In the struggle for acceptance of Digital in the Art world the defining venues have been the Gallery exhibits and the prints, paper, and media that are show cased for collectors. The Gallery and museums have been the gatekeepers of the realm of ART. Where film based photography has slowly gained Gallery acceptance as an art form --anything digital it would seem --has faced a challenge. What has emerged recently in a popular form are special prints made from Scitex proofing printers such as the IRIS 4 printers and generally known as Giclee. Giclee is a relatively new form of fine art printing similar to lithography that was made possible by emerging new digital technologies in both image capture and printing. These technologies include sensors, inks, paper, coatings, inkjet delivery or spray, and modern control electronics.
So just what is a Giclee? Well it is not a precisely defined term, however, a giclee (zhee-CLAY) as produced here at Timeless Digital Moments, is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity image done on a special large format printer. We use professional quality inkjet printers, paper, and archival inks that result in the highest quality prints available from the artwork created through our photography and post production. Both the photography and artist rendering is done in house and available only as commissioned. The term Giclee usually refers to the printing process to produce a product -- they can be photographs, art rendering, or paintings of any subject matter. It is the impact and emotion of the work that matters, the media conveys the message.
Giclees are a printing process (usually inkjet like the one at home) that can be used on material from original art work or from digital scans of existing artwork. Giclees can be printed on any number of media, from canvas, fine art matte, watercolor paper, or transparent acetates. All the media used are selected for both the archival properties and the quality of the papers, canvas, etc. to ensure the highest quality of our product and faithful reproduction of the work. Testing on various media have shown that the ink and papers can have a projected 100 – 200 years lifetime. (see Wilhelm research) All aspects of the color process are managed through software and hardware to ensure consistent color and wide color gamut true to our artist’s intent.
The traditional approach to reproducing a painting or other artwork that became popular is that of lithography, however, Icicles are superior to traditional lithography in several ways. The colors are brighter, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. The range, or "gamut" of color for giclees is far beyond that of lithography, and details are crisper Lithography uses tiny dots of four colors--cyan, magenta, yellow and black and by mixing them --to fool the eye into seeing various hues and shades. Colors are "created" by printing different size dots of these four colors.
Timeless Digital Moments uses some of the best printers available such as our Epson 7800 with Eight colors--light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow, light black , light light black, matte or photo black in pigmented inks (as opposed to UV or Dye) such as Epsons K3 Ultrachrome. This technology is similar to the inkjet technology of standard computer printers, but far more sophisticated than your desktop printer, pressurized ink feed system, wide format papers, pigmented inks and finer, more numerous, and replaceable printheads resulting in a wider color gamut, and the ability to use various media to print on. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the color on the page to create true shades and hues. The newer papers have special coating which can microencapsulate the ink on its surface.
As art they are valued midway between original art and regular limited edition lithographs. Limited edition litho prints are usually produced in editions of 500-1000 or more, all at once; but giclees rarely exceed 50-100 reproductions, one at a time and Timeless Digital Moments original works such as yours are produced on a one time basis as commissioned.
Giclees were originally developed as a proofing system for lithograph printing presses such as the IRIS mentioned above, but it became apparent that the presses (CMYK, etc) were having a hard time delivering the quality and color of the giclee proofs not to mention the cost. They have grudgingly gained their place of the art world. They are coveted by collectors for their fidelity and quality, and desired by galleries because they don't have to be produced in huge quantities with their large layout of capital and storage. In addition, Giclees are produced directly from a digital file, on color management systems such as PhotoShop and can retain their digital quality almost perfectly.