“They are both printed, right?”
Yes, technically they are both prints. But a newspaper is a print too.
The gap between a giclee and the cheaper every day print is about the same as the gap between a print and a newspaper.
The difference manifests itself in quality, durability and … ‘fact checking’.
“Did you say ‘fact checking’? On a giclee?”
Yes I know, I will explain this later.
The news in your newspaper fades in a couple of days or weeks.
A newspaper is a mega mass product. The manufacturing and appearance is cheap. And let’s be honest -because you know it too- the content isn’t per se true or checked for authenticity.
The ink of an ordinary print of an artwork fades in a couple of years.
A print is a kind of halfway mass product. Mostly produced by a middle man (think about Hallmark or our own Australian Redbubble), without any control or final check of the artist himself. This doesn’t mean the artist don’t know about the existence of these prints. In most cases the artist has an agreement with the middle man and he receives a small royalty. He doesn’t need to do anything, so it’s a kind of a fair deal.
The middle man has to squeeze out some coins for himself too, so that part has to come out of the cheaper quality of paper, inks and machines. The final product can look reasonable, but for the artist not okay enough to call it an artwork and put his signature on it.
A giclee however, never fades. The inks of a giclee (pronouce as zjee-clay) are guaranteed longer than your life.
In the first place a giclee is made with an advanced print-technique, and created on the best paper or canvas, with a super high quality ink that lasts for at least 100 years. So far about the physical stuff.
Than the business stuff; Personally I don’t entrust ‘just any bloke’ with my giant digital files that are necessary for this printing process. It is not for the first time an unwitting artist suddenly discovers his artwork blatantly printed on a t-shirt, sold in a high-street shop (hi Zara), made in a low wage country.
Valuable digital files easily can ‘pop up’ at parties who are willing to pay for it.
So, number 1 is: a trusted print guy!
My giclees are still done in the Netherlands. I cherish the 15 years old business relationship we have grown. Although I prefer to encourage local or Australian businesses, I don’t look forward to the process of searching a new print guy and deep down I would prefer to stay loyal to what we have build up. The higher costs of transport from the Netherlands I’m smoothing out with larger orders in 1 shipping.
Number 2, there it is: the ‘fact checking’.
Every giclee is checked by me. I am the only one who exactly knows what colors, hues, saturation, contrasts, vibrancy, were meant on every painting. I want the giclee to be indistinguishable from the original. If it is not right, the giclee has to be redone. Only after perfection, I brush down my signature, accompanied by an individually numbered certificate.
A limited edition giclee is created only a certain amount of times and is a separate and valuable form of reproduction. I’m afraid some stone- or linoleum printers may disagree, but just like they do; a giclee prints are the modern way of multiplying a time consuming original.