Giclée Samples

Frequently Asked Questions About Giclée

What is Giclée?

Giclée (Ghee-clay) is a art reproduction process involving high-resolution digital photographs or scans of an original work of art, a series of test prints and image corrections that result in a final proof print that closely matches the original, followed by the creation of  final Giclée art reproductions on archival fine art paper or canvas, that are printed with long-lasting pigment inks. 

Giclée offers several advantages over traditional lithographic printing, with the main differences being excellent reproduction quality, print longevity, and the ability to run a smaller number of prints.

Traditional lithography printing is a four-color process. This studio uses Gicleé printers with an inkset of 11 different colors.  This makes it possible to render details and subtle tones that are simply not possible with the older process. 

The pigments in giclée inks are the same as those found in traditional oil paints. Under ideal conditions and displayed out of direct sunlight, our Giclée prints should last for more than 100 years.

Can my artwork be legally reproduced?

  1. Yes, if you created the artwork
  2. Yes, if you have written permission from the artist
  3. Yes, if the work was created before copyright laws were created
  4. No, if the work is copyright protected

If it is legal to do so, what can be reproduced?

  1. Oil, acrylic and oil paintings of any size
  2. Photographs and prints in any condition
  3. Very glossy paintings
  4. Art with heavy brushstrokes or textures
  5. Very light pencil drawings
  6. Art with intricate detail
  7. Diptychs and triptychs
  8. Architectural drawings
  9.  Framed paintings
  10. Works under glass
  11. Very light, dark or contrasty art
  12. Digital art and photographs
  13.  Old negatives, transparencies or prints

What kinds of artworks present problems?

 Artworks that have reflective metals or mirrors are problematic because our printers can't apply gold, silver or other metals to your prints. Reflective surfaces need to be specially lit so that the metals or mirrors look like what they are. 

Can you capture and reproduce brushstrokes and other surface details?

Yes. Brushstrokes and other fine details in your artwork can be brought to life through custom lighting.  I sometimes shoot certain textured artworks many times, using different lighting adjustments, to get just the right effect. This takes time, but the final result is often breathtakingly realistic. So much so that one wants to touch these prints to see if they are "real" or not.

What do you do for works that are professionally framed and under glass?

Artworks under glass should be removed from their frames for the finest possible reproductions. Sometimes this is easy to do, and sometimes doing so requires the services of a professional framer. I work closely with  a  frame shop here in Melrose. They can remove your artwork from its frame so it can be photographed, then reassemble the frame.  

This being said, removing a work of art from its frames is often too inconvenient for some clients. In those cases, I photograph the art with the glass and frame in place. To totally eliminate reflections on the glass, special filters are used. This does alter the contrast slightly, but this can be corrected later. Other techniques can also be used to eliminate reflections without filtering.  If proper care is taken, it can be extremely difficult to tell that glass is present in the final capture images. 

In November of 2014, I shot a collection of 102 artworks of various sizes for a client. Most were framed prints under glass. The frames were not removed. However the resulting images were so good that they are being used for a book on the collection. 

Do you shoot on location?

Yes. If your artwork is too big or valuable to transport to my studio, or if you have too many pieces, I can travel to your studio, home or any other location with my equipment. I do this frequently for both Giclée art reproduction work, as well as normal-size digital photography for books, portfolios images and websites.

My work has been sold or is not available. Can you make giclée prints from slides or 4x5 transparencies?

Yes, however the quality of your prints will depend on the quality of your slides or transparencies.

These items would be scanned to get a digital file. Test prints would be made from this file. These would be approved by the client. Final prints are then made from this digital image file. 

How many prints can I order? Is there a minimum order? What about reprints?

The beauty of giclée printing is that you can order any number of prints. As would be expected, the cost-per-print goes down the more you order. If you need larger quantities than those listed, please ask. Reprints are available for the cost of printing only ? capture and proof prices would not be added to your order.

Can prints be made from my digital files?

Yes. There is an upload page here. Since there may be difference between your computer and mine, test prints would be required. I charge $30 for each 15 minutes needed for testing and printing. A final test print needs to be approved by the client final printing. This service is frequently provided to illustrators and graphic designers I work with.

Should I get fine art paper or canvas prints?

It depends on your original work of art. Watercolor paintings should be reproduced on watercolor paper. Works on paper with lots of pencil, ink or other fine detail look better on a smooth fine art paper. If your original painting is on canvas, then canvas prints will look the best, especially if the original painting has a glossy surface and fine surface details. 

How long does it take to have my work reproduced?

Digital capture and proofing takes a week. Printing generally takes another week or less. These times may be longer or shorter depending on how much work I have at the studio. Rush service is available depending on my schedule. Rush fees would apply.

How are the prints delivered?

Paper prints are delivered in clear archival sleeves with acid-neutral, white backing boards. I can leave the sleeves open so you can add any information you want about the print to the sleeve before sealing - just let me know. Large prints are rolled, or can delivered flat in a foam core portfolio. There is a fee for the portfolio. Please let me know if want one.

I need help with graphic design for a book, a website or  brochure. Can you help with this? 

Yes, I work with several excellent graphic designers who can assist with print and web projects of any kind. We have worked together on numerous art books, art catalogs, websites and family histories. Let me know what you'd like to do and I'll make it happen.

Do you frame?

Yes and no. I don't directly frame art presently, but work directly with a frame shop that frames for me and my clients. If you need help picking out a frame moulding, I will visit the shop and send phone images of the moulding. I can then send these framed works of any size, anywhere in the world. 

Do you guarantee the quality of your work?

The quality of all work I do is unconditionally guaranteed. I want you to be completely happy so you'll keep coming back.

How long do your prints last?

Unfortunately, longevity depends a great deal on how a print is framed and displayed. If you want your prints to last, it is very important to frame them with archival matting and UV glass. Your prints should also not be displayed in direct sunlight, or under bright lights that produce high levels of ultraviolet light. 

The papers and canvas I use are all acid-free and archival. For additional protection, every print is sprayed with a uv and water-resistant finish. I use pigment inks for all prints. These are the same long-lasting pigments found in oil paints. 

Under ideal conditions, my pigment-ink Giclée art reproduction prints should last for more than 100 years.

More Questions?

I'm happy to answer any other questions you have or clarify the process for you. My studio number is 781-665-1122. Please give a call so I can help you out. Thanks!

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