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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ruffles

From pencils to print - and what is a giclee anyway?

I've just finished listing a whole heap of new prints from the Courting Crows project - including a new to me budget range. I've been selling greeting cards featuring my work for years but felt there was room for something between those and the fine art prints I normally offer. It also occurred to me that not everyone will know the difference between one thing and the other so here's your handy shopping guide.

The cheapest printing option is greeting card level - high volume, fast, pretty, but with all that whizz you do tend to lose very fine detail (ok since usually a mini reproduction anyway) and they are not built to last forever. Next up is the new tier of high quality inkjet prints - paper, printer technology and inks have come a long way over the years and it's now possible to get nice crisp images like the crows above, that suit two kinds of customer. Some folks are art lovers but just don't have the budget for museum quality reproductions. Some folks aren't actually interested in art as a thing in its own right and just want a nice picture - something they can use to change up their decor without making a major purchase. So this brings us to giclee or other archival prints.

The main difference is in ink and paper quality. Giclee was coined to describe high quality inkjet prints thirty years ago but it's still used as a defining word to describe a high end product. Inks are pigment based, have great depth of colour and are much more lightfast. Papers are guaranteed not to break down after a few years where cheaper options may become brittle or change colour. Changes are often subtle over time so if you purchase a cheaper copy, you're not likely to look at it a week later and think 'what the hell?' But you're not likely to be passing it down to children and grandchildren either. I'm looking forward to playing some more with a wider range of options - I'll always offer full size fine art prints as they are the closest you're going to get to an original that doesn't have my actual fingerprints on it but it's nice to have the choice when it's your wallet :)

You can of course buy all of these beauties in the crows section of my shop.



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