We’d like to start today with some vocabulary. Then we’ll move on to some thoughts about selected vocab. There will be a test.

Art reproduction: an accurate representation of an original piece of art (not just a copy, but with the depth and feel that the artist had in mind)


Giclée1: a word coined by printmaker Jack Duganne of Nash Editions (according to wikipedia) in the early 90s originally referring to prints made with Iris printers back in the 80s we now use inkjet printers for the same process.

So, sometimes thinking of art reproduction for Giclée printing makes you think of a Monet or Van Gogh that you can buy in the poster form at MOMA or online from one of those terrible ‘art poster’ dealers. Ugh…don’t even…ok. Sorry. When Tweek does art reproduction and Giclée printing we are working with artists to digitize their work to create prints of the original. You’re sitting there thinking…yeah, that’s exactly the same as buying a Monet or Van Gogh print. Yes, you’re right. However, most current artists are making limited amounts of a print. This allows those of us on a smaller budget the ability to have fine art in our homes. Imagine your favorite moderately-known artist makes 15 Giclées…then say 40 years from now is considered a creative genius and there was only one original piece and 15 Giclées and you own one! Does that help a little with perspective?

Now, let’s talk about how that fine art reproduction gets in our homes. The images with this post are of Tony2 during the reproduction process with one of our artist’s, Lesley Eaton3, work. Here’s how our process works:

  1. The artist’s work arrives (big or small we can handle it all!4).
  2. Depending on the size, we can scan, set it up on the copy stand or in a horizontal setup5 to shoot.
  3. Now we’ve got a high resolution file ready to move on with…
  4. We then take the image on to color correction.
  5. After color correction the artist reviews the corrected file for printing approval.
  6. The file is then set up for printing and is, well, printed of course.

During this process we keep in mind what we know artists are looking for:

  • Color matching or color deviation, such as brighter, more saturated or even less contrast6
  • Texture/dimensionality to be accurate to the original.
  • Quality result with a good value.

Tony says, “You know you’ve done it right when someone almost has to touch it to see if it is real or not.”

How are we different from a big box office/sign printer in art reproduction? When an artist brings us their work, it stays in the same building for the whole process. We don’t have to farm any piece of the process out to any other vendors. We are working directly with the artist post shooting to make sure the prints will be exactly what they want to sell. When an artist decides to sell more of the same print we have their color match proof on file and can recreate exactly what they fell in love with the first time. And just because we do everything ourselves this doesn’t mean we can only print 20 or so prints at a time…we can do large runs of prints if that’s what an artist is interested in.

That’s enough for today. We’ve got to get back to our Giclée-making. Or retouching. Or photo restoration…we’re busy making our clients happy. *winkwink*


1 Want more info on Giclee (zhee-klay)? Check these resources out: one & two. Pretty helpful.

2 Fearless leader

3 Can you keep a secret? You may or may not be learning more about Lesley in an upcoming artist spotlight. Shhh

4 Couldn’t resist

5 Scanning: up to 11×17 (flat art, example watercolor); Copy Stand: up to 20×24

6 Some clients want richer or brighter coloring. As we learn what the artist leans toward in proofing we can make the proofing quicker for future pieces.

Tony Long

Author Tony Long

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