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Giclee Art Reproduction - San Diego
Fine art printing for artists . . . by an artist.
What is a "Giclee" Art Reproduction print (pronounced gee-clay)?
The word Giclee is a coined word from the French language for "nozzle" or "sprayed paint" and is traditionally used to describe fine art reproductions (copies) of original works of art, generally in larger sizes. Giclee reproductions are created on high quality archival ink-jet printing systems using pigment based inks that are designed for color accuracy, longevity, and fade resistance. The inks used in these types of printing systems can be calibrated for a variety of media and print runs as small as a single print can be created as needed.
Many artists find that giclee prints are an affordable option for creating color accurate reproductions of their work, at various sizes, and continuing to generate income through sales of the giclee art reproductions. Over time, giclee reproductions of original works of art generate more income, to the artist, than can be made by selling the original work of art.
For example: an original oil, acrylic, or watercolor painting might sell for $2000. Once the sale is completed that is all of the income the original piece will generate for the artist. This is where giclee reproductions continue to generate income for the artist and also makes the art available to more art afficionados.
A limited edition run of 250 giclees, offered for sale at $200 a piece, could generate up to $50,000 in income (just do the math). Of course the trick is to find a way to sell your giclee prints and that is a totally different discussion. An aggressive marketing plan, art gallery outlets, framing shop outlets, agencies, agents, and internet galleries are all part of that equation.
I will create a calibrated and color accurate digital file from your original work of art that will be used to print your reproductions. A copy of the digital file is always provided to the artist on CD or DVD. What is nice about short run giclee reproductions is that the artist can "pay as he/she goes". There is no minimum on how many prints have to be ordered at San Diego Photos and Prints. I do offer discounts if you order several prints of the same image at the same size.
Giclee art reproductions can be the same size as the original, larger than the original, or smaller than the original. There is quite a bit of flexibility in sizing of a giclee print due to the nature of digital printing systems. Art galleries recommend that art reproductions should be smaller than the original.
How much does it cost?
Printing costs vary by the size of the original and the size of the printed reproduction, the media selected, and the number of prints ordered at the same time. I offer discounts if several prints of the same image and the same size are ordered at the one time. To give you an exact price, I need you to provide me with some basic information. In general terms you should expect to pay between $15 - $22 per square foot of media used to create your finished giclee print on canvas or fine art papers. Giclees printed on photographic paper or fine art papers will cost between $15 - $18 per sq. ft.
Prints created on canvas will cost $17 a square foot (printed only) or $22 a square foot (printed and varnished). I strongly recommend varnishing prints on canvas prior to stretching and mounting on stretcher bars.
Calculating square feet is easily done using the following formula:
Giclee prints on photographic papers or one of our fine art papers . . . .
Add 2 inches to each of the dimensions you would like your print to be. The additional inches are for unprinted borders that are used for handling and matting.Take the Horizontal dimension (in inches) and multiply it by the Vertical dimension (in inches). Take the result and divide by 144. The result will be square feet. Then multiply the square feet by the media cost you will be printing on:
Super Heavyweight Plus Matte Paper: $15 sq. ft.
If you do not have a "ready to print" digital file, San Diego Photos and Prints also offers scanning/digitizing services for clients that will be using our printing services. The cost of creating a digital image file varies by the size of the original artwork and the type of scan required but will generally be between $90 to $200 per artwork. This is a one-time-only cost to cover the cost of the time and materials required to create a calibrated digital file that is suitable for fine art printing. Once the file has been created and calibrated for printing, it can be used over and over again.
Prints on canvas you plan to mount on stretcher bars . . . .
Add 6 inches to each dimension that you want your piece to be printed at. The additional canvas will be used to create the mirrored side panels needed for mounting your print on stretcher bars without losing any portion of the original piece. The extra canvas is also needed for stapling to the back side of the stretcher bars.
Take the resulting Horizontal dimension (in inches) and multiply it by the Vertical dimension (in inches). Take the result and divide by 144. The result will be square feet.
To estimate your cost, multiply by $17 if you only want us to "print" the piece and you'll be taking care of varnishing it. Multiply by $22 if you want us to take care of varnishing your piece. Varnishing is strongly recommended prior to mounting and stretching you canvas print. Your print is created using "pigments" which are sprayed on to the canvas. Pigments are not as flexible as dyes but last much longer and are more suitable for fine art reproductions. Varnishing also helps to bond the pigments to the canvas making it less likely the pigments flake or crack along the edges when the canvas is wrapped around the stretcher bars. Varnish also helps to protect the print from scuffs, scratches, and finger prints that can happen over time as the print is handled. A varnished canvas print has better longevity than an unvarnished print.
We do not currently offer mounting and stretching services but we do work with another company if you'd like us to take care of getting your print mounted and stretched onto stretcher bars or framed. The price they charge us is added to your invoice plus $10 for dropping off and picking up your print.
Prints on canvas that will be glued to a backing like foam core, masonite, Gessobord®, wood, or will be matted and framed . . . .
Add 2 inches to each dimension. The unprinted portion will be used for handling purposes and when varnishing and framing.
Take the resulting Horizontal dimension (in inches) and multiply it by the Vertical dimension (in inches). Take the result and divide by 144. The answer will be in square feet.
To estimate your cost, multiply by $17 if you only want us to "print" the piece and you'll be taking care of varnishing it. Multiply by $22 if you want us to take care of varnishing your piece. Varnishing is strongly recommended as it helps to protect the pigments from accidentally being scuffed or scratched over time and it increases the longevity of the print and helps to bond the pigments to the canvas material.
Proofing is the process where we will generate a series of test strips of the reproduction to show the artist. Adjustments are then made and a new test strip is generated. This process continues until the test strip matches the original as closely as possible and the artist tells us he or she is happy with the result. If we digitize your work of art, there is no charge for the proof strips. If you bring us a digital file for printing, proof strips cost $15 - $31 each.
For optimum print quality prepare your file in Adobe 1998, 16 bit, and save the file in an uncompressed format like PSD or TIFF. Avoid using JPG format as JPGs are a compressed format and will throw away 40 - 60% of the fine detail as the file is saved. To retain maximum quality as you edit your file, save your working copies in an uncompressed format. JPGs are unsuitable for fine art reproduction except as the final saved file after all editing has been completed. To retain the maximum amount of fine detail and color graduations, work your file in 16 bit color depth.
Custom retouching of your digital file to remove blemishes, scratches, etc. are billed at $90 per hour.
Digitizing and setup fees:
Digitizing your original work of art: $90 - $300, based on size and resolution needed for your prints. (Most pieces fall in the $90 - $150 range)
Scan from 35mm slide, negative or other transparency or print: $90 (includes up to 5, test strips to check for accuracy and make adjustments). If additional test strips are needed they will be charged at $15 - $31 per strip.
Setup charge, only applies to digital files you bring us: $35 (1st 6" wide proof strip is included in setup charge)
Why is there a setup charge?
Digitizing / scanning / retouching and calibrating of the resulting digital file for accurate reproduction printing takes time and materials. The setup charge is to offset those costs. My setup charge is based on the amount of time it generally takes to prepare a digital file for printing. In general, I have found that most photographers do not have the camera and lighting equipment needed to create a high quality, color accurate, digital file that is suitable for fine art printing.
How much resolution do I need if I'm bring you a file?
Simple math can be used to tell you how much resolution you need in your digital file in order to print at various quality levels.
True museum or art gallery quality is 300 dpi, quality that is usually rated by artists as acceptable is 200 dpi.
To find out how many megapixels your file must have you take the two dimensions of your original (in inches) and multiply by the dpi for the quality you want. Then multiply the resulting amounts to get the megapixels required.
Your original painting is 24 inches by 30 inches in size.
24 inches times 300 dpi = 7200 pixels
30 inches times 300 dpi = 9000 pixels
7200 pixels times 9000 pixels = 64,800,000 pixels or 64.8 Megapixels (Museum quality)
The same calculation done using 200 dpi results in a 28.8 Megapixels requirement (for acceptable quality).
The larger the original painting the more pixels are needed to create a high quality print, at the original size.
Most consumer cameras are in the 10 megapixel to 16 megapixel range. Consequently the files generated from consumer grade cameras are not generally suitable for fine art printing, unless the prints are very small.
Under U.S. Copyright law, a work of art is automatically copyrighted the moment it is created. The artist retains the copyright for his or her entire life unless the artist specifically transfers that copyright to another person or organization. The transfer of copyright must be in writing.
If you purchased or own a work of art and wish to have it digitized to create giclee prints, be aware that we will require a letter of authorization from the copyright holder (the artist) prior to moving forward with the the creation of giclee prints. If you are the creator of a work of art, we will ask you for I.D. prior to creating any giclee reproductions of the artwork you bring us.
I respect the rights of artists and will not violate an artist's copyright.