would like to set up your appointment give us a call at: 858.274.0665