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Fine Art Printing For Self Publishing Artists & Photographers

Dec 24th 2015 at 11:18 PM

Fine art or giclee printing offer photographers and artists an affordable way to create high quality reproductions of their work for display or sale. The printing is done at a standard that allows every detail of the original work to shine through without compromise. Through a combination of state of the art scanning techniques, exquisite papers, and archival inks, these prints are often works of art in themselves and will last longer than other inkjet, silkscreen or lithograph images.

Key to producing a high standard are the inks used. Unlike most standard printing processes which use either three colored inks (RGB), or four (CMYK), fine art printing uses roughly twelve colors to produce an almost infinite range of shades and tones. This allows for a much more detailed reproduction of the original work, capturing not only the full tonal range, but also allowing subtle changes in color to convey the texture in vibrant, crisp detail. This is particularly effective when reproducing paintings, as each brush stroke is visible. Even intricate, highly detailed painting effects such as stippling or impasto will be apparent in the print.

As well as using more inks, the chemical make up of those inks is specially designed to stand the test of time. Even professionally printed photographs and images will fade over time or suffer color distortions from UV damage. The archival pigmented inks used in are UV stable and will resist fading and discoloration for over 100 years.

State of the art printing solutions involved in digital fine art printing means that there are no visible signs of the printing process. Unlike other lower quality reproductions, a print made will show no dots, lines, color borders, or other printer marks.

There are various papers or canvas available to create different looks. Fine art papers are a specialty, often produced by family owned businesses that have passed their paper making secrets and skills from generation to generation. These papers must be 100% acid free to avoid any decay or chemical interaction with the inks, and must have a certain standard of porosity to allow the inks to adhere to the surface without fading through over absorption.

The old adage of "Rubbish in, rubbish out" is perhaps never truer than in the world of fine art printing. This printing method is designed to capture every tiny detail of the work, which means that each dust mote, hair or fine scratch on a scan will appear on the final print too.

Various after effects can be applied to achieve a distinct texture or artistic look. Prints can be made to look glossy, or a layer of carefully applied texture gels can create the illusion of brush strokes and make the print almost indistinguishable from a real painting until viewed very close up. The edges of a print can be digitally or actually torn to produce the deckled effect which has become popular over the past decade. Fine art printing can also involve a final, protective finish in the form of a clear coating of a substance such as acrylic to protect the print against scratches, light and water.

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