A giclee (gee-klay) is a digital print on acid-free, archival paper/media (i.e. watercolor, canvas, etc) that is imaged using fade-resistant inks. A giclee does not have to be on canvas. You can call it a giclee or a fine art ink jet print, both are acceptable today–it all depends on how you want to market your prints. Some common misspellings of giclee are as follows – gliche, glichee, gleechay, geeclay, giclie, gicle, gleechee, gilee, glacee, gillee, ciglee.
Renaissance Imaging uses Canon 9100 and 8100 printers for our fine art printing on watercolor and canvas. They have an archival inkset which includes Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light magenta, Yellow, Photo gray, Gray, Photo Black, Matte Black, Red, Green & Blue. The combination of these colors on our canvas, watercolor and photo papers provides long-lasting prints displaying vivid colors, rich subtle tones and detailed blacks. Because these inks are pigment based, the prints made with them on archival paper can last from 70 to over 100 years without showing signs of noticeable fading.
From a marketing perspective, giclée prints are considered to be among the highest quality prints available and are sold through galleries and museums throughout the world.
We can print from a wide variety of file types on our inkjet printers: TIFF (.tif), JPEG (.jpg), PDF (.pdf), PSD (.psd), EPS (.eps), and Grayscaled files.
The best file is a TIFF file, flattened and saved at the desired print size with 150-300 ppi in the RGB color space. There is no reason to have more than 300 ppi in your print sized file.
Ideally a file should be saved to the desired output size at 300 dpi with little or no image interpolation.
For example: To make a 16×20 print your file should be sized to 16×20 and the resolution should be in the range of 150-300 ppi. A good “rule of thumb” would be that any file with a resolution of 200 dpi or more at the desired print size could produce photographic prints of fine art quality providing that the file was not interpolated a great deal to get the ppi up to 200.
Short for ‘Picture Element’, a pixel is a single point in a graphic image. It is the smallest individual dot that can be displayed on a computer screen. The terms “dots per inch” (dpi) and “pixels per inch” are sometimes used interchangeably, but have distinct meanings, especially for printing devices. In digital photography or scanning, the proper term to use is Pixels.
Interpolation (sometimes called resampling) is an imaging method used to increase (or decrease) the number of pixels in a digital image. Some digital cameras use interpolation to produce a larger image than the sensor captured or to create digital zoom. Virtually all image editing software supports one or more methods of interpolation. How smoothly images are enlarged without introducing jagged lines depends on the sophistication of the algorithm.
Unless you are using the same monitors, screen calibration devices and the printer profiles that we use, it would only be by chance that the printed giclée will perfectly match your monitor. The way a picture appears on your screen depends on your screen settings, like: contrast, brightness, color profile, etc. The same picture may appear different on different screens. The same picture printed on different media or on a different printer will appear different as well. In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways. Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. The image displayed on the monitor is also “backlit“ as opposed to the printed image which has light reflection from an external source (overhead lights, sunlight, etc). Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model. What you can count on is that the print will look beautiful and very close to the original artwork or digital image.
Substrate is a printing term used to describe the material on which images are printed. Our giclée substrates include a variety of fine art papers and heavy weight canvas. We also carry a line of decor papers and other materials such as tile, acylic, textured foam board, aluminum, wallpaper, etc. Please see our products and services page for a complete list.
There are many factors* that enter into image stability and print longevity. Below are approximate numbers showing how long the papers and canvases mentioned will last under normal fine art viewing conditions.
Enhanced Matte – 70 Years
Fine Art Textured – 70 Years
Fine Art Smooth – 70 years
Canvas – 100 years +
Fiber Base Photo Paper – 70 years
*NOTE: Actual print stability and longevity will vary according to image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, atmospheric conditions, and post-printing treatments. For maximum print life, display all prints under conservation glass or lamination or properly store them in climate controlled environment, away from direct sunlight.
Renaissance Imaging utilizes both the BetterLight Super6K 4×5 digital scan-back systems and a 24 x 36 Colortrac flatbed scanner. At no point does your artwork go through a roller-bed scanner, or is it put through any process where there is potential for damage. Once we scan your artwork, digital file is created, then we carefully adjusted it in Adobe Photoshop so that it closely matches your artwork.
Simple answer… yes. But, the quality of your prints is directly related to the quality of the digital file used for the printing. Our BetterLight 4×5 scan-back camera system and colortrac flatbed scanners have the capability of producing images that far exceed the capabilities of even the most sophisticated 35mm digital camera. If you are hoping for color matched, incredibly sharp, faithful reproductions of your artwork, there is no substitute for professionally copied artwork. However, if you still intend on sending us your own digital files that you photographed/scanned yourself, please contact us before shooting the artwork and we’ll give you some pointers.
We accept files from digital cameras for all of our printing. The quality of your prints will be directly proportionate to the quality of the submitted file. We strongly encourage you to request a proof if the file is color critical. We prefer not to use smartphone images, because often more than not, the file is just too small to reproduce well. However, we will gladly look at you file to let you know if can be used at all.
Without your artwork or print that closely matches your artwork as a guide, it is very difficult for our printing technicians to accurately reproduce your artwork. If you find yourself without an accurate guide, your best bet is to provide us with verbal directions and request a proof print ( a test print to be viewed prior to printing the final prints). Once you receive the proof – we send you a copy and keep one at File Print -we now have a tool for discussing what changes to make in order to achieve the closest match to your original.
Ordering a proof print is the best – maybe the only – way to guarantee that your final prints meet your expectations. Fine art printing and digital imaging can be very subjective. Even if you provide us with your original or guide prints, there is no assurance that our printing equipment can exactly match the colors and tonal ranges in your original. Exact matches are subjective and rarely achievable. It is important that you become a part of the printing process by asking for and assessing a proof print prior to final printing.
We keep digital files of all artwork that we have scanned and printed. We can also keep supplied files from clients that have specifically asked us to keep them for future reorders. We do not keep files where a raw scan was requested.
Yes, within reason. While we maintain extremely rigid controls on our printing equipment and monitors, factors beyond our control can affect repeatability. Upgrades to equipment, changes in paper, chemicals and ink technology, software changes… these and many other factors make it virtually impossible to guarantee exact matches to previous printings. Having said that, Renaissance Imaging has developed a reputation for being the best in the fine art printing world at providing consistent, exceptionally close matches with all reprint orders.
A gallery wrapped canvas giclée is produced by stretching the outer edges of the printed canvas giclée around a wooden stretcher bar. The sides of the gallery wrap show a portion of the image or alternately a selected color, making the finished gallery wrap suitable for wall display without the need finishing it with a frame.
Renaissance Imaging produces two different styles of gallery wraps:
Solid Color Wrap: Black, White or Colored Border: A classic black, white or color of your choosing is added to your image’s edge.
Image Wrap: The outer edge of your image is mirrored on the wrapped edge, as a continuation of your painting or photograph.
If you don’t have a digital file we can make you a new file by scanning your photo print, and treat it like an original.
You can receive your canvas giclée unstretched. If you plant to stretch the canvas yourself, please make sure you let us know how much of a boarder you need for stretching.
First we have a brief consultation with you to go over what you’d like us to retouch, and we’ll give you an estimate on our services ($80 per hour with a half hour minimum plus scanning and printing costs). We scan (digitize) your original, and then work on it in Photoshop to repair the damage. Prints are priced at our normal prices. Please remember to store your originals in dry, dark places, in acid-free materials in order to minimize the progression of damage.
Ready to Print files are digital files prepared by you for the purpose of printing on Renaissance Imaging’s equipment. For files to be considered ready to print, they must adhere to the following requirements:
* RGB and in the Adobe RGB 1998 or Srgb work space.
* 300 ppi at output dimensions.
* 8 bit and flattened so as not to contain layers or alpha channels.
* TIFF or JPEG format
You have three options for sending files to us. With all options, you are required to either send “Print Ready Files” or, send information with the files requesting that we alter the files per your directions. Additional fees will be assessed if you request that we alter your digital files.
1) You can send the files through dropbox or another similar service.
2) You can send us a CD, DVD or a thumb drive with your images enclosed.
3) You can order prints through our Store which allows you to upload digital files and order prints online.
Yes. If your files require color changes, retouching or digital alteration – anything is possible. Our cost for making adjustments to images is $80.00/hour, billed in ¼ hour increments. We can contact you with an estimate of charges.
We ship UPS, Fed Ex, local courier and USPS (US Mail). Our current preferred method is UPS Ground which allows easy tracking and consistent short delivery times.
Canvas material is up to 60 inches wide x 40 feet , and largest image size would be 54” to allow for stretching.
Watercolor material is 44 inches wide x 40 feet
Photo papers are 44 inches wide x 100 feet
Poster papers are 54 inches wide x 100 feet
Flat stock such as acrylic, poster board and textured board are 48” x 96”
Each giclée print has been inspected before it leaves Renaissance Imaging. All of our giclées should be considered fine art pieces and treated with great care. In some ways a giclée is even more delicate than an original piece of art. To ensure the greatest longevity of your giclée, take note of the following:
Keep canvas giclées out of direct sunlight and they should last over 100 years.
Avoid putting pressure on the surface of the print, especially in the areas where the canvas is in contact with the wooded stretcher bars.
Avoid stacking, adds pressure to the surface of the giclée
Avoid big changes in temperature, and humidity. This can lead to cracking; for example, while traveling to and from art shows, and attending outdoor shows, swamp coolers, heaters, storing in a shed, or a furnace room.
Avoid too many people handling the giclée.
You can clean your canvas giclée with a slightly dampened cloth using light pressure.
All of our canvas giclées are coated with a protective finish which makes the canvas cleanable and less prone to damage from UV light (sun).
In the world of giclée printing – most notably canvas giclée printing, embellishing is the hot trend. Should you embellish your giclées? What choices are there for embellishing, what products can be used.
1. Do not try to embellish watercolor giclées with paint. Although our giclée prints on watercolor paper are water resistant, the inks can be lifted with water and a brush. Instead, if you want to punch up a color, use a colored pencil (Berol or Prismacolor work well,) or use a pastel pencil. Use a light touch at first and experiment on your proof until you get the effect you are looking for. We recommend using pastel pencils, as they tend to have a duller finish than colored pencils.
2. Canvas giclées come to you with a protective coating, allowing you to paint on top with acrylic paints. You can also use oil paints, but we have better success with acrylics. If using acrylic paints, mix a bit of gloss gel medium to the acrylic paint to provide a sheen that will match that of the canvas finish. Do not spray or varnish over the canvas after you have painted on top of it. Your finish may not be compatible with ours. How much or how little embellishing you do is entirely up to you.
3. You can also add texture to your canvas giclées by adding brush strokes with Liquitex gel medium (make sure you get the kind that dries transparent). You can apply it pretty thick if you want – we applied areas up to about 1/4” thick and, although they took 24 hours to dry, they did dry transparently. If you want to embellish for color and add brush strokes, add the acrylic paint first, then the gel medium after the paint has dried thoroughly.
4. You can add brush strokes to giclée prints on watercolor paper. However, we do not coat the watercolor paper, and adding the gel medium will noticeably alter the density – in other words, your print will appear much darker/punchier after applying gel medium. For this reason, we do not recommend adding texture to giclée prints on watercolor paper.
5. It’s always better to stretch or mount your canvas giclée before adding texture or embellishing.
Yes and no. File size plays a significant factor in this but other things as well. The amount of detail in an image, the quality of the scan (if a scanned image), the media to be printed on, the expectations of you the artist as to what is acceptable, and the distance the final print will be viewed at. Please call us to discuss your needs. You might need to send us the file first to examine.