The Mona Lisa is the world’s most famous and expensive artwork. Why is that? It is partly because the Mona Lisa is also the most reproduced and copied artwork in the world. As long as there have been printing techniques, artists have used the possibility to create editions and series. Rembrandt also used etching to reproduce his artworks.
The Giclée art print is a new and contemporary printing medium that adheres to the highest standards set by artists, museums and art collectors for graphics art. Because of this the Giclée print has taken its place among more traditional graphics and printing methods like etching, screen printing and stone lithography. Various museum exhibit Giclées instead of the original artwork. This underlines that Giclées can be a qualitative tour de force if they adhere to the museum standards such as ISO 9706 and NEN 2728 norm.
Artist (especially genre painters) usually only make a limited amount of paintings during their lifetime. These paintings are often their only source of income. With the arrival of the Certified Art Giclée quality hallmark it has become possible to earn extra income from original artworks and to gain more visibility and notoriety. A release of a limited-edition creates extra awareness and visibility because a print can have wider circulation and distribution.
Unfortunately there are many print providers that misuse the term Giclée. There has been a huge influx of manufacturers offering cheap prints on canvas or paper that are usually of very disappointing quality. Prints that show striping, lack of depth in color and poor lastingness. These prints are often created on printers using solvent of dye inks that are meant for signage use and the graphical market with colors that fade in no time. Real art Giclées are created with a very high resolution (a minimum of 1140 dpi to 2880 dpi) and are printed using high-quality archival inks on acid free materials. The canvas and paper types used have a coating that ensures that the inks do not degrade or fade. Canvas prints receive a UV blocking varnish or UV top coating. Because of this real art Giclées come with a lifetime guarantee. Museums and galleries have also experienced that the Giclées they were selling already started to discolor after several months with unhappy customers as a result. This has damaged the Giclée name unfortunately.
To combat this wild growth and to establish a quality hallmark for Giclée printing, Re-Art created Giclée printers Europe after the American Giclée Printers Association and Tru Giclée and the quality hallmark Certified Art Giclée.
With this quality product and hallmark Re-Art has been able to regain trust among professionals in Giclée prints. Prints of bad quality can damage your reputation as an artist and ruin your good name. We believe that you should keep your Giclée print provider to the same quality standards as you do for you own artwork.
What is Giclée?
Giclée originates from the French verb ‘gicler’ which means misting or jetting. With this technique high quality inks are sprayed in various layers of colors on special fine art paper, photo paper or canvas. The Giclée was born in the late nineteen eighties in the United States. Using the Scitex IRIS 3024 printer that was introduced on the market in 1987, people were for the first time able to digitally send their digital files via an Apple computer to a printer to have them printed. Artists immediately saw the opportunities to create limited edition series from their original artworks this way. Before, this was only possible for artists using traditional graphics methods like screen printing, etching or stone lithography. The quality of these first Giclées wasn’t great though, with colors that faded quickly when exposed to UV light. Only years later when water based archival inks were developed did it become possible to create Giclée prints with a long durability and colorfastness.
Creating high quality Certified Art Giclée prints starts with photographing (digitizing) the original artwork, preferably on a Cruse Fine Art Scanner or if you are a digital artist or photographer with a high-resolution, high-quality digital source file.
From this digital source, using color conversion and proofing, a file is created that matches the original as closely as possible. In many instances the artist will modify the digital file so that it retains its own character. After final approval by the artists a digital master file is made. From this master file the limited-edition series is printed. Art Giclées are made individually and are always of a grid-less quality. A single copy can take up to an hour to print. Giclée printing is definitely not a mass printing process.
The creation of Certified Art Giclée™ is a piece of craftsmanship done by a master printer. A big advantage of a Giclée is that you can start with one and order more later (printing on demand). The start-up costs are very favorable compared to other art printing techniques and you don’t need to order the entire edition at once. You can order extra copies later and there will be no difference between the first and last print.
Claims that a print has a wear resistance between 70 and a 100 years are thrown about in abundance. In practice though this is seldom the case. The lastingness of a Giclée or photo print is depended on a number of factors. We can show you test results whereby the inks did not discolor but did degrade or got loose from the paper due to UV exposure. Inks and materials used are very important. A company that offers you Giclées or photo prints at a price below €40 per square meter will give you prints that will not last long. These types of prints are often low resolution and are printed on cheap materials that are not acid free. They will contain chemicals like OBA’s (whiteners) and are made with cheap inks. Based on our extensive experience in this market our motto is: don’t try to skimp on quality if you want a true art print. Quality does not need to be expensive. This is something Re-Art has proven for years. Plus quality will sell better, which benefits the artist.
Re-art prints using only high-quality, reliable archival pigment inks that are water resistant. These inks last far longer than other inks.
We solely use inks, canvases, photo papers and fine art papers that have been extensively tested on their light reproduction quality and lastingness by one of the most renowned test institutes in the world: The Wilhelm Imaging Research Institute* in Iowa The United States. They are also completely independent. Next to that Re-Art also conducts its own tests on a regular basis such as the blue wool test whereby we expose the materials to high concentrations of UV light.
The combination of our inks, canvases and papers and optional varnish or UV top coatings allows us to create Certified Art Giclées that last anywhere between 50 and 300 years**. We guarantee it!
*Test environment and results of the Wilhelm Imaging Research Institute: 25 degrees Celsius, humidity of 60% and a light exposure of 450 lux 12 hours a day. These specifics are comparable to lighting conditions in galleries, museums and living rooms.
** Depending on the materials used and UV exposure. In practice fine art papers and 100% cotton canvases last the longest. When we say 50 to 300 years we mean 50 years in a regular household and 300 years conserved in a museum.
Certified Art Giclée™
Art is and always will be pure craftsmanship. Re-Art strives to properly add to the preservation of this unique craft and therefore introduced the quality hallmark Certified Art Giclée several years ago.
The Certified Art Giclée™ quality hallmark is the European standard for original, limited Giclée art editions. With his hallmark a distinction has been created between original, high quality and valuable Giclées of museum-grade quality and the inkjet prints of often disappointing quality that regrettably are also sold as Giclées. The Certified Art Giclée™ logo guarantees consumers, artist, galleries and museums the highest quality and lastingness. The Giclées in question and are also provided with a Certificate of Authenticity. The Certified Art Giclée™ logo also acts as a guarantee that there will never be more prints created from an artwork than agreed upon with the artist. If the edition size of an edition is 25 than there will never be made more than 25 with Certified Art Giclée.
The lastingness of a Certified Art Giclée™ is between 50 and 300 years and sometimes even longer*.
The Certified Art Giclée is always made using water-resistant archival pigment inks on acid free materials. These materials receive an invisible coating that creates a chemical reaction between the inks and the canvas. The minimum resolution is 1440 dpi which gives the prints a gridless quality and incredible detail.
The Certified Art Giclée has a visible edition number and signature by the artist. The signature is not printed-on. The Certificate of Authenticity is also numbered and signed and co-signed by the master printer. The Certificate mentions the edition size and any EA’s.
Certified Art Giclée is very affordable and gives you a solid quality guarantee!
Certificates with the Certified Art Giclée™ hallmark and GPE logo
Certified Art Giclées always come with an embossed Certificate of Authenticity. The Certificate mentions all relevant details about the edition. It usually features an image of the artwork, the name of the artist, title, website, edition size, any EA’s* and the name of the master printer. The Certificates are embossed with the Certified Art Giclée™ logo and are numbered and signed by the artist and master printer. This Certificate also acts as a guarantee for the long lastingness of the artwork.
Certified Art Giclées with a certificate represent quality art prints that set themselves apart from other Giclée prints in the market with their quality. They provide customers with the certainty that they are buying a valuable piece of art.
*EA is short for Épreuve d’Artiste. These are extra prints that are made on behalf of the artist. The prints (maximum 10% of the entire edition) are part of the edition and usually belong to the private collection of an artist. The artist often uses the EA’s as a gift to friends or for special occasions. When an edition has been completely sold out, the EA’s are the only ones left for sale for galleries. EA’s are usually sold at a higher price because they are the last available copies in an edition. EA’s are also labeled as Artist Proofs.
Next to the high-end Certified Art Giclée™, Re-Art also provides Basic Giclées™. The Basic Giclée is a more affordable alternative of Giclée printing. The Basic Giclée is a beautiful Giclée print but does not have the same lastingness and archival quality of a Certified Art Giclée.
The Basic Giclée is a budget conscious Giclée. It is a great alternative to Certified Art Giclées for the starting artist.
Re-Art’s Basic prints are still of much higher quality than prints provided by cheap printing companies or prints from IKEA for example. Basic prints are durable but do not come with a lastingness guarantee like Certified prints. The Basic print has slightly less color range, and detail is a bit less as they are printed at lower resolution. There is also less choice in materials and papers that you can use for Basic prints compared with Certified Art Giclées.
What benefits do Re-Art’s Giclées offer the artist?
Printing on Demand
One of the biggest benefits of the Giclée technique is that it isn’t necessary anymore to print the edition in its entirety at once. So you don’t have to make a large investment upfront like with screen printing, etching or stone lithography.
We use “Printing on Demand”. You can always start with one and order extra when that is sold. We guarantee you that the last print is exactly the same as the first print approved print. Even if there are months or years between orders, we will deliver a constant print quality through color management. Your financial exposure is minimal and you don’t have storage issues like with other print techniques.
A quick return on investment
Startup costs are relatively low and usually you start making a profit with the first copy sold. A completely sold out edition can generate 3 times more income that the sold original.
Assistance with marketing and sales
Re-Art has established a reputation in the international art world over the years and has many contacts and relationships. We are in contact with many dealers and galleries and have a database of existing clients. We will use our contacts to bring attention to your artworks. If our clients (artists) sell their Giclées we can produce new ones and that is how we make our money. We can help you write good copy, can make great logos for your own publications and will place a link on our highly trafficked website. We exhibit often in our own studio that is set up like a gallery and at various art fairs.
A choice from many materials
We offer a huge range of materials, canvases and papers so that we retain the properties of the original as much as possible.
Freedom to choose sizes
You are free to choose your own sizes for your artworks. We can print a large artwork smaller or enlarge a small artwork. We can even enlarge artworks 4 times (400%) that are captured by our Cruse camera without loss of detail.
Multiple sales of on artwork without parting with the original
The possibility to combine multiple artworks while printing
A guarantee on color fastness and lastingness
We give hard guarantees on the lastingness of our Giclées. We provide a Certificate with the Giclée that guarantees this wear resistance. Certified Art Giclées made by us last between 50 and 300 years depending on the material (canvas) used.
A high unique value through the Certificate of Authenticity
The internationally known Certified Art Giclée certificates provide trust to galleries and consumers which will make them decide faster to purchase and artwork.
A wide range of possibilities for digital image editing.
During the start-up phase (also known as the proofing phase) we will remove all irregularities and make sure that the image is 100% as intended. Through digital image editing and advanced color corrections we can even change your artwork completely or give it a unique characteristic.
Perfect colors and color corrections
Because of our background in traditional lithography we’ve grown up with color. We know unlike anyone else how to get the most from software and machines so that your reproduction is a close as possible to the original. We make our own ICC profiles and calibrate our machines on a weekly basis.
Professional image archiving
When the master file is approved during the proofing phase this digital master is archived double. We also keep a digital master file online for any reprints. So you can be sure that we will always use the correct image when reprinting.
We are currently in the process of establishing an online image databank what you can use to access your images online.
Stability in the production process
We solely use top materials. Our inks, canvases and papers are chosen for their high-quality aspects. Because of this we can guarantee a stable production process. Our archival pigment inks, materials and printers are the best of their kind.
Environmental friendly production process
Our inks are chemical free water-based inks and have no harmful effect on the environment. Our canvases and types of paper mostly consist of natural resources, and are ph-neutral and free of chemical, aggressive whiteners and glues.