Giclée Printing

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The Giclée Process ~ Innovative


All Limited Edition Prints found at are Giclée prints. The process, though relatively new, is now recognized as the most superior of print formats. Color quality and steadfastness are among its many fine attributes. Giclée is the print of choice of this artist, Bill Murphy.

Giclée (pronounced zhee-clay) reproductions were originally developed in 1989 as a digital method of fine art printing. The word Giclée is French for "a spray or jet of liquid." The images are scanned and digitally stored in a computer and sent through a designated computer for formatting and alignment then to the high-resolution inkjet printer.

Unlike other printing methods, each image is sent to the inkjet printer individually. This advanced method has numerous advantages. Since each piece is individually produced, inventory costs for the artist are kept low, these savings are passed on to the collectors by way of pricing and larger selections. There is no wear-and-tear on plates, excepting paper variations, each image is identical, first to last in the series. Additionally, prints are fresh and clean not having suffered long storage periods. Edition quantities specified by the artist are limits, in many cases, the full edition size may never be produced. Thus, increasing the potential investment value of those prints purchased by the collector.

Some of the advantages of Giclée reproductions: The artist prints only as needed without large up-front capital obligations and the storage problems associated with traditional lithography. Again the economy of the process offers economic and quality advantages. In an direct way, the process affords the collector a larger selection. The artist can present more works. Artists can produce inventory in response to the market demands.

Giclée reproduction is the fastest growing innovation in the fine art market at this time, so say some important voices in the art community. This contemporary technology produces incredible detail and brilliant colors. The actual (versus perceived) image resolution is higher than with traditional lithography, resulting in crisp contrast with rich, intense colors. Artists may enhance and personalize their images by adding a finishing touches by hand-painting over the printed image, enhancing or highlighting to produce original mixed media pieces.

Giclée prints are produced on high quality, treated watercolor paper and canvas, similar to what is used by the painter and conditioned for the unique printing process. The media are specially treated to handle the digital inks. They are treated for absorption of the inks producing brilliant, velvety colors. Life-span estimates of prints by third-party tests indicate longevity in excess of 100 years. However, it is recommended that collectors handle these prints as they would watercolor paintings. If the print is on watercolor paper, it is appropriate to protect the paper from moisture under glass. Ordinarily, Giclées produced on canvas are treated with a UV light protecting layer. No print or painting should ever be exposed to direct sunlight.

FOR THE COLLECTOR (Investor): First, understand that this artist does not recommend art as an investment though it has proved a very useful one through the centuries. Rather, think of art as an experience. If one must consider art as a financial investment then the Giclée process takes on special dimensions that the serious collector (investor) ought understand. The lithograph and mechanical silk screen processes, more traditional printing methods, require fairly large multiple runs be made during a single print session. The numbering of prints has allowed the collector and artist to determine the order of the prints manifested from these sessions. Typically the earlier numbers have proven more value under the observation that the earlier prints are more likely to resemble the artists' intention. Example: in the lithography process a wear on the plates may cause latter numbered prints to lose line quality and color separation. Secondly, a large inventory of finished prints is guaranteed unless for some reason they might subsequently be destroyed. None of this is true of the Giclée process. The digital files do not deteriorate in production or storage. Thus, the first Giclée print and last are identical except for paper variations, which guarantee that each print is unique without degradation of quality from first to last. There is no inventory necessary with the Giclée print. Prints are most often produced to order. This is a significant point of consideration for the serious investor. Example: let's say a Giclée print is offered in a series of 25. This does not mean that 25 prints have been created, only that the artist intends (has committed to) print no more than this number. It may be that some lesser number is ever printed. Thus, an early number is significant in that it means no fewer have been printed, yet perhaps no more. Perhaps, enough said on the subject. The collector can be assured, provided the artist employs a quality printer and uses archival materials, that luxurious long-lasting artworks will be obtained if they are off Giclée process.

This artist personally controls the mastering of all Bill Murphy digital files. They are then delivered to a professional print shop, a Giclée specialist, one of the first established with a tradition for superior quality in the USA. The printer examines the files and prepares a proof. ICC profiles are embedded by the artist to ensure color integrity. Proofs are approved by the artist and the original digital file is maintained at the artist's studio with the Master file in the control of the printer. Once an edition is completed the Master and Studio files are destroyed thereby insuring the integrity of the edition.

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 NOTE:  This statement reflects the opinion of this artist and should not be construed as a Universal opinion. The subject of longevity of Giclée prints is a matter of heated controversy. Let it be said that the prints available at are of the highest quality available, all are prepared by one of the most respected commercial fine arts printmakers in America. For further information you may contact

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