Giclee Glossary

Archival Ink: Inks used in fine art reproduction that have been optimized for permanence and maximum color gamut.

Archiving: Images are digitally archived or saved often on CD-ROM. Information necessary to reproduce the print is also archived, including ink, tables, sizes and media used.

Artist Proof: Frequently, an edition will include a number of prints called Artist Proofs, or AP's. These proofs are normally printed at the time of the initial printing of the edition and are outside of the numbered series. AP's frequently sell for more than prints from an edition.

Bon-A-Tirer or BAT (bone-ah-ti-ray): The proof accepted by the artist that is used as the standard for comparing all subsequent prints. Some printers require a signed BAT before production printing can begin.

CIE: Established in 1976 by an international consortium of color scientists. With the advent of computer technology, establishing standards of measurement had become critical. Color which is viewed using projected light (slide projectors, televisions, and computer screens) have a widely different spectrum than color printed on paper. 

CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black: the four colors of ink used in printing. CMYK is the smallest of printable color spaces, capturing less than half of all the colors within CIE. As with all printing processes, however, there are color limitations.

Coating: A clear coating provides protection from smudging, fingerprints and water droplets. It does not improve the permanence of the print because most fading is due to visible light. On some material, such as canvas, coating can render a print water-resistant, allowing it to be framed without glass.

Collaborative Printmaking: The process of an artist working closely with a printmaker to produce a digital print, especially an original digital print or one requiring considerable alteration of the original image.

Color Management: An advanced technology that uses profiles of the input and output devices to maximize color accuracy. Additionally, profiles are created for the various ink/media combinations.

Color Gamut: The range of colors that are unique to a particular device, paper, ink set or combination. The widest gamut is the visible spectrum, those wavelengths of light perceived by the human eye.

Color Space: A dimensional representation of the visual color spectrum by which all color information is referenced. The expectation of the artist and photographer as to printable color must be tempered by the papers and inks and their capabilities and limitations.

Deckled Edges: Fine watercolor papers have natural deckles on two or four sides. Frequently the look of a print is improved by tearing the paper rather than cutting it, creating "torn deckles." 

Digital Fine Art Print: A fine art print made by any digital process.

D.P.I. (dots per inch): A measure of the detail of a print. "Apparent d.p.i." refers to the fact that the eye perceives a giclee as having greater detail than it does in physical reality.

Dye Based Inks: Inks manufactured with vegetable dye offering a wider color gamut than pigmented inks but will fade within 5-10 years under normal viewing conditions.

Giclee: (Fr. "a spraying of ink"): A common term for fine art digital prints.

High Resolution Scan: Professional scan using color tables optimized fine art digital printing.

House Papers: Fine art papers that are stocked by a printer.

Layouts: Documents describing the precise layout of a print or prints on a sheet of paper. The layout indicates both the exact size of the prints and the amount of white space around each print.

Media/Substrates: The materials to be printed on, such as watercolor papers, canvas, rice paper, wood veneer, cotton, plastic, etc.

Original Digital Print: Artwork that is created entirely or largely on the computer, often by scanning in individual elements and then combining them electronically.

Piezo/Micropiezo: A printer head technology that uses micro-electric firing of crystals to control the flow of ink to the substrate.

Pigmented Inks: Inks manufactured using the type of pigments found in paints, very long fade resistence, 100-200 years, but with a smaller color gamut than dyed based inks. 

Print File: The file used to produce a final proof that is archived for producing current and future printings of an edition.

Printmaker: The person who does the actual printing of a digital image. A printmaker uses a printer (the equipment) to make a digital print.

Print On Demand: The ability of the digital process to reproduce prints over a long period of time with consistency. This allows for a small number of prints when needed. 

Proof: A smaller print used to evaluate a file prior to printing.

Resize: It is generally possible to resize files so prints can be made either smaller or larger. Significant upsizing greater than 25% is usually not successful. 

RGB: Red, Green, and Blue, the three color ‘guns’ built into our computer monitors, TV sets, and digital photographic printers. RGB is considered an ‘additive’ color process, where the combination of all three colors can create a rather wide array of color, roughly 75% of all the colors within CIE.

RIP (Raster Image Processing): Software that translates computer imaging into a format usable by digital printers.

Scanning: The process of converting a transparency, negative, original, or print to a digital file. 

Sheet/Substrate: The sheet of paper or other material that will be printed on.

Transparency: A high quality positive color-film reproduction made by experienced art photographers. Lighting is crucial for evenness, color, and lack of any specular highlights. Transparencies can be 4 x 5 or 8 x 10 inches. The pre-press process tries to create a print that looks like the transparency, not the original, so the transparency should reflect the original as accurately as possible.

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