History About canvas
Giclée / Canvas print

Giclée, is a neologism coined in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne for fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality. A canvas print is the result of an image printed onto canvas which is stretched, or gallery-wrapped, onto a frame and displayed. Canvas prints are often used in interior design, with stock images, or customised with personal photographs. Canvas prints are intended to reproduce the look of original oil or acrylic paintings on stretched canvas.

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Origins

The word giclée was created by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working at Nash Editions. He wanted a name for the new type of prints they were producing on the IRIS printer, a large-format, high-resolution industrial prepress proofing inkjet printer they had adapted for fine-art printing. He was specifically looking for a word that would not have the negative connotations of "inkjet" or "computer generated". It is based on the French word gicleur, which means "nozzle" (the verb form gicler means "to squirt, spurt, or spray").

Current usage

Beside its original association with IRIS prints, the word giclée has come to be associated with other types of inkjet printing including processes that use fade-resistant, archival inks (pigment-based, as well as newer solvent-based inks), and archival substrates primarily produced on Epson, HP and other large-format printers. These printers use the CMYK color process but may have multiple cartridges for variations of each color based on the CcMmYK color model (such as light magenta and light cyan inks in addition to regular magenta and cyan); this increases the apparent resolution and color gamut and allows smoother gradient transitions. A wide variety of substrates is available, including various textures and finishes such as matte photo paper, watercolor paper, cotton canvas, or artist textured vinyl.

Printing methods

Reproductions of original artwork have been printed on canvas for many decades using offset printing. Since the 1990s, canvas print has been associated with either dye sublimation or inkjet print processes (often referred to as repligraph or giclée respectively). The canvas print material is generally cotton, or a cheaper alternative plastic based poly canvas often used for the reproduction of photographic images. Modern large format printers are capable of printing onto canvas rolls measuring 1.5 metres (59 in) or more. Modern examples of inkjet-based printers capable of printing directly onto canvas are the HP Designjet z6100 and the Epson Ultra Chrome 11880. Printers such as these allow artists and photographers to print their works directly onto canvas media, with slow print speed settings available to ensure print quality is not diminished. Printed canvas for wall art is generally of a weight around 400 gsm and should be 100% pure white cotton for a more exact colour representation.

Construction methods

After the image is printed, the canvas is trimmed to size and glued, or stapled to traditional stretcher bars, or a wooden panel and displayed in a frame, or as a gallery wrap. The frames are usually constructed from solid pine and underpinned for added strength. A print that is designed to continue round the edges of a stretcher frame once gallery-wrapped is referred to as full-bleed. This can be used to enhance the three-dimensional effect of the mounted print.

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Uses for prints

Canvas prints are commonly used in home decor, either chosen by professional interior designers, or by the home-owner. Canvas prints can be mass-produced and available through high-street retailers and home-improvement stores, such as Ikea, or personalised one-off canvas prints produced from the individual's own photograph, or drawing, usually uploaded via the internet, or ordered direct from social media websites. Canvas prints are often used as a cheaper alternative to framed artwork as there is no glazing required and the pine frame is not usually visible, so do not need to be varnished, or treated. .

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