Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fine art ink jet

The French magazine Réponses Photo just published its fifth special edition issue. It has a very interesting survey of ink jet printers for fine arts.

It starts on pages 39-39 with a brief overview. Then it presents the technologies and product line-ups by Epson, HP, and Canon. Interspersed is a glossary that elucidates terms like bronzing and metamerism.

After a section on papers, you will find a short article on creating black and white prints. After a question and answer section, Réponses Photo presents a series of interviews with gallery owners and curators.

This survey of ink jet printers for fine arts concludes on page 60 with a summary and discussion of the designation of prints. Réponses Photo recommends not to use the term digital print, as the original image can be AgX or digital, while a printer can be digital or laser on AgX. While in France — where Epson test marketed the first ink jet printers for fine arts, and therefore fine art ink jet prints have been around for many years — the term Digigraphie is common, Digigraphie it is not known in Anglo-Saxon countries. For example, in the US the French term of giclée is commonly used, while in France the same term is unknown in this context (the verb gicler means to spray ink on paper).

Réponses Photo recommends to write on the back of each print the ink type, paper, and printer model, which will help a future restoration if the print becomes valuable. For the nomenclature it recommends to at least distinguish between giclée pigmentaire and giclée dye.

It should go without saying that this survey is not a product test. Rather, it gives you the knowledge necessary to form your own buying decision depending on your artistic message.