Giclée ("Zhee-clay")

The Aesthetic and archival boundaries between reproductions produced on color copies and those made by offset printing were easier to identify when the machines' colors were inaccurate and uncontrollable, the inks were not lightfast and archival papers could not be used. But now, some color copy machines can create reproductions of such high quality that the negative reactions that were common just a few years ago have been somewhat quelled. Digital technology makes it possible to produce copies that are virtually indistinguishable from older reproduction methods such as offset printing.

At the top of the quality scale for making color copies is the high-resolution Iris Graphics digital ink printer, which is capable of spraying more than 4 million drops of ink per second on archival paper or canvas. These environmentally safe fine art inks are applied in droplets the size of a human blood cell with a computer controlled accuracy that is unsurpassed in the art world. The artist can make precise calculations as to hue, value and intensity in collaboration with the printer while a scanned image is displayed on a monitor. Once the scan is perfected, it can be called back at any time to make identical images in endless numbers.
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