What is digital fine art?

Digital Fine Art is more commonly called Giclée.

The Definition: Giclée (zhee-klay) - The French word “giclée” is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb “gicler” meaning “to squirt”. This is what the inks do when they coat the paper or canvas with pigment.

The Term: The term “giclée print” denotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images can be generated from many different methods. They can be original digitally created art works using computer software, high resolution digital scans or photographic capturing. Once the image is ready, it is printed with archival quality inks onto various medias including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclée printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction.

The Process: Giclée prints are created typically using professional ink-jet printers. Digital Print Studio uses the latest large format printers from Epson. These printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets. The inks used are specially formulated so that the fine print heads can spray jets of ink in minute droplets at a resolution of 2880 dpi. The media that is printed on to has a specially formulated coating allowing a much high colour desity and detail. Digital Print Studio will test and use other uncoated media if required.
Giclée prints are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Colour ink-jet prints from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics, this however is not the case Giclée uses 7,8 or 12 Colours. It also differs from the traditional off-set lithographic prints artists have traditionally used to reproduce their works, giving a much truer look to the original. The technology works at a much higher resolution not requiring bit-mapping (pixilation) resulting in nearly flawless colour representation and seamless transitions (traces of the production process are virtually invisible).

The Advantages: Giclée prints are advantageous to artists who do not find it feasible to mass produce their work, but want to reproduce their art as needed, or on-demand. Once an image is digitally archived, additional reproductions can be made with minimal effort and reasonable cost. The prohibitive up-front cost of mass production for an edition is eliminated. Archived files will not deteriorate in quality as negatives and film inherently does. Another advantage of giclée printing is that digital images can be reproduced to almost any size and onto various media, giving the artist enormous scope to the artist or photographer.

The Quality: The visual quality of the print is extremely high and the colour saturation and definition stunning, rivaling traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes. When prints are produced on good quality paper, the print can have a light- fast life expectancy of 100 to 200 years, comparable or better than other collectible artwork and therefore commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.