From Wikipedia: Giclée
Giclée (pronounced “zhee-clay”) is an invented name (i.e. a neologism) for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word “giclée” is derived from the French language word “le gicleur” meaning “nozzle”, or more specifically “gicler” meaning “to squirt, spurt, or spray”. It was coined in 1991 by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet-based digital print used as fine art. The intent of that name was to distinguish commonly known industrial “Iris proofs” from the type of fine art prints artists were producing on those same types of printers. The name was originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the early 1990s but has since come to mean any high quality ink-jet print and is often used in galleries and print shops to denote such prints.
Not all giclée printing is of the same quality. Quality depends upon equipment, skill, and quality of materials. Hampton Roads Giclée never sacrifices quality for price. We use the best equipment and materials because we are true masters of the craft. We are able to offer these services at a low margin to the customer because we have so many loyal customers.
Other print shops will give you a factory-order solution – they will use a name brand printer along with the specified name brand ink (if you choose a good shop.) These inks are made with efficiency and output in mind and are not necessarily appropriate for fine art. Other shops are forced to use these inks because they do not have the equipment and software to calibrate their own system. At Hampton Roads Giclée, we regularly calibrate our equipment to ensure color fidelity at every stage of the process. This ability allows us to use inks that are BETTER than those offered by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM.) Our inks produce a deeper, more vibrant image that achieves superb archival ratings.
Hampton Roads Giclée uses a 12-color ink pallet specially formulated for our Roland printer. Called “a milestone in inkjet technology from color gamut, vibrancy, and depth of color,” this pallet has the ability to produce the widest spectrum, the most vibrant color, with the greatest saturation.
The focus of OEMs like Epson, Canon, and HP has been on gloss media. Our system exhibits excellent performance on gloss media, and is further enhanced to perform using matte media. Other systems cannot compete in the realm of matte media. Most printers from these manufacturers are only equipped to handle 6 or 8-colors.
The Advantages of our Inks
Fine art painters do not use black to produce a deep color, so neither should your ink system. Our deep colors produce a more lifelike reproduction. Examine your deep blues in particular.
Black Ink becomes brownish when diluted. Our light black is melted with special pigments to remove any effect of Bronzing.
The weakest link in the chain has been yellow for most companies, but our ink features a custom blend of long life yellow.
Your art has a potential 200-year indoor life. The special lightfast pigments used in our inks protect against UV radiation found in fluorescent lighting and in daylight. We suggest additional protective coatings to protect against heat and humidity.
Paper & Canvas
HR Giclée offers reliable paper and canvas created through environmentally friendly manufacture. Our major supplier, Hahnemühle has seen over 400 years of operation. Hahnemühle is the market leader in Germany and one of the three leading suppliers of traditional paint papers in Europe.
We have many papers and canvases available upon request. Our most popular include:
William Turner 310gsm (textured/watercolor paper)
100% Cotton • white • mould-made. William Turner is a genuine mould-made paper in both look and feel with its matte watercolor texture. It is ideal for reproductions of traditional artworks and also for striking and expressive photo reproductions. Does not contain OBAs.
Photo Rag – Ultra Smooth 305gsm (smooth paper)
100% Cotton • white. With its extra smooth surface, Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth is particularly interesting for users who want proven Photo Rag® quality but with less texture and a brighter whitepoint. This paper contains moderate OBAs. (While OBAs provide an immediate brighter look, they may gradually dull.)
Baryta FB 350gsm (satin paper)
100% α-Cellulose • bright white. Photography and other fine arts show extraordinary depth and detail with the color enhancement of this luminous substrate.
Daguerre Fine Art Canvas 400gsm (matte canvas)
Poly-Cotton • bright white. Daguerre Canvas offers a fine structure which is particularly good for fine art photo printing. Its bright whitepoint provides clear, fresh colors and contrasts for black and white reproductions.
Satin Gloss Canvas 350gsm (gloss canvas)
Cotton • bright white. Satin Gloss Canvas is especially suitable for picture presentations as full color graphics, reproductions of art, and photos, where the structure of the fabric is very pronounced and decorative.
Artists who have had prints done by different printers will know there can be wide variations when “making a copy.” We are happy to talk to our clients about the process to help them better understand what types of variations occur and how they can be managed. Here is some additional information about color profiles. We will continue to add to this section as helpful to our clients.
RGB vs CMYK
Computer screens use RGB (red, green, blue) and an additive light model. This means when all colors are on, white is produced. Printers use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) and a subtractive light model. This means when all colors are on, black is produced. Your computer monitor will show many colors that are not possible to reproduce in print.
(Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow, Black)
This takes the standard printing CMYK color model and adds 2 more colors; Light Cyan and Light Magenta. By having the lighter shades, less half-toning is done, and a better image is produced.
Read more on Wikipedia:
(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Orange, Green, Violet)
This adds 3 more channels: Orange, Green, and Violet, to the color model. Our printer uses this model to produce the widest possible gamut of printed color. (This is also reflected in the color dots of our logo!) We also use Light Cyan, Light Magenta and two Light Blacks to incorporate the advantages of the CcMmYK color model as well. This color space is similar to the Pantone Color Gamut on the image below.
The range of colors that a color model can produce, as seen through the human eye, the computer monitor, or printed on paper. A color which cannot be reproduced is known as ‘out of gamut’. Read more on Wikipedia:
Hampton Roads Giclée can produce a range of colors similar to the “Pantone” (red outline) above. Most other printers are limited to the CMYK (blue outline) above.