Printers, Inks & Papers

“Our goal is to create the highest quality product, something that you can pass down to your children and generations to come.” – Gaye Lynne LaGuire

What makes our Prints Special?

The prints and giclees that you will receive are no mere inkjet prints like from your home printer. These reproductions are of the highest quality; both the process and paper (including canvas) are of higher than industry standards. All our prints resist fading and will last an extraordinarily long time. Our goal is to create the highest quality product, something that you can pass down to your children and generations to come.

Orig. Size:

The Orig. Size designation means that the giclee is the same size as the original piece of art painted. Therefore, if an original is 30×24, the Orig. Size giclee is 30×24.

Printers

The Mimaki JV3 Giclee Printer

In just two years it appears that this Mimaki JV3 solvent ink printer has sold more units than Arizona solvent ink printers sold in a decade. But now the competition is tougher, with ColorSpan 72SI and Seiko ColorPainter 64S entering the market. The price of the Mimaki JV3 makes it a practical alternative to some other mid-range solvent printers such as Mutoh and Vutek.

Other competition has dropped out: the Tiara printers seem to have disappeared from the US market during 2005 (see our FLAAR Reports on the Tiara printer ; if you wish direct information contact Ken Stokes, ken@scarabgraphics.com.)

Although mainland Chinese companies are trying to invade the solvent ink market, few US sign print shops are willing to risk unproven brands, lack of proof of reliability, insecurity of whether spare parts are available, no record of tech support across the USA, and realization that there is no way to know how long a Chinese printer will function (or how long the company will stay in business.)

For printing on uncoated raw vinyl, a Mimaki JV3 is a printer that appears to be a viable choice, but first you need to weigh the pros and cons, and compare with ColorSpan 72si, Seiko ColorPainter 64S, Mutoh Toucan , Mutoh Toucan LT , and all the other solvent ink printers of this mid-size class. To assist people who need help in deciding which solvent ink printer to chose, we have prepared a discussion of all solvent ink printers in the FLAAR Reports Series by Nicholas Hellmuth. The FLAAR Reports even cover lite-solvent, eco-solvent, and oil-based alternatives.

Inks & Paints

Giclee:

Giclee ink is almost a resin, specifically designed to grip canvas and rough surfaces (such as watercolor paper). it’s durable and flexible like acrylic or oil paint. It is also very UV resistant; it is like getting an actual painting, and is specifically designed for reproduction of original paintings. A giclee on canvas is eminently suitable for public places, such as your church school, entryway, or pastor’s office. A giclee on canvas does not have to be glassed, and looks like an oil painting. The surface is hand treated to be durable, and industry technology and fade resistant inks. Giclees are not the same as a “canvas transfer” which for years was sold as a cheap reproduction of oil paintings. A giclee, whether printed on artists watercolor paper or on canvas, is categorized as a “fine art print”, and holds its value over time. Even though there may be for you an initial sticker shock, remember each giclee is a one-at-a-time labor intensive print. Each one is carefully controlled by the printer and the artist for quality. They hold up much the same as an original work of art.

Giclee (pronounced Zhee-Clay) is a French phrase coined in the 17th Century. It refers to a technology brought forth by a machine called the Iris. The support material, such as paper or canvas is carefully attached to a spinning drum while infinitely small pixels of rich, vibrant archival inks are sprayed at a very high speed. This renders an amazingly smooth and consistent image, a Museum Quality Fine Art Reproduction.

Archival Ink:

The inks we use to create our ink on paper reproductions is a special quality UV resistant ink, so it resists fading. When combined with UV glass, it lasts up to 20 times longer than your average inkjet reproduction. In all cases, these prints are coming out of 6-color process printers, so the color is exceptionally rich and cannot be reproduced by normal desktop printers.

Lithograph:

This term describes general offset printing. This process is used by most print publishers today, although Giclees are replacing the process. The original painting is photographed and the image is burned into four plates for a full color printing process. The ink comes from a roller on a printing press. High quality lithographs use a very fine dot screen on acid free paper with fade resistant inks. In ancient times, prints were taken from a drawing done from a polished limestone or zinc or aluminum plates. The drawing is done with greasy crayons, pens, or pencils. A solution containing gum arabic and dilute nitric acid is washed on the stone (or plate). This solution fixes the design in place. The entire plate surface is washed with water and then inked. Print paper is applied and sent sent through a press, transferring a the image of the stone (or plate) to the paper.

You may notice that we have only a few lithographs and mostly giclees, and that lithographs are far less expensive. Why? Quality; giclees are a far more rigidly controlled process, keep better value over time, and will stay color-rich over generations (they are also more expensive to print!). Giclees are almost like originals. We have sold lithos in the past, but are phasing them out because we want to provide you the highest quality images.

Papers & Canvas

Paper:

We use real watercolor paper, exactly what artists paint on. It is 100% acid-free archival art paper. This means to you that the paper won’t ‘yellow’ through time, and the reproduction that you get will stay beautiful for years to come.

Canvas:

We use actual canvas for our high-end reproductions, the same canvas that artists use to stretch for their originals. They are 100% cotton with both inkjet & stretch coatings. That means when the giclee is stretched by your local art store, it will never crack.

100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE

If for any reason your paper yellows or ink cracks over time, we will replace your image for free. We are dedicated to your satisfaction!