Okay. You have taken a photograph or created a work of art that is worthy a museum display. Now what?
Well, you have options. And options can also create confusion. So, let’s discuss the difference between giclee prints and art print.
Simply put, an art print is a reproduction, a copy of an original work of art. Giclee is a type of canvas or art print but with specialized attributes.
A giclee print is made using a specialized twelve color inkjet printer that uses pigments instead of dyes. These are applied to archival quality paper made from one hundred percent cotton, canvas, or linen rag. Fade resistant colors equals longevity and quality.
As giclee printing is relatively new, it cannot be proven conclusively. But scientific analysis estimates that giclee prints using pigment-based inks, in proper conditions with limited exposure to wide swings in humidity levels or ultraviolet light, should last two centuries with minimal fading or yellowing.
With giclee a print is an exact reproduction that is as true to the original as possible. This is resultant of the twelve-color format that allows for a diverse array of color shades that mimic the original. If you are planning on selling your work, this type of exacting reproduction is crucial. And, of course, this process allows for the printing of an unlimited number of copies.
To further muddy the waters, there is a difference between art print and fine art print. A fine art print is an original artwork. An art print, like a giclee print, is a type of reproduction or copy. Examples of art prints that can be mass-produced are posters, art prints, wraparound canvas prints, and flat canvas prints.
Art prints are easily mass-produced. And they are typically printed on cotton paper, premium photo paper, or white archival paper. Using high quality inks, the art print has a matte finish or is lightly textured.
The Print Council of America defines the term art print with this definition. “When an original image (drawn, painted, etc.) is printed in a limited number by the artist; these limited editions are signed and numbered by the artist. In other words, an art print is a reproduction of an original piece of art.”
Many shops and galleries sell fine art prints. But buyer beware, in actuality they are often art prints. That means they are little more than quality posters. They are usually printed on regular photo paper. That means that they are relatively fragile. They are easily damaged and are subject to fade.
If all of this seems a bit confusing, there is a way to simplify the process. And there is a place to go for answers to your questions. Avant Print & Frame in Kingman, Arizona is Mohave County’s premier provider for printing, giclee or fine art, and framing. They are your one stop shop for transforming your masterpiece into a masterpiece.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America.