How is the artwork handled and stored? Always a good question to ask. Some companies make a big to-do about using white gloves while handling the prints.
We don’t, but will do so if asked. (the wearing of gloves bit, not the making of a big to-do bit.Though I suppose if you really wanted us to . . .) We wash our hands thoroughly to wash away any naturally occurring body oils before working with either your original work or prints. (which is why in winter, we have the driest and scratchiest hands around.)
All original artwork taken in at WFG is stored carefully in protective sleeves or in boxes.
Archivability and longevity You should ask whether the prints will smear or scratch easily. Do they need to be coated to prevent this. If they need to be coated is the printing company going to coat them, or are you supposed to do it. If they coat them, is there an additional fee for that.
Our paper prints have no need for a coating, as they won’t smear or run from water. We do coat our canvas prints however, though again they are water proof. We use a brush on coating which both enhances its UV protection and adds to the illusion that it is a painting, because of the noticeable brushstrokes on the surface. And yes, there is a nominal fee to have that service done by us.
“Some companies make a big to-do about using white gloves while handling the prints. We don’t, but will do so if asked. (the wearing of gloves bit, not the making of a big to-do bit.Though I suppose if you really wanted us to . . .)”
Find out how lightfast the inks are and if their papers acid free. If your printer says something like this ink and paper combinations has been tested to last 75 years. Bear in mind that is under museum conditions. Which may include, temperature and humidity controlled environment and possibly in the dark (seriously) Since most of us don’t live in the dark, ask if they have any real world samples of printouts.
Also an important fact to consider, is that most of the longevity claims are based on simulations. I mean giclee has only been around for about 15 years. There is no way any real world testing could be done to verify that, yes indeed the print will look unchanged for the next 75 years, (again, under the best possible scenerio, museum conditions) when 75 years hasn’t elapsed yet.
My experience with my own prints hanging in the gallery is, they have held up beautifully. And I have some fairly harsh conditions. My front room is all windows along one side and my overheads are flourescent (which is the absoloute worst for uv.) I’ve had some prints sitting about for years and they look as good as day one.
We did one test where we printed a small printout. Hung half (as in taped to) the west facing window (all my front room windows face west) for 6 months. When it was taken down and compared to the half that was stored away in a dark drawer, it looked virtually identical with the exception of a slight yellowing of the paper. From my perspective this was truely excellent results. Trust me, had I hung a major printing house offset lithograph in the window for 6 months, it would have been barely recognizeable.
That being said, I would urge caution when trying to push some longevity results on potential clients (buyers of your art prints.) Yes, the test have been done, and their results are real. As real as simulation results can be. Get my point?
“I would urge caution when trying to push some longevity results on potential clients (buyers of your art prints.) Yes, the test have been done, and their results are real. As real as simulation results can be. Get my point?”
Do you get to proof the reproduction before the prints are run? Digital color profiling systems are geared for the photography industry, as they are the “money” market when it comes to giclee printing. This is partly because they naturally have a higher volume of work. Photography profiling differs in process from art prints in that it has no “original” to match to. It just needs to look correct.
This is why it is important to know whether you get proofing. In other words, do they run a program and what you get, is what you get. Or do they offer to tweak and modify colors per your request. If so, find out if they charge for that service.
We offer proofing as part of the setup package. There is no additional fees for that service. We strive for artist satisfaction.
Do you retain all copyrights? This seems so obvious but it is always good to look into it and to make sure that somewhere it states that you (the artist) retain all your own copyrights.
Of course at WFG the artist retains all copyrights. We keep the rights to profiles and adjustments used in the creation of reproductions.
To wrap up the giclee series, in upcoming posts we will have a few miscellaneous questions answered as well as care and storage of your prints and artwork.