Offset (Fine Art) Prints
Offset printing has been the standard for quality art reproduction for many years. A photograph of the painting is scanned into a computer to produce color separations, one for each color used in the printing process: cyan, yellow, magenta and black. These separations are then output to film with dot patterns that represent the values of each of the four process colors. The films are exposed to printing plates, one for each color. On a printing press, the plates transfer the ink to a rubber blanket, which in turn offsets the ink onto the paper.
Giclée prints are in the finest tradition of European printmaking in that the prints are made individually, on a one-by-one basis, rather than the mass production method of photo mechanical offset-lithography used for most reproductive prints today.
With the advent of Giclée (zhee-clay) the art of fine art printing has become even more precise. Because no plates or screens are used, the prints have a higher apparent resolution than lithographs and the dynamic color range is greater than even serigraphy. Additionally, Giclée prints have an expected life span of over 150 years without any fading!
In the Giclée process, a fine stream of ink - more than 4 million droplets per second - is sprayed onto archival paper or canvas. This produces a combination of over 3 million possible colors created by highly-saturated, nontoxic water-based ink. In displaying such a full color spectrum, the prints are lush and velvety with the feel and tonality of a fine oil painting or the luminosity of a watercolor. Since these Giclée prints are produced on watercolor paper, it is hard to distinguish the prints from the original.